Oklahoma Oral History Research Program

The program is also an arm of OSU’s Center for Oklahoma Studies and has a number of ongoing projects pertaining to the state’s history.

The Oklahoma Oral History Research Program (OOHRP) was founded in 2007 as part of the Oklahoma State University Library, with the goal of documenting and making accessible the history of Oklahoma and OSU through oral history interviews. In written versions of history, the contributions and perspectives of many individuals and groups are left undocumented, and details and nuances are often excluded

Operating as usual

02/09/2024

Florence Kemp was only 21 years old when she opened Florence’s Restaurant in Oklahoma City in 1952. Two years ago she received the James Beard Award, one of the most prestigious culinary awards in the country.

Growing up in Boley Oklahoma, Kemp remembers helping her mother cook out in the country. Doing things from scratch, she learned the recipes and dishes that now garner national attention. From chicken to Boley beans, peach cobbler, and ribs, Kemp still works twelve-hour days cooking at her restaurant.

But as a young entrepreneur, starting a business was uncertain. Kemp recalls, “A friend of mine said I had two chickens and a prayer. I just made it work”.

To eat at the OKC staple you can visit 1437 NE 23rd Street. But, to learn more about kemp and her amazing life visit: okla.st/3HNpz2x

02/07/2024

For Oklahoman Anita Arnold, participation in the civil rights movement took a more unconventional form.

During the 1960s, Anita worked at Western Electric, where her presence as a black woman effectively protested the wage gap between white and African American employees, but also men and women. Despite being qualified for more, Arnold was limited to working the factory floor because of segregation. Going to work may be a less obvious form of activism, compared to the picket-lines and sit-ins often associated with the time, but was nonetheless vital to improving the economic inequalities of the time.

While being the only woman and person of color in the workplace was uncomfortable and frustrating, Arnold was encouraged to keep working by local activists like Clara Luper, who often reminded her, “It's bigger than you.” Eventually the company fully integrated and improved the wage gap, with Arnold as the first black woman to enter the office.

Her role in the local civil rights movement is amazing, but as a six-time published author and advocate for Oklahoma education, Arnold's story holds so much more, including meeting M.L.K. Jr. and Rosa Parks. To see her whole interview visit: okla.st/49mqz9L

02/05/2024

Oklahoman Winard Brown was in the seventh grade when he began to understand the realities of segregation in Oklahoma City. Such a realization was heavy for a young person: “It made me mad because I couldn’t understand, because in my mind, I was as good as them. I couldn’t understand why they felt that way”.

Like many students of the time, Winard looked up to local educators like Clara Luper, and got involved in the NAACP from an early age. While he was part of a generation that ushered in desegregation and the integration of schools under Brown V. Board, he warns of present-day complacency. Brown brings attention to the patterns of intercity and suburban schools that effectively resegregate local communities and continuate issues of underfunding, suggesting that issues of the Civil Rights Movement still very much deserve our attention.

Winard Brown’s story provides much insight to the Civil Rights Movement and present issues. To view his whole interview visit: okla.st/49ng2Ln

02/04/2024

At 100 years old, native Oklahoman Lessie Benningfeild Randle recalled living through the Tulsa Race Riots as a young girl. Randle was only 7 years old In 1921 , but recalls vivid memories of looted buildings burning as she was rushed out of her home in the formerly-thriving Greenwood neighborhood known as America's Black Wall Street. Forced to spend the night outside, she remembered the sight of local men's dead bodies at the fairgrounds.

Still disturbed by the memories Randle described the scene, “...They killed those men and stacked them on a truck like you would sardines, and took them down to the river and threw them in the deepest part…I never want to see that again.”

While her memories of that day are clear, Lessie is still searching to find meaning in the senseless violence of the race riots, even a century later. To listen to her full story visit: okla.st/42l8IOb

02/02/2024

For most, middle school is overshadowed by algebra and friendship drama, but for Oklahoman Joyce Henderson, it was a time of activism. Native to Spencer, Oklahoma, Henderson was influenced by leaders and teachers such as Clara Luper and Nancy Randolph Davis. Under the guidance of Luper she became involved in NAACP Youth Council in the seventh grade.

