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Oklahoma History Center Traveling Exhibits

Visit the locations listed below to see Oklahoma History Center traveling exhibits.

All-Black Towns of Oklahoma

Shortly after the 1889 Land Run opened the Oklahoma Territory to settlement, black leaders hoped to make the newly-opened lands a home for oppressed African Americans throughout the United States. Oklahoma was promoted as the land where African Americans could come for the dream of "self-government." As many as fifty communities arose where only African Americans lived and governed themselves. Even though "Jim Crow" became the law of the land after statehood, All-Black towns survived and continue to thrive in modern Oklahoma.

On Exhibit

Tulsa Public Schools
Tulsa, Oklahoma
February 2018

Thirteen All-Black Towns of Oklahoma

This smaller version of the All-Black Towns of Oklahoma exhibit highlights the thirteen towns that are still incorporated today. E. P. McCabe came to Oklahoma in the 1889 Land Run, he said, "to get away from the associations that cluster about us in the Southern states. We wish to remove from the disgraceful surroundings that so degrade my people, and in the new territory of Oklahoma show the people of the United States and of the world that we are not only loyal citizens, but we are capable of advancement." The vision was to create an All-Black state. Although that never materialized, McCabe and others succeeded in establishing All-Black towns.

On Exhibit

OKC Thunder
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
February 2018

Sand Springs Cultural and Historical Museum
Sand Springs, Oklahoma
February–March 2019

Black Hope/Black Dreams

Black Hope/Black Dreams features the accomplishments of three individuals who had a vision for greater opportunity and equality for themselves and others. Edward (Edwin) Preston McCabe arrived in Oklahoma Territory in 1889. He was experienced in finance, law, land development, and politics. McCabe sought a place where African Americans could establish their own towns similar to other groups of Americans. Roscoe Dunjee was a newspaperman, activist, humanitarian, and a man of extraordinary conviction and legendary accomplishment. Founded in 1915, Dunjee's newspaper was titled The Black Dispatch. Dunjee also took aim at the legal system and the issues, incidents, and laws that deprived African Americans of their rights of citizenship and human dignity. Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher was the first African American admitted to the University of Oklahoma Law School on June 18, 1949, and the first to graduate in August 1951. Through her, African Americans succeeded in challenging the separate but equal doctrine as it applied to educational opportunities.

On Exhibit

Carl Albert State College
Poteau, Oklahoma
February 2018

Deep Deuce & Beyond: A Photographic Exhibition Exploring the Architectural Legacy of African Americans in Oklahoma City

This exhibition, featuring the photography of native Oklahoman Ron Tarver, explores the legacy of Deep Deuce through its architecture. From the grand historical edifice of Calvary Baptist Church to the clapboard frame of the Open Hand Mission, the images evoke the essence of the area, and the people who created it. Akin to Harlem of the 1930s, Deep Deuce featured such legendary figures as jazz guitarist Charlie Christian, "blues shouter" Jimmy Rushing, and was the home of internationally-acclaimed writer Ralph Ellison. Deep Deuce attracted African-American professionals of every stripe—Roscoe Dunjee, Dr. Frederick Douglas Moon, Mrs. Lucy Tucker, Dr. William Lewis Haywood, Mary and Sydney Lyons. These doctors, educators, entrepreneurs, and activists came together, creating a critical mass that transformed 2nd Street and the surrounding neighborhood into a thriving corridor of Oklahoma City.

On Exhibit

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
February 2018

Dust, Drought, and Dreams Gone Dry

Dust, Drought, and Dreams Gone Dry was organized by the American Library Association, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Dr. Jess C. Porter from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Part of the exhibit content was drawn from the Oklahoma State University library and features their Women of the Dust Bowl oral histories. Mount Holyoke College Library, which houses the Caroline Henderson papers (letters, essays and articles by a woman who farmed throughout the Dust Bowl) were also an inspiration for the exhibit.

On Exhibit

Bishop Kelley High School
Tulsa, Oklahoma
February–March 2018

Smoke Over Oklahoma: The Railroad Photographs of Preston George

This collection of images represents the railroad photographs taken by Preston George during the 1930s and 1940s. George photographed trains in his spare time while working as a civil engineer in Colorado and Oklahoma. Born in 1906 in Indian Territory, George's interest in trains began at an early age, but did not culminate into a full-fledged pastime until the 1930s when he said, "I ran across a copy of Railroad Stories, later renamed Railroad Magazine, and saw the many photos of locomotives and trains. This started me on a new hobby...Soon, I was snapping still pictures of locomotives with a cheap Kodak camera and trading them far and wide with other fans."

On Exhibit

Oklahoma History Center
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Through March 2018

Old Greer County Museum and Hall of Fame
Mangum, Oklahoma
April 15–June 15, 2018

Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Duncan, Oklahoma
July 15–August 15, 2018

Bring These and Other Exhibits to Your Community

The Oklahoma History Center offers several traveling exhibits on a variety of topics.

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