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Scholar discusses racism, violence in post-statehood Oklahoma

Friday, April 19, 2013

FREDERICK, Md.—The relationship between the establishment of Oklahoma’s statehood in 1907 and the subsequent increase in anti-black mob violence is the topic of a talk by an award-winning scholar of African American history, April 30 at 12:45 p.m. in the Marx Center at Hood College.

Melissa Stuckey, assistant professor of African American history at the University of Oregon, will give a lecture entitled “Race War in Oklahoma.” In the early 1900s, the Indian and Oklahoma Territories—the eastern and western halves of the modern state of Oklahoma—attracted black and white settlers who were in search of economic opportunities, and black settlers hoped to find social and political freedoms there as well. Instead, Stuckey argues, Oklahoma’s entry into the Union as a Jim Crow state, where laws legitimized anti-black racism, spurred violence against blacks, especially lynching.

Stuckey earned her bachelor’s degree in 2000 from Princeton University and her master’s and doctoral degrees from Yale in 2002 and 2009, respectively. Her research interests include the study of African Americans during the Progressive Era, early African American political and civil rights activism, race and ethnicity in the American West, and African American migration. She has won multiple awards for her research and writing including the OAH Huggins-Quarles Award and the American Philosophical Society’s John Hope Franklin Award.

For more information, contact Jay Driskell, Ph.D., assistant professor of history, at driskell@hood.edu.