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'Focus: Black Oklahoma': Gaza ceasefire, Muscogee Freedmen, The Gap Band

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Protestors rally for Palestine in Tulsa, Okla.
Britny Cordera
Protestors rally for Palestine in Tulsa, Okla.

This episode of Focus: Black Oklahoma features stories on Oklahomans Against Occupation rallying for the ceasefire in Gaza, a court victory for Muscogee Freedmen and the legacy of The Gap Band.

People across the country of all religious faiths and cultural ethnicities are rallying in support of a ceasefire in Palestine. This month, Oklahomans Against Occupation held two events in an effort to raise awareness about the tragic battle in Gaza. Here’s Britny Cordera.

In a landmark ruling with far-reaching implications, a Muscogee Nation District Judge in Oklahoma granted citizenship to two descendants of enslaved Africans, historically known as Creek Freedmen. This decision, aligning with the tribe's Treaty of 1866, not only overturns previous denials of their applications but also sets a precedent for acknowledging the rights of hundreds of other Freedmen descendants. Here’s Carlos Moreno with the ruling.

In the face of a steep decline in Black, Indigenous, and People Of Color, or BIPOC, farmers in the United States, a young Black woman is determined to reverse the trend by spearheading an initiative to provide scholarships for BIPOC students aspiring to careers in agriculture. Shonda Little interviews Neleh Anderson and Jekia Harrison to bring us this story.

In the spirit of Sankofa, looking back to move forward, Jasmine Bivar-Smith shares a deeply personal journey of discovery and connection. With friends like Carlisha Williams Bradley and Jeanette Biles, Jasmine’s story is a testament to the power of exploring one's roots and grappling with the profound impact of connecting with one's heritage.

After decades of being closed, Tulsa’s Big 10 Ballroom celebrated its reopening with a tribute concert dedicated to Gap Band founding member, Ronnie Wilson. Taking their name from Greenwood, Archer, and Pine streets, Wilson founded the band with his brothers, Charlie Wilson and Robert Wilson, in 1967. Shi Brown sat with Wilson’s widow Linda Boulware-Wilson to discuss Ronnie and the Gap Band’s legacy.

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. Our production intern is Shi Brown.

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