Black History Month

Stories of the Ages: Endangered Black History

A one month special project focusing on the fading remnants of rich black cultural history in Oklahoma. Featuring stories about important towns such as Boley and Langston and the people who made them so iconic.

Blues vocalist Jimmy Rushing of the Count Basie orchestra is seen in a 1936 publicity photo.  (AP Photo)
Blues vocalist Jimmy Rushing of the Count Basie orchestra is seen in a 1936 publicity photo. (AP Photo)

Remembering Jimmy Rushing, the 'Five by Five' man with the enormous voice

A&E | Updated: Sun, Jan 29, 2012 | Comment on this article Leave a comment

Jimmy Rushing was big in 1942, so big that a song called “Mr. Five By Five” was written in his honor and went to No. 1 on the Billboard R&B Chart. The song described a man who was “5-feet-tall and he's 5-feet-wide,” but the biggest thing about Rushing was his voice, an instrument that could compete with the loudest horns in any band.

Black History Month Articles from NewsOK

  • Martin Luther King colleague urges OKC businesspeople to confront historic immorality of slavery

    By Paula Burkes Business Writer | Published: Sat, Nov 14, 2015

    Clarence B. Jones, an attorney who worked alongside Martin Luther King Jr. during the 1960s, urged Oklahoma City businesspeople to confront the reality of America’s white supremacy legacy of slavery.

  • Literary history

    Ken Raymond | Updated: Tue, Sep 1, 2015

    Pick any day and month, and odds are I'll be able to match it with some significant event in literary history. That's not to say I have encyclopedic knowledge of this stuff; it's just that I can use the Internet as well as anyone else. But this date in history -- Sept. 1 -- has more going for...

  • Before the "dream," there was Oklahoma City

    Linda Lynn | Updated: Fri, Aug 28, 2015

    On Aug. 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the historic "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. His words have resonated throughout several generations.  But, did you know that before he stood in Washington in front of a crowd of more than 200,000 people on...

  • Now you know: 5 interesting facts to begin your week with (Vol. 2; Aug. 3, 2015)

    Richard Hall | Updated: Wed, Jul 29, 2015

    It's good to know things. And you're probably bored at work (which is why you clicked on this), so how about you learn a thing or five? This week we explore pizza (do want), TSA failures, Louis C.K., Martin Luther King, Jr., and a fountain in Rome. Here are 5 interesting facts to begin...

  • 63 years ago today, Bill Greason broke OKC's pro sports color barrier

    Mike Sherman | Updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015

    Mustang businessman, baseball historian and collector Mark House never forgets, and thank goodness for that. It was House who three years ago did the heavy lifting to make sure Oklahomans met their own Jackie Robinson and ensured the Rev. William "Bill" Greason had his moment in the...

  • 63 years ago today, Bill Greason made OKC history

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015

    Sixty-three years ago today, July 31, 1952, Bill Greason broke the Oklahoma City baseball color barrier. I wrote about the Rev. Greason a few times over the years, and local historian/memorabilia collector Mark House has befriended Greason and even brought him to OKC to be honored at a...

  • Discussion of black towns will feature mayors, scholars

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Thu, Jun 18, 2015

    The Oklahoma History Center will host a panel discussion  titled "Black Towns Then ... Black Towns Now" at 7 p.m. June 30. The event is also the public’s last chance to see the Coltrane Group's exhibit  “Colored Memories: Historic Colorized Photos of Life in ‘The Crown Jewel’” at the...

  • Documentary filmmaker to host discussions on black towns

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Tue, Jun 2, 2015

    Documentary filmmaker Kari Barber will be traveling to five historic all-black towns of Oklahoma to host screening and discussion events about this unique part of Oklahoma’s history.



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