Tulsa History

Our guest on ST is Randy Krehbiel, who's been a reporter for The Tulsa World since 1979 and now covers political and governmental affairs for that paper. He joins us to discuss his new book, "Tulsa, 1921: Reporting a Massacre." In this deeply-researched work, Krehbiel studies local newspaper accounts in order to understand the mindset and motivations of Tulsa's citizens (both black and white) at the time of this tragedy.

Our guest is the Tulsa-based author Hunter Howe Cates, who tells us about his new book, "Oklahoma's Atticus." It's a work of biography/history that profiles his own grandfather, Tulsa County public defender and Creek tribal member Elliott Howe. Howe, as we learn, was closely involved in the investigation and trial of a Tulsa murder case that made national news back in the early 1950s. On Nov. 7th, Cates will do a free-to-the-public reading and signing in connection with this work at Magic City Books.

Family of Bob Gregory

Bob Gregory died earlier this week of natural causes. He was 88. A longtime presence on Tulsa radio and television, Gregory started at KTUL Radio in 1960, after working at stations in Arkansas and Colorado. His pioneering career in broadcasting began in his late teens, in the early 1950s, immediately after service in the Army.

Many of us living here in Oklahoma -- and indeed, living all over the nation -- are today both pleased and proud to affirm that Joy Harjo, the much-celebrated, 68-year-old writer and musician based in Tulsa, was recently named by the Library of Congress as the 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States. A member of the Muscogee Creek Nation, Harjo is the first Native person to be selected for this honorable role. On this edition of StudioTulsa, we listen back to a conversation that we aired with Harjo in 2012, when her well-regarded memoir, "Crazy Brave," had just appeared.

(Note: This interview first aired last October.) As a young black man, RJ Young grew up with a healthy distrust of guns, but when he married into a family deeply immersed in America's gun culture, he knew he would have to learn about them -- at least, to a certain degree. Today, the Tulsa-based Young (who works as a sports-radio host) is a certified NRA pistol instructor...yet he doesn't carry a gun.

On this edition of ST, we're talking about two newly-opened photography shows, both on view in Tulsa at the Philbrook Downtown space through November 10th of this year. One exhibit documents a forgotten people; the other, a forgotten landscape.

The Tulsa-based John Hope Franklin Center will soon present its tenth-annual Reconciliation in America National Symposium, and the theme for this year's event is "Civic Engagement and Reconciliation: The Survival of Democracy." The symposium will happen from May 29th through the 31st, and the keynote speaker will be Kenneth B. Morris -- the great-great-great-grandson of Frederick Douglass and the great-great-grandson of Booker T.

On this edition of ST, we speak with the acclaimed poet and writing instructor Quraysh Ali Lansana (born 1964 in Enid, Oklahoma). Now based in Tulsa and recently named a Tulsa Artist Fellow, Lansana has published several books over the years: poetry collections, children's books, edited or co-edited anthologies, textbooks, etc. Long based in Chicago, and greatly influenced by the African-American cultural, social, and political life of that city -- and more generally, by the Black Arts Movement in American life and letters -- Lansana has a new book out.

Gilcrease Museum

Our guest is Susan Neal, the executive director of Gilcrease Museum here in Tulsa. It was recently announced that Gilcrease is now gathering applications from architectural firms seeking to execute the renovation, redesign, and expansion of the museum.

Mayfest -- the downtown Tulsa celebration that's been a spring highlight in our community since the 1970s -- is scheduled this year for May 17th, 18th,and 19th. And as we learn on today's ST, big changes are planned. Our guest is the executive director of Mayfest, Heather Pingry, who tells us that the festival is moving to the Tulsa Arts District (which is located a bit further north of its original location). Pingry adds that this move will also help to fill the gap left by the closure of the Blue Dome Arts Festival.

Our guest is Terrence Moore, a widely acclaimed photographer who's been shooting images along Route 66 for 40+ years. He tells us about his new book, "66 on 66," which gathers his finest images culled from the many hundreds he's made over the years of "the Mother Road." This book, with a corresponding text by local historian and author Michael Wallis, is just being published, and both Moore and Wallis will appear at a Magic City Books signing here in Tulsa on Friday the 18th. Details are posted here.

