By Eagle Newswire
OKPOP, a project of the Oklahoma Historical Society, is planning a special event to mark Juneteenth on Monday, June 17, from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Rudisill Regional Library, located at 1520 N. Hartford Ave. in Tulsa.
The event will include an interview with award-winning journalist Carmen Fields by former Senator Judy Eason McIntyre, followed by a question-and-answer portion with the audience.
The program will focus on Fields’s experience growing up in segregated Tulsa and her prominent journalism career, including the PBS documentary she wrote and produced, “Goin’ Back to T-Town,” about race relations in the city.
“What an honor to be a part of recognizing the rich heritage of North Tulsa, and to share some of my varied professional experiences! This community has helped launch me, my brother and so many others. It will be a joy to be back home,” stated Fields.
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and the event is free and open to the public, but donations will be accepted to support the Shirley Ballard Nero Endowment Fund.
Fields, who resides in Massachusetts, is an alumna of Tulsa’s Booker T. Washington High School and earned her Bachelor of Arts (BA) in journalism from Lincoln University. She went on to receive a Master of Science (MS) in broadcast journalism from at Boston University and received the Nieman Fellowship for Journalists from Harvard University, the only American broadcaster of the 25 American and foreign fellows.
Fields’ interest in journalism was sparked by English teacher Juanita Lewis Hopkins, who submitted her stories to The Oklahoma Eagle. Later, columnist Jeanne O. Goodwin, known professionally as “Ann Brown” invited Fields to be a guest columnist before she began her journalism studies at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo.
She was part of the Boston Globe team that won a Pulitzer Prize in Public Service for coverage of Boston’s school desegregation efforts. Fields has been nominated for six regional Emmy awards and has won two. Additionally, she received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Salem State University in Massachusetts.
She is currently both producer and host of a monthly public affairs program on Boston’s Channel 7 called “Higher Ground” in addition to running her own media and public relations consulting firm. Fields is the daughter of famous big band leader Ernie Fields, Sr. and Bernice (Copeland) Fields, who was a Tulsa elementary school teacher, and the sister of musician Ernie Fields, Jr.
Juneteenth is the Texas and Oklahoma regional celebration of the emancipation from slavery following the US Civil War. US General Gordon Granger proclaimed the end of slavery in Texas at Galveston on June 19, 1865. This news and celebration spread to Indian Territory slaves that summer.
For more information about the Oklahoma HOKPOP, please visit www.okhistory.org.
The Shirley Ballard Nero Endowment provides funds to conduct research, programming, exhibitions and events related to the historic All-Black towns of Oklahoma. You can donate to this fund at the Oklahoma History Center or by contacting Angela Spindle at 405-522-0317 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared in the Oklahoma Eagle.