First Black History Day at Oklahoma State Capitol

Published: Feb. 13, 2023 at 6:17 PM CST
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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KSWO) - The Oklahoma State Capitol celebrated its first Black History Day and the event was something to remember.

Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Jason Lowe said this inaugural celebration is special to him because Black History is Oklahoma History.

“Promotion of public schools, diversity, equity, and inclusion those things are very very important to Black Americans and All Americans we need diverse opinions and diverse outcomes as well,” Lowe said.

The importance of diversity and inclusion was emphasized back in 1973 when Taft, Oklahoma elected the first African American female Mayor in the United States.

“I commend you black people who are standing up, we have come a long way, but we still have up to go,” Lelia Foley said.

Representative Lowe said out of 101 State Representatives, only 5 are African American. He said it’s a priority for him to make sure black Oklahomans’ voices are heard.

“I am the only African American Attorney that services in the legislature we need more numbers, we need more people of African American descent to be legislatures to make that they know what the issues are and if I can do it, you can do it as well,” Lowe said.

While the day focused on history, it also looked forward to the future. The next generation was very much present at the capitol, including OSU Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated president Christopher Shropshire.

“To show how we fit into black history and to give the students something to look forward to and to show that people who look like me, we can go to college we are educated and it’s possible,” Shropshire said.