Culture & Diversity in OKC
Oklahoma City is a multicultural hub that fuses a range of traditions and flavors into our neighborhoods, festivals, music, cuisine and art. Whether you immerse yourself in one of OKC's thriving cultural districts, take in our inspired street art or enjoy a festival celebration unlike any other, there's no shortage of friendly faces inviting you to experience cultures that are steeped in tradition and rich with beauty.
Every destination has a story, and Oklahoma City's story began with several tribal Nations who have always inhabited this special place, long before it was “officially” a city. Only a few tribal Nations are indigenous to what is now the State of Oklahoma. All others were removed from homelands across the contiguous U.S. to Indian Territory. While there are 39 tribal Nations in Oklahoma today, none are headquartered in OKC, but many have lived and moved through here, influencing this place and our people from before statehood through present day. There are a variety of ways to experience First American cultures and heritage, and the resiliency that lives on in the Oklahoma City of today.
The largest Asian population in the state is in Oklahoma City which is home to the Asian District. This district consists of numerous Asian cultures within the various restaurants and shops. In the past, residents called this area "Little Saigon," before it was officially named the Asian District.
Located on North Classen Boulevard between 22nd and 33rd Street, the most identifiable influence of the Asian District is Vietnamese. Tens of thousands of Vietnamese settled in OKC during the 1970s following the fall of Saigon. This settlement revitalized a neighborhood that today enjoys vibrant festivals, plus an authentic and innovative food scene that rivals any found this side of the Pacific.
As the community has grown and developed, that neighborhood has become a melting pot of residents from around the world.
The Asian District is full of art displays, numerous restaurants of a wide variety, delis and supermarkets.
Deep Deuce is a highly historic neighborhood in OKC's downtown area. It's located a few blocks north of Bricktown on Northeast 2nd Street. It was known as the regional epicenter for jazz music, black culture and commerce during the 1920s and 1930s. It served as the largest African-American neighborhood in Oklahoma City in the 1940s and 1950s.
Following the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, a large majority of OKC's African-American population moved to different parts of the city. More specifically, further north, deeper into the northeast quadrant. About 15 years later, much of the neighborhood was bulldozed to make way for I-235, but the boom of Bricktown in the 1990s attracted developers to the area once again.
While there's still a couple of Black-owned establishments in the area now, most of Deep Deuce's original footprints have been erased. Today, it consists of low-rise apartment buildings, hotels and restaurants but one of the aspects of Deep Deuce that remains the same today is the music scene, which is robust.
The Capitol Hill District, which was established prior to Oklahoma Statehood, offers a glimpse back in time with historic buildings and classic facades from the early 1900s. Located on SW 25th St between Walker and Broadway Ave., the district is home to numerous restaurants, local shops and the award-winning outdoor festival, Fiestas de las Americas.
The district rapidly became an area for commerce that brought major department stores like John A. Brown and J.C. Penney, but rapidly declined once malls were introduced to the city. The decline would continue until Capital Main Street was established in 1997, where a foundation of economic development, promotion and design was implemented to restore the area.
The Capitol Hill area is now home to a large Hispanic population, as well as Hispanic commerce, culture and nightlife. The area now consists of restaurants, churches, bakeries, retail stores and more.