The public affairs channel C-SPAN, which provides gavel-to-gavel coverage of Congress along with a broad array of government- and history-related programming, is in Oklahoma City this week preparing some features on the city’s history and literary life.
The producers and organizers have an interesting agenda for the productions, which will air during a special Oklahoma City feature weekend of May 5th and 6th on C-SPAN2’s BookTV and C-SPAN3’s American History TV.
Here are some of the highlights, provided by C-SPAN:
· Interview with Bruce Fisher, son of Ada Lois Sipuel. Sipuel attempted to enroll at the University of Oklahoma Law School in 1946, helping to the lay the foundation for Brown v. Board of Education.
· Tour the Oklahoma City National Memorial with the memorial’s director, Kerrie Watkins. Watkins explains the history of building the memorial and explains future plans for the memorial to the victims.
· Hear historian Blue Clark explain the significance of Indian relocation to Oklahoma’s history. Clark discusses the tribes that came into the state from across the country, as well as his family’s own relocation experience.
· Interview with Mayor Mick Cornett at Chesapeake Energy Arena about Oklahoma’s professional basketball team, the Thunder, and its impact on the city post-Hurricane Katrina.
· Tour the Oklahoma State Capitol building with tour guide Bill Parks. Learn about the history of the building, and how Oklahoma City became the state’s capital.
· Interview with Oklahoma historian Currie Ballard about his discovery of rare film taken of Oklahoma’s African American communities dating back to the 1920s. Ballard’s remarks are filmed in Langston, a historic African American community where his family has roots.
· Visit Oklahoma University’s Political Communication Center and the Julian P. Kanter Political Commercial Archive to learn how political television commercials have changed over time and hear how political commercials reflect the changing landscape of American politics.
· Interview with Norman, Oklahoma mayor Cindy Rosenthal at the Carl Albert Center. Mayor Rosenthal takes us through the papers of several U.S. Senators and Congressmen as well as talks about Carl Albert, Speaker of the House under Richard Nixon from 1971-77.
· Tour the Oklahoma History Center where we look at rare items in their collection, including a bison skin teepee and one of only two copies of a Certificate of Friendship offered to Indian leaders by Lewis and Clarke.
BookTV programming highlights:
· Interview with Full Circle Books owner Jim Tolbert about the literary scene in Oklahoma City as well as the state of the independent book business.
· Hear “Winning the West with Words” author and Oklahoma City University professor James Buss examine narrative, rhetoric and language used by Anglo-Americans to justify westward expansion and the removal of Native Americans.
· Listen to “Race and the University: A Memoir” author George Henderson recount his experience as the third African American professor hired at the University of Oklahoma and the obstacles he had to overcome.
· Interview “A Nation in Transition” author Michael Lovegrove about the story of Douglas Henry Johnston, the governor of the Chickasaw tribe during the critical transitional time of the early 19th century.
· Tour the University of Oklahoma’s Special Collections at Bizzell Memorial Library.
· Interview with “The Triumph of Voting Rights in the South” author Keith Gaddie about the history of voting right in the South and its effect on the current political climate. Gaddie is a professor at the University of Oklahoma.
· Hear Dr. Joe Foote, Dean and Edward L. Gaylord Chair in the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma, talk about the state of journalism today and the role it will play in the future.
Gov. Mary Fallin will welcome C-SPAN to town on Thursday, April 12, at a press conference at the state Capitol. The public is invited to the press conference, which will be held at 11 a.m. in the Blue Room on the second floor.