Morris Chestnut Hosts “Rebuilding Black Wall Street” To Spotlight Resilient Tulsa Community
Morris Chestnut is lending his talent and charm as the host of OWN’s new six-part series tracing the century-long impact of the 1921 Tulsa Massacre and chronicling that community’s resilient rebuilding.
“Rebuilding Black Wall Street” comes two years after the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, during which an angry white mob destroyed the flourishing Greenwood District, leaving an estimated 300 dead, more than 1,200 homes destroyed, and at least 60 businesses and community buildings burned to the ground. That day is considered the single most horrific incident of racial terrorism since slavery.
Despite the tragedy, trauma, and scars the massacre left behind, the Greenwood District has remained resilient in its journey to rebuild. Its strength and joy are highlighted in the Oprah Winfrey Network’s uplifting renovation docuseries hosted by Chestnut.
The six episodes follow Chestnut and designers Jon Pierre and Mary Tjon-Joe-Pin as they guide viewers through Greenwood’s rich history and the personal journeys of those featured, many of whom are descendants of original Black Wall Street residents.
As new businesses and projects come to life in “The Black Wall Street,” as the area was known, viewers witness the physical and emotional challenges that come with large-scale construction while also celebrating the promise of Greenwood’s future.
Profiles include “The Birthing Center,” founded by Tulsa Race Massacre descendant Montika Collins, who aims to create North Tulsa’s only natural birthing center and return the tradition of midwifery to the Greenwood District. “The Family House” follows Tulsa massacre descendant Rachel Walker, who seeks to preserve the home passed down to her through generations with help from the nonprofit 1256 Movement. “The Transition Home” shows how Tulsa’s complex history laid the groundwork for massacre descendant D’Marria Monday to build a haven for recently incarcerated women reintegrating back into society.
“The Farm” tackles the ongoing effort to change the food desert of North Tulsa through Rodney and Sheila Clark’s family farm that’s in need of a major upgrade. “The Mansion” includes special guest Ananda Lewis, who helps Jon Pierre and Mary upgrade the historic Skyline Mansion, which serves as a studio for local rap group Fire in Little Africa. “The Restaurant” sees NBA alum Kevin Johnson open Fixins Soul Kitchen in Tulsa and feed three survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre.
“Rebuilding Black Wall Street” premieres on OWN Friday, September 29, at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CST.