5 things to watch this weekend no matter your mood

Here are our recommendations for what you should check out this Memorial Day holiday weekend

With the centennial anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 looming, there are plenty of poignant projects to choose from if you’re looking to fill in the gaps about one of the darkest days in our country’s history.

There are also a few fantastic new projects to check out if you need an escape, are looking to laugh, cry, or a little bit of both, so let theGrio be your guide when it comes to your weekend watch plan.

High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Changed America (Netflix)

Cuisine meets culture in this new offering from Netflix that is hosted by food writer, Stephen Satterfield, who takes viewers on a culinary journey that ventures from Africa to the deep South. Adapted from food historian Jessica B. Harrisbook of the same name, the immersive four episode docu-series — part culinary show, part travelogue, features the chefs, historians, and activists who are keeping centuries-old traditions alive.

Over West African stews, soul food, barbecue, and fine dining, the series, directed by Academy Award winner Roger Ross Williams, reveals an expansive, eclectic culinary history shaped by slavery, the Civil War, Juneteenth, and the present day. It’s a story of Black America’s resilience, enduring creativity, and vital contribution to America’s kitchens.

The Latrell Show (Iamtheatre.com)

Big Mouth writer Brandon Kyle Goodman serves up some serious skills in this one-man show that resurrects a character he says he created to help him navigate his journey to self-acceptance.

Directed by IAMA co-artistic director Stefanie Black and company member Devere Rogers, the play was filmed on stage at the Pico Playhouse and premiered on May 23 at www.iamatheatre.com, where it will continue to stream through June 20.

The dark comedy explores the mental aerobics of being Black and queer in America by way of a hilarious and opinionated talk show host, Latrell Jackson. “I want Black queer folx to watch this show and feel seen and validated,” says Goodman. “I want white and non-Black folx to get an uncensored look inside the mind of a Black Queer person, and I want to make them feel our experience.”

Tulsa Burning: The 1921 Race Massacre (The History Channel)

Executive produced by NBA superstar, Russell Westbrook, and directed by Peabody and Emmy-Award winning director Stanley Nelson and Peabody and duPont-Award winner Marco Williams, the documentary commemorates the 100th anniversary of the horrific Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, one of the worst acts of racial violence in American history.

It calls attention to the previously ignored but necessary repair of a once devastated town, taking an in-depth, sobering look at the tragic events of a century ago. Tulsa Burning focuses on a specific period, from the birth of Black Wall Street to its catastrophic downfall over the course of two bloody days, and finally, the fallout and reconstruction.

The documentary also follows the city’s current-day grave excavation efforts at Oaklawn Cemetery, where unmarked coffins of victims who were killed and buried during the massacre have been recovered.

Tulsa Burning: The 1921 Race Massacre premieres on The History Channel on May 31 at 8/7c. 

Cruella (Disney +)

Even though this surprisingly dark Disney flick is way too long and little messy, it may provide the respite you’re looking for if you need a break from reality. The origin story of one of Disney’s most feared villains stars Emma Stone and Emma Thompson and it’s a drastic departure from anything you thought you knew about 101 Dalmatians.

Kirby Howell-Baptiste plays the beloved Anita Darling and even though her role isn’t as big as we imagined, it’s still cool to see her taking up space once reserved for white women. It’s also an excuse to watch something with your family that isn’t completely boring but be warned, Cruella isn’t for the little ones. 

The Legacy of Black Wall Street (OWN)

The two-part special on OWN tracks the rise of Black Wall Street in Oklahoma’s Greenwood District up until the tragic 1921 Tulsa race massacre that destroyed the 36-block, booming business epicenter.

The commemorative documentary special shifts the narrative from the massacre itself to amplify the voices of those Black pioneers who went West to build their American dream. It weaves their stories with the inspiring modern-day pioneers who continue the path to healing and rebuilding the Black community who presently occupy Greenwood.

Tulsa race riot
Wikimedia: Tulsa Race Riot

Throughout the documentary, various experts, financial professionals and iconic historians and professors such as Dr. Angela Davis, Dr. Ellora Derenoncourt as well as Representative Regina Goodwin and J. Kavin Ross, both direct descendants, bring their stories to life in never-before-seen interviews.

Don’t miss Chris Witherspoon, founder & CEO of PopViewers, as he runs down his top three recommendations on our new video series, Weekly Watch. Check it out below!

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