Henderson and her classmates were part of the picket lines and sit-ins that pushed Oklahoma City towards desegregation, in a time where the city resented the new changes brought on by the civil rights movement and young advocates like Henderson. But her involvement expanded beyond OKC when she traveled to Washington, D.C., in 1963 with her classmates to hear M.L.K. Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream Speech”. She said of the trip, “...I was so amazed at the thousands, not hundreds, thousands of people who assembled there for the same reasons: equality for all, regardless of your race, s*x, or color”.

Henderson would go on to pursue a career in education just like the teachers who inspired her. To hear her whole story visit: okla.st/42jJ8sK

02/01/2024

"We Are the Roots: Film Screening & Discussion" brings together film and oral histories to explore the past and present lives of Black peoples in this region. Join this free screening and post-film discussion, led by Dr. Kalenda Eaton, relating the film’s cultural examination to Oklahoma historic context from the work of the Oklahoma Black homesteader Project. As a supporting partner for the Oklahoma Black Homesteader Project, the OOHRP encourages you to check out this event and learn more about these stories. okla.st/49bNJzy

01/31/2024

Valree Fletcher Wynn held education in the highest regard, but as a black woman in a segregated Oklahoma, such opportunities were not as straightforward as it was for most. When Wynn’s elementary school burned to the ground under mysterious circumstances, her parents, always invested in her education, moved the desks to a bush arbor where she and twenty-five other African American students attended school in Sentinel, Oklahoma.

Steadfast and determined, Wynn continued her education, graduating from Douglass High School in Lawton, Oklahoma. She then earned her undergraduate degree from Langston University in 1943, and a master's and doctorate in English from OSU in 1956 and ‘76 — the first black alumna to accomplish this. Wynn proceeded to cultivate a very successful career in academia, teaching for a year at Lawton High, and nineteen at Cameron University. Eventually, her achievements were recognized at her 1996 induction into the Oklahoma Women's Hall of Fame.

Wynn succeeded in a world that gave her ample reason not to. She noted that, “...being able to stick it out, being able to compete in the white-dominated world,” was one of her main achievements. However, Valree’s story is so much more than her adversity. To learn more about her life visit: okla.st/48SbXzb

01/24/2024

Karen Robbins has been an OSU fan for as long as she can remember. Her father, a former president of the Alumni Association and winner of the Alumnus of the Year award, strongly encouraged all of his kids to attend the university. She only spent two years at OSU before transferring to the University of Tulsa for its nursing program.

Robbins lived in Kerr-Drummond her freshman year and moved into the Alpha Chi Omega sorority house when she was a sophomore. She loved both experiences and attended as many on-campus events as she could. Football and basketball games were always a highlight as her entire family would come to Stillwater to watch the cowboys play.

As an alumnae, Robbins has had season tickets for over 25 years, and she makes the two hour drive to watch games whenever she can. Both of her children attended OSU, and she is trying to convince her grandchildren to do the same. Her family still walk around campus together whenever they’re in Stillwater where she takes her grandkids to play with the ducks.

Watch Robbins’s full interview to hear more about her time at OSU! youtu.be/mtwlMlz9dEY

01/18/2024

Patsi Smith spent much of her childhood living with her aunts in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, while her father was serving in World War II. She could often be seen riding around town on her little Shetland pony playing with the other kids in the area. Her family was proud of their Cherokee heritage and Smith often visited the Cherokee Female Seminary with her aunts.

She decided to attend OSU in 1958 and initially majored in business education, but she graduated with a degree in animal science. For much of her time in college, Smith was the only female undergraduate in the animal science department and enjoyed being able to wear jeans during labs. Her love of horses led to her become involved in the Block and Bridle Club and attended rodeos in her free time.

