Watchmen retiring on HBO has fans discussing the Tulsa Race Massacre. Today is Juneteenth and the nation is reflecting on race relations as a whole. Numerous media companies have opted to make various works by black creators available for rental or viewing this weekend in efforts to spark conversation. Watchmen operates in a slightly different lane as the writers' room was diverse, and shaped by a lot of the input from Black people in that space. The impact of the show can be felt in our world as well. Due to the increased visibility of the destruction of Black Wall Street, Oklahoma decided to add the 1921 race massacre to the state’s school curriculum in the oncoming academic year. CNN shared that report back in February and talked to State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister about the decision.
“What we want to ensure is that...we are teaching [at] a grade-appropriate level those facts that have not been taught in a way they should have been taught in Oklahoma,” she told the outlet. “This is...our history and we should know it.”
Tulsa’s own mayor also addressed the questions the city would be facing going forward, "how we can use this horrible tragedy to instruct and inform and make sure that nothing like this ever happens again. This isn't something that you just read about in history books and think that's something that happened 100 years ago, it can never happen again. That's exactly what people in 1921 in Tulsa probably thought too."
Watchmen’s own actors were also taken aback by how the show centered the historic event. Steven G. Norfleet plays Angela Abar’s great-grandfather in the series, and admitted that this was a learning experience for him as well.
“That's what I wanted the most out of all of it, because I thought it was so ... It's so cool that Damon and the team, how they intertwine our reality with this world of Watchmen. And going into it, I wasn't really too familiar with the Race Riot myself, and so, getting this opportunity to be a part of this show, it forced me to go back and brush up on my own history. Some things we don't get to learn in school,” he revealed. “I feel like our history sometimes is kind of pushed to the back, and not something that is right in front of your face. And so, I feel like Watchman and HBO gave the world the opportunity to be entertained and to also learn. So, that for sure was something that I was hoping would be the best received out of the whole episode.”
Did you watch Watchmen on HBO today? Let us know in the comments! Check out some of the reactions down below:
People just didn't know
I had never heard of Juneteenth until 5-6 years ago and did not learn of the Tulsa massacre until last year (Thanks Watchmen)— SRM_MD (@srmduke87) June 19, 2020
I hold an advanced degree.
I'm shocked at my ignorance of the full history of America.
A lot of stories like this
I didn’t learn about Juneteenth until watching Black AF on Netflix and didn’t learn about Tulsa until watching Watchmen. Our educational system in this country is deeply flawed.— RyanFromCBus (@RyanFromCBus) June 19, 2020
Lot of comments about school
I learned about Juneteenth because of Blackish and I learned about Tulsa because of Watchmen. The American school system sucks.— I miss baseball szn ⚾️💔 (@illliterate_) June 19, 2020
A lot of recommendations
Another show I suggest you watch. Including that first episode in Tulsa.— Myles Edmonds (@MylesEd33) June 18, 2020
Rewards careful viewers
Thank you. I was just saying the other day how much I missed it and wanted to see it again. It's important for those who didn't see it the first time to watch it now.— CatKyre- New York "Essential" Worker. (@CatKyre) June 18, 2020
Best show of the last twelve months by a loooooonnnnggg mile. Can't wait to watch it again.— AstralDisaster (@MTGsmithy) June 18, 2020
The story that was told was incredible- massive kudos to all the writers and actors for bringing this to the front. Who knew how timely it would be. It sure opened my eyes..— Rebecca crawford (@becsAZ) June 18, 2020
A lot of eyes on it right now
The series everyone should be seeing right now— BourbonStahl (@StahlOccupied) June 18, 2020
Happened to a lot of people
What amazing show! Regina King is my Queen!!!— Tatiana Esse_Tarty (@tatianasaggio) June 18, 2020
Bur I feel ashamed (and shocked) when I found out that Tulsa was real event and not a fiction!
One of those things where the re-watches hit entirely different
Wish I could erase it from my memory and watch it again. SO good— ★||♪♪||♥ (@stylish_star1) June 18, 2020