Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Patchwork Oklahoma Statehood to the 50's

My Grandparents timeline in Chickasha started at abt 1922; following their oust from Tulsa City limits following the Tulsa Race Riot of May 1921.  

Prior to statehood in 1907, the drafted OK Constitution didn't include segregation because delegates knew that President Theodore Roosevelt would probably object and veto statehood documents.

But just a few minutes after Roosevelt approved statehood, the first move for the White lawmakers was in set in stone segregation laws their first Senate Bill!  Segregation was inclusive to all persons of African ancestry.  Whiskey solons banned interracial marriages and miscegenation making them felonies..... prison time for black men and women!

Here's what else I learned from Bob Blackburn @ the OKC History Pages....Quoted:  State law also targeted ministers who performed ceremonies for mixed couples; they, too, could be charged with felonies. The legislature banned interracial schools at all levels. Many public facilities along with common carriers were segregated. Some 540 railroad depots in the state had to be altered to fit the new separate waiting rooms requirement, while new coaches also had to be added to the lines. Over time, legislators segregated everything from hospitals to housing to cemeteries to restaurants. In 1915 Oklahoma made national history by becoming the first state in the Union to segregate public pay telephone booths.

When Oklahoma became the forty-sixth state in 1907, it could have been described