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Press Release

February 4, 2016

Contact: Renee Trindle
Sod House Museum, Oklahoma Historical Society
Office: 580-463-2441

"Freedom's Hope: In Search of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" Presentation at Sod House Museum

Aline, Okla. — Professor Jana Brown from Northwestern Oklahoma State University will be at the Sod House Museum on Saturday, February 20, at 10 a.m. to present an overview of black history in Oklahoma and the struggles faced by African Americans.

Brown will discuss some examples of the fulfillment of the freedmen's goals as well as some struggles they encountered. Toward the end of Reconstruction, Southern freedmen began seeking alternatives to life in the South. Brown will discuss the factors that motivated freedmen to leave the South and goals they had when seeking a new home. Eventually, they looked toward new lands opening up in Oklahoma Territory. Combined with freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes, these individuals created at least 50 All-Black towns. In addition to these incorporated towns, there were other smaller enclaves of black settlers. Professor Brown's current research includes the All-Black enclave that existed in Major County, Oklahoma, near Cleo Springs. This group is associated with the Pioneer Cemetery and what was the Happy Valley School. 

Professor Jana Brown is the social science education coordinator and an instructor of History at Northwestern Oklahoma State University. Brown is currently seeking a Ph.D. at Oklahoma State University.

The Sod House Museum is operated by the Oklahoma Historical Society. The museum is open Tuesday–Saturday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., and is located southeast of Aline on State Highway 8. For more information contact Director Renee Trindle at 580-463-2441 or sodhouse@okhistory.org.

The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains 31 museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the Oklahoma Historical Society visit www.okhistory.org.

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