On Friday, Tulsa’s historic Greenwood district — the area where the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre occurred with a white mob burning Black Wall street to the ground — will hold a Juneteenth gathering to commemorate the end of slavery in the U.S. in 1865. Festivities and peaceful protests are expected to continue throughout the weekend (although Trump’s indoor rally of 19,000+ attendees in downtown Tulsa on Saturday will complicate matters, even though Gov. Stitt has asked Trump not to visit Greenwood). Given that the Tulsa Race Massacre was depicted in the opening moments of showrunner Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen series, and in light of ongoing Black Lives Matters protests around the globe, the premium cable channel has decided to offer up the entire 9-episode season on HBO.com and Free On Demand.
The season will not only stream for free all weekend but as a marathon at 1:00pm EST on Friday with HBO and HBO Latino. In a statement, HBO declared that they are “proud to offer all nine episodes for free of this timely, poignant series that explores the legacy of systemic racism in America.” If you haven’t watched yet, you should. Watchmen is a phenomenal show that was risky and ambitious in adapting the “unadaptable” graphic novel from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s iconic graphic novel. And it also reimagined and recontextualized the story against the backdrop of the Tulsa Race Massacre and explored a world where masked vigilantes are treated as outlaws
Lindelof was inspired to bring knowledge of the Tulsa Race Massacre to the viewing public at large after he read Ta’Nehisi Coates’ The Atlantic piece, The Case For Reparations. And the showrunner recently marked the anniversary of the massacre by urging people to get educated (he provided a recommended list of reading, listening, and viewing material) in light of police brutality protests following the killing of George Floyd.
Last week, the Peabody Awards recognized Watchmen, and Lindelof and Regina King accepted the award in a video that was reportedly taped prior to Floyd’s death. Watch below, as the pair discusses the (sadly now-always) timely subjects of systemic racism, police brutality, and the continued killing of unarmed Black citizens.