BlackSpace Oklahoma

We localize the 14 principles of the Manifesto to build Black power and Black joy in Oklahoma.

Our Story

Oklahoma joined the BlackSpace family in 2018. Local urbanist organizers felt the need to gather and push forward projects that affected Black Oklahomans and found resonance with the BlackSpace organizing ethos and projects that centered Black culture. Black presence in Oklahoma has long been exceptional. It was home to over 20 All-Black towns, 13 of which still exist. These towns provided a haven free of racial injustice for Black residents to establish and support Black businesses, attain education, and farm. Today, our initiatives range from helping to save Black landmarks to pop-up movies in the Deep Deuce District.

Oklahoma Jewel Theatre

Built in 1931, the Jewel Theatre is still Oklahoma City’s only historical, black-owned theater. At its prime, it was a safe space for patrons to enjoy entertainment while not policed by Jim Crow laws. Today, BlackSpace Oklahoma is partnering with the Jewel Theatre on its restoration.

Learn More

Meet the Organizers

Learn more about the folks who make BlackSpace Oklahoma possible.

  • Vanessa Morrison

    Board, Project Partner & Cousin
    Vanessa (she/her) is a social impact urban planner and educator. Through her practice she works to strengthen the connection between the built environment, culture, lived-experience and identity. Vanessa is the co-founder and CEO of Open Design Collective where she collaborates with community members on city planning, cultural preservation, and design initiatives that advance equity in Black and marginalized neighborhoods. Additionally, Vanessa serves as the Interim Director of the University of Oklahoma’s College of Architecture Institute for Quality Communities and is the co-founder of BlackSpace Oklahoma.

Interested in joining BlackSpace Oklahoma?

If you’re a Black urbanist, find out how you can be part of our community.

Email us for more info on our history, projects, and partnerships: