Tag: Oklahoma

Rozetia Ellis, Former Seamstress at now-Bankrupt Bridal Store, Becomes Hero for Brides-To-Be

Rozetia Ellis (photo via cbsnews.com)

by David Begnaud via cbsnews.com

Alfred Angelo‘s slogan “your dream, your dress” became “your loss” when the bridal giant abruptly closed last month, declared bankruptcy and left brides-to-be lined up and stood up. “I thought we’re never gonna see ’em again. Let’s not even bother. They’re gone,” said Stephanie Huey. And they were gone. Both of Stephanie Huey’s bridesmaids dresses, as well as the dresses of the other heartbroken women who purchased at an Oklahoma City store.

Rozetia Ellis took them home. “Loaded in my car, front, trunk, back seat, side panel, on the floor board, until they stacked all the way up to the top,” Ellis said. She was a contracted seamstress of the store who had lost her job but rescued those dresses. “At that point we thought, ‘Oh my gosh, thank you.’ You know, we were so grateful,” Huey said.

But Rose, as she’s known, had one more surprise. At her home in Tulsa, she was working on a special wedding gift. Stitch by stitch, she is altering more than 80 dresses for free. “I was dumbfounded. Honestly dumbfounded,” Huey said. “My integrity says I have to, ok? So, you have standards for yourself then you live up to those standards,” Ellis said.

Once a week, Ellis fills her car with dresses and drives 110 miles to an Oklahoma City hotel to deliver them. Motivated to do something, Huey has raised at least $5,600 for Ellis through a Go Fund Me page. “It’s going down fast — I’ve been just a busy bee,” Ellis said. The Oklahoma grandmother says she will continue working 15-hour days and making those weekly drive to meet the brides, until the 20 or so gowns that are left fit just right.

To read full article and see video, go to: Former Alfred Angelo seamstress becomes hero for desperate brides-to-be – CBS News

“Love Jones The Musical” Kicks Off National Tour in Oklahoma on September 9

Love Jones

Love Jones The Musical Tours Nationally This Fall

article via eurweb.com

“Love Jones The Musical,” a stage adaptation of the critically acclaimed 1997 Love Jones film, is scheduled to tour nationally this Fall/Winter. The stage production will boast an all-star cast of R&B music’s biggest names including Chrisette Michelle, Musiq Soulchild, Marsha Ambrosius, MC Lyte, Raheem Devaughn and Dave Hollister, who were all carefully selected to star in the must see musical event of the year. Love Jones The Musical will debut in Oklahoma City on September 9th.

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the popular romantic comedy, the stage play takes the essence of the film and tells its story through music. Fusing chart-topping hits and fan favorite songs from the music artists, along with a few original songs, Love Jones The Musical will be a transformative experience for the audience.

Produced by veteran theater producer Melvin Childs of Produced By Faith with stage play written by Timothy Allen Smith and directed by Zadia Ife, Love Jones The Musical tells the universal and timeless story of love, heartbreak and starting over. The film’s original writer and director, Theodore Witcher, serves as consulting producer.

To read more, go to: http://www.eurweb.com/2016/08/love-jones-the-musical-tours-nationally-this-fall/

John Legend Bringing True Story of Tulsa’s ‘Black Wall Street’ to WGN

article via eurweb.com

John Legend, an executive producer on WGN America’s successful series “Underground,” is behind yet another project for the network based on a true experience in African American history.

The singer is executive producing a new series based on Black Wall Street, the nickname given to the Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa, Oklahoma. In the early part of the 20th century, the area was one of the wealthiest and most affluent black communities in the United States.

However, jealous white citizens destroyed much of the neighborhood and killed upwards of 300 black people in a race riot that broke out in 1921.

According to TheWrap, the as-yet-untitled series is in the early stages of development, with Legend producing through his Get Lifted production banner along with Mike Jackson, Ty Stiklorius and “Southside With You” star Tika Sumpter.

To see a history of Black Wall Street, click below:

John Legend Bringing True Story of Tulsa’s ‘Black Wall Street’ to WGN | EURweb

High School Senior Micah McDade, who has Cerebral Palsy, Walks for 1st Time to Receive Diploma

MicahContemplates

article by Valerie Rice via okmulgeenews.net

While other graduates prepare for graduation day, Okmulgee High School senior Micah McDade was preparing for much more.  Born with cerebral palsy since birth, McDade has had a lifetime of obstacles, numerous surgeries to overcome and hours upon hours of physical therapy. He never gave up on his path to someday do what comes naturally to most everyone else…walk.

