Choctaw to establish Clara Luper Day

Choctaw High School Student Council President Lydia Smith and other representatives met with the Choctaw City Council last week to discuss declaring an official Clara Luper Day in Choctaw.
Students are working with city and community leaders to establish a day honoring the civil rights leader who was a teacher in the Choctaw area’s African American school, Dunjee.
An event has been scheduled for 6:30 p.m. May 3 in the Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center Seminar Center.
Near the corner of NE 41 and Adair, Dunjee was a satellite center for the all-black community.
The school was under the jurisdiction of the Choctaw School District until Oklahoma City Schools took it over in the 1960s.
A short time later forced integration would result in the closure of Dunjee.
The historic black school was merged into Star Spencer in the fall of 1972 by the Oklahoma City Board of Education.
Dunjee was impactfu l in Oklahoma’s history through desegregation and the civil rights movement. The school was named after Roscoe Dunjee, who from 1915-55 published The Black Dispatch, a weekly newspaper that included his personal editorials on racism and the pursuit of civil rights.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall delivered the eulogy at Dunjee’s funeral in 1965. In 1969 he was inducted into the Oklahoma Journalist Hall of Fame at Central State University.
Luper worked with Roscoe Dunjee on the NAACP’s youth council, which organized several sit-ins in the late 1950s and early 1960s. She’s credited with beginning the Oklahoma sit-in movement, that inspired others across the country, in 1958.
For her work she is remembered as the “mother” of the state’s civil rights struggle.
The public event is set for 6:30 p.m. May 3 in the Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center Seminar Center.

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