National Geographic Documentary Films teams up with acclaimed director Dawn Porter on new feature documentary Rise Again: Tulsa and the Red Summer

Award-winning journalist DeNeen Brown chronicles the investigation of a mass grave in Oklahoma, documenting the reign of racial terror and the legacy of violence in the early 20th century in the two-hour special, Rise Again: Tulsa and the Red Summer, slated to premiere on National Geographic on Friday, June 18 at 9 p.m. ET/PT and available to stream on Hulu the following day, Juneteenth, Saturday, June 19.

What is happening:

  • National Geographic Documentary Films partners with acclaimed filmmaker Dawn Porter (The Way I See It, Good Trouble: John Lewis) and Trailblazer Studios on a feature-length documentary that sheds new light on a century-long period of intense racial conflict. Rise Again: Tulsa and the Red Summer comes a hundred years after the two-day Tulsa Massacre in 1921 that led to the murder of hundreds of black people and left thousands homeless and displaced. The film will premiere on National Geographic on Friday, June 18 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. It will also be available to stream on Hulu the following day, Saturday, June 19, commemorating June 19, when the last enslaved black people in Texas received news of their emancipation, and will stream worldwide in 172 countries and 43 languages.
  • Award-winning Washington Post journalist and Oklahoma native DeNeen Brown is at the heart of the film, reporting on the search for a mass grave in her home state. Digging into the events that led to one of the worst episodes of racial violence in American history, Brown reveals insight into the incidents of racial conflict that erupted in the early 20th century. Between 1917 and 1923, when Jim Crow laws were at their height and the Klu Klux Klan was resurgent across the country, dozens of black homes and businesses were razed to the ground and hundreds of black people were lynched and massacred in all impunity.
  • Brown’s reporting highlights the renewed call for justice for victims and survivors. Following a 2018 investigative report, Brown explores the current anti-racism movement in the context of the Tulsa Massacre and Red Summer. With access to family members of those killed, city officials, archaeologists and historians, the film reveals decades-long efforts by descendants and community members to find the bodies of the victims and uncover truths that have been suppressed for nearly a century. Rise Again: Tulsa and the Red Summer also unravels the role the media played in covering events at the time to reveal the full extent of the nation’s buried past.
  • Also covered in a future issue of National Geographic magazine, the excavation of a possible mass grave in Tulsa will continue early 20th century calls from black newspapers, which reported on the Red Summer era in search of justice for the dead. The excavation is only part of the effort to come to terms with the past.
  • National Geographic Documentary Films Rise Again: Tulsa and the Red Summer comes on the heels of his highly successful docuseries City so real, continue to shed light on social justice and racial equality in America. The most recent films of the banner, rebuild paradise, from director Ron Howard, debuted at Sundance 2020, and The cave, from director Feras Fayyad, was nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature in 2020.
  • Rise Again: Tulsa and the Red Summer is produced by Dawn Porter’s Trilogy Films and Trailblazer Studios in association with National Geographic Studios.

What they say :

  • Dawnbringer: “I’m interested in following the evidence where it leads while giving voice to those directly affected by the tragic events in Tulsa and throughout the Red Summer. Now is the time to tell this story, which is not just about black victims but also about black resistance.There is so much our society is dealing with right now, but seeking the truth about the damage caused by unchecked mob violence against the black community is a point of Unfortunately, the racism that drives Red Summer has not been eradicated. Clearly, we must acknowledge these wrongs if the healing is to begin.
  • DeNeen L. Brown: “In Tulsa, there is a growing urgency to properly honor the black people who were murdered in the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921. Tulsa black activists have worked for years to bring national attention to this chapter horror in US history, in which up to 300 black people were killed by white mobs and the thriving black community of Greenwood was destroyed.This year, as the city celebrates the 100th anniversary of the massacre, Tulsa stands at an inflection point to learn from its horrific history and bring justice to survivors and descendants who have been denied true justice for too long.”

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