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April 18, 2014

Jesus in the Wichitas

by John Wooley

His name was Kroger Babb. He made and relentlessly promoted a famous “hygiene film” called…


Kelly Cox has hauled hay since he was a boy. Now with changes in technology…


April 17, 2014

These Splendid Things

by Elliot Rambach

Blake Bailey writes biographies about writers. He’s written about John Cheever, Richard Yates, and Charles…


This Land Press + ShopGoodOKC
We are proud to announce a collaboration to bring the…


by This Land

Wanna get fresh? Use our list of Oklahoma farmers markets to find the best and…


04/16/2014 | Okiecentric

To Boldly Go

By Samuel Annis

It’s a steel-colored December day, and I’m driving down OKC’s May Avenue, past dirty snow and abandoned cantinas, looking for a roofing company. Actually, I’m looking for a non-profit Star Trek fan-film studio, but the man I contacted, Richard Wells, tells me that the studio’s address is “jacked up,” and suggests I drive to the roofers and c…

04/09/2014 | Okiecentric

Invisible State

By Jezy J. Gray

I was 17 when I first encountered Invisible Man. I inhaled it over the summer before my senior year, passing impossibly hot July afternoons in the family den, facedown on the floor for hours on end, raptured from the sweltering heat by its cool, lyrical largesse and penetrating social wisdom. Not only did it spur me to think about race and history in dynamic a…

04/07/2014 | Okiecentric

Father of Fight Club

By Michael Mason

In 1945, an unassuming black man from Oklahoma City began constructing an intricate book inside a barn in Vermont. Owing to its complexity and sophistication, the book took more than six years to assemble. When Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man exploded onto the scene in 1952, it caught countless minds on fire. Critics hailed it as one of the most important bo…

04/04/2014 | Poetry

Bible Belted: Math

By Quraysh Ali Lansana

Pro-Black doesn’t mean anti-anything.
      El Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X)
there are at least twenty-seven
white people i love. i counted.
four from high school, five from
undergraduate years, maybe
three from grad school
(one gay=bonus points) &
an assortment of compelling
melanin-deprived miscreants
in chicago & countrywid…


THIS LAND LIVE: Senior Fellows “Credit Default Swap”

A new music video featuring Senior Fellows performing “Credit Default Swap.”…

04/02/2014 | Okiecentric

In the Territory: A Look at the Life of Ralph Ellison

By Hilton Als

Originally published in the May 7, 2007, issue of The New Yorker, Volume 83, No. 11. Copyright © 2007 Hilton Als. Used by permission of The Wylie Agency LLC.
November 29, 1967, a tart, sunny day in Plainfield, Massachusetts, some thirty miles north of Smith College, in the Berkshires: the small town’s most famous inhabitant that historic afternoon was…

03/26/2014 | Okiecentric

Go Home, Grandma

By Ben Montgomery

In 1955, 67-year-old Emma Gatewood became the first woman to walk all 2,050 miles of the Appalachian Trail by herself. She survived a rattlesnake strike and two hurricanes, boarded with gangsters from Harlem, and sang “America, the Beautiful” when she finally reached the peak of Mount Katahdin in Maine. It was her second attempt, and she’d done it wi…

03/24/2014 | Okiecentric

Nelson Mandela’s Friend in Tulsa

By J. Kavin Ross

The year 2013 ended with the world mourning for South Africa’s first black president, Nelson “Madiba” Mandela, whose passing didn’t just signify human remains laid to rest; it symbolized the passing of a torch—for all people to journey down the road to reconciliation.
Tulsa native Alfre Woodard was among an entourage of Americans who paid thei…


First Charged, Last Freed

By Steve Gerkin

John the Baptist moved to Tulsa in 1899. The Stradford family called him J. B. [1] He was a former Kentucky slave who was not afraid to preach the gospel of equal treatment and racial solidarity for black Americans. College-educated in Ohio at Oberlin College, Stradford received his law degree from Indiana University, practicing in Indianapolis and yearni…

03/19/2014 | Okiecentric

Against All Frauds

By Cortney Stone

Oklahoma was born in an era when beliefs about gender roles dictated that politics were dirty and rough and that ladies should keep out. But the state was raised in a progressive-minded time, and Progressive Era women’s suffrage advocates often used metaphors for housekeeping and parenting to argue that women voters would sweep out political fraud and d…


The Rusty Brotherhood (La Hermandad Rusty)

By Alberto Fuguet

Alberto Fuguet is a writer, a Guggenheim fellow, and, according to Newsweek, one of the “50 most important Latin Americans for the new millennia.” And he credits Francis Ford Coppola’s film Rumble Fish, based on S.E. Hinton’s book by the same name, for his inspiration. Fuguet made a documentary, Locations: Looking for Rusty James, about th…

03/14/2014 | Original Okie

Rosetta Funches

By Shane Brown

Rosetta Funches is the founder and director of the Oklahoma Black Museum and Performing Arts Center in Oklahoma City. Established in 2008, the museum collects and exhibits art primarily by and about African Americans in order to preserve and educate (all people) about black history and culture. Rosetta grew up in Oklahoma City and received art instructio…

03/12/2014 | Okiecentric

The Other Mother Road

By Michael Wallis

Pour yourself a sipping drink and get comfortable. I am going to tell you a story. It’s about a postal worker named Victor Green and his Green Book, a very special publication that provided invaluable and sometimes even life-saving assistance to thousands of disenfranchised open-road travelers. Published annually for almost 30 years, this guidebook f…

03/10/2014 | Okiecentric

Rest Stop

By Caitlin Horrocks

The woman was angry when she got to Ray’s register, and Ray was already thinking of all the things that weren’t his fault: the food, the traffic, how the McDonald’s sat in the turnpike service island like a pimple, flat-faced Oklahoma stretching clear-skinned around it. She held her daughter’s hand, the girl so small and uncurious she didn’t both…

03/07/2014 | Poetry

First Lesson in Racism — Mississippi — 1993

By Claire Collins

here are yr. five year old fingers
plucking pecans in front of the trailer
here is the lynch rope looming from your favorite tree
here you are
too afraid to ask what it means
here is the yellow bus/black exhaust/cardboard milk carton
carrying you to kindergarten
here you are singing, “M I crooked letter, crooked letter I. . . ”
here are blue jump rop…