Descended from the Promised Land Comes to AfroPoP Digital Shorts Series!
Descended from the Promised Land: The Legacy of BlackWall Street, by Nailah Jefferson, begins streaming Monday, October 16, as the newest episode of Black Public Media’s online seriesAfroPoP Digital Shorts.The film revisits the tragedy of the1921 Tulsa Race Massacre through the eyes ofdescendants of business owners in Tulsa’sGreenwood District. It will be available for audiences nationwide to stream on the Black PublicMedia (BPM)YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/@BlackPublicMedia.
Jefferson, a New Orleans based filmmaker whose Donyale Luna: Supermodel, about the trailblazing Black fashion model premiered last month on Max, focuses her lens on Greenwood in this latest historical documentary. Noted as America’s “Black Wall Street,” the neighborhood predated Oklahoma’s statehood and, as the most prosperous African American district in the nation with thriving Black-owned businesses, was seen as a promised land for Black Americans.
The decades-long prosperity came to a sudden halt in the summer of 1921 when white Oklahomans attacked Greenwood’s businesses and residents, wiping out the community in a deadly, three-day massacre.Through intimate interviews with Byron Ghalani Crenshaw, Jacqueline Blocker and Michelle Blocker, the descendants of Greenwood entrepreneurs and residents who witnessed the tragedy, the film asks viewers to ponder: If the Tulsa Race Massacre had never happened, would Black Wall Street have influenced the entire nation?
One hundred years after the tragedy, the descendants reflect on the emotional, financial and psychological devastation faced by their ancestors and subsequent generations. They also explore ways they can help the Tulsa community rebuild and restrengthen the spirit of Black Wall Street for a new generation.
Created and developed by BPM as an offshoot of its award-winning documentary seriesAfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange, AfroPoP Digital Shorts brings viewers film shorts about life, culture, history, art and more from across the African Diaspora in documentary and narrative format.“
In telling stories that are a part of American history, but all too often ignored, films like Nailah Jefferson’s Descended from the Promised Land epitomize the essence and vitality of independent filmmaking that we at Black Public Media seek to promote at all levels,” said BPMDirector of Programs Denise A. Greene. “While we are grateful to have some survivors of theTulsa Massacre still with us as centenarians, recent events have shown that efforts to silence their voices remain.