Black Wall Street


WGN America and John Legend’s Get Lifted Film Company are teaming up again (following the hit series “Underground”) for another historical series – this one on Black Wall Street.

Tika Sumpter is also on board to executive produce.

Set during the oil boom of the 1910s, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, specifically the Greenwood neighborhood which came to be known as “Negro Wall Street” (now commonly referred to as “Black Wall Street”),  the proposed series will examine the prominent African American community that built and lived the city.

Known as one of the most successful and wealthiest black communities in the United States during the early 20th Century, the area was home to several prominent black businessmen, including a variety of thriving businesses that were very successful up until the Tulsa Race Riot in 1921. Considered the largest race riot in U.S. history, over 300 people were believed to have been murdered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, after several whites burned down the neighborhood in a two-day rampage – a story that was largely covered up for decades.

“We’re so excited to continue to grow our relationship with WGN America,” Get Lifted’s Mike Jackson told Deadline today. “Our experience working with them on Underground has been fantastic,” the EP added. “Additionally we’re looking forward to working with our friend Tika Sumpter to help tell this incredible story that many people know nothing about.”

The project is in early development at this time, so there isn’t much else to share, with a 2018 premiere date eyed, assuming all else goes well until then.

I should mention that Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network previously ordered a mini-series on Black Wall Street, that Octavia Spencer is attached to star in, titled simply “Tulsa” (working title), which is currently in development. As reported on this blog previously, “Tulsa” will tell the story of Mattie Clay (Spencer), a journalist from Tulsa, who moved to Chicago with the hopes of getting off the society pages and away from racism. Mattie’s journey eventually brings her back home to Tulsa, right around the time of the race riots, where she must face the demons of her past and decide where her future lies.

Two certainly very intriguing projects to watch for; Both still early in development, so stay tuned.