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race relations

Tulsa Race Riots Of 1921 Echo Tensions Today

Oct 4, 2016

In 1921, the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma, erupted in race riots that left up to 300 people dead. Homes and businesses were burned.

The riot has been mostly ignored by history. But a recent fatal police shooting of an African-American man in Tulsa has re-focused attention on the city’s past.

Bruce Fisher, retired curator of the African-American projects at the Oklahoma Historical Society, and Kate Carlton Greer, a reporter for KGOU, join Here & Now‘s Robin Young to discuss Tulsa’s past and present.

Hip-hop artist and activist Jasiri X
Heather Mull

 

Singer-songwriter and activist Nina Simone once said, “An artist’s duty is to reflect the times.” Hip-hop artist and activist Jasiri X tries to keep Simone’s imperative at the core of what he does and has adopted the guidance as part of his artistic statement.

“Hip-hop really helped me to find my own identity,” Jasiri X says. “And so, when I started writing music I always wanted it to be something that had some type of meaning, and not just me writing raps to write raps.”

 

U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, talks with the media outside police headquarters in Guthrie, Okla, Friday, July 8, 2016. Lankford visited with police officers during a private meeting.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

U.S. Sen. James Lankford says he thinks racial tension in this country could be improved if people intentionally spent more time with each other in their homes.

During a floor speech Thursday, the state's junior Republican Senator suggested what he called "Solution Sundays" – sharing a meal with a person or family of a different race once a week in order to have a greater dialogue about race in the country.

Two women join hands with Oklahoma City police officers to pray during a Black Lives Matter rally in Oklahoma City, Sunday, July 10, 2016.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Organizers of Sunday's Black Lives Matter rally in Bricktown praised Oklahoma City police for their response and restraint during the event. Oklahoma City officers mostly provided security, and at one point created a perimeter between the activists and counter-protesters across the street.

"I’ll be honest, they have been absolutely great,” said Karen Gaines, one of the event’s three primary organizers. “They have been tremendously helpful, just all the way around. They’ve asked us if we needed anything. They were very supportive actually.”

University of Oklahoma President George Lynn Cross With Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher, 1948
Western History Collections / University of Oklahoma

Seventy years ago, a 21-year-old woman named Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher walked into the University of Oklahoma’s admissions office to apply for law school. She was immediately turned down because of the color of her skin.  He didn’t agree with the decision, but OU president George Lynn Cross had no choice but to deny the request, since state law mandated the segregation of public educational institutions.

On a recent March morning at his home in a New Jersey suburb, Anthony Mendez was on his living room couch with his 9-year-old daughter. He was watching the previous night's episode of Jane the Virgin, studying his own performance as the show's unseen narrator.

University of Oklahoma President George Lynn Cross With Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher, 1948
Western History Collections / University of Oklahoma

Seventy years ago, a 21-year-old woman named Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher walked into the University of Oklahoma’s admissions office to apply for law school. She was immediately turned down because of the color of her skin.  He didn’t agree with the decision, but OU president George Lynn Cross had no choice but to deny the request, since state law mandated the segregation of public educational institutions.

Author of Fire In Beulah, Rilla Askew
Provided

One of the country’s worst acts of violence against a minority community happened in Oklahoma. The 1921 Tulsa Race Riot led to the destruction of Greenwood, a wealthy all-black area due north of downtown known as “Black Wall Street.”

For years, history books glossed over accounts of the event. In 1996, state lawmakers commissioned an official historical account of what happened. Seven years earlier, award-winning novelist Rilla Askew began researching the Tulsa Race Riot for a book after realizing she had never heard of the historic event.

Jose Antonio Vargas with Race Matters host Merleyn Bell and World Literature Today's R.C. Davis.
KGOU

Swaths of Syrians have been displaced by the country’s five-year civil war. Even though only a tiny fraction of the estimated 4 million refugees fleeing the conflict have ended up in the United States, it’s added a new dimension to conversations about border security, terrorism, and undocumented immigrants’ effect on the U.S. economy.

University of Oklahoma Native American Studies Associate Professor Heather Shotton
National Indian Education Association

Blowback against the long-standing use of Native American mascots highlights issues of identity and cultural appropriation. Supporters of using Native American symbols, names, and images for sports teams and schools say it honors tribal culture, but many Native Americans say it shows disrespect stemming from a lack of understanding toward indigenous peoples.

In All Cases, Police Find No Proof Of Racial Profiling

Dec 19, 2015
Daran Steele, of northeast Oklahoma City, alleges that two police officers improperly detained and frisked him in 2013 because he is black.
Nate Robson, Oklahoma Watch / YouTube

Over a four-year period, Oklahoma’s two largest police departments and two state agencies received about 60 complaints alleging unlawful racial profiling by officers.

Investigators substantiated none of the allegations, according to data obtained by Oklahoma Watch.

All of the complaints were probed by the law enforcement agencies against whom the complaints were filed, but investigators found insufficient evidence that officers had treated the person differently because of race or ethnicity.

As protests sweep across the University of Missouri, Yale, and other colleges, University of Oklahoma president David Boren reflects on how the campus he leads reacted to the Sigma Alpha Epsilon incident eight months ago.

Most Police Seizures Of Cash In Oklahoma Come From Blacks, Hispanics

Oct 14, 2015

Nearly two-thirds of seizures of cash by Oklahoma law enforcement agencies come from blacks, Hispanics and other racial or ethnic minorities, an Oklahoma Watch analysis of high-dollar forfeiture cases in 10 counties shows.

'Waking Up White' Explores White Privilege

Aug 10, 2015

Debby Irving grew up in Winchester, Massachusetts, in a predominantly white, upper middle class community. For much of her life, she hadn’t given much thought to race, even though she had encountered racial tensions at work and her children’s schools.

As cases in Madison, Wisc., Baltimore, Md., Ferguson, Mo. and elsewhere in the U.S. are stirring the debate over the proper use of police force, one of the police chiefs that has been tapped by states and the federal government to help improve community-police relations and work toward reform is Richmond, Calif.’s Chris Magnus.

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