Organization hosting celebration to honor 63rd anniversary of sit-ins


OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – It has been more than 60 years since an Oklahoma teacher and students headed to a popular drug store to stage a sit-in against segregation.

Now, organizers say they are preparing to celebrate that act of defiance that played a role in Oklahoma’s Civil Rights Movement.

On Aug. 19, 1958, Clara Luper, an Oklahoma history teacher and an advisor for the Oklahoma City NAACP Youth Council, initiated one of the first civil rights protests in the country.

Luper and 13 of her students went to Katz Drug Store in downtown Oklahoma City to stage a sit-in, which occurred two years before the famous sit-ins in North Carolina.

Luper was arrested 26 times and was considered a major leader in the fight to end segregation in Oklahoma.

The Clara Luper Legacy Committee is hosting the Freedom Fiesta Celebration, which honors the 63rd anniversary of the Oklahoma City Sit-In Movement.

The celebration will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 14 at Frontline Church. It will be followed by a reenactment of the Oklahoma City sit-in march to Kaiser’s Grateful Bean Cafe.

The public is invited to attend all events, which are free.

However, social distancing and masks will be observed at all events.

On Thursday, Aug. 19, an outdoor concert is planned at the Northeast Oklahoma City Community and Cultural Center, located at 3615 N. Kelley Ave., beginning at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, Aug 21, organizers say the Clara Luper Post Office Dedication will be held at 305 N.W. 5th St. in downtown Oklahoma City, beginning at 9 a.m.

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