Saturday, Oct. 15

08-06 Black Oklahoma: Past, Present, and Futures

Saturday, October 15, 10:30 am–12:30 pm
Oklahoma North

Sponsored by the AFS Cultural Diversity Committee, the AFS Local Planning Committee, the African American Folklore Section


Chair: David Todd Lawrence (University of St. Thomas)

10:30 am
All-Black Towns in Oklahoma: Forgotten Spaces and The Power of Membered Storytelling
Elisha Renee Oliver (Oklahoma State University)

11:00 am
Blues Narrative: Blues People, COVID-19, and Civil Unrest
Lamont Jack Pearley ()

11:30 am
Art, Activism, and Education in North Tulsa
Autumn Brown ()

12:00 pm
optional discussion time

African Americans have played an important part in Oklahoma's history even before it became a state. From free and enslaved black people who arrived as part of the forced migration of native peoples to the “Indian Territory,” to black “89ers” and later African American settlers who founded numerous all-black towns in the state, to historic black city neighborhoods which were home to prosperous communities with valuable expressive traditions—the papers in this panel will address the rich and complex history, present, and potential futures of African American people in the state of Oklahoma as well as contemporary efforts to preserve the culture and histories of Black Oklahoma.