After graduating, Smith began working in the animal science department at Texas Tech University where she handled the finances for all of the barns and animal feed. She later moved back to Tahlequah with her now ex-husband, and they opened a veterinary practice where she primarily helped with horses and cattle. Smith currently helps run the Nix Foundation, which supports students at Northeastern State University and at OSU.

Watch her full interview to hear more about her work in agriculture! youtu.be/fPH1hrx1LmU

Dewey and Inez Muirhead: Married for Life 01/18/2024

Alongside over six million viewers on Tiktok, you may have seen the heartwarming introduction of 101-year-old Dewey Muirhead to his newborn great-great granddaughter Millie. We had the pleasure of interviewing Dewey and his wife Inez in 2018 for our Oklahoma Married For Life Oral History Project, where the pair discussed WWII, their wedding day and their thoughts on having a long-lasting marriage. Visit the link below to hear their stories!

Dewey and Inez Muirhead: Married for Life Dewey and Inez Muirhead, married in 1942, discuss their many years of marriage. They talk about their courtship, wedding day, Dewey’s deployment in World War...

01/12/2024

A lifelong Okie, Peggy Carpenter McBeath was raised in Claremore where she was heavily involved in the pom squad and Rainbow Girls at her high school. She also loved her math classes and even helped teach some classes at the local middle school when teachers were absent. The decision to enroll at OSU was an easy one, since she spent nearly every summer on campus with the Rainbow Girls and fell in love with the atmosphere.

She majored in math education and spent much of her free time participating in intramural sports, with flag football being her favorite, and watching wrestling. One of her favorite memories was graduation day when Richard Nixon delivered the commencement speech, though she can’t remember most of what he said. After she graduated, McBeath worked on campus full time for a decade and later moved to McAlester, Oklahoma with her husband.

In 1993, she began teaching math at the local junior high school, and she created a curriculum that made learning fun for her students. The changing conditions in public education led her to begin working at Eastern Oklahoma State College where she teaches college algebra. In her free time, McBeath enjoys spending time with her daughter and their Bunko group.

Watch her full interview to hear more about her career in education! youtu.be/_JiCggqwzSc

01/10/2024

Tommy Kramer has been interested in the meat industry since he was a little boy working in his family’s grocery store. Raised on a cattle and horse ranch in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he always knew he would work in agriculture in some capacity. He attended college at Oklahoma Panhandle State University where he managed the swine operation and feed mill that provided almost all of the meat for the school.

Kramer chose to get his master’s degree from OSU in meat science, where his professors recognized his drive and encouraged him to continue growing. He was offered a position at Eastern Oklahoma State College to convert an old dairy barn into a USDA-inspected facility. The students on his team finished with more experience and expertise than their peers and were often the first choice for top meat companies.

Kramer worked a few high level jobs in the private sector before becoming the first-ever rural economic developer of Durant, Oklahoma. He helped bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in businesses and several thousand new jobs for the rural community. One of his biggest achievements is being listed as one of the top 10 best economic development organizations in the entire country.

Watch Kramer’s full interview to hear more about work in agriculture! youtu.be/YHaoxpItAfs

01/09/2024

Cora McKown was raised on a ranch in Atoka, Oklahoma, that her father, a professional gambler, bought in 1919. After he passed away, her mother remarried a man who took care of rental properties, and McKown discovered her love for interior design when she helped him with his projects. She decided to attend Southeastern Oklahoma State University where she met her husband and graduated in three years.

The couple later moved to Tahlequah so her husband could work on his master’s degree, and McKown enrolled in the interior design graduate program at OSU. After she finished her degree, they once again moved to Fayetteville where she taught introductory clothing and textile courses at the University of Arkansas, while her husband worked on his Ph.D. She was able to earn her own doctorate degree and established the interior design major at Arkansas.

McKown also worked on a federal research program about conditions of low-incoming housing in southern states that she presented to the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington D.C. She decided to leave education and opened her own interior design store and art gallery where she helped design ski condos and a hospital emergency room. In her retirement, McKown spends her summers in New Mexico and her winters in her hometown Oklahoma.

