60 years later: Reenactment held in honor of 1958 Katz Drug Store sit-in

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OKLAHOMA CITY - 60 years ago, Oklahoma City was the center of a movement.

"I think that, even though we were aware of certain things happening, but I think participating in the sit-ins gave us a lifetime commitment to the cause and to changing the world, and to making this a better place," said Barbara Posey Jones, who was just 15 during the sit-in.

It was the summer of 1958 when Clara Luper and a crowd of students staged a sit-in at Katz Drug Store.

"I think it`s a very important event because not only was Oklahoma City changed as a result of these experiences, but I think all of our lives were changed," said Jones.

On Saturday, a march downtown and a sit-in reenactment was held at Kaiser's. Even Luper's own daughter was there.

"We`re not as young as we used to be. But we`re going to keep on struggling. We`re gonna keep on struggling," said Marilyn Luper Hildreth.

But as integral as the Katz Sit-in was for Black Equality, it was just the beginning. More sit-ins followed all over.

Gwendolyn Fuller was only 13.

"We knew that we didn`t want the next generation to be faced with the same obstacles that we were faced with," said Fuller. "And, so we decided that we would make a difference. We were young, we were inexperienced, some might call us silly and stupid, but we were determined we were going to make a difference in this world."

Ayanna Najuma was seven at the time. She says the reenactment is also a call to action.

"I think the work we did 60 years ago was valuable, an experience that none of us will ever forget," she said. "But, it`s a call to action to say, `there is so much work to be done.'"

There will be an event Sunday at 6 p.m. at Fifth Street Baptist Church. Rev. Dr. Amos Brown, the pastor of Third Baptist Church, San Francisco will be the keynote speaker.

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