Rachel Lyon Discusses Her Film, "Hate Crimes in the Heartland," Which Will Soon Be Screened in Tulsa
We speak by phone with the Emmy Award-winning, Cincinnati-based documentary filmmaker Rachel Lyon, whose films have appeared on CNN, PBS, BBC, the History Channel, and elsewhere. Lyon's newest film, "Hate Crimes in the Heartland," will be screened here in Tulsa on Thursday the 5th at 5:30pm; this screening is part of a free-to-the-public panel discussion happening at the Perkins Auditorium on the OU-Tulsa campus (at 41st and Yale). Two other short films will also be shown at this event, which is presented by the Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work at OU-Tulsa; the panelists will offer a variety of different views on Tulsa's race-related history, status quo, and future. Lyon tells us about her film, which is thus described at the "Hate Crimes in the Heartland" website: "The film begins in Tulsa, where two white men drove through the African-American Greenwood neighborhood targeting blacks at random, killing three and leaving two others in critical condition, in 2012. The film follows the murders, social media uproar, manhunt, capture, and prosecution of two suspects who faced the death penalty.... 'Hate Crimes in the Heartland' exposes current and past hate crimes in our nation, especially the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot, in which Black Wall Street was burned to a cinder, 10,000 were made homeless, and up to 300 perished at the hands of a white mob. 'Heartland' exposes how racial animosity still haunts American culture by exploring the most violent race riot in our history. Set in the same Tulsa neighborhood, the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot brings the thorny lessons of the past into a still-surging river of present-day unrest."