The enduring legacy of “Black Wall Street” serves as a launchpad for visionaries and innovators, alike, to build relationships that strengthen the black community for generations to come. In connection to its history, Greenwood Film Festival plans to bring a dynamic experience that merges film, art, and civic discourse to Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2021. It will use film to showcase pioneers of today, by unearthing lessons from the past to inspire solidarity and ownership in the future.
Based in Tulsa, the GFF team includes individuals who have dedicated their work to serving the Tulsa Community and building up & empowering its people. Beginning with its founder, writer, and director, Dennis Delemar, who is tackling the position of bringing the Black Wall Street story to the big screen.
In 2014, Dennis started writing a script for Black Wall Street but was missing key pieces of the history and context. His friend said that he knew someone in Tulsa who would be a great resource. That person was none other than Princetta Newman. For starters, Princettas’ grandmother lived through the Tulsa Race Massacre. Newman has collected 1500 photographs of life in the Greenwood District, before and after the race massacre. 145 of them are on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Princetta is a living library for the history of the Negro Wall Street of America.
After having a phone call or two with Princetta, Dennis decided to fly to Tulsa with about $400 to his name, and a calling from the Elohim. After many conversations with historians and first-hand witnesses of the early 1900s, the vision became clearer and clearer. A launchpad for filmmakers was needed, one that reached into the past to learn from ancestors’ successes and failures, to march towards the promised land.