Exodus: Black Okie Migration

            THE MIGRATION numbers for African Americans in Oklahoma are difficult to pin down because although there was a statewide net loss of only 3,349 or 2% of the total population of African Americans in the state between 1930 and 1940, this same period saw huge changes in black residency. Franklin…

Sharecropping

          Although Oklahoma had its share of middle class black citizens, not all, nor even most African Americans enjoyed a stable economic exitance. As was so common across the cotton belt, many Oklahoman farmers were sharecroppers. In 1930, Oklahoma had 22,937 black farmers, 14,559 of them tenants. Meaning that 77% of…

“Not All Okies Were White”

THE HISTORY of the state of Oklahoma has been romanticized to the point that it is included in the national mythology of the United States. “Okies” migrating west were epitomized by Steinbeck’s Joad family, Woody Guthrie and the image of a wandering troubadour, Dust Bowl days with jalopies heading west on Route 66, dusty winds…