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.
. Why do you think there was not as much violence in the Oklahoma civil rights protests as there was in other states?
. 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.
. How long have you been at the Oklahoma History Center?
. For about eight years. I was working with the Oklahoma Centennial Commission.