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Clara Luper 1923-2011

by Jim Beckel and Nate Billings Modified: April 18, 2013 at 12:32 pm •  Published: June 18, 2011
Clara Luper, civil rights leader and educator, shown in a Nov. 20, 1988 photography by Jim Argo.
Clara Luper, civil rights leader and educator, shown in a Nov. 20, 1988 photography by Jim Argo.

Since Clara Luper’s death on Wednesday, June 8, the photographers at The Oklahoman have been remembering her through our archive photos and making new pictures to document the mourning of her death and celebration of her life by our community. Below are more pictures of the civil rights leader and links to galleries and slideshows we have made the last week or so.

Click here for a gallery of photos from Clara Luper’s life

Here are photos from Clara Luper in repose at the state Capitol

This gallery features Clara Luper’s memorial service

Finally, an audio slideshow about memories of Clara Luper

Mrs. Clara Luper of Oklahoma City and other demonstrators outside the privately-owned Doe Doe Amusement Park in Lawton, Okla.  Demonstrators protested a segregation policy barring blacks from the park's swimming pool. Staff photo take June 11, 1966.
Mrs. Clara Luper of Oklahoma City and other demonstrators outside the privately-owned Doe Doe Amusement Park in Lawton, Okla. Demonstrators protested a segregation policy barring blacks from the park's swimming pool. Staff photo take June 11, 1966.
Civil rights pioneer Clara Luper reacts to the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Luper was watching TV with Councilman Ronald "Skip" Kelly, her daughter Marilyn Hildreth and 9-year-old Alexia Grant at the Freedom Center at NE 26th and Martin Luther King Avenue in Oklahoma City , Okla. January  20, 2009. Photo by Steve Gooch, The Oklahoman
Civil rights pioneer Clara Luper reacts to the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Luper was watching TV with Councilman Ronald "Skip" Kelly, her daughter Marilyn Hildreth and 9-year-old Alexia Grant at the Freedom Center at NE 26th and Martin Luther King Avenue in Oklahoma City , Okla. January 20, 2009. Photo by Steve Gooch, The Oklahoman
Gov. Dewey Bartlett, center, looks on as NAACP youth council adviser Clara Luper accepts a donation from an unidentified woman. Funds were raised for the NAACP' s Freedom Center as hundreds marched to the state Capitol in memory of the slain Martin Luther King on April 6, 1968. Photo by Robert Taylor, The Daily Oklahoman
Gov. Dewey Bartlett, center, looks on as NAACP youth council adviser Clara Luper accepts a donation from an unidentified woman. Funds were raised for the NAACP' s Freedom Center as hundreds marched to the state Capitol in memory of the slain Martin Luther King on April 6, 1968. Photo by Robert Taylor, The Daily Oklahoman
Oklahoma civil rights leader  Clara Luper was honored by the state as her body lay in repose on the first floor of the state Capitol, Thursday, June 16, 2011. Her dark wood casket remained closed as a pair of Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers stood silently on either side of the casket. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma civil rights leader Clara Luper was honored by the state as her body lay in repose on the first floor of the state Capitol, Thursday, June 16, 2011. Her dark wood casket remained closed as a pair of Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers stood silently on either side of the casket. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman
Family members laugh and applaud a speaker during the memorial service for Clara Luper. At left is son Calvin Luper. Next to him is daughter Marilyn Hildreth. . About 2,500 people celebrated the life and legacy of Oklahoma City civil rights pioneer Clara Mae Shepard Luper  during a lively service in the Cox Convention Center that lasted more than three hours, Friday,  June 17, 2011. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman
Family members laugh and applaud a speaker during the memorial service for Clara Luper. At left is son Calvin Luper. Next to him is daughter Marilyn Hildreth. . About 2,500 people celebrated the life and legacy of Oklahoma City civil rights pioneer Clara Mae Shepard Luper during a lively service in the Cox Convention Center that lasted more than three hours, Friday, June 17, 2011. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman
From left, Sasha Wilson, 8, granddaughter of Clara Luper, Chelle Luper Wilson, daughter of Clara Luper, and Oneita Brown, sister of Clara Luper, sit together during the graveside memorial service for civil rights activist Clara Luper at the Hillcrest Memorial Gardens cemetery in Spencer, Okla., Friday, June 17, 2011.  Luper was 88 years old when she died on June 8, 2011. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
From left, Sasha Wilson, 8, granddaughter of Clara Luper, Chelle Luper Wilson, daughter of Clara Luper, and Oneita Brown, sister of Clara Luper, sit together during the graveside memorial service for civil rights activist Clara Luper at the Hillcrest Memorial Gardens cemetery in Spencer, Okla., Friday, June 17, 2011. Luper was 88 years old when she died on June 8, 2011. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Rev. A. Byron Coleman, middle, speaks next to Colin Boldien, a Luper family friend, during the graveside memorial service for civil rights activist Clara Luper at the Hillcrest Memorial Gardens cemetery in Spencer, Okla., Friday, June 17, 2011.  Luper was 88 years old when she died on June 8, 2011. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Rev. A. Byron Coleman, middle, speaks next to Colin Boldien, a Luper family friend, during the graveside memorial service for civil rights activist Clara Luper at the Hillcrest Memorial Gardens cemetery in Spencer, Okla., Friday, June 17, 2011. Luper was 88 years old when she died on June 8, 2011. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

Be sure to check out our  audio slideshow of memories of Clara Luper.

-Nate Billings

 

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by Jim Beckel
Photographer
Jim Beckel been a member of The Oklahoman's photo staff for 25 years. During that time, he and his cameras have covered virtually every type of news and feature story imaginable, traveling to all regions of Oklahoma to document events and provide...
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by Nate Billings
Photographer
Nate Billings never planned to become a photojournalist. He took pictures as a hobby growing up and worked as an assistant for his father, a commercial still and video photographer, but chose to study English Literature in college. Billings did...
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