Focus: Black Oklahoma Focus: Black Oklahoma is a news and public affairs program covering topics relevant to the African American and BIPOC communities statewide. The show seeks to inform the public through stories and interviews, engage the community through lively discussion, and spotlight local artists and creators.
Focus: Black Oklahoma

Focus: Black Oklahoma

From KOSU

Focus: Black Oklahoma is a news and public affairs program covering topics relevant to the African American and BIPOC communities statewide. The show seeks to inform the public through stories and interviews, engage the community through lively discussion, and spotlight local artists and creators.

Most Recent Episodes

Episode 16

Focus: Black Oklahoma has been selected to participate in the Advancing Democracy cohort with the Solutions Journalism Network, or SJN. Our series, In A Confused State, will follow Oklahoma advocacy groups navigating new restrictions on freedoms in four areas: reproductive rights, voting laws, teaching history and direct action/activism. We begin the show with our final piece in the series as Devin Williams sheds light on the obstacles between minority voters and the ballot box in Oklahoma. We also get closer to the people working to make the path to accurate representation more clear. Next Jamie Glisson looks at Ketanji Brown Jackson, who was officially confirmed to the supreme court on April 7, 2022, by a 53 to 47 vote, and the political successes of Black women locally and nationally that brought our political system to this historic moment. In the first installment intended to help us understand the McGirt versus Oklahoma supreme court case and its continued challenges by the state, Dawn Carter notes that almost half the state of Oklahoma may still be considered Native American land that was never disestablished when Oklahoma was granted statehood. The decision could have transformative impacts for citizens across what we know of as Oklahoma. Oklahoma's rich Black history could be lost, if not for people like Damario Solomon-Simmons and Derrick Edie Smith Jr- also known as the "history influencer"- Young Black Mayor. Crysal Patrick shares some of what led them on this journey of educating not just our state, but our world on Oklahoma history. Then we get an introduction to a new exhibit, Woven, by Shenequa Brooks at 108 Contemporary. In this exhibit, she demonstrates where art and entrepreneurship collide. Brooks is creating art while sharing her talents and expertise with other young artists of color. Carlos Moreno shares the unique story of an "Artpreneur" with us. In this month's final story we get an inside look at what it takes to put on the biggest art show for the youngest artists in town. Lydia Jeong takes us to Philbrook for The Big Show. Focus: Black Oklahoma is produced in partnership with KOSU Radio, Tulsa Artist Fellowship, and Tri-City Collective. Additional support is provided by the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies. Our theme music is by Moffett Music. Focus: Black Oklahoma's executive producers are Quraysh Ali Lansana and Bracken Klar. Our associate producers are Nick Alexandrov and Vanessa Gaona. Our production intern is Smriti Iyengar.

Episode 15

Focus: Black Oklahoma has been selected to participate in the Advancing Democracy cohort with the Solutions Journalism Network, or SJN. Our series, In A Confused State, will follow Oklahoma advocacy groups navigating new restrictions on freedoms in four areas: reproductive rights, voting laws, teaching history, and direct action/activism. This week we start the show with our latest in the series. Here, Dr. Nick Alexandrov explores school choice, the complicated history of the term and the reality of its execution in practice within the state's various private, public, and charter school systems. Next, we look at the COVID-19 pandemic two years on. Oklahoma is set to begin a study looking into the long term effects COVID-19 is having on some who have contracted the virus. Dawn Carter has the story of how Long haulers or Long COVID is affecting Oklahomans and what resources may help those affected. We then look at a much different issue impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Escalation in anti-Asian language, violence, and hate crimes in the country continues with incidents increasing over 300% in the last year. Contributor Lydia Jeong speaks with Asian American women who are grappling with the rise in aggressions against their communities. We follow Shonda Little as she explored the Old Settlers Reunion in Cheyanne. For some it is a chance to relive the glory days of the land run. For the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes though, it's a painful reminder of all they have lost. In our final story, we continue our examination of the lasting impacts of COVID. Jamie Glisson talks with local musicians who found themselves struggling to make ends meet as well as share their talents with those quarantining at home. Focus: Black Oklahoma is produced in partnership with KOSU Radio, Tulsa Artist Fellowship, and Tri-City Collective. Additional support is provided by the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies. Our theme music is by Moffett Music. Focus: Black Oklahoma's executive producers are Quraysh Ali Lansana and Bracken Klar. Our associate producers are Nick Alexandrov and Vanessa Gaona. Our production intern is Smriti Iyengar.

