In the state of Oklahoma, the commodity is terrifyingly Black and Brown bodies. Its jails and prisons embarrassingly burst at the seams while an intoxicating spirit of apathy socially pervades the political landscape. A pandemic ideology of lockup detrimentally thrashes and economically injures its poverty-stricken citizens and marginalized-constituents. Oklahoma is the prison capital of the world. It incarcerates more citizens per capita than other place on Earth. To make matters worst, Tulsa City Council Karen Gilbert proposes a truancy ordinance that contributes to the chaos and controversy of mass incarceration.
E. Scott Jones’ memoir; Open: A Memoir of Faith, Family, & Sexuality in the Heartland, released September of this year; invites us to examine Jones’ navigation of life as a baptist, a minister, a husband, a father, and an openly homosexual man living and working in the Midwest.
Protruding from the mouth of the bullhorn, Dr. Robert Turner’s voice fans the ashes of a Tulsa’s unresolved inner conflict between its Black and White neighbors.
You know my dad and my mom separated, so I didn’t have a lot of male energy in my home. And also I’m married to a family that, you know, not a lot of male energy going on. It’s beautiful though. You know it’s something about… You know I love Hillary, I love everyone. Right? But the campaign [slogan], “I’m with Her” just didn’t make me feel, as a guy, that didn’t get to see my dad all the time. Like a guy that could play catch with his son.
At school board meetings, I always have anxiety when I’m in a room full of White folks, who are listening to the same horrible academic-performance stats about my race. It is the kind of information that painfully pierces a Black person’s soul because we know that that ‘unintellectual’ and ‘undisciplined-people’ stigmatization continues to layer. We Black folks want to explain ‘the why’; however, there isn’t enough time in any single meeting to explain to folks why Black students are still lagging academically. The first insecurity we fight is wondering if White America is apathetic towards closing the gap.
nosamyrag described the event as the first step in leading Tulsa’s Sneaker Heads into the spotlight. Like many creative minds the goal of nosamyrag and Roper is to show the world what the Tulsa community has to offer.
“I am wearing my costume.
I am a man now.”
he proceeds to tell me he is going away
I am not invited
He has lots of work to do
and he needs me to drop him off in