Russell Westbrook talked everything from his sense of style, to the upcoming documentary about the Tulsa Race Massacre, to his Why Not? Foundation and, yes, to his persona off the court with Trevor Noah on Thursday’s show.
Noah hosts “The Daily Social Distancing Show With Trevor Noah” every weeknight at 11pm on Comedy Central, and Thursday, Westbrook made the show along with Ted Cruz’s trip to Cancun and NASA’s Rover on Mars.
The interview came on the heels of the announcement that Westbrook will executive produce a series on the Tulsa Race Massacre on HISTORY Channel. The documentary will release at some point this spring.
“It’s crazy because being in Oklahoma for 11 years, I was able to connect with the people and connect with the history of the community,” Westbrook said. “To me, that’s the most important part. Been able to travel to Tulsa up and back through my years there. I didn’t know anything about the Tulsa Massacre, Black Wall Street, until I got there. Once I heard about it, I was in shock. I was surprised nobody, especially our African-American communities, people that have Black owned businesses don’t understand and didn’t understand the impact the massacre had on the world and how it can change our future.”
Westbrook’s goal is to not only inform, but to educate about how to impact Black communities moving forward.
“Now with HISTORY creating this docu-series, not to be able to show everybody what happened, but to be able to educate ourselves to be able to now in the future find ways to be able to help impact our communities, especially our Black owned business and uplift them,” Westbrook said.
In addition to the Tulsa Race Massacre documentary, Westbrook talked about his Why Not? Foundation, an organization designed to inspire children and teach them to never give up.
“A lot of people, you can write a check, you can do anything, but if you’re a kid from the inner-city and you don’t actually feel that impact or that inspiration, it doesn’t really change your life,” Westbrook said. “I know that personally because I lived it. I want to make sure I can be the voice, I can be the person that those kids, our youth can look to and say, ‘Hey came back to our community, he helped us, he gave us access, he gave us the ability to be able to change our lives and change the world we live in.”
The aim of the foundation moving forward is to find new ways to impact society, as they look to get into technology, workforce development and mental health and wellness.
Of course, Noah asked a few light-hearted questions of Westbrook too.
If you were wondering, his sense of style comes from, of all people, himself. He said he makes the decision for what he wants to wear each day and uses that as a vehicle to express himself. And as Noah pointed out, Westbrook away from the court is a vastly different character than the one fans see on the court.
“Every day,” he began with a wide smile and laugh,” it’s a challenge for me to change the narrative.”