Oprah Developing Race Riot Miniseries Starring Octavia Spencer

James Hibberd, Inside TV, April 3, 2014

Oprah Winfrey’s OWN cable network is developing a two-part miniseries chronicling one of the ugliest and least-known chapters in U.S. history.

In Tulsa, Academy Award-winning actress Octavia Spencer (The Help) plays a journalist who investigates the 1921 Oklahoma race riots, where an estimated 300 people were believed to have been murdered amid post-WWI racial tension surrounding segregation laws and the prosperous black community of Greenwood. According to a 2011 New York Times story on the subject, “The Tulsa race riot of 1921 was rarely mentioned in history books, classrooms or even in private . . . an episode so brutal that this city, in a bout of collective amnesia that extended more than a half-century, simply chose to forget it ever happened.”

The announcement came as part of OWN’s Thursday upfront, revealing the net’s next slate of programming–which also included the network’s first scripted movie, My Name is Love: The Darlene Love Story. The period biopic will star Toni Braxton.


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