Tri-City Collective, KOSU and Tulsa Artist Fellowship are excited to announce the relaunch of the Focus: Black Oklahoma radio show and podcast, following a hiatus in production caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Focus: Black Oklahoma is a one-hour news and public affairs program on various topics relevant to Oklahomans across the Black diaspora that will air on Oklahoma’s flagship NPR station, KOSU, monthly beginning in January 2021. The show aired briefly on KWGS in early 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic halted its production.
The show will air on KOSU the third Sunday of each month at 3 p.m. and the following Friday at 1 p.m. You can also find it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, NPR One or wherever you get your podcasts.
The hosts of Focus: Black Oklahoma will hold a virtual press conference to talk about the work they’ve been doing during the COVID-19 pandemic and what to expect in the coming months on Wednesday, January 13, 2021, at 10 a.m. on Facebook.
Each episode features a spotlight interview and stories on current topics and events affecting Black Oklahomans, including news, politics, education, health, arts, culture and more. Special segments include “Youth Voice,” an on-air platform for school-aged young people; and “Creative Spotlight,” where Oklahoma talent shares original songs and stories.
Arielle Davis and Kolby Webster are co-hosts of Focus: Black Oklahoma and the creator and executive producer is Quraysh Ali Lansana, a Tulsa Artist Fellow.
“When I returned to Oklahoma after being away for 30 years, I started to do research on programming on radio and television about Black issues," Lansana said. "I found close to nothing on mainstream media with the exception of a few talk shows."
Lansana says the show is designed for all Oklahomans and he hopes people who listen learn something new or gain a better understanding of issues about which they only had peripheral knowledge. Lansana also teaches a class about Black Wall Street at OSU-Tulsa, which sits on the grounds of Tulsa’s historic Greenwood District.
In this partnership, KOSU aims to be more reflective of the diversity of Oklahoma. Black voices and stories are often missed, silenced or misrepresented in mainstream media due to systemic racism. Focus Black Oklahoma will amplify those voices and give listeners more understanding and awareness of issues facing their fellow Oklahomans.
“Partnering on this show was a natural collaboration for KOSU,” said Rachel Hubbard, KOSU Executive Director. “Part of our mission is to empower Oklahomans to tell their own stories.”
Focus: Black Oklahoma is citizen journalism, as only four people on the 20 member team have any sort of media training. These team members have day jobs but have a passion for the idea behind the show of sharing news and information relevant to the Black community statewide.
Tri-City Collective was born out of the desire to fill a gap in the creative world for content that is beautiful, intelligent, and cognizant of the talents of a diverse population of artists, writers, and creators. In addition to programming and curriculum development, Tri-City shares its knowledge as teachers and speakers, develops and hosts workshops, and collaborates with other artists and community-building organizations. Learn more at tricitycollective.com.
KOSU is a public radio service of Oklahoma State University and a member station of National Public Radio. Its programming can be heard by more than 91,000 on-air listeners every week in central, northern and northeastern Oklahoma, parts of Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas and worldwide at kosu.org.
The Tulsa Artist Fellowship (TAF) is a program established by the George Kaiser Family Foundation to enhance the local art scene by recruiting artists to Tulsa, Oklahoma. The residency program welcomes visual artists and writers representing a diversity of styles and disciplines to live and work in Tulsa's vibrant Tulsa Arts District. Learn more at tulsaartistfellowship.org.