News from Voices of Oklahoma…

Black History Month

We continue our observance of Black History Month with sports figure Marques Haynes and community leader Loretta Young Jackson.

The abandoned schoolhouse was found by Loretta Young Jackson and under her guidance the school was moved to Chickasha where it stands on Ada Sipuel Ave. The school is visited by hundreds of students each year and serves as an education tool on race relations. Listen to Loretta tell her story here.

“That little building? We’ve turned that land over to the kids. They’re going to tear it down.” I said, “Don’t do that, let me have it.”

Widely regarded as the world’s finest ball handler during his 50-plus-year career in basketball spent with the Harlem Globetrotters and the Magicians, Marques Haynes enjoyed international fame as both a basketball entertainer and athlete. A native of Sand Springs, Oklahoma, Haynes basketball career began at Booker T. Washington High School, where he led the school to a high school national championship in 1941.

This interview will trace the steps of Marques Haynes from a three-room shotgun house in Sand Springs to November 17, 2011 and his induction into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Listen here.

“In the front there was a little heat. But there were 6 of us traveling in that little carryall. You had to take a kerosene lamp with a wick and put it between your legs with a blanket over it to keep the heat. That was the only way we could keep warm.”

More from our library as we observe Black History Month:
George Henderson
Professor Oklahoma University

Jeanne Eason Philips
Witness to the Civil Rights Era

Otis Clark
Survivor, 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

Tell your friends to sign up for our new stories on Send the sound of your voice to the next generation by recording your family story. You will be glad you did!

Black History Month

The celebration of Black History Month began as “Negro History Week”, which was created in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson. It became a month-long celebration in 1976.

Voices of Oklahoma joins the celebration by sharing stories of notable African Americans in Oklahoma.

Did you know the Oklahoma city lunch counter sit-ins were the first in the nation?

Joyce Henderson was an Oklahoma City high school student and talks about her sit-in experience in the mid-1960s, led by Clara Luper. Listen here to hear her story.

In 1946 the University of Oklahoma College of law denied admission to Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher because she was African American. Ada became a test case which went to the U.S. Supreme Court to strike another blow against “separate but equal” education.

Voices of Oklahoma is proud to present Ada’s son, Bruce, who learned about this case at his mother’s knee. He tells her story here.

We have more stories to present this Black History month. Tell your friends to sign up for our new stories on

Send the sound of your voice to the next generation by recording your family story. You will be glad you did!

Veterans Day

The observance of Veterans Day celebrates the service of all military veterans and Voices of Oklahoma would like to add these Oklahoma voices to this special day.

Bob Norman: Petty Officer Robert (Bob) Norman was on board the battleship USS Nevada in Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked on December 7, 1941. You can hear his story, beginning with chapter 3, here.

Shawnee Stewart: Shawnee Stewart served in the Army Air Corp during WWII and was a gunner on a B26 Bomber. He was shot down over Germany and he tells that story beginning with chapter four; listen to it here.

– Rex Calvert: In 1945 Rex Calvert was an enlisted man in the Marines and along with the 4th Marine Division he began a 40-day trip to Iwo Jima in 1945. The story is told by Rex beginning with chapter six; listen to it here.

These stories from Voices of Oklahoma represent some of the veterans and those affected by war. You can hear more stories like these by searching for topics on our website and selecting WWII. These actual voices bring us closer to their war experiences.

Thank you for listening to Voices of Oklahoma and for sharing with your friends. Remember to record the oral history of your family; you’ll be glad you did!