Episode 14

We kick off this episode of Focus: Black Oklahoma with Devin Williams reporting on how teachers in the state are being pushed to the brink and the current state of teaching, and subbing, during the covid-19 pandemic as well as policymakers advocating for better. Focus: Black Oklahoma has been selected to participate in the Advancing Democracy cohort with the Solutions Journalism Network, or SJN. Our series, In A Confused State, will follow Oklahoma advocacy groups navigating new restrictions on freedoms in four areas: reproductive rights, voting laws, teaching history and direct action/activism. Continuing this series, Crystal Patrick and Dr. Nick Alexandrov go in depth on Critical Race Theory and the penalties against public institutions that teach concepts that the state legislature finds problematic. We then follow Shonda Little to the southwestern part of the state as she finds White supremacist gangs are a growing threat. She speaks with Oklahomans who have had direct experiences with the United Aryan Brotherhood terrorist organization. Carlos Moreno joins organizations that are holding space for the healing and processing of Black and Brown death and explains how to have conversations about it with the whole family. Robert Caddy and Sherrita Sweet continue our series on wellness and tell us about mindfulness techniques to fight battles within the body. Finally, when it comes to Valentine's Day, we explore expectations, reality, and how, sometimes, less is indeed more with comedian Sondra Slade. Focus: Black Oklahoma is produced in partnership with KOSU Radio, Tulsa Artist Fellowship, and Tri-City Collective. Additional support is provided by the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies. Our theme music is by Moffett Music. Focus: Black Oklahoma's executive producers are Quraysh Ali Lansana and Bracken Klar. Our associate producers are Nick Alexandrov and Vanessa Gaona. Our production intern is Smriti Iyengar.

Episode 13

Focus: Black Oklahoma has been selected to participate in the Advancing Democracy cohort with the Solutions Journalism Network, or SJN. Our series, In A Confused State, will follow Oklahoma advocacy groups navigating new restrictions on freedoms in four areas: reproductive rights, voting laws, teaching history and direct action/activism. Continuing this series, we begin with Juddie Williams and Dr. Nick Alexandrov as they break down the misconceptions of Critical Race Theory, or CRT, and that despite it not being a new concept, it is often misunderstood. We continue with Devin Williams and his story that tells us how, despite a 30 year history of activism including fighting for anti-segregation, a Bartlesville librarian is remembered with words for her service to the community but the actions she longed for have fallen on deaf ears. We continue with Tulsa's Martin Luther King Commemoration Society preparing for it's annual festivities and is urging participants to seek hope, action, and the fierce urgency of now-- which is the theme for this year's celebration. Carlos Moreno brings us this story. Next Focus Black Oklahoma is proud to present a new series discussing topics of health and wellness in the BIPOC community. Contributor Robert L. Caddy is a certified health and fitness expert who brings us more on how Oklahoma ranks in the nation on health. Contributor Britny Cordera takes us on a well seasoned adventure towards decolonizing menus across the country and finally Sondra Slade reminds us that sometimes it takes a while for good advice to soak in and, often, the credit seems to go to anyone but those closest to us. Focus: Black Oklahoma is produced in partnership with KOSU Radio, Tulsa Artist Fellowship, and Tri-City Collective. Additional support is provided by the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies. Our theme music is by Moffett Music. Focus: Black Oklahoma's executive producers are Quraysh Ali Lansana and Bracken Klar. Our associate producers are Nick Alexandrov and Vanessa Gaona. Our production intern is Smriti Iyengar.

Episode 12

Focus: Black Oklahoma has been selected to participate in the Advancing Democracy cohort with the Solutions Journalism Network, or SJN. Our series, In A Confused State, will follow Oklahoma advocacy groups navigating new restrictions on freedoms in four areas: reproductive rights, voting laws, teaching history and direct action/activism. Continuing this series, we begin with Jamie Glisson exploring the impacts of the recent redistricting laws that continue to disenfranchise Black and Brown citizens. Next, contributor Devin Williams brings us more history and numbers on those still affected by the Oklahoma Death Penalty and what advocates hope to see after the high profile commutation of Julius Jones. Carlos Moreno then shows us how the Buck Colbert Franklin Legal Clinic is keeping the spirit of the local trailblazer alive as North Tulsa welcomes the opening of the Clinic which is already connecting with the community in big ways. The First Americans Museum celebrated its grand opening in September. Juddie Williams took a walk through to learn what the museum hopes to accomplish in representing Indigenous communities and sharing their values. Sondra Slade talks about the holidays and how food, especially this time of year, brings us together. Finally we say goodbye and thanks to Bell Hooks, Eddie Faye Gates, and Greg Tate. Focus: Black Oklahoma is produced in partnership with KOSU Radio, Tulsa Artist Fellowship, and Tri-City Collective. Additional support is provided by the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies. Our theme music is by Moffett Music. Focus: Black Oklahoma's executive producers are Quraysh Ali Lansana and Bracken Klar. Our associate producers are Nick Alexandrov and Vanessa Gaona. Our production intern is Smriti Iyengar.

