Oklahoma filmmakers make feature film about Tulsa Race Massacre

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – This studio has become a second home for Dekoven Riggins and Marcus Brown after shooting a new movie that was set in Oklahoma.

“Co-director, co-camera operator, co-grip, co-gaffer, co-producer, writer, scorer,” Dekoven Riggins, filmmaker, said.

“If you see it, it’s me. If you hear it, it’s D,” Filmmaker Marcus Brown said.

The makers of “Black Wall Street Burning” say this is the first ever feature film based on the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

There were no professional actors used in the movie and it only cost around $12,000 for the entire production.

The story is about the deadly race-fueled attack that left hundreds of people dead, and destroyed the then-thriving Greenwood District of Tulsa.

“10,000 people were homeless and literally 40 square blocks burned completely to the ground,” Riggins said.

But until recently, there wasn’t a lot of information.

Dekoven Riggins says he didn’t know about it until college. Both men had to dig deep to learn about this dark time in Oklahoma history.

“History’s written by the victors. We lost so we don’t get to write about it, so it’s easier to bury something you’re ashamed of than to glorify it,” Brown said.

Although it is a story about a horrific event, Marcus and Dekoven hope those who watch the film will come away with something positive as well.

“Sometimes we’re portrayed that we were only slaves here in this country, but to show we can have thriving communities just us, building together and working together, is something we can absolutely do.”

A dark piece of history being retold on the big screen almost 100 years after it happened.

Black Wall Street Burning is rated R for graphic images.

The film will be playing at Harkins Theater in Bricktown Friday through February 13.
It will then go to Tulsa.

To buy tickets, visit Harkins’ website. 

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