Watch her full interview to hear more about everything she’s accomplished as an interior designer! youtu.be/PK2LuEmJvVs

01/05/2024

Wayne Krehbiel spent most of his childhood helping on his family’s farm, which is now designated as an Oklahoma Centennial Farm by Oklahoma Historical Society. He was involved with 4-H and showed sheep and hogs with the FFA each year at the state fair. The decision to attend OSU was an easy one with his agriculture background, and he majored in animal science.

Krehbiel lived and worked in a hog barn for two years to pay for his education before he was offered a position as a janitor in the newly opened Edmon Low Library. He spent most of his free time studying and working, but he met his future wife and the couple married after his junior year. After graduation, he served for two years in the Army at Fort Sill.

Krehbiel moved back to his hometown once he finished his military service, and he had the opportunity to purchase his family’s farm. He currently raises wheat and livestock and manages a seed operation and irrigation business. Krehbiel was recognized as a Graduate with Distinction from the Oklahoma State Ferguson College of Agriculture and was inducted into the Oklahoma Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2011.

Watch his full interview to hear more about his work on his family’s farm! youtu.be/EJqKsK0UcWo

01/03/2024

Linda Wade was raised in the small town of Wakita, Oklahoma, where she and her three sisters helped manage the family’s 100-year-old farm. She became interested in the medical field after receiving a microscope for Christmas and decided to attend OSU to major in biological sciences. Wade spent much of her free time studying for her classes, but she enjoyed hanging out with friends at Hideaway Pizza whenever she could.

She stayed in Willard Hall all four years and has fond memories of watching the Homecoming Parade each year even though she never participated. After graduating, Wade began working as a medical technologist at the University Hospital in Oklahoma City before getting married and traveling to Europe for a few years. The couple later moved back to her hometown where she worked at the local hospital while her husband farmed.

One of her favorite memories from living in Wakita is when the Twister movie was filmed there in the 1990s. The cast and crew were more than accommodating to the locals, and it helped revitalize the town’s economy. In her retirement, Wade manages the Twister The Movie Museum and has seen visitors from all over the world.

Watch her full interview to hear more about her time at OSU! youtu.be/L-tLmjCx84M

01/02/2024

Michael Johnson had a strong sense of business from a young age, running his own firework stand and helping his grandfather sell honey when he was teenager. Originally from a farming community, he decided to enroll at OSU after high school because of its ties to agriculture. Johnson, however, was never interested in farm work and instead decided to major in accounting.

During his time at OSU, he became the president of the Men’s Residence Hall Association where he organized a queen’s contest for the women who lived in the dorms. Johnson met his wife Judy, who was a contestant, which he considers to be the highlight of his college experience. The two married after his senior year before he enlisted in the National Guard and had to report for basic training.

Once he finished, the couple supported each other through multiple business ventures, including their own CPA, treasurer for the city of Edmond, a stint in the Oklahoma State Senate and a car dealership. The Johnsons have supported multiple endowments and scholarships to help OSU students and professors. They were both inducted into the Spears School of Business in 2018 because of their loyalty to the university and each other.

Listen to Johnson’s full interview to hear more about the various businesses he’s helped run! bit.ly/4875T4Q

12/20/2023

Jenny Cypert, a third-generation OSU graduate, bleeds orange more than anyone she knows. Both of her grandparents worked at the university, and she has fond memories of running to the Student Union candy store when she was a little girl. There was no question about where she and her sister would attend college, and she decided to major in business.

Cypert lived and worked as a desk clerk and resident advisor in Wentz Hall for three years, where she met many great friends. Her favorite part of being an RA was helping new students feel less lonely during their first few weeks on campus. She had the opportunity to walk in the Homecoming Parade and helped decorate the Wentz Hall float.

