Kim Terry, Director of Marketing and Communications
Published: January 24, 2011
Every year in celebration of Black History Month in February, the Metropolitan Library System presents Rhythmically Speaking’s production of a new play focusing on the black experience in Oklahoma. This year’s work is “Absolutely Soulfully Oklahoma: BedPans, Blackball and Bank Robbery.”
“Not only is playwright DWe Williams a great storyteller,” said MLS Executive Director Donna Morris, “but she’s also a fine researcher and historian with the ability to make past places and people come alive.”
The play this year tells three stories that may well be new to most members of the audience. One is about the life of Negro League baseball player Wilbur “Bullet Joe” Rogan, considered by many experts to be perhaps the greatest player of all time. Satchell Paige said of him that he was the only person who could pitch and bat clean-up in the same game.
The play’s most powerful story is about the Okmulgee Colored Hospital, the first hospital in the U.S. dedicated solely to black patients.
Perhaps the most exciting of the stories,” Morris added, “is of Pretty Boy Floyd’s associate George Birdwell’s attempt to rob the bank in Boley, OK, on the first day of bird hunting season—when everyone in town was toting a loaded shotgun!”
Schedule of performances for “Absolutely Soulfully Oklahoma: BedPans, Blackball and Bank Robbery”:
Co-sponsored by Friends of the Metropolitan Library System, Oklahoma Arts Council, Arts Council of Oklahoma City, and the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information about this or any Metropolitan Library System program, visit the MLS website, www.metrolibrary.org.
The Metropolitan Library System of Oklahoma County includes 12 libraries and five extension libraries. Libraries include Belle Isle, Capitol Hill, Ralph Ellison, Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library and Southern Oaks in Oklahoma City, as well as Bethany, Choctaw, Del City, Edmond, Midwest City, Village and Warr Acres. Extensions are located in the communities of Harrah, Jones, Luther and Nicoma Park and include Wright Library in Oklahoma City. You can also reach us at www.metrolibrary.org.