August 11, 2023
Oklahoma Historical Society to Host All-Black Towns State Conference on August 12
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Historical Society, in partnership with the Oklahoma Conference of Black Mayors, will host the Oklahoma All-Black Towns State Conference on Saturday, August 12, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Oklahoma History Center. The conference is designed to encourage a network of state agencies to join with the mayors of some of Oklahoma’s historic All-Black towns to share resources and discuss ideas.
In the early 20th century, Oklahoma was home to more than 50 All-Black towns and communities. Segregation and Jim Crow laws led many Black people to leave the state. The Great Depression caused more families to migrate to urban areas or other states. These events devastated many small Oklahoma towns, including the All-Black towns.
From 10 a.m.-noon, mayors from more than a dozen historic All-Black towns will present their unique history, discuss future projects, and more. Starting at noon, attendees can eat lunch and listen to the keynote presentation by Earthea A. Nance, who has a doctorate in environmental engineering from Stanford University. She is an associate professor in the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University. Nance holds joint faculty appointments in the Department of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy and the Department of Political Science. At 1 p.m., several state agencies will share resources that enable towns to collect, preserve and share their histories, including the Oklahoma Arts Council, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, and the Oklahoma Historical Society.
Registration is required. The event is free and open to the public. Attendees can pre-purchase a lunch box from Florence’s Restaurant when registering for the conference. Lunch orders must be placed by Monday, August 7, at 11:59 p.m.
The Oklahoma History Center is located at 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr. in Oklahoma City.
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 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 OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.