She remembers graduation day as the “prettiest day God’s ever created” as she spent time with her friends and family in perfect weather. Cypert started working two days after graduating as a marketing advisor for a bank in her hometown of Ada, Oklahoma. Her own children are now attending OSU, and she loves returning to Stillwater to watch football games with them.

Watch her full interview to hear more about how OSU has shaped her life! youtu.be/g12dCpTais0

Photos from Oklahoma Oral History Research Program's post 12/19/2023

Our own Sarah Milligan recently joined a group of OSU faculty on a visit to Kameoka, Japan. While there, she conducted oral history interviews with individuals who have participated in the long-standing exchange relationship between Stillwater and Kameoka. In the almost 40-year-old Sister-City relationship, there have been numerous efforts to connect the two cities, including a sister school exchange between Stillwater Middle School and Kameoka Junior High schools, an OSU branch campus open between 1990-1996, gardening and landscape design and various other professional, educational and cultural exchanges over the years. In addition to the interviews recorded by Milligan for the oral history project on the Stillwater/Kameoka Sister-City history, OSU faculty made classroom observations in three elementary schools as a part of a U.S. Embassy in Tokyo funded grant to support the Content, Language, Instruction Confluence program for Japanese Teachers (CLIC) that began in Stillwater in August 2023 and visited with Kameoka city and education officials.

12/18/2023

For Bill Kosanke, OSU was the only option after his dad invited the university's president to speak in their small town of Lone Wolf, Oklahoma. Raised in a farming community, he knew he would do something in agriculture and decided to major in agricultural economics. It took some time for him to adjust from small-town living to campus life, but he settled into a routine and made lifelong friends.

As a member of the ROTC, Kosanke marched in the Homecoming Parade each year and helped decorate one of the first-place floats. Some of his favorite memories were watching football and basketball games — the best moment was storming the court after OSU beat Kansas in basketball during his senior year. After graduating, he joined the Air Force and served for three years in Blaine, Washington, before working as a farm loan officer.

Kosanke knew that his heart belonged in Oklahoma, so he moved back home and decided on work on his family’s farm. He spent over 40 years raising sheep and cattle before retiring, but he still cultivates wheat in his free time. Kosanke tries to make it back to Stillwater once a year and loves contributing to scholarship funds for students.

Watch his full interview to year more about his years at OSU! youtu.be/HN-xmJTY0vw

12/15/2023

What would you do for a dime? Nowadays, probably not much. In a world of credit cards and tap to pay, dimes aren't used that much anymore. They also don’t go very far in a time where prices and spending have skyrocketed. In 2022, the National Retail Federation estimated that Americans spent $936.3 billion on Christmas shopping alone. You'd need quite a few dimes to reach that amount.

In the early-to-mid-20th century, however, the ten-cent coin was both more prevalent and more meaningful. Besides the fact that you could get a lot more with a dime, the coins also carry cultural significance in the memories of some of our interviewees.

In this month's episode of Amplified Oklahoma, we’re exploring stories from our collections about dimes, from what they were spent on, to what memories people associate with them. We’ll also hear from Curator of Education at the Oklahoma State University Museum of Art Daedelus Hoffman about the importance of coins in object-based learning.

Listen to Amplified Oklahoma now! bit.ly/3NelcAY

12/13/2023

Danetta Daniels was born on an Osage reservation and spent her childhood playing traditional hand games and participating in ceremonial dances. Her grandparents played a crucial role in raising her and passing on Osage traditions she still follows to this day. Daniels knew from a young age she wanted to attend college, and chose OSU because it was close to her family.

She decided to study family relations and child development and wanted to become a counselor, after seeing alcoholism impacted her community. Daniels enjoyed her time at OSU and loved spending time at the Student Union and watching football games. She was heavily involved in the Native American Student Association, and the highlight of her college experience was participating in powwows.

After graduating, Daniels began working for Edmond Family Services and became the director of a prevention program that helped the children of alcoholics. She eventually returned home to work for the Osage Language program and helped preserve the language. Daniels currently owns Cedar Chest, a Osage-based gift and clothing store.

