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'Focus: Black Oklahoma': implicit bias, wealth inequality, Oklahoma's upcoming vote on legalizing medical cannabis

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In this episode, we begin with a story that explores the insidious aspects of implicit bias. They are an ever present part of the lived experiences of people of color in America. Black women are the most susceptible to bias through the lens of the healthcare system. Dr. Jabraan Pasha has the story about the Tulsa Birth Equity Initiative and its mission to ensure that more pregnant Black women have the medical support they need through their doula program.

Amidst the political rhetoric that surrounds banning abortions across the nation, mental health is often overlooked as an important aspect of maternal health. Shonda Little examines the case of a young Oklahoma woman who is caught in the center of the struggle between politics and an individual’s rights.

Since the Occupy Wall Street protests in 2011, there has been a growing focus on the disparity between the wealthiest 1% of Americans and the other 99% of the population. A recently published report demonstrates how wealth inequality is a global issue that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Nick Alexandrov details how the effects can be measured here in Oklahoma.

In 2018, Oklahomans voted to legalize medical cannabis. In March, they will have an opportunity to vote for the legalization of recreational cannabis. Jamie Glisson has details on a recent forum covering the issue.

Oklahoma means land of the “red people,” yet the state once contained within its borders more all black towns than any other. One of the lesser known facets of this history is the legacy of all black towns established by Freedmen of various Indigenous nations. Here’s Crystal Patrick with the first segment of an eight part series digging into the state’s historic all black towns.

Many genres of popular music in the United States have been influenced by Black culture: hip hop, R&B, jazz, blues, rock 'n' roll, soul, and more. However, contributions by Black artists to country music are often overlooked. In 2021, one woman established an organization to change that. Carlos Moreno has the story.

Focus: Black Oklahoma is produced in partnership with KOSU Radio, Tulsa Artist Fellowship, and Tri-City Collective. Additional support is provided by the George Kaiser Family Foundation, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, and the Commemoration Fund.

Our theme music is by Moffett Music.

Focus: Black Oklahoma’s executive producers are Quraysh Ali Lansana and Bracken Klar. Our associate producers are Smriti Iyengar and Jesse Ulrich.

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