Our guest is James Wagner, the Chief of Performance Strategy and Innovation for the City of Tulsa. He leads a team in Mayor Bynum's office that aims to use data both effectively and intelligently in order to reach goals, remove barriers, find solutions, and foster community throughout Tulsa. Wagner joins us to discuss the results of a newly announced data-driven study that Tulsa has completed with the aid of the Gallup polling organization.

Our guest on ST is the locally based photographer and writer, Rhys Martin, who joins us to discuss his new book: "Lost Restaurants of Tulsa." The book is just out, and it reveals the histories of dozens of restaurants from T-Town's past -- family sagas, culinary wonders, beloved diners, edge-of-town favorites, popular hang-outs, and more. It's a book that's sure to appeal to those who can lip-smackingly recall the likes of Pennington's, Shotgun Sam's, Villa Venice, The Golden Drumstick, The Razor Clam, St. Michael's Alley, The Louisiane, et al.

Photo by KWGS News

Our guest is State Senator Kevin Matthews, who recently held a press conference to announce that the name of the 1921 Race Riot Commission has been officially changed to the 1921 Race Massacre Commission. As Matthews, who chairs this Commission, noted at the conference: "The fact that it was called a riot was one of the reasons given for turning down insurance claims, and it has been offensive to many in the affected area for 97 years.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we get to know Ricco Wright, who owns and operates the nonprofit Black Wall Street Gallery, a recently created art space on Greenwood Avenue. After Wright graduated from Union High School, he studied mathematics as a Bill Gates Scholar at Langston University. Thereafter he earned a doctorate in math at Columbia University, after which he lived and worked in New York City for a decade. As Wright tells us, his own passion for the arts -- visual, musical, verbal, and otherwise -- flourished considerably while he was based in NYC.

On this edition of ST, we learn about the City of Tulsa's just-announced plan to "build a resilient and welcoming city that embraces immigrants and fosters opportunity for all." Our guest is Christina da Silva, the City's Director of Community Development & Policy, who just last week unveiled (alongside Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum) the so-called New Tulsans Initiative.

On this edition of ST, we listen back to our April 2017 chat with David Grann, the bestselling author and staff writer at The New Yorker Magazine, about his book, "Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI." As was noted of this book by a critic writing for Time: "Nearly 100 years ago, the Osage tribe of Oklahoma were thought to be the wealthiest people per capita in the world, thanks to their oil-rich reservation, kindly sold back to them by the federal government that had snatched it away.

Our guest is Tony Moore, Director of the Gathering Place, the greatly anticipated and privately funded public park that will open alongside the Arkansas River here in Tulsa on Saturday, September 8th. Moore brings us up to speed on what this massive and very special space -- the ground for which was broken back in 2014 -- will have to offer all of the people of Greater Tulsa. Per the Gathering Place website: "The next chapter is filled with excitement as we welcome our first guests....

On this edition of ST, we learn about the City of Tulsa's in-depth and multifaceted efforts to address issues of resilience, equity, and racial disparity across various demographic and geographic sections of our community. Our guest is DeVon Douglass, who was recently appointed by Mayor G.T. Bynum as Tulsa's Chief Resilience Officer. Before this appointment, Douglass served as the Economic Opportunity and Poverty Policy Analyst for the Oklahoma Policy Institute.

(Note: This show originally aired back in February.) "Bobby BlueJacket: The Tribe, The Joint, The Tulsa Underworld" is a well-researched book exploring little-known aspects of American crime, Native American identity, and smalltown politics in the 20th century. It's also an engrossing biography of a real and remarkable person: Bobby BlueJacket, born in 1930, who grew up in Tulsa amid teenage rumbles, mean streets, dangerous pool halls, and Midwest safecracker crews -- and who actually went from being a career thief to a prison journalist to a Eastern Shawnee Indian activist.

