Several days before the launch of her latest film, Southside With You, co-star Tika Sumpter has signed on as an Executive Producer for the upcoming WGN America series, Black Wall Street.
The project focuses on what became one of the largest mass killings of African-Americans in the nation’s history. The series spotlights the affluent black community in Tulsa, OK in the opening decades of the last century. Black Wall Street examines the strong middle-class African-American community that built up in the divided city. Owning businesses and employing many whites in the segregated state, the Greenwood area of Tulsa was a haven for black professionals and raised capital for its own entrepreneurs and ventures. In May 1921, several white attackers burned the neighborhood in a two-day rampage that killed 300 and left the community devastated and largely forgotten for decades.
After several books on the massacre and lobbying by descendants, the Oklahoma legislature passed the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot Reconciliation Act in 2001 providing scholarships and creating a memorial to the victims that was dedicated in 2010.
Sumpter (The Haves And The Have Nots) will join John Legend’s production company, Get Lifted, and his partners, Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorious, who also produced Southside With You, as an executive producer for the project that is early development with WGN America.
“We’re so excited to continue to grow our relationship with WGN America,” Get Lifted’s Jackson said. “Our experience working with them on Underground has been fantastic,” the EP added. “Additionally, we’re looking forward to working with our friend Tika Sumpter to help tell this incredible story that many people know nothing about.”
Early in the development stage, Black Wall Street could debut in 2018. Renewed in April, Season 2 of Underground will debut next year.