Jazz, Civil Rights, and Black Culture

Deep Deuce is known for its historical importance as the center for black culture in Oklahoma City. It was home to warehouse district workers in nearby Bricktown after the 1889 Land Run and grew to become the hub for local blues and jazz musicians throughout the 1940s and ’50s. Oklahoma’s first black doctor and hotelier both owned property and did business in Deep Deuce. Writer Ralph Ellison worked here, and musicians Charlie Christian and Jimmy Rushing called the district home. The Calvary Baptist Church was built in 1921 and served as the social and religious center of Oklahoma City’s black population. It is also the site where Oklahoma students organized “sit-ins” at segregated lunch counters in 1957.

Visit these sites for additional Deep Deuce history