On this edition of ST, we speak with the Tulsa-based playwright Ilan Kozlowski, whose two-act dramatic comedy, "Shades of White" will be staged at the Tulsa PAC on June 22nd and 23rd. As noted of this work at the Tulsa PAC website: "Set in Tulsa in 1996 -- the 75th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre -- [this play] explores the relationships between an Israeli immigrant and a former member of the Ku Klux Klan and their wives. Narrow-minded Dr. Whitehill and his crone of a wife, Birdie, are set in their miserable ways until Dr.

On this edition of our show, we learn all about Kendall Whittier, Incorporated, or KWI, which is a neighborhood-minded and long-running nonprofit now marking its 50th Anniversary. KWI is, per its website, "a home-grown organization incorporating self-sufficiency for our neighbors through food security, nutritional health, and well-being." KWI -- the only food pantry in the Tulsa area that actually delivers to its participants' doorsteps -- will host an event tonight (Thursday the 7th) in celebartion of its Golden Anniversary.

On this broadcast of ST, we learn about a new book called "Art Deco Tulsa" -- and our guests are the two people who created it: Suzanne Fitzgerald Wallis wrote the text, and Sam Joyner made the photographs. As is noted of this book at its publisher's website: "Transformed from a cattle depot into the Oil Capital of the World, Tulsa emerged as an iconic Jazz Age metropolis. The Magic City attracted some of the nation's most talented architects, including Bruce Goff, Francis Barry Byrne, Frank Lloyd Wright, Joseph R.

On this edition of ST, an interesting discussion with Hannibal B. Johnson, the Tulsa-based attorney, local historian, and prolific author. He joins us to talk about his newest book, which is just out: "The Sawners of Chandler: A Pioneering Power Couple in Pre-Civil Rights Oklahoma." As is noted of this compelling and eye-opening book at Mr.

On this edition of ST, with the long-running,multifaceted, and decidedly unorthodox "Museum Confidential" exhibit about to close (on Sunday the 6th) at Philbrook Museum of Art, we present another installment in the Museum Confidential Podcast series. Co-created by Jeff Martin of Philbrook and our own Scott Gregory, this podcast has been posting twice-monthly since the exhibition opened at the museum back in October.

"Bobby BlueJacket: The Tribe, The Joint, The Tulsa Underworld" is a just-published book exploring little-known aspects of American crime, Native American identity, and smalltown politics in the 20th century. It's also a biography of a real and remarkable person: Bobby BlueJacket, born in 1930, who grew up amid teenage rumbles, mean streets, dangerous pool halls, and Midwest safecracker crews -- and who actually went from being a career thief to a prison journalist to a Eastern Shawnee Indian activist. Our guests on ST today are Michael P. Daley, the author of this new book, and Mr.

On this edition of ST, we speak with the locally based poet, poetry teacher, and literary activist, Victoria McArtor. She tells us about her new book, "Reverse Selfie," which is a collection of poems written in response to -- or in conversation with, or in tribute to -- various Tulsa landmarks. This book, which actually began as a write-one-poem-every-day-for-a-month project back in 2015, also features striking photographs by Matthew Phipps, thereby capturing in both words and images the vitality, beauty, wonder, and strangeness of the City of Tulsa.

On this edition of ST, we learn about the Unity Heritage Neighborhoods Design Workshop, a program to create designs, plans, and visions for future development in neighborhoods immediately north of downtown Tulsa. These include the Brady Heights Historic District, Emerson Elementary, Greenwood, and the Evans-Fintube site. Throughout the fall, the Notre Dame University Graduate Design Studio has been viewing the landscape and speaking with community stakeholders on how they want the neighborhood to look and feel as they develop their design ideas.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Herb Boyd, an award-winning journalist and historian who's also the author of several books on black history and activism, including biographies of James Baldwin and Sugar Ray Robinson; his latest book is a remarkable 300-year history of African-American life and politics in his hometown of Detroit. Boyd, who now teaches at the City College of New York, will be giving a free-to-the-public lecture tonight, the 12th, at 7pm here at TU.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak once again with Scott Stulen, the President and Director of the Philbrook Museum of Art. At a press conference earlier today, Stulen announced a number of exciting changes in store for Philbrook, which will take effect very soon.

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