Once known as "Deep Second," the Deep Deuce area of Oklahoma City is small but carries tremendous historical significance as a metro center for jazz music and African-American culture and commerce. In the 1940's, it was one of the largest African-American neighborhoods in OKC, home to legendary jazz musicians such as Charlie Christian and Jimmy Rushing. Ralph Waldo Ellison, born in Oklahoma City in 1914, wrote of the Deep Deuce in his book Trading Twelves.
Today, much of that vibrant past is gone. But with the rebirth of downtown, the urban neighborhood is once again being developed and includes low-rise apartments, restaurants and the Untitled [ArtSpace] gallery.
The history of the Deep Deuce is rich and complex, filled with both the unfortunate racial tensions of early Oklahoma City and the glory of African-American music and culture. The influence of Deep Deuce artists on jazz music was profound, and the area's historic effect on our city is considerable.
The truth is that I can scarcely do justice to the history of Deep Deuce here. And because Oklahoma City blogger and historian Doug Loudenback has already done it far better than I ever could, I'll defer to his outstanding treatment. Doug has a three part article on Deep Deuce, chronicling its history and its notable people. I highly recommend it.
Location & Directions:
Deep Deuce is located in downtown Oklahoma City, just north of Bricktown. The area is essentially framed by I-235 on the east, NE 4th to the north and railroad tracks to both the west and south. I-235, easily accessible from a number of OKC highways, has an exit at NE 4th.
To See & Do:
Nearby Hotels & Lodging:
Looking to stay near the Deep Deuce area? Here are some hotel options: