World Literature Today’s Merleyn Bell launches show about race on KGOU

A new, limited-run show focusing on one of our nation’s most uncomfortable topics – race – is now showing on KGOU. “Race Matters,” a 30-minute show presented by World Literature Today at the University of Oklahoma in conjunction with KGOU Radio, airs at 11:30 a.m. central time.

Merleyn Bell, World Literature Today’s Art Director and host of the show, described “Race Matters” as “the kind of exploration of race and related topics that we see in thought-provoking journalism and literature.”

“It’s our hope that these programs aid in increasing awareness, understanding and appreciation for the diversity that comprises the human race,” said Jim Johnson, Program Manager at KGOU.

George Henderson, professor emeritus of human relations, education, and sociology at OU, was featured in the inaugural show. When Henderson joined the OU faculty in 1967, he became only the third African-American faculty member on the OU Norman campus. He achieved several firsts during his OU tenure, including selection as the first African-American dean of a degree-granting college on the Norman campus when he was chosen to head the College of Liberal Studies; he also was the first black professor in the state to occupy an endowed chair. A civil rights scholar and lecturer, he has spoken at workshops on cultural diversity throughout the United States and internationally.

Bell has served as Art Director of OU’s award-winning literary magazine, World Literature Today, since 2005. She is a Norman native and graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree.

In addition to her work at World Literature Today, Bell serves a number of clients in the nonprofit sector and publishing industry as a graphic designer and design consultant. She is a member of the Norman Racial Justice Alliance, an organization that promotes systems and strategies to ensure Norman residents of all races and ethnicities are equally recognized and valued and receive equitable access, opportunities, treatment, and outcomes.

Founded in 1927, World Literature Today is the University of Oklahoma’s bimonthly magazine of international literature and culture. The mission of World Literature Today is to serve the international, state and university communities by achieving excellence as a literary publication, a sponsor of literary prizes and a cultural center for students. Now in its ninth decade of continuous publication, World Literature Today has been recognized by the Nobel Prize committee as one of the “best edited and most informative literary publications” in the world and has been called “an excellent source of writings from around the globe by authors who write as if their lives depend on it” (Utne Reader, January 2005).

WLT is pleased to join with KGOU to produce this timely show. It is first rate,” added RC Davis-Undiano, WLT executive director.

About KGOU

KGOU Radio is a full-service public radio station, licensed to the University of Oklahoma. KGOU broadcasts at 106.3 FM in Norman and surrounding Cleveland County, at 105.7 FM (licensed as KROU) serving Oklahoma County, at 88.1 FM (KWOU) in Woodward, at 91.9 FM (KOUA) in Ada, at 105.1 FM (K286BZ) in Shawnee, at 103.1 FM (K276ET) in Seminole, at 97.9 FM (K250AU) in Ada, and at 106.9 FM (K295BL) in Chickasha. The station also offers live audio streaming and online content at As a public radio station, KGOU receives voluntary donations from listeners and businesses. KGOU is a division of OU Outreach.

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