African-American Life

The John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation here in Tulsa will present its 2015 Symposium on Reconciliation next week, from May 26th through the 29th, and the theme for this year's gathering is "The Media and Reconciliation." Our guest on StudioTulsa will give an address at this symposium; Isabel Wilkerson -- who won a Pulitzer Prize for her work as Chicago Bureau Chief of The New York Times, and whose bestselling nonfiction account, "The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration," won the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, the 2011 Heartlan

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we chat with the well-regarded Atlanta-based author, Jim Grimsley, who is best known for his novels "Winter Birds," "Dream Boy," and "My Drowning." Grimsley has a new memoir out, "How I Shed My Skin: Unlearning the Racist Lessons of a Southern Childhood," which he tells us about. In this book, which looks back on his rural 1960s North Carolina childhood, he writes: "White people declared that the South would rise again. Black people raised one fist and chanted for black power.

On this penultimate day of Black History Month, we're talking about the life and work of one of our greatest African American writers, Langston Hughes (1902-1967), the prolific and influential poet, activist, novelist, memoirist, playwright, and newspaper columnist. Our guest on ST is David Roessel, one of the editors of the recently published "Selected Letters of Langston Hughes" (Knopf).

Tomorrow (Thursday the 30th) at the DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Tulsa, The Tulsa Area Human Resources Association will present its Return on Inclusion (or ROI) Summit. It's the largest professional diversity and inclusion conference held in this state, and it happens from 9am to 2pm. Our guest on ST today is an expert on the "the business imperative for inclusion in today's workplace" -- and she's also scheduled to be the keynote speaker at tomorrow's conference: Lenora Billings-Harris.

Photo by Matt Herron

Fifty years ago, in 1964 -- during what would come to be called Freedom Summer in the American South -- a young photographer named Matt Herron, who'd recently relocated to Mississippi from the North (with his wife and kids) in order to work on civil rights issues while also shooting photo-stories for Life, Look, and The Saturday Evening Post, put together a group of talented photographers that was known as the Southern Documentary Project.

On this edition of ST, we speak by phone with the Oklahoma City-based artist and curator, Nathan Lee. Lee is the curator of "Noir," a newly opened group show at the Living Arts space in downtown Tulsa which includes work from a number of different African-American artists from throughout Oklahoma --- and which will be on exhibit through July 11th. As is noted of this show at the Living Arts of Tulsa website: "'Noir' is an examination of the shifting definition of Black culture.

Tulsa's John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation will present its 2014 National Symposium on Reconciliation in America on May 29th and 30th here in our city; the theme for this 5th annual symposium is "Education for Reconciliation." (You can learn more about this upcoming event here.) On today's installment of ST, we speak with the keynote speaker for that symposium, Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, who has been president of UMBC (The University of Maryland, Baltimore County) since 1992. Dr.

Today, we welcome Quraysh Ali Lansana back to StudioTulsa. Lansana was born Ron Myles in Enid, Oklahoma, and originally worked in broadcast journalism here in our state before studying poetry and literature in New York and Chicago. He's written several books of poetry, edited or co-edited several anthologies, and works as an Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at Chicago State University. He also teaches at writing workshops and literary events all over the country.

On Thursday and Friday of this week, the TU Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa will mark its 25th anniversary with a symposium here on campus regarding the moral and ethical issues involved in human medical research. The event is entitled "Protecting Human Subjects from Harm: Traversing the Moral & Legal Boundaries of Biomedical Research" and is described in detail at this link. Our guest on ST is the scholar who'll give the keynote address at this event: Dr.

Today on StudioTulsa, we chat with the esteemed Tulsa-based author and longtime public-speaker and businessman Clifton Taulbert, whose many books include "Once Upon A Time When We Were Colored," "The Last Train North," and "Eight Habits of the Heart." Taulbert joins us to discuss his newest book, a memoir called "The Invitation," which is just out from New South Books.

On this edition of ST, we welcome Linda Barnickel, a former Tulsa resident with master's degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and The Ohio State University who now works as an archivist, researcher, and writer in Nashville. She's also the author of "Milliken's Bend: A Civil War Battle in History and Memory" (LSU Press). In June of 1863, on the banks of the mighty Mississippi, at Milliken's Bend, Louisiana, a Union force composed mainly of former slaves met their Confederate foes in one of the most vicious --- and most "hand-to-hand" --- small battles of the entire Civil War.

The issue of slavery was, of course, at the heart of the American Civil War --- but have you ever wondered why this country fought a four-year, deeply tragic war over the issue, while many other nations (during basically the same historical period) did away with slavery without going to war? We're pleased to welcome to our show the historian Thomas Fleming, who has written more than 50 books and often appears as a commentator on PBS, A&E, and the History Channel.

On this edition of ST, an engaging discussion about race- and economic-based differences in America today --- and about how we as a nation ought to address these differences. Our guest is Peter Edelman, an attorney, policy maker, author, and Georgetown University law professor.

Over the past four decades, the efforts of the Cherokee Freedman to gain full tribal rights within the Cherokee Nation have, by turns, burned or simmered, so to speak; today, this issue is now being pushed back and forth in our federal court system. On this installment of ST, a review of such matters as we welcome back to our program Hannibal B. Johnson, a Tulsa-based author, attorney, and human-rights activist. Johnson tells us about his new book, "Apartheid in Indian Country?

Our guest on this installment of ST is Richard Blackett, the Andrew Jackson Professor of History at Vanderbilt University, who joins us by phone.

The Best of ST in 2012: "Panther Baby"

Jan 2, 2013

On this "best of" edition of our show, we're listening back to a discussion from earlier this year with the author and activist Jamal Joseph. Joseph's autobiography, "Panther Baby: A Life of Rebellion and Reinvention," is the focal point of our chat; it's an engrossing hybrid of coming-of-age candor, street-savvy wisdom, and recent socio-political history.

On this edition of ST, we speak by phone with the Brooklyn-based children's and YA author, Jacqueline Woodson, who is the winner of the Tulsa Library Trust's 2012 Anne V. Zarrow Award for Young Readers' Literature. She's written more than 20 books thus far in her career --- many if not most of them concerning the modern African-American experience, especially from a young person's perspective --- and she's probably best known for "Miracle's Boys," her award-winning YA novel that filmmaker Spike Lee made into a mini-series in 2002.

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