The Battle For Greenwood: Reparations

This is the final episode in our three-part series "The Battle for Greenwood" and is produced by Focus: Black Oklahoma, in partnership with KOSU. This episode, "Reparations," looks at Tulsa Race Massacre descendants' demands that they be compensated for their trauma; the City of Tulsa's pushback against reparations; the domestic history, and global context, of these calls for repayment; and the way recent reparations plans have played out in places like Rosewood, Florida, and Evanston, Illinois. "The Battle for Greenwood" team includes Jamie Glisson, Carlos Moreno, Jesse Ulrich, Kolby Webster, and Devin Williams and is produced by Dr. Nick Alexandrov. Focus: Black Oklahoma's executive producers are Quraysh Ali Lansana and Bracken Klar. Our associate producer is Vanessa Gaona. Our production intern is Smriti Iyengar. Focus: Black Oklahoma is supported in part by KOSU, Tulsa Artist Fellowship, the George Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Schusterman Family Philanthropies.

Episode 11

On this episode of Focus: Black Oklahoma we dive into the complications and chemicals of Capital Punishment with Carlos Moreno and Dr. Nick Alexandrov investigates healthcare as reparations. Focus: Black Oklahoma has been selected to participate in the Advancing Democracy cohort with the Solutions Journalism Network, or SJN. Our series "In a Confused State" follows Oklahoma advocacy groups navigating new restrictions on freedoms in three areas: reproductive rights, teaching history, and direct action/activism. In this installment Shalondra Harrison breaks down the anti-protest laws that now significantly impact our communities. Crystal Patrick uncovers some unrecognized contributions of Black WWII veterans and Britny Cordera explores the challenges of keeping Native languages alive. Focus: Black Oklahoma is produced in partnership with KOSU Radio, Tulsa Artist Fellowship, and Tri-City Collective. Additional support is provided by the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies. Our theme music is by Moffett Music. Focus: Black Oklahoma's executive producers are Quraysh Ali Lansana and Bracken Klar. Our associate producers are Nick Alexandrov and Vanessa Gaona. Our production intern is Smriti Iyengar.

The Battle For Greenwood: What's Next, or Is Greenwood Rising?

This is the second episode in our three-part series "The Battle for Greenwood" and is produced by Focus: Black Oklahoma, in partnership with KOSU. This episode, "What's Next, or Is Greenwood Rising?," investigates the contentious relationship and agendas between the two Chambers of Commerce in Greenwood; the backstory of the land on which ONEOK Field resides and its impact on the economic growth of the community; and an effort to remove Highway I-244, which is divisive in many ways. "The Battle for Greenwood" team includes Jamie Glisson, Carlos Moreno, Jesse Ulrich, Kolby Webster, and Devin Williams and is produced by Dr. Nick Alexandrov. Focus: Black Oklahoma's executive producers are Quraysh Ali Lansana and Bracken Klar. Our associate producer is Vanessa Gaona. Focus: Black Oklahoma is supported in part by KOSU, Tulsa Artist Fellowship, the George Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Schusterman Family Philanthropies.

Episode 10

On this episode, we explore the ongoing complications around evictions and rental assistance in the state. Our new series In A Confused State takes us through the often complicated nature of progress in advancing democracy. The political is embodied in our first segment on reproductive rights. We also examine the many ways in which our war overseas informs war at home in part two of a series on Afghanistan. We chat with members of the LGBTQIA+ community about how Oklahoma could be more welcoming to others across difference. Finally, we spotlight neighborhood leaders in McAlester who are working to preserve two significant Black landmarks. All of this and more on Focus: Black Oklahoma.

The Battle For Greenwood: Street Fight

This is the first episode in our three-part series "The Battle for Greenwood" and is produced by Focus: Black Oklahoma, in partnership with KOSU. This episode, "Street Fight," explores the complex history of the two incarnations of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and their two different missions; the status of the Greenwood Cultural Center in light of the fact the Greenwood Rising History Center wasn't built next door; and how urban renewal has created what some consider a third massacre in the District. "The Battle for Greenwood" team includes Jamie Glisson, Carlos Moreno, Jesse Ulrich, Kolby Webster, and Devin Williams and was produced by Dr. Nick Alexandrov. Focus: Black Oklahoma's executive producers are Quraysh Ali Lansana and Bracken Klar. Our associate producer is Vanessa Gaona. Focus: Black Oklahoma is supported in part by KOSU, Tulsa Artist Fellowship, the George Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Schusterman Family Philanthropies.