- Associated Press - Thursday, May 28, 2015

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - The executive producer behind a proposed miniseries set during the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot said she hopes to begin filming in September.

Executive producer Nancy Miller, an Oklahoma native, and her team began developing the four-hour miniseries for the Oprah Winfrey Network more than a year ago, with Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer committed to the project, the Tulsa World (https://bit.ly/1HOMEvK) reported. A shooting location hasn’t been announced.

Miller and several of her colleagues, Valerie Woods and Kristin Palombo, are in Tulsa this week for the annual John Hope Franklin Symposium, which is focused this year at diversity in media.

Miller said the plot will center on the family of Mattie Clay, a woman working as a newspaper reporter in Chicago who returns to Tulsa, Oklahoma, for a high school graduation. Mattie’s father owns a grocery store in the Greenwood district, a neighborhood in Tulsa.

Woods completed most of the historical research that went toward developing the characters and context for the script. She said that one of the advantages of creating a fictional family was that they could explore all different levels of society in Tulsa - from those who regularly used drugs to those who were “church people.”

Miller and the others predict that some of those most familiar with the 1921 riot likely won’t be satisfied with the stories that comprise the miniseries.

“I fully expect to get the crap kicked out of me,” Miller said. But she noted that while the miniseries has to be faithful to what happened during the Tulsa Race Riot, it also has to be entertaining for the audience. Details have to be omitted and action compressed.

“Our hope is that we haven’t added anything that is untrue or gratuitous,” Woods said. “Our hope is that we’ve only added things that are true to the nature and spirit of Greenwood.”


Information from: Tulsa World, https://www.tulsaworld.com

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