KOSU Announces 'Blindspot: Tulsa Burning,' A Podcast Examining The Tulsa Race Massacre And History Of Racial Violence In America
KOSU and Focus: Black Oklahoma are proud to collaborate with The HISTORY Channel and WNYC Studios in the production of season two of the highly-acclaimed podcast “Blindspot” with the launch of “Blindspot: Tulsa Burning.”
The new six-episode season explores the racial terror that destroyed the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma one hundred years ago. Through conversations with descendants, historians and local activists, the series considers how the traumatic two-day attack continues to take a toll.
The podcast series is hosted by WNYC Studios’ reporter and producer KalaLea and is available Friday, May 28 wherever podcasts are available.
Listeners will also be able to hear portions of the podcast on KOSU in future episodes of Planet Money and The New Yorker Radio Hour. KOSU and Focus: Black Oklahoma will also continue to follow the story of Greenwood locally, long after the 100th commemoration is over.
The season began as an idea conceived by Focus: Black Oklahoma executive producer Quraysh Ali Lansana for broadcast on KOSU, but in early discussions Lansana and KOSU Executive Director Rachel Hubbard decided that the story needed more.
“We were happy to collaborate with WNYC Studios and The HISTORY Channel because the whole world should know what happened in Tulsa in 1921,” said Lansana, who is also a Tulsa Artist Fellow and leads the Center for Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation at OSU-Tulsa.
Oklahomans have guided the telling of this story for a national platform.
“This is an example of how public radio should work,” said Hubbard. “We bring our local expertise and sources to the table, and this unique collaboration with The HISTORY Channel and WNYC Studios allows the story to have the best production values and be told expertly.”
- Listen to the trailer and subscribe above.
“It’s been wonderful to collaborate with KOSU in Oklahoma on Tulsa Burning,” says Emily Botein, VP, Original Content, WNYC. “Public radio is at its best when it combines local expertise and community knowledge with national resources. We are so proud to partner with KOSU to help bring this critical story to all Americans.”
Produced by The HISTORY Channel and WNYC, in collaboration with KOSU and Focus: Black Oklahoma, “Blindspot: Tulsa Burning” recalls the events of May 31 and June 1, 1921 when the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma was destroyed by racially motivated violence. Once home to booming Black-owned businesses, Greenwood was one of the most prosperous African American enclaves in the U.S. – coined by Booker T. Washington as “Black Wall Street.” More than thirty-five city blocks of the neighborhood were burned and hundreds of Black residents were killed. It remains one of the worst episodes of racial terror in 20th Century American history. Despite the scale and impact of the attack, the massacre has long been absent from regional and national curriculum and obscured from broad public knowledge. “Blindspot: Tulsa Burning” explores the history of the events, the impact on the community and the country, and how it continues to affect race relations.
Over the course of the six-part audio series, listeners will hear from experts, historians, authors and survivors, including:
- Chief Egunwale Amusan: Local activist and descendant of a survivor. Owner of “The REAL Black Wall Street” tours.
- Dr. Tiffany Crutcher: Local activist, descendent of a survivor, and twin sister of a man slain by a Tulsan police officer in 2016.
- Raven Majia Williams: Great-granddaughter of A.J. Smitherman, the publisher of The Tulsa Star, one of the first Black daily newspapers in the country
- Quraysh Ali Lansana: Writer, poet and adjunct professor of Africana Studies and Creative Writing at Oklahoma State University, Tulsa
- Resmaa Menakem: Psychotherapist and author of “My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending our Hearts and Bodies”
- Eli Grayson: Citizen of the Creek nation, former President of the California Muscogee Creek Association
- Victor Luckerson: Journalist and author of the “Run it Back” newsletter
- Adriane Lentz-Smith: Associate professor and associate chair of Duke University’s department of History
- Minkah Makalani: Associate professor of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin
ABOUT A+E NETWORKS
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ABOUT NEW YORK PUBLIC RADIO:
With an urban vibrancy and a global perspective, New York Public Radio (NYPR) produces innovative public radio programs, podcasts, and live events that touch a passionate community of 23.4 million people monthly on air, online and in person. From its state-of-the-art studios in New York City, NYPR is reshaping radio for a new generation of listeners with groundbreaking, award-winning programs including Radiolab, On the Media, The Takeaway, Dolly Parton’s America, Carnegie Hall Live, and Aria Code, among many others. New York Public Radio includes WNYC, WQXR, WNYC Studios, Gothamist, The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, and New Jersey Public Radio. Further information about programs, podcasts, and stations may be found at www.nypublicradio.org.
KOSU is a public radio service of Oklahoma State University and a member station of National Public Radio. Its programming can be heard by more than 91,000 on-air listeners every week in central, northern and northeastern Oklahoma, parts of Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas and worldwide at www.kosu.org.
ABOUT FOCUS: BLACK OKLAHOMA:
Focus: Black Oklahoma is a one-hour news and public affairs program on topics relevant to Oklahomans across the Black diaspora that airs on KOSU monthly. The show is also available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, NPR One and at www.kosu.org/podcast/focus-black-oklahoma.