Watch her full interview to hear more about her Osage heritage! youtu.be/cBeVvudwA2w

12/12/2023

Jim Lowe has had orange blood in his veins since he was a little boy listening to OSU football and basketball games with his OAMC-graduate dad. Even though he wasn’t pressured into becoming a Cowboy, he instantly fell in love with campus and enrolled after high school. A few of his friends also decided to attend OSU, and they all rushed the Kappa Sigma fraternity together.

Most of Lowe’s favorite memories happened on campus. Homecoming was always a highlight, and he remembers spending hours decorating his float for the parade. One year, he helped build a functioning engine for a small car that had multiple moving parts. Lowe also attended all of the athletic events he could and will never forget when OSU beat Kansas and Wilt Chamberlain in basketball.

After graduating, Lowe began working as a salesman and got to travel all across the country. He and his wife eventually settled down in Shawnee, Oklahoma, to raise their daughters, all of whom attended OSU. Even in retirement, Lowe is involved in the OSU community and hosts a dinner for alumni every year.

Watch his full interview to hear more about his time at OSU! youtu.be/ca2twXWfzWg

12/08/2023

When Sandra Bradley decided to enroll at OSU, she had no idea she would discover a community that encouraged her to dedicate her life to God. The Baptist Collegiate Ministry proved to be a lifeline, and she loved going to weekly Bible studies where she met many close friends. Bradley earned her bachelor’s degree in special education and felt called to attend Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary to study religious education.

In 2000, she became involved with the International Mission Board and went on a mission to Johannesburg, South Africa. Despite the culture shock, Bradley loved her time in Africa and felt fulfilled by teaching young people about God. She thought she would spend her entire life on missions, but she was called to teach English as a second language when she returned to the United States.

Bradley worked for the Language Company at Oklahoma Baptist University for nearly a decade before moving back to her hometown, when her husband was called to be a minister. The local community has proven to be invaluable, and she loves spending her free time in fellowship with her friends. She credits OSU for setting her on this path and for helping her discover herself.

Watch Bradley’s full interview to hear more about how her faith has influenced her life! youtu.be/Pygj0OuO1lk

12/06/2023

Determined to break out of her small town of Quinton, Oklahoma, Trish McBeath enrolled at OSU as one of three kids from her high school to attend a four-year university. A few people in her community tried discouraging her from moving to Stillwater, but she knew she was capable of making it and didn’t shy away from the new experience. McBeath instantly fell in love with the OSU community and school-spirited atmosphere that impacted nearly every aspect of the college.

She became a reporter with the O'Colly after one of her professors realized she was a talented writer. Looking back, McBeath can’t believe the hours she worked between homework and reporting, but she wouldn’t have traded it for the world. One of her favorite OSU memories is meeting and spending time with her future husband in downtown Stillwater.

After graduating, the couple moved around for a few years before settling back in McBeath’s hometown to raise their children. She always wants her kids to make decisions that make them the happiest, but she’s also hoping they both choose to go to OSU for college. Even though the campus has changed since her time as a student, McBeath loves Stillwater and tries to visit at least once a year.

Watch her full interview to hear more about her time at OSU! youtu.be/791yP6NXyBI

C. Blue Clark: Remembering Angie Debo 12/05/2023

OOHRP is saddened to hear about the passing of C. Blue Clark. A member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Clark dedicated most of his life to learning about and teaching Native American studies. He was close friends with Angie Debo and spoke with us a few years ago about her influence on his work and how she impacted his life.

C. Blue Clark: Remembering Angie Debo C. Blue Clark, longtime friend of the notable historian Angie Debo, looks back fondly on his memories of interacting with Debo. He discusses her activism in ...

12/04/2023

Born and raised in a small town, David Leatherwood spent most of his childhood outdoors on his family’s farm. He was heavily involved in his school’s FFA program, where he bought and showed animals whenever he could. After graduation, Leatherwood planned on moving to Alaska to work, but his mom strongly encouraged him to enroll at OSU.

