'Red Summer': Watch the Trailer for Dawn Porter's Tulsa Race Massacre Documentary

Tulsa Race Massacre
Photograph of damage from the Tulsa Race Riot, Tulsa, Oklahoma, June 1921. (Photo by Oklahoma Historical Society/Getty Images)

The Nat Geo film comes 100 years after the horrifying and deadly events in 1921.

The Tulsa Race Massacre is the subject of a new documentary from filmmaker Dawn Porter (John Lewis: Good Trouble, The Way I See It). Tentatively titled Red Summer, the upcoming National Geographic special will shed new light on the 100-year-old horrifying and deadly racial conflict of 1921, when as many as 300 Black people were murdered with 10,000 left homeless and displaced. 

The first trailer, released on Tuesday, shows how the film will recount the events in Oklahoma that unfolded over a two-day period from May 31 to June 1, while also exploring the early 20th century period known as the Red Summer, during which multiple acts of white supremacist terrorism and racial riots took place across the United States in the months prior. 

Helping guide the story is Washington Post journalist and Tulsa native DeNeen Brown and her reporting on the search for mass graves in her hometown. She will also sit down with family members of those killed, law enforcement, archeologists and historians as she attempts to make sense of the role that politics and media played at the time and how it relates to the modern civil rights movement of today. 

Red Summer is the first of several non-fiction productions focused on the massacre, including a project from director Salima Koroma and LeBron James’ production company and a docuseries directed by filmmaker Stanley Nelson. Additionally, Dream Hampton is working on a scripted miniseries called Black Wall Street

Meanwhile, two HBO scripted shows, Watchmen and Lovecraft Country, both depicted versions of the massacre during their acclaimed seasons, helping to bring new attention to America’s buried past.

Red Summer premieres June 2021 on National Geographic.