Senator EARL GARRISOn
TOURISM AND WILDLIFE Co-Chairman
Senate District 9
MUSKOGEE and WAGONER Counties
For Immediate Release: February 5, 2008
Sen. Earl Garrison
Oklahoma State Senate Passes Concurrent Resolution Denouncing Jim
The Oklahoma State Senate unanimously passed a concurrent
resolution Tuesday denouncing the state’s racial segregationist
past and called for the Senate to begin Oklahoma’s second
century free from all racial bias or prejudice and declared its
intention to remain so during all future operations.
Senate Concurrent Resolution 49 is authored by Senator Earl
Garrison, D-Muskogee, and co-authored by Senate Pro Tempore
Mike Morgan, D-Stillwater; Co-President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee,
R-Oklahoma City; Sen. Constance N. Johnson, D-Oklahoma City; Sen.
Judy Eason-McIntyre, D-Tulsa and Sen. Andrew Rice, D-Oklahoma City.
The House author is Rep. Wade Rousselot, D-Okay and co-authored
by Rep. Anastasia Pittman, D-Oklahoma City; Rep. T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton
and Rep. Jabar Shumate, D-Tulsa.
The resolution denounces Oklahoma’s Jim Crow laws which began
with Senate Bill No. 1 in Oklahoma’s first State Legislature.
The law required separate facilities for blacks in public transportation,
public education and other public facilities. This practice spread
throughout the South and border states becoming a pervasive part
of the culture.
“As we begin a second century in Oklahoma, it’s important
that we as legislators and our fellow Oklahomans recognize and learn
from the mistakes from this terribly dark era of our state,”
Garrison said. “With February being Black History Month, I
think this sends the timely and correct message that prejudice and
racial bias won’t be tolerated by this legislative body. It’s
time we disavow any vestiges of the Jim Crow laws.”
Rep. Rousselot added “It’s about time. I was taught
at an early age we are all created equal and I believe strongly
in that philosophy today. I’m proud to be part of co-authoring
this important resolution.”
Garrison said Oklahoma’s racial history hasn’t gone
without a fight for justice and equality through the court system
and by the actions of civil right organizations such as the National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which was founded
The NAACP took root in Oklahoma in 1913 when black leaders founded
a local chapter in Oklahoma City. By the 1920s there were more than
12 chapters in the state and in the 1930s Oklahoma became the first
state to form a state branch. Led by such famous black Oklahomans
as Roscoe Dunjee, Arsula Mence Sanders, Ada Lois Sipuel-Fisher,Clara
Luper and others, the NAACP after decades of struggle eventually
triumphed with the repudiation of racial segregation and the end
of Jim Crow in Oklahoma.
Carolyn Wade, president of the Muskogee Branch NAACP, said she strongly
supports Senator Garrison’s resolution.
“We really appreciate his efforts and we want people to understand
what Senator Garrison is trying to do,” Mrs. Wade said. “He’s
doing this from his heart. He saw the need for change and wants
to help this state move forward. He is a very special person.”
Garrison said copies of this resolution will be sent to the Executive
Director of the Oklahoma Human Rights Commission; CarolynWade, President
of the Muskogee Branch of the NAACP ;Derrick Reed, Youth Advisor
of the Muskogee Branch NAACP Youth Council ;Anthony R. Douglas,
State President of the NAACP Oklahoma State Conference of Branches;
and Oklahoma civil rights pioneer Clara Luper, who established the
Freedom Center and the Freedom Center Monument.
Senator Judy Eason McIntyre, D-Tulsa, commended her Democratic colleague
for his vision and dedication to equality for all Oklahomans.
“I think most Oklahomans are clearly aware of that chapter
not only in Oklahoma’s, but America’s history,”
said Senator Eason McIntyre. “While this action does not erase
the past, it serves as a reminder of the depths we have endured
and overcome in our state’s first 100 years and, more importantly,
the heights we can achieve in our next 100 years.”
For more information contact:
Senator Garrison's Office: (405) 521-5533