Tri-City Collective, KOSU and Tulsa Artist Fellowship announce today the relaunch of the Focus: Black Oklahoma radio show and podcast, following a hiatus in production caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Focus: Black Oklahoma is a one-hour news and public affairs program on various topics relevant to Oklahomans across the Black diaspora. The program will air monthly on Oklahoma’s flagship NPR station, KOSU, beginning this month.
The show will air at 3 p.m. on the third Sunday of each month and at 1 p.m. on the following Friday. Listeners can also find it on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, NPR One or wherever they get their podcasts. More information on how to listen can be found at kosu.org.
The hosts of Focus: Black Oklahoma will hold a virtual press conference at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13, to talk about the work they’ve been doing during the COVID-19 pandemic and what to expect in the coming months. The press conference will be hosted by Facebook at https://fb.me/e/1pOzgt5LF.
Each episode features a spotlight interview and stories on current topics and events affecting Black Oklahomans, including news, politics, education, health, arts, culture and more. Special segments include “Youth Voice,” an on-air platform for school-aged young people; and “Creative Spotlight,” where Oklahoma talent shares original songs and stories.
Arielle Davis and Kolby Webster serve as co-hosts of the program. The creator and executive producer of Focus: Black Oklahoma is Quraysh Ali Lansana, a Tulsa Artist Fellow.
“When I returned to Oklahoma after being away for 30 years, I started to do research on programming on radio and television about Black issues," Lansana said. "I found close to nothing on mainstream media with the exception of a few talk shows.”
Lansana said the show is designed for all Oklahomans and he hopes people who listen learn something new or gain a better understanding of issues about which they only had peripheral knowledge.
Lansana also teaches a class about Black Wall Street at OSU-Tulsa, which sits on the grounds of Tulsa’s historic Greenwood District.
In this partnership, KOSU aims to be more reflective of the diversity of Oklahoma. Black voices and stories are often missed, silenced or misrepresented in mainstream media due to systemic racism. Focus Black Oklahoma will amplify those voices and give listeners more understanding and awareness of issues facing their fellow Oklahomans.
“Partnering on this show was a natural collaboration for KOSU,” said Rachel Hubbard, KOSU executive director. “Part of our mission is to empower Oklahomans to tell their own stories.”