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Oklahoma Civil Rights and Racism

Hear and learn from the oral histories of Oklahomans who have continually fought against racism and advocated for the civil rights of minorities.

Learn From These Influential Oklahomans

Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher

Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher

Civil Rights Activist

In 1946 the University of Oklahoma College of law denied admission to Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher because she was African American. The OU law school was an all-white institution in …

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Barbara Santee

Barbara Santee

NARAL, Women’s Rights

For more than forty years Barbara Santee was a leading voice statewide on abortion rights and other issues affecting women. A Tulsa native and graduate of Union High School, she …

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Clifton Taulbert

Clifton Taulbert

Businessman & Author

Clifton Taulbert was born in 1945 in Glen Allan, Mississippi, a small town in the Mississippi Delta. He graduated valedictorian from O’Bannon High School in Greenville, Mississippi, in 1963. He …

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Dr. G. Calvin McCutchen

Dr. G. Calvin McCutchen

Mount Zion Baptist Church

During the civil rights era of the 1950s and ’60s, Dr. G. Calvin McCutchen established himself as a leader among black pastors, coordinating efforts locally in the push for desegregation. …

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George Henderson

George Henderson

University of Oklahoma

George Henderson, Ph.D., joined the University of Oklahoma faculty in 1967. He and his wife, Barbara Henderson, were the first African-American couple to purchase a home in Norman. In this …

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Gloria Dialectic

Gloria Dialectic

Gloria Dialectic – Social Worker

Through her work in several social agencies, Dr. Gloria Dialectic has made major contributions to the quality of life in Tulsa, Oklahoma. After earning her Ph.D. in English from Lehigh …

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Jeanne Eason Phillips

Jeanne Eason Phillips

Witness to the Civil Rights Era

Jeanne Eason Phillips was born August 26, 1924, in Etna, Oklahoma, but spent her early childhood years in Slick, Oklahoma, growing up with her seven brothers. While Jeanne was still …

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Joyce Henderson

Joyce Henderson

Educator and Civil Rights Activist

Joyce Henderson was an Oklahoma City high school student in the mid-1960s. She served as the song leader on Saturday mornings at Calvary Baptist Church when the city’s civil rights …

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LaDonna Harris

LaDonna Harris

Social Activist and Politician

“What is it like to live in a tent?” asked Robert F. Kennedy’s five-year-old daughter, Kerry, when she met Ladonna Harris for the first time in 1965. This exchange between …

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Loretta Young Jackson

Loretta Young Jackson

Community Leader

Verden, Oklahoma resident Allen Toles was an African American farmer who had become the owner of his land through the Homestead Act of 1862. He built Verden Separate School on …

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Marilyn Luper

Marilyn Luper

1958 Oklahoma City Sit-ins

In 1958, Clara Luper and her students from the Oklahoma City NAACP Youth Council were invited to New York City to perform the play she wrote, Brother President, about Martin …

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Marques Haynes

Marques Haynes

Harlem Globetrotter

Widely regarded as the world’s finest ball handler during his 50-plus-year career in basketball spent with the Harlem Globetrotters and the Magicians, Marques Haynes enjoyed international fame as both a …

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Maxine Horner

Maxine Horner

Former Oklahoma Senator

Maxine Horner was one of the first two African American women to serve in the Oklahoma Senate. While working for Congressman James R. Jones she became interested in politics, which …

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Norma Eagleton

Norma Eagleton

Public Official and Lawyer

Norma Eagleton is known for many accomplishments including first female Tulsa city commissioner and Oklahoma corporation commissioner. Norma was the first woman elected to a voting position on the Tulsa …

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Porter Reed

Porter Reed

Baseball Player, Negro League

Muskogee, Oklahoma was a major stop on the Negro League baseball barnstorming circuit. As a child, Porter Reed saw the Kansas City Monarchs, Chicago American Giants, Memphis Red Sox, and …

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Ray Feldman

Ray Feldman

Community Leader

The son of Latvian immigrants, Ray Feldman was born January 10, 1922, and grew up in Tulsa. After graduating high school and attending the University of Tulsa and University of …

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Rev. Dr. John B. Wolf

Rev. Dr. John B. Wolf

Unitarian Minister

Dr. John Burton Wolf was the senior minister of All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, OK, for thirty-five years, becoming the Minister Emeritus in 1995. He served churches in Racine, …

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Wess & Cathryn Young

Wess & Cathryn Young

Tulsa 1921 Race Massacre

Wessley Hubert “Wess” Young Sr., was a Tulsa Race Massacre survivor, World War II veteran and longtime Tulsa activist. Wess was four years old in 1921, when he, his mother …

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