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Monument to Oklahoma civil rights activist Clara Luper to be dedicated

The monument will be dedicated Friday at Hillcrest Memory Gardens in Spencer, Oklahoma.
BY MATT PATTERSON mpatterson@opubco.com Published: April 28, 2013
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A monument in honor of civil rights pioneer Clara Luper will be dedicated Friday at Hillcrest Memory Gardens in Spencer.

Luper, a longtime civil rights activist and educator, died in June 2011. The monument was made possible by the generosity of the Hillcrest Memorial Gardens family, Luper family friend Joyce Henderson said.

The monument was the collective idea of Luper's family, friends and former students, Henderson said. Luper was active in the civil rights movement and staged several sit-ins in Oklahoma City during the 1960s.

“It is well-deserved,” Henderson said. “She was my teacher in high school and I had the opportunity to travel with her. She got her students involved in the NAACP, and she became my mentor and the mentor of many others.”

Luper is buried at Hillcrest Memory Gardens and the monument is near her grave. Henderson said there has been discussion of creating a monument for Luper in Oklahoma City as well.

The dedication is open to the public and will begin at 10:30 a.m. Friday at Hillcrest Memory Gardens, 12825 NE 50 in Spencer.