Stillwater instantly felt like home, and found a brotherhood with his fellow fraternity brothers in FarmHouse. Leatherwood earned his degree in agricultural education and briefly moved to Arkansas afterward to teach, before returning to Porter, Oklahoma. He eventually ended up back in his hometown of Stilwell, where he taught horticulture and helped with the agriculture and FFA programs.

Leatherwood often worked long hours and wouldn’t get home until it was dark, but the connections he made with his students were worth it. He is most proud that many of them prioritize their families and work harder than anyone else he knows. Even though he settled down in Stilwell, Stillwater will always be one of his favorite places to visit.

Watch Leatherwood’s full interview to hear more about his time at OSU! youtu.be/F4mnJfe7HIs

Cowboys in Every County 12/01/2023

As we go into the holiday season, we want to highlight one of our newest collection Cowboys in Every County! Over the course of nine months, we conducted 85 interviews with OSU alumni from all 77 Oklahoma counties. Though we may have our differences, our love for Oklahoma and pride in the Cowboys connects us all. Check out the collection now! okla.st/47W7gTR

Cowboys in Every County Oklahoma State University has graduated more than 250,000 students who now serve a myriad of industries and represent every walk of life. In conjunction with the 125th anniversary of OSU's founding in 2015, the OOHRP decided to check-in on Oklahoma's OSU grads and learn more about their experience ...

11/30/2023

A self-described Army brat, Jennifer Latham spent most of her childhood moving to and from several U.S. cities because of her father’s job. She was an avid reader, often finishing books in only one day and decided she wanted to be a writer after reading novels from Katherine Paterson. Despite her dream of authorship, Latham studied human evolution and economics in college.

Latham met her husband shortly before graduating and moved to Rhode Island, where she nearly finished her master’s degree in clinical psychology. The couple found out they had to move to Tulsa, Oklahoma, for work and, despite the culture shock, Latham grew to love the state. Once they had settled, Latham knew she had to decide on a career, so she gave herself one year to write a novel or she would return to college.

Her first few books were never published, but she wrote a young adult novel called “Scarlett Undercover” that was released in 2015. She decided to make the protagonist a young Muslim girl because many of her daughter’s classmates are Muslim, and she wanted to show they are friends despite their differences. Latham’s best advice for young writers is to look for stories in everything, even if it’s as simple as scrolling through Instagram.

Watch her full interview to hear more about how she became an author! youtu.be/JCCioL4MH4c

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Our Story

In written versions of history, the contributions and perspectives of many individuals and groups are left undocumented, and details and nuances are often excluded from the record. The methodology of oral history allows researchers to fill some of the gaps by interviewing individuals about their firsthand experiences and then making that material available to researchers and the general public. By educating students, faculty and community members in the methods and ethical standards of oral history, the OOHRP promotes the collection, preservation and analysis of interview-based research.

The program is also an arm of Oklahoma State University’s Center for Oklahoma Studies and has a number of ongoing projects pertaining to the state’s history.

Videos (show all)

Amplified Oklahoma - African American Heritage in Muskogee Excerpt
Ralph Mackey Speaks on WWII Army Air Corps - OOHRP Excerpt
Edwin Glover Speaks on His OSU ROTC Experience - OOHRP Excerpt
Russell Conway Speaks on Working in France Amidst WWII - OOHRP Excerpt
Loraine Harris Speaks on Inspecting Planes in WWII - OOHRP Excerpt
George Richardson Speaks on Racial Discrimination in WWII - OOHRP Excerpt
Albert Rummel Speaks on Travels and Promotions During WWII - OOHRP Excerpt
Recounting Conditions of the Dust Bowl - Florence Wall OOHRP Interview Excerpt
Recalling Black Sunday - Margaret Larason OOHRP Interview Excerpt
Aurice Huguley - OOHRP Interview Excerpt
Lola Lehman - OOHRP Interview Excerpt
Bill Burkett Speaks on Henry Bellmon - OOHRP Interview Excerpt

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