Civil Rights Issues

KWGS News File Photo

Last night, a jury here in Tulsa acquitted one Betty Shelby -- a white Tulsa Police officer -- who had been charged with first-degree manslaughter after she shot and killed an unarmed black man named Terence Crutcher last September. Some people in this community feel that justice has been served, while others feel, as was stated by Rev. Joey Crutcher, the victim's father, after the verdict came down: "I believe in my heart that Betty Shelby got away with murder." Where does Tulsa go from here?

In 1959, Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote an autobiographical article for Ebony Magazine called "My Trip to the Land of Gandhi." The peaceful paths that these two great men traveled were at times quite different, and at times quite similar.

Our guest is Prof. Barry Friedman, who is the Fuchsberg Professor of Law at New York University School of Law and the director of the Policing Project. He joins us to discuss his new book, "Unwarranted: Policing Without Permission." As noted of this widely acclaimed study in a starred review in Kirkus: "A law professor diagnoses the ills of American policing and prescribes a healthy dose of sunlight. 'Policing in the United States -- from the overzealous beat cop all the way to the NSA -- is out of control,' writes Friedman, and the fault lies not with the police but with us.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we're discussing the Oscar-nominated documentary feature, "I Am Not Your Negro," which opens locally tomorrow (Friday the 24th) at the Circle Cinema. Indeed, our two guests today -- Hannibal Johnson (a Tulsa-based author and attorney) and Bob Jackson (an Associate Professor of English here at the University of Tulsa) -- will both be speaking about this film, and co-leading an audience-wide discussion about it, tomorrow night at the Circle.

On this edition of ST, we learn about several special, free-to-the-public events scheduled for this coming weekend in connection with MLK Day. Events are planned for both Sunday the 15th and Monday the 16th in downtown Tulsa (with the 16th, of course, being the actual Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday). On the 15th, there will be a Walk of Peace and Solidarity as well as an Interfaith Commemorative Service. On the 16th, a Founders Breakfast will precede the 2017 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we listen back to a discussion that originally aired in February of last year. At that time, we spoke with Julia Clifford, the director of a documentary film called "Children of the Civil Rights." This film tells the little-known yet true story of a group of schoolchildren in Oklahoma City who -- for nearly six years -- staged Civil Rights-era sit-ins at various diners and lunch counters in OKC. These protests began in 1958, more than a year before the far more familiar Greensboro, North Carolina, sit-ins occurred.

How have civil rights changed in this country -- and indeed, around the world -- since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001? How has our understanding of civil rights -- our common impression of it -- changed in this regard, as well as our politics? We explore such questions with our guest on ST today, Sahar F. Aziz, who is a professor at the Texas A&M University School of Law and a nonresident fellow at the Brookings Doha Center. She'll deliver the 17th Annual Buck Colbert Franklin Memorial Civil Rights Lecture at the TU Law School on Thursday the 15th at 6pm.

On this edition of ST, a compelling discussion with Ari Berman, a political correspondent for The Nation whose writing has also appeared in The New York Times and Rolling Stone (and who is a frequent commentator on MSNBC and NPR). We are discussing Berman's widely acclaimed book, "Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America," which first appeared last summer and will be published in paperback early next month.

On this edition of our show, we learn about a documentary film that will be screened tonight (Thursday the 11th) in Helmerich Hall on the TU campus. The screening is free to the public, and it will also feature a panel discussion; it begins at 7pm. The film is question is "Children of the Civil Rights," and our guest is Julia Clifford, who directed it. As noted of this film at the "Children of the Civil Rights" website: "No one knew a group of children in Oklahoma City were heroes; not even the children themselves.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Kristen T. Oertel, the Barnard Associate Professor of 19th Century American History here at TU.

Today marks the beginning of the 2016 legislative session for the State of Oklahoma, and rightly enough, the issue gathering the most attention is the nearly $1 billion gap in the state's budget -- an astounding figure, to be sure. But on today's StudioTulsa, we turn our attention in another important, equally unsettling direction. And it's not a matter of one single troubling issue, actually, but rather a multitude of infractions.

On this edition of ST, we chat with The Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II, who's the president of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP. Rev.

Our guest on ST is Edward B. Foley, the Ebersold Chair in Law and Director of Election Law at the Ohio State University School of Law. Professor Foley tells us about his interesting new book, just out from Oxford University Press: "Ballot Battles: A History of Disputed Elections in the U.S." As was noted of this title by Tamara Keith, a correspondent for NPR News: "It's hard not to feel outrage and a little dread reading Edward Foley's retelling of ballot battles dating back to the nation's Founding.

Our guest on ST is Lennard J. Davis, an author and scholar who is also Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts in the Departments of Disability Studies and English at the University of Illinois at Chicago.