National Geographic has announced that they are developing a documentary chronicling the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. The film, Red Summer, will strive to tell the stories of those who died during the violent riots while also highlighting the thriving business district that once existed. Red Summer will use the events of the last year as a starting point for the documentary. Through the lens of Washington Post reporter and Tulsa native DeNeen Brown, the film will also look at how the city searched for mass graves of massacre victims this past summer.
"There is an urgency here to not only properly honor those who were murdered and bring comfort to their surviving family members but also for my hometown of Tulsa, and countless others, to acknowledge and address the ways in which Black citizens have been denied protections and opportunities," Brown said.
"We find ourselves at a true inflection point this year, and if we can learn from the past and bring justice to those who had none until now, perhaps we can all find peace."
Red Summer will be led by Dawn Porter. She is best known for her work on films such as Gideon's Army, Trapped and the Spies of Mississippi. More recently, she earned praise for the documentary, John Lewis: Good Trouble. In her latest project, Porter plans to use archival footage, interview historians and connect with survivors.
"This story has been a century in the making, but it took DeNeen's powerful call to action for the city of Tulsa and wider American community to fully realize the necessity of unearthing the truth about this massacre," filmmaker Dawn Porter told The Hollywood Reporter.
"As a filmmaker, following the evidence where it leads and giving a voice to those directly affected by the Red Summer's tragic events is an incredibly delicate undertaking. There is so much our society is currently reckoning with, but seeking the truth about the damage wrought by unchecked and unsanctioned mob violence against the Black community, is a starting point to acknowledge these wrongs and make room for healing to take place."
Photo Credit: Getty Images