Located just north of Bricktown, the Deep Deuce District was the heart of Oklahoma City's African American community in the 1920s and '30s. During that period, the district became nationally known for its exceptional jazz music scene. Music legends Jimmy Rushing and Charlie Christian both made names for themselves in Deep Deuce.
Rushing, a talented singer and pianist, was a member of the Oklahoma City Blue Devils, which was the premier territory jazz band in the 1920s, but the gig that earned him national recognition was his tenure as a featured vocalist in Count Basie's orchestra from 1935 to 1948. Charlie Christian's influence extended far beyond jazz and swing. The OKC local was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 for his early influence of and contributions to the genre. When exploring Deep Deuce, take a short walk over to Bricktown to see Charlie Christian Avenue, dedicated to the musician in 2006.
Creativity continued to pour out of the district, but this time through the written word. Ralph Ellison, the author of Invisible Man, was born in Oklahoma City in 1914 and called Deep Deuce home until he moved to Alabama in 1933. Growing up in the district, Ellison dabbled in the thriving musical scene before being drawn to the literary world.