Oklahoma hip-hop collective Fire In Little Africa, a project of the Woody Guthrie Center, Bob Dylan Center and 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission, debuted tracks from their upcoming album in a Saturday concert at Oklahoma Contemporary in Oklahoma City.
The album, scheduled for a May 28 release on Motown Records, was inspired by the history of Tulsa's Greenwood District -- "Black Wall Street" -- before, during and after the massacre.
"The only reason why we're here today is because 100 years ago, Black people were killed," executive producer Stevie "Dr. View" Johnson told the crowd at the performance, which was also livestreamed. "I want to say it again -- the real reason why we're here is because Black people were murdered and massacred 100 years ago. If Greenwood was still flourishing, no one would care about 100 years.
"So I want y'all to make sure that you are really paying attention to what these artists are saying. This is 100 years of pain, 100 years of trauma, but also 100 years of joy," Johnson said.
The album, which will be accompanied by a documentary film, is described by the collective as "the story of the passion and resilience of artists in Tulsa leading the community through music, art and entrepreneurship."