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'Focus: Black Oklahoma': book bans, Free Mom Hugs, prairie chickens

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Focus: Black Oklahoma hosts Kuma Roberts and Jacob Littlebear
Jamie Glisson
Focus: Black Oklahoma
Focus: Black Oklahoma hosts Kuma Roberts and Jacob Littlebear

This episode of Focus: Black Oklahoma features stories on how libraries are coping with book bans, the Free Mom Hugs movement and the debate over the prairie chicken.

Recently, the Oklahoma state legislature joined the wave of book bannings across the U.S. by requiring school libraries to reflect “community standards.” But who decides what those community standards are? Charlie Chadwick asks the librarians themselves.

Free Mom Hugs, a nationwide movement of love, visibility, and acceptance for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, was born right here in Oklahoma. Love Revolution, the first Free Mom Hugs national conference, occurred in Oklahoma City in September. Shonda Little spoke with the organization’s founder Sara Cunningham, and national coordinator Amber Jensen. 

The fate of the prairie chicken becomes a symbol of a bigger environmental argument in the heart of Oklahoma. President Biden stays firm on the bird's protection as the U.S. Senate and House battle to delist it, thereby ending federal intervention. While the national debate continues, local landowners are taking steps to address the needs of this now famous bird. Britny Cordera reports.

In 1921 the resilient citizens of Greenwood, an all-Black community in Tulsa, faced a devastating racial conflict that escalated into an unstoppable tragedy. In the present day, the people of Tulsa confront a new challenge: how to comprehend and impart this history to future generations. Tulsa’s World Stage Theater is reprising the critically acclaimed production Reflections, written by two Tulsa playwrights. Anthony Cherry has more.

Have you thought you could be the next Chip and Joanna Gaines? Well, so did Sondra Slade, but listen to her story and decide for yourself if she was in a show from HGTV or from Animal Planet.

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 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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