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Quotes from Clara Luper

These are some quotable remarks from Clara Luper through the years.
Oklahoman Published: June 11, 2011


Clara Luper's memorable


Following are some quotable remarks made by revered civil rights leader Clara Luper during key times in the history of Oklahoma City and the United States:

After efforts in August 1958 to send only one or two blacks into Katz Drug Store to obtain food service failed, a group of black children filled most of the stools at Katz and stayed until 7 p.m. but were refused service. They came back the next day and were finally served food at 5 p.m. Luper said: “We never want to go back again in such a large group. That was just a once-in-a-lifetime thing that we were forced into.”

In August 1958, Luper led a group of black youths into John A. Brown. She expressed confidence that Oklahoma City businesses would accept blacks in the near future. “The people are Christian people, and we love them. We're depending on Christians to come to our rescue — white and black. If Christianity fails, then we surrender.”

After a minister participating in a civil rights drive was fatally beaten in Selma, Ala., a freedom march was planned in downtown Oklahoma City. Luper appealed for “all groups — labor, religious, social, political — of every color and creed” to participate. “Many times, we have walked by ourselves; now we appeal to everybody. I want to be able to tell the people of Selma when I get there Monday that the people in Oklahoma City are walking together in peace and are praying for them.”

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