Watchmen is an HBO original series based on a highly regarded graphic novel. It depicts an alternate world where super heroes are real, but most of them are psychologically damaged and ill-prepared to wield the power they utilize.
The HBO series picks up thirty years after the graphic novel ends, which I thought was a clever direction to take.
The first episode begins in the 1920s with an awful, awful race riot in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where black American citizens are being killed indiscriminately by their white neighbors. It is violent, heartbreaking, and potent.
I’m ashamed to confess that I thought it was a plot point for the alternate world of Watchmen. However, something about it rang true–it just felt authentic. So I Googled “Tulsa Massacre.”
Imagine my horror.
I’m embarrassed that, as a 42 year old man, I learned about the Tulsa Massacre from a TV show. I don’t ever remember hearing a word about it before that moment. I don’t remember seeing anything about it on TV, in books, in school–nothing. Perhaps I wasn’t paying attention. Or, perhaps it was overlooked by modern society.
I have to wonder what else I don’t know about. What else hasn’t made it into the history books? What else hasn’t been allowed to remain at the forefront? Have we been uninformed or misinformed about anything else?
Of course we have.
And, obviously, I could work a lot harder at trying to learn about these forgotten events.
During this weekend, HBO is allowing you to view the entire Watchmen series for free. It delves deeply into issues of race, police brutality, and the legacy of hatred. It also exists well within the realm of science fiction, though, so be prepared for that aspect of it, too. I personally love it when genres intersect; I found the series enthralling.
You can start viewing it here: https://www.hbo.com/watchmen. (Remember, it’s only free this weekend.)
You can also learn more about the Tulsa Massacre at this link that HBO provides on the Watchmen page: https://www.theatlantic.com/sponsored/hbo-2019/the-massacre-of-black-wall-street/3217/
Excellent post, and your point is tragically true. “Who peyntede the leoun, tel me, who?” says the Wife of Bath. The problem is age-old and makes one question everything we’re told and everything we’ve read about history.
I knew about Juneteenth, unlike many people I’ve heard here in Michigan. But I never, ever read or was told anything about that terrible Tulsa massacre. 😦