It’s a Celebration

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OHS presents “It’s a Celebration” to kick off Black History Month on Saturday, February 1, 2014, at the Oklahoma History Center. The celebration will include a preview of the new African American exhibit “Realizing the Dream,” performance of the 1938 Works Progress Administration (WPA) Federal Writers Project radio play “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” and musical entertainment by the All Funk Radio Show band from Arlington, Texas. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the program begins at 6:30 p.m. The new African American exhibit will be open for self-guided tours from 6 to 9:30 p.m.

The celebration also will include the WPA Federal Writers Project play “Swing Low Sweet Chariot.” The manuscript was discovered in the OHS archives by Larry O’Dell in 2004. It was learned that it was originally broadcast on KOMA radio on Saturday, November 26, 1938. Sharon Fisher, who first directed the play in 2004 at the OHS, was asked to direct a new, abbreviated version of the play. The Loving St. James Baptist Church Praise Team will provide the musical renditions. In 2011 Senator Judy McIntyre authored the bill that made “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” the Oklahoma State Gospel Song. Governor Mary Fallin signed the bill into law on April 26, 2011.

Governor David Walters will provide reflections on key appointments made during his administration, including Ada Sipuel Fisher to the University Of Oklahoma Board Of Regents, Oscar Jackson as Cabinet Secretary of Human Resources and the recommendation that led to the presidential appointment of General Tom Daniels, Oklahoma’s first African American Air Force general of the Oklahoma Air National Guard. These stories and many others are included in the exhibit. The celebration will culminate with two hours of continuous musical entertainment provided by the All Funk Radio Show band.