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Press Release

January 29, 2024

Contact: Lynda Ozan
State Historic Preservation Office, Oklahoma Historical Society
Office: 405-522-4484

State Historic Preservation Office Webinar to Focus on Oklahoma’s All-Black Towns

OKLAHOMA CITY — The State Historic Preservation Office will hold a free webinar on Thursday, February 8, at 2 p.m. that focuses on the All-Black towns of Oklahoma. The featured speakers are Gina Sofola, AICP, president and owner of Sofola & Associates, and Kory Van Hemert, architectural historian for Stantec. This webinar is part of the SHPO’s 2024 series “Everyday Oklahoma: Fascinating Stories About Familiar Places.”

Oklahoma had more than 50 identifiable All-Black towns between the end of the Civil War and 1920, with five established before 1880. Today only 13 of them still exist, and a 14th town, IXL, was incorporated in 2001. African Americans created these communities in an effort to attain security and prosperity during the Jim Crow era. Collectively, they have had a significant impact on Oklahoma’s history and culture. Kory Van Hemert will speak about ongoing efforts to document historic resources associated with All-Black towns. Gina Sofola will discuss her collaboration with the All-Black town of Tullahassee to restore the National Register-listed A. J. Mason Building, seen as a centerpiece to the town’s broader revitalization efforts.

Registration for the free webinar is required. Webinars will be limited to the first 100 registrants. For more information, contact Lynda Ozan, deputy state historic preservation officer, at 405-522-4484 or lynda.ozan@history.ok.gov.

The State Historic Preservation Office is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society. 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.


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