Deep Deuce

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Deep Deuce Grill

Deep Deuce historic neighborhood is a district in Downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It consists mostly of low-rise apartment buildings (built primarily in the 2000s) and formerly vacant mixed-use buildings and shops.[1]

Located a few blocks north of Bricktown and centered on NE 2nd Street, Deep Deuce was a regional center of jazz music and black culture and commerce during the 1920s and 1930s and the largest African-American downtown neighborhood in Oklahoma City in the 1940s and 1950s. A few notable jazz musicians that contributed to the rich jazz history of Deep Deuce includes singer Jimmy Rushing,[2] swing and jazz guitarist Charlie Christian,[3] the famous Blue Devils,[4] and many others.

After the civil rights movement of the 1960s, much of the city's African-American community dispersed to other areas within Oklahoma City.[5] Much of the neighborhood was bulldozed to make way for I-235 in the 1980s, but the current downtown boom and renaissance has made the area attractive to developers once again.[1] As a result, little of the neighborhood's original character remains today. As of March 2014, The Oklahoman reported that the area had only one remaining African-American owned business.[6]

African-American writer Ralph Ellison, author of Invisible Man, wrote a poem in tribute to the Deep Deuce (incidentally, he held a great passion for it as it housed his first job) in 1953. The poem is entitled "Deep Second" and can be found in the posthumous book Trading Twelves.


  1. ^ a b "Urban Renewal OKs 'Deep Deuce' Deal". The Daily Oklahoman. 6/29/1999. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ "Blues Stamp Has Historians Seeing Red". The Daily Oklahoman. 9/19/1994. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ "City to Honor Charlie Christian, Native Guitar Great". The Daily Oklahoman.
  4. ^ "Lawyers Want to Revive The Deep Deuce". The Daily Oklahoman. 2/25/1991. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  5. ^ Dozier, Ray, "New life for Deep Deuce," The Journal Record, December 29, 2000.
  6. ^ Steve Lackmeyer, "Amidst Deep Deuce revival, fears of a lost history emerge", The Oklahoman, March 3, 2014.

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