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Press Release

July 31, 2018

Contact: Larry O’Dell
Oklahoma Historical Society

Oklahoma Historical Society to Celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Oklahoma City Sit-Ins

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Historical Society will host one of the many events planned to honor Clara Luper and the sit-ins of the Civil Rights Movement in Oklahoma City. This free event on Thursday, August 16, at 7 p.m. will celebrate the NAACP Youth Council and the many people who later joined Luper to protest segregation in public accommodations beginning on August 19, 1958, with a sit-in at Katz Drug Store in downtown Oklahoma City. The doors of the Oklahoma History Center will open at 6:30 p.m. The Oklahoma History Center is located at 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive in Oklahoma City.

The executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society, Bob Blackburn, will welcome guests to the celebration, which will include a performance by the Ambassadors Concert Choir. There will be a viewing of a new documentary entitled “Remembering the Sit-In,” which contains several interviews of NAACP Youth Council participants. A screening of excerpts from the documentary “Through the Looking Glass Darkly” also will be a part of the celebration. When New York Times best-selling author and “Today” show television journalist Bob Dotson worked in Oklahoma City, he produced “Through the Looking Glass Darkly” about Oklahoma’s African American history. Afterward, Joyce Jackson will moderate a panel discussion with Dotson and two of the documentary’s other filmmakers, Oliver Murray and George Wesley Sr.

Special guest Bob Dotson has traveled more than four million miles, crisscrossing America almost nonstop for half a century while searching for people who are practically invisible—the ones who change our lives but do not take time to tweet and tell us about it. His long-running series, “The American Story” was a regular feature on the “Today” show until his retirement on the 40th anniversary of the day he joined NBC. He is the author of three books, including “American Story: A Lifetime Search for Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things.” 

This is one of several events recognizing Oklahoma City sit-in participants, which will culminate with the August 19, 2018, anniversary program at Fifth Street Baptist Church. To obtain additional information about any of the programs contact Joyce Jackson at jacksonj@att.net.

The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.


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