Hollywood, CA — Picture this; 88 years ago, May 31, 1921 to be exact, unsuspecting Black Americans were going about their daily business in one of the most prosperous Black communities in America known as “The Black Wall Street.” In less than 16 hours 300 people would be murdered and more than 10,000 law-abiding citizens would be displaced.

It happened in Tulsa, Oklahoma in an area called Greenwood. It earned the name “Black Wall Street” because of the dozens of Black-owned and operated businesses, as well as a library, postal station, hospital and two newspapers that had sprung up there as a result of forced segregation.

It will come as no surprise if a number of our readers are not familiar with this very dark moment in history. To this day, only a few Tulsa officials have acknowledged any kind of wrong doing, and there are a number of voices rising against any kind of reparations for the survivors who are in their late 90s and past the 100 year old mark.

History seems to have swept this event under the rug. History majors in colleges and universities learn about this horrendous event through documentaries and short films made by up and coming filmmakers. And each time any of these films are viewed, you shake your head in sorrow and amazement.

Reginald (Reggie) Turner did more than shake his head. Like many other Black Americans Turner had never heard of the “Tulsa Race Riots” or “The Black Wall Street.”

But as fate would have it, Turner was able to learn first hand about that terrible day from Black men and women who survived to tell the world their story.

Turner is the filmmaker and Social Entrepreneur behind “Before They Die!” which chronicles the pursuit of justice for the living survivors. Four years in the making this is a “must see” film, basically history unwrapped. His film follows a team of lawyers assembled by Harvard Law Professor Charles J. Ogletree and his core of survivor clients as they fight for justice and tell their stories to unbelieving ears.

The main question for most of us is how did it start, what was the straw which ignited the flame that resulted in a community actually being bombed, burned, looted and innocent victims murdered in the streets and their homes?

The spark was said to be the alleged assault of a 17-year-old White elevator operator by a 19-year-old Black shoe shiner. A mob of Whites stormed the courthouse; Blacks gathered, fearing for the Black youth’s life. There was a tussle over a gun, and a shooting. Angry Blacks and Whites exchanged gunfire. In 16 hours, Greenwood had burned to the ground.

No one was punished for the vandalism or destruction of property. There was an initial official inquiry that concluded nothing, and those documents have since disappeared. Since Black life didn’t amount to anything at that time White folks got away with murder.

Turner who is also a lawyer/agent/ manager/entrepreneur in the business, broadcasting, entertainment and sports industries is giving us all an opportunity to learn more about our history, and to contribute our voices and support to a worthy cause.

Sunday, May 31, you’re invited to join Professor Charles J. Ogletree and the survivors of the Tulsa Race Riots in a benefit screening of “Before They Die!” A reception will be held at 6:30 p.m. and “Before They Die!” screens at 7:30 p.m. at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center located at 4718 W. Washington Blvd. in Los Angeles.

There will also be a post screening reception and Talk Back moderated by Professor Ogletree and Congresswoman Maxine Waters. Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to see, experience, touch and change history.

For ticket information go to www.BeforeTheyDieMovie.com. Or call (323) 798-8634. Please keep in mind tickets and donations are tax deductible.