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…

Organizing

         Before they migrated out of their home states, many Okie and Arkie sharecropping, and tenant farmers organized to try to negotiate for more humane economic deals with plantation owners. In Gregory argue that it was “’grit’ and a preoccupation with toughness that became one of the cornerstones of the Okie subculture,”…

The Basics. The Great Depression and the Dust Bowl.

          Although the underlying economic factors that created the conditions that led to the Great Depression are myriad, and had been building for decades, the beginning is conventionally thought to be Black Tuesday, October 24, 1929, when the stock market crashed dramatically and sent the economy of the United States into…

“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…