Acclaimed Black Wall Street Documentary Featured in AfroPoP Digital Shorts Series


October 23, 2023

More stories about the history and impact of the 1921 Tulsa, Oklahoma, race massacre are being highlighted in the latest mini documentary being featured in the AfroPoP Digital Shorts series.

“Descended from the Promised Land: The Legacy of Black Wall Street” features descendants of Greenwood business owners and residents, with them going into detail about the historic community and the lingering effects of the attack.

The descendants who are interviewed for the film are Byron Ghalani Crenshaw, Jacqueline Blocker, and Michelle Blocker. 

The short film, which first debuted in 2021, is a part of Black Public Media’s AfroPoP Digital Shorts online series and was directed by filmmaker Nailah Jefferson.


“For far too long, the full story of Black Wall Street – the ingenuity and brilliance that built it, the hate that destroyed it during the Tulsa Race Massacre, and the systemic barriers erected to impede its rebuilding – has been suppressed,” Jefferson told The Root. “As a filmmaker, I’m grateful that the descendants of Lula Williams and Leona Carvet, women who worked and lived on Black Wall Street, entrusted me with their family’s story.”

Hughes Van Ellis, one of the final remaining survivors of the attack, recently passed away. And the short film is being celebrated for pushing forward the importance of sharing the story of what happened in Tulsa.

“In telling stories that are a part of American history, but all too often ignored, films like Nailah Jefferson’s ‘Descended from the Promised Land’ epitomize the essence and vitality of independent filmmaking that we at Black Public Media seek to promote at all levels,” said BPM Director of Programs Denise A. Greene. “While we are grateful to have some survivors of the Tulsa Massacre still with us as centenarians, recent events have shown that efforts to silence their voices remain. Through film, we can ensure that their stories are known for generations to come.”

AfroPoP Digital Shorts is presented by Black Public Media (BPM). The AfroPoP Digital Shorts highlights Both documentary and narrative short films that cover life, art and culture from across the African Diaspora.

Photo by Transform Films

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