Local Projects Talks with HBO: Greenwood Rising

Read Time: 2 minutes

In honor of the six-month anniversary of the new Greenwood Rising Black Wall Street History Center—and in recognition of Black History Month—SEGD member firm Local Projects is releasing a never-before-seen panel discussion between the creators of HBO’s Watchmen and the designers of the Greenwood Rising exhibitions. Read on to learn how you can view this talk, virtually, beginning February 24. 

Many Americans don’t know about the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, a tragic episode in American history when a group of white residents in Tulsa, Oklahoma, destroyed 35 blocks of the city’s prosperous Black neighborhood of Greenwood. More than 300 people were killed in what was then known as “Black Wall Street.” Subsequently, government officials covered up the incident and tried to erase it from the American consciousness.

But in 2014, Ta-Nehesi Coates wrote his now-famous essay “The Case for Reparations,” giving the incident—the largest single act of racial terror ever perpetrated in the United States against its own citizens—greater visibility among the general public. Television producer Damon Lindelof (creator of Lost) read Coates’ essay and was inspired to portray the tragic events of 1921 in the first episode of his 2019 HBO show Watchmen.

Watchmen features a fictional version of a museum telling the story of the massacre and the community members who survived it. Now, the very real version of that museum, the Greenwood Rising Black Wall Street History Center (with exhibitions designed by Local Projects) is celebrating six months since opening its doors in Tulsa, 100 years after the destruction of the real-life Greenwood community.

As part of their LISTENERS series of conversations presenting “stories of community-driven design exploring the role of listening in cultural work,” SEGD member firm and design studio Local Projects is releasing their latest talk titled Q&A with the Creators of HBO’s Watchmen and Greenwood Rising. Jake Barton, Local Projects’ founder and principal, moderates the panel discussion featuring the creators of the TV show in conversation with the Center’s director and exhibition designers: 

–  Phil Armstrong (Director, Greenwood Rising)

–  L’Rai Arthur-Mensah (Project Director, Design, Local Projects)

–  Cord Jefferson (Writer, HBO’s Watchmen)

–  Damon Lindlof (Creator, HBO’s Watchmen)

Want to watch the conversation when it premieres on February 24? Register here.

Also, to learn more about the Greenwood Rising project, watch the SEGD 2021 “Exhibition and Experience Summit” keynote talk Greenwood Rising Case Study.