John Browning, a former justice on the 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas and a partner in Spencer Fane, is part of the team of the Oklahoma Bar Journal to be recognized as one of eight recipients of this year’s American Bar Association Silver Gavel Awards for Media and the Arts.

The award, which recognizes outstanding work that fosters the public’s understanding of law and the legal system, has been presented annually by the ABA since 1958. Award categories include books, documentaries, drama and literature, newspapers, magazines, and radio and television. Winners are selected based on factors such as the work’s impact on the public; thoroughness and accuracy in presentation of issues; the work’s creativity, originality, and effectiveness in presenting information; and the educational value of the legal information or issues addressed.

Browning was honored for his role in writing much of the content for the Oklahoma Bar Journal’s May 2021 special issue devoted to black legal history in Oklahoma. The issue, released to mark the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, featured articles written by Browning about the Tulsa Race Massacre and about Oklahoma’s pioneering early black lawyers, as well as articles about milestone civil rights cases originating in the state. The Oklahoma Bar Journal won top honors in the Silver Gavel Award’s magazine category.

ABA President Reginald Turner will present the Silver Gavel Awards in a ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on July 12. To see a list of all the 2022 winners, go to