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Everyday Oklahoma: Fascinating Stories about Familiar Places, “All-Black Towns in Oklahoma”

February 8, 2 p.m.3:30 p.m.

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This first installment of SHPO’s 2024 Speaker Series, “Everyday Oklahoma: Fascinating Stories about Familiar Places,” will explore the topic of All-Black Towns in Oklahoma. The featured speakers are Gina Sofola, AICP, president and owner of Sofola & Associates,  and Kory Van Hemert, architectural historian for Stantec.

The free webinar will occur online on Thursday, February 8, at 2 p.m., Central Time, lasting 1 hour and 30 minutes.

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 of the town’s broader revitalization efforts.

Kory Van Hemert and Gina Sofola

Abe Lincoln Trading Company, Okfuskee County


February 8
2 p.m.–3:30 p.m.
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