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  • Ohio

    Joined the United States as the seventeenth state in 1803.. During the protests of the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War era, Ohio was the scene of many sit-ins and protests. In 1970, one of the most tragic events of the period occurred when National Guard troops opened fire on protesters at Kent State University and four students were killed.
  • Oklahoma

    Oklahoma became the 46th state in 1907. African Americans came to the Oklahoma territories as cowboys and farmers, by the time statehood was granted, they outnumbered Native Americans and first- and second-generation Europeans in the territory. There were more all-black towns in Oklahoma than in the rest of the country put together.
  • Opera

    A musical genre featuring vocalists and an orchestra, an opera dramatizes a story or a libretto. As a drama set to music, it often uses themes from history or mythology. As a lyric form, often replete with lavish costumes and elaborate scenery, it consists of choruses, arias, duets and spoken recitation.
  • Operation Breadbasket

    An organization dedicated to improving economic conditions in the black community, Operation Breadbasket distributed food and nourishment in underserved communities in 12 American cities. The Reverend Willie Barrow, along with the Reverend Jesse Jackson, founded the organization in 1962, and Jackson became national chairman of the organization in 1967. Jackson would later develop Operation PUSH based on the model of Breadbasket.
  • Operation PUSH

    In an effort to strengthen economic security for African Americans, social activist Jesse Jackson founded Operation People United to Save Humanity (PUSH). The organization employed consumer boycotts and other strategies popularized during the Civil Rights Movement to press for minority employment and encourage the patronage of black-owned businesses. Operation PUSH has since expanded its focus to include issues important in the African American community, including education, AIDS and violence.
  • Owens, Jesse

    Born James Cleveland Owens in 1913, Jesse Owens would go on to become one of the greatest stars of track and field the world has ever seen. In 1935, he set three world records and tied a fourth, and the following year, he became the first person in Olympic history to win four gold medals in track and field. Despite these phenomenal achievements, due to the color of his skin he was often subjected to racism, and he was not offered endorsement deals, leaving him to race against people, animals and sometimes motorcycles to make money. Later, he became a well repsected public speaker and formed his own public relations firm. He passed away in 1980. Following his death, his widow Ruth and daughter Marlene Owens Rankin formed the Jesse Owens Foundation, and daughter Gloria Owens Hemphill is involved as well.