Though he has been told by doctors it may never happen, Micah believes with will, determination and the power of God, all things are possible. On the night of his high school graduation May 20, Micah proved this.

Unbeknownst to his friends and classmates, behind the scenes Micah was working harder than ever to achieve his goal and he picked a very poignant day in his life to show the world.  Micah was pushed in his wheelchair to the graduation stage in Harmon Stadium. With shock and surprise, his graduating class and the whole audience realized what he was about to attempt.  Yes, Micah stepped out onto the stage. There was barely a dry eye in the audience as the crowds stood and cheered him on every step of the way.

Micah made his first walk publicly across the graduation stage that night along with his class of 2016 and accepted his high school diploma.

His parents Mark and Anisa McDade said they couldn’t be prouder.  They stood that night along with the crowd, with tears of joy streaming from their eyes.

Cerebral Palsy is a neurological disorder that appears during infancy and early childhood, and affects body movement, coordination and balance. McDade, who endured multiple surgeries and countless hours of physical therapy, has been practicing for sometime to be ready for this moment.

To see McDade’s moment, watch below:

John Hope Franklin Honored by Duke University for Pioneering Field of African-American History

John-Hope-Franklin1
Historian John Hope Franklin (Photo via Harvard Public Affairs and Communications) 

DURHAM, N.C. — John Hope Franklin, a scholar who helped create the field of African-American history, was instrumental both in documenting America’s long and long-ignored legacy of slavery and racism and in reaffirming the continuing importance of that history, Harvard President Drew Faust said during an event Thursday evening commemorating his life and scholarship.

“John Hope Franklin wrote history — discovering neglected and forgotten dimensions of the past, mining archives with creativity and care, building in the course of his career a changed narrative of the American experience and the meaning of race within it,” she said. “But John Hope also meditated about history and its place in the world, on its role as action as well as description, on history itself as causal agent, and on the writing of history as mission as well as profession.”

Franklin was born in 1915 and raised in segregated Oklahoma. Graduating from Fisk University in 1935, he earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1941. Over the course of his career, he held faculty posts at a number of institutions, including Howard University and the University of Chicago, before being appointed in 1983 the James B. Duke Professor of History at Duke University. “From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African-Americans,” published in 1947, is still considered a definitive account of the black experience in America. A lecture series later published as a book, “Racial Equality in America,” became another of his most iconic works. Franklin died in 2009.

An American historian herself, Faust gave the keynote address in the last of a yearlong series of events as part of the John Hope Franklin Centenary, sponsored by Duke University to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth.

Continue reading “John Hope Franklin Honored by Duke University for Pioneering Field of African-American History”

Usher, Darius Rucker Join Oklahoma Tornado Benefit Concert

(Images courtesy of Getty)
(Usher, Darius Rucker; Images courtesy of Getty)

The event, titled “Healing in the Heartland: Relief Benefit Concert,” was organized by country singer and native Oklahoman Blake Shelton. Joining Rucker and Usher, who worked with Shelton on The Voice, are country stars Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Rascal Flatts and Reba McEntire, among others listed in the lineup.

“I’m hoping it will raise a lot of money,” Shelton told Billboard after announcing his project during last Tuesday’s edition of The Voice.  According to Reuters, the May 20 tornado was the deadliest windstorm to hit the United States in two years and left 24 dead and 377 injured. After decimating the city of Moore and surrounding areas, the tornado caused an estimated $2 to $5 billion worth of property damage and loss while over 1,200 homes were left destroyed.

The proceeds from the benefit concert will go to the United Way of Central Oklahoma May Tornadoes Relief Fund and will be used for recovery and rebuilding needs.  The concert will be held tomorrow, May 29, and is set to air on NBC at 9 p.m. EST. According to the network, tickets went on sale Saturday morning and were sold out within five minutes.

article by Lilly Workneh via thegrio.com

Oklahoma Thunder Forward Kevin Durant Donates $1 Million to Disaster Relief

Kevin Durant in front of the hometown fans (Getty Images)

Via Daily Thunder:

Per the Red Cross, Kevin Durant has given a $1 million donation to the disaster relief fund.

“The Red Cross relies on its donors to perform its mission in relieving human suffering following disasters,” said Janienne Bella, regional CEO in a release. “Mr. Durant’s gift and support to Oklahoma comes at a time of great need and we’re forever thankful for his generosity.”

