Motown Records and Black Forum are set to release Fire In Little Africa, a collective hip hop album which commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre.
The album was made in partnership with Tulsa’s Bob Dylan Center and Woody Guthrie Center. It was executive produced by Stevie "Dr. View" Johnson. Recorded by a collective of artists from Oklahoma, the 21-track album focuses on the stories and untold truths of the tragedy, which took place between May 31 and June 1, 1921. The album's release date is May 28.
“Fire in Little Africa is a powerful and timely project that provides a platform and outlet for the incredibly talented and thriving music community of Tulsa, Oklahoma,” said Motown Records Chairman & CEO, Ethiopia Habtemariam. “Carrying the legacy of the Black Wall Street community, Fire in Little Africa is a body of work filled with purpose and prolific storytelling.”
Fire In Little Africa was recorded in Greenwood over a period of five days in March 2020. Studios were set up at the Greenwood Cultural Center and other locations, including the former home of KKK leader Tate Brady, who led the massacre. Former NFL first-round draft pick and Tulsa native Felix Jones now owns the house.
The creation of Fire in Little Africa was filmed and archived for a documentary to be released later this year. The local news outlet, The Tulsa World, was also available to speak with artists from the historic album. You can read about some of the artists from the album here.
It was announced in February Motown Records would relaunch its groundbreaking label Black Forum. Fire in Little Africa is Black Forum's first new material to be released since its return.
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Article Image: "Fire in Little Africa" artists in front of the Skyline Mansion, a now Black-owned venue originally built by a KKK leader who helped orchestrate the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. The photo is inspired by a group photo of original Black Wall Street business owners from before 1921. (Ryan Cass via Motown Records.)