17th Annual Bus Tour Travels to Oklahoma’s All-Black Towns

   Join Tulsa City-County Library’s African-American Resource Center for the 17th annual Historic All-Black Town Tour Commemorating Juneteenth.

   The journey begins June 10, 7 a.m., at Rudisill Regional Library, 1520 N. Hartford, and returns to the library around 5:30 p.m. Ticket cost is $45 and includes a light breakfast and lunch. At each stop riders will learn the significance and importance of these sacred locations. Local historians Ann Nero, a retired educator and historian on all-black towns in Oklahoma, and Jimmie White, an educator for more than 40 years, will lead the tour and share the history of each location on the trip.

   This year’s event features a walking tour of Muskogee along with a viewing of a new all-black town documentary at the Roxy Theater. The next stop is Fort Gibson featuring a presentation by historian Omar Reed, dressed in period clothing as a black soldier. The final destination is the Four Mile Branch cemetery, established in the mid-1800s.

  “The Tulsa City-County Library is dedicated to promoting lifelong learning and stronger communities…for seventeen years, this tour has done both,” explains Alicia Latimer, Tulsa City-County Library African-American Resource Center Coordinator. “Oklahoma had more all-black towns than any other state after the Civil War. As history keepers, the Library knows just how important the African-American community has been and continues to be to our state. It’s important to educate people on the historical significance of these towns and the role they still play today.”  

     The nationwide celebration of Juneteenth began spontaneously on June 19, 1865 as slaves in Galveston, Texas reacted to the delayed news of freedom. The impromptu celebrations were the foundation for the festival known today at Juneteenth, a time when the Emancipation Proclamation is celebrated.

   Tulsa City-County Library’s African-American Resource Center, located at Rudisill Regional Library, features recordings and printed materials focusing on slavery, segregation and the perseverance of African-Americans. The center’s purpose is to collect, preserve and provide access to resources honoring and documenting the experiences of people of African descent. Library customers can find current and comprehensive resource materials and professional reference materials on the culture and history of African-Americans.

   To reserve a seat, visit the website www.tulsalibrary.org/aarc or call 918-549-7645. The Library’s All-Black Town Tour is sponsored by the Tulsa Library Trust.

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