Tuesday marks the 50th anniversary of the Katz Drug Store sit-in protest in downtown Oklahoma City. It started a four-year campaign that successfully ended segregation in Oklahoma City eating establishments. Thirteen members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's Youth Council began their protest at the Katz Drug Store lunch counter. Bruce Fisher, 62, is the African American Exhibit curator at the Oklahoma History Center. He played a major role in designing the exhibit, which features a replica of the Katz lunch counter. Q. Why do you think there was not as much violence in the Oklahoma civil rights protests as there was in other states? A. I think Oklahoma from its inception was a melting pot of people from throughout the United States, from the north and from the south. And we did not have a long-term investment in the ways of the South. We did not have that type of investment in slavery as the Deep South. We had a different type of population in Oklahoma than existed in other Southern states. .. People came here with less of an attitude of overt racial hostility. Q. How long have you been at the Oklahoma History Center? A. For about eight years. I was working with the Oklahoma Centennial Commission. At the time it began to plan for the construction of the new history center, and I was asked if I wanted to be the team leader for the development of the African American Exhibit. Q. How do you think the sit-in movement was different from previous attempts at integration? A.There have long been legal strategies to try to dismantle segregation. The new attitude among civil rights leaders was that we needed to go further than that. We needed to try and change the attitudes of people toward segregation. And that's what the sit-in movement was targeted to try to do. It targeted those customs. Q. Was this change in customs immediate following the protests or was it a slow process? A. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is what changed the law. The sit-in movement had an immediate impact across the nation. The nonviolent protest movement is what led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. There was resistance no doubt. It's like asking if there is still racism in America today. Of course there is. But it's like one of my favorite mentors told me once. When I was growing up, I was prepared to live in a segregated society. But here we are, living in an integrated society. There's been a tremendous amount of progress since the sit-in movement began. Here I am enjoying the fruits of those who fought for change.