Racial injustice towards Blacks has gone on for too long. The recent atrocities that have occurred these past few weeks have finally woken people up to the reality of a broken system that is in desperate need of repair. And sometimes we can get that message through film and TV shows. Studios like WB and Disney have made Just Mercy and The Hate You Give available to watch for free on VOD for the entire month of June. And now HBO is following suit by making Damon Lindelof’s Watchman, starring Regina King, for free starring on Friday.
You can watch Watchman for free on HBO.com from June 19 through June 21, regardless of whether you are an HBO subscriber or not. Of course, if you are, then you will have instant access to it on the HBOMax app. Additionally, HBO will have a Watchmen marathon on June 19, starting at 1 P.M. EST.
The series takes place in an alternative history where masked vigilantes are treated as outlaws. Its Tulsa, Oklahoma setting isn’t coincidental either. The series starts with a grim telling of the Black Street Massacre, where mobs of white people would brutally massacre Blacks between May 31 and June 1 in 1921, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. These actual events act as a catalyst to what will happen in the present-day series.
But this isn’t an ordinary show about people in masks taking the law into their own hands. Watchman is a profoundly influential series that examines systemic racism, societal norms, politics, and the law. It’s considered to be one of HBO’s best TV series to date.
And its availability couldn’t be timelier. Not only do people get to see it for free when racial injustice is at an all-time high, it comes to us on Juneteenth, or June 19, 1865, a day when Texas proclaimed that all slaves within the state are free. At the time, Texas was the last state to hold onto slavery, even though the Emancipation Proclamation had abolished the act two years prior.
Its importance was further emphasized during the Black Lives Matter protests that took place these past few weeks. Some are even calling for the government to recognize the date as a federal holiday.
Circling back to Watchmen, its vital that we recognize these dates and atrocities that occurred in the past. I only learned of the Black Street Massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma, through Watchmen.
More notably, we need to have more Black stories in the media space as it allows the audience to hear their stories, see their experience, and feel their emotions.