MTV Entertainment Studios and Bassett Vance Productions announced today that award-winning playwright Nathan Alan Davis will write an original scripted limited series inspired by the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, considered the worst incident of racial violence in American history.
A century after the devastating event that left hundreds of black people dead and destroyed entire homes and businesses, the series will be the first drama adaptation dedicated to telling the story of Tulsa’s Greenwood district, which was the richest black community in the United States. United States and known as “Black Wall Street”.
“As storytellers – along with Courtney, Angela and Nathan – we are privileged to shine a light on a devastating event in our history that is important, necessary, and still resonates 100 years later,” said Nina L. Diaz, President Content and Creative Director at MTV Entertainment Group. “This partnership underscores our shared commitment to elevating diverse voices and creating content that our global audience craves that is both timely and insightful.”
“Angela and I have always had a deep appreciation for history, especially when it comes to stories rooted in the black community. We look forward to working on this series with MTV Entertainment Studios which will explore an important slice of American history as we seek to reflect on the events that changed the lives of countless black families in Tulsa, Oklahoma a hundred years ago,” said Courtney B. Vance, director at Bassett Vance Productions.
“We are thrilled to work with Nathan because his vision aligns directly with the story that Angela and I want to tell. Although the series revisits the pain and tragedy of black people that took place on May 31 and June 1 1921, it will also prominently feature the stories of the extraordinary and entrepreneurial people who built Black Wall Street and all that this community has achieved.
Davis added, “I am honored to partner with Courtney, Angela, MTV Entertainment Studios and their amazing teams in this vital endeavour. Exploring the history of the Greenwood District of Tulsa in the form of a limited drama series provides us with a precious opportunity and a deep responsibility. I look forward to crafting a story that will not only shed light on the people of Black Wall Street, but breathe new life into the spirit, ideas, hopes, fears and dreams that drove them.
It is Bassett Vance Productions’ first project under the deal struck with MTV Entertainment Studios in 2020. Having served as a screenwriter for projects such as BET’s American soul and facebook watches sorry for your lossthis marks Davis’ first run as a show maker after receiving several awards for his produced pieces, including Nat Turner in Jerusalem, Dontrell who kissed the sea and The wind and the breeze. He previously provided a vision of the Tulsa Massacre for his play, Heightsscheduled to premiere at Arena Stage in Washington DC
Meghan Hooper White, Executive Vice President and Head of Original Movies and Limited Series and Vice President of Original Movies and Limited Series, Amal Baggar will oversee the project for MTV Entertainment Studios. Bassett and Vance will executive produce the series, with Dwayne Johnson-Cochran and Lynnette Ramirez for Bassett Vance Productions.
Davis is replaced by ICM and managed by Literate. Bassett Vance Productions is replaced by Darrell Miller, Fox Rothschild LLP. Bahareh Kamali brokered the deal for MTV Entertainment Studios.