How many of us really know every side to Oklahoma’s past and present?
In this companion to his previous volume, “An Oklahoma I Had Never Seen Before,” Davis D. Joyce presents fourteen essays that interpret Oklahoma’s unique populist past and address current political and social issues. Joyce invited scholars and political activists to speak their minds on subjects ranging from gender, race, and religion to popular music, the energy industry, and economics.
These decidedly contrarian Sooner voices reflect the progressive, libertarian, and even radical viewpoints that influenced the state’s creation. Contributors talk of growing up “Okie and radical,” of the legacy of Woody Guthrie in the Red Dirt music scene, and of the Sunbelt Alliance that helped to stop the building of the Black Fox nuclear power plant. They look back at Oklahoma City’s role in the early civil rights sit-in movement and at an Oklahoman’s experience with Vietnam Veterans Against the War. They consider religion outside the mainstream—and everyday women squarely within these unique expressions of faith.
In assembling these engaging essays about Oklahoma and its past, Joyce calls on the alternative approach to history championed by Howard Zinn and also invokes Oklahoman Paul Harvey in offering us “the rest of the story.”
Alternative Oklahoma urges an honest alternative exploration of the state’s diverse past. It’s an Oklahoma history that takes into account the overlooked and the left behind and contributes to a more open political dialogue in a state too often dismissed as unquestionably “red.”