race relations

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.

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