Yesterday Durant tweeted, “Praying for the victims of the Tornadoes in OKC these last few days..Everybody stay safe!”

It’s also well-worth mentioning that Kevin Durant did not announce this donation. Rather, the Red Cross was the first to point out Durant’s contribution (which was made through his personal charity arm, The Durant Family Foundation), with Kevin letting his donation do the talking.

The devastation in Oklahoma was as stunning as it was swift, and any little bit helps. The Red Cross’ localized branch is the best place to go if you want to contribute as Kevin did.

R.I.P. Maria Tallchief, America’s 1st Native-American Prima Ballerina

Maria Tallchief

The New York Times reports today that Maria Tallchief, daughter of an Oklahoma oil family who grew up on an Indian reservation, found her way to New York and became one of the most brilliant American ballerinas of the 20th century, died on Thursday in Chicago.  She was 88.  Her daughter, the poet Elise Paschen, confirmed the death. Ms. Tallchief lived in Chicago.

Ms. Tallchief, a former wife and muse to the choreographer George Balanchine, achieved renown with Balanchine’s City Ballet, dazzling audiences with her speed, energy and fire. Indeed, the part that catapulted her to acclaim, in 1949, was the title role in the version of Stravinsky’s “Firebird,” one of many that Balanchine created for her.  In addition to “Firebird,” Balanchine created many striking roles for her, including those of the Swan Queen in his version of “Swan Lake,” the Sugar Plum Fairy in his version of “The Nutcracker,” Eurydice in “Orpheus” and principal roles in such plotless works as “Sylvia Pas de Deux,” “Allegro Brillante,” “Pas de Dix” and “Scotch Symphony.”

A daughter of an Osage Indian father and a Scottish-Irish mother, Ms. Tallchief left Oklahoma at an early age, but she was long associated with the region nevertheless. She was one of five dancers of Indian heritage, all born in Oklahoma at roughly the same time, who came to be called the Oklahoma Indian ballerinas; the others included her sister, Marjorie Tallchief, as well as Rosella Hightower, Moscelyne Larkin and Yvonne Chouteau.  Growing up at a time when many American dancers adopted Russian stage names, Ms. Tallchief, proud of her Indian heritage, refused to do so, even though friends told her that it would be easy to transform Tallchief into Tallchieva.

 In 2007, PBS aired the documentary, “Maria Tallchief” about this Kennedy Center Honor recipient’s life and work.   To read more about Tallchief, click here.  To watch Tallchief narrate her stunning “Firebird” solo, click below:

article by Jack Anderson via nytimes.com; additional reporting by Lori Lakin Hutcherson

116 Years Ago Today: Historically Black College Langston University was Founded

Langston University was founded in Langston, Oklahoma, on March 12, 1897.  It is Oklahoma’s only historically Black college or university. Because African-Americans were not allowed to attend colleges and universities in the state, the Black settlers of Langston raised the money to build an instruction where their children could learn and grow.  

Originally founded as the Colored Agricultural and Normal University, the school operated with the mission to instruct both male and female students in the fields of agriculture, mechanics and industrial arts. On September 3, 1898, the school officially opened in a Presbyterian church in with an enrollment of 41 students.  Today, Langston University boasts an undergraduate enrollment of 2,379 students.

article by Britt Middleton via bet.com

African-American Judges Head Up Oklahoma’s Two Highest Courts For First Time in History

In Oklahoma, two  judges have made history by becoming the first African-Americans to head up two of the state’s highest courts.

Tom Colbert is set to become chief justice of the nine-member Oklahoma Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Colbert’s law school classmate, David B. Lewis, is poised to become presiding judge of the five-member Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals.

The Tulsa World describes what both men have in common:

Both men were raised by single mothers, are former prosecutors and worked in private practice.

Both are runners – Colbert is a sprinter, while Lewis runs for distance.

And former Gov. Brad Henry appointed both as the first blacks to hold a post on their respective appeals courts.

 Colbert says he owes his success to those who came before him and paved the way for him.

The chief justice will be in charge of overseeing district courts in Oklahoma’s 77 counties. But as far as Colbert is concerned, his job doesn’t stop there. He’s looking forward to mentoring kids so that he can pass on some of what he’s learned on his road to success.

Colbert also offered a bit of advice, saying,  ”There are great opportunities out there if you believe in yourself and try to stay on the right path,” he said.  Lewis said that he happy with his achievements, but went on to say that it is important for people to understand that success doesn’t happen overnight.

article via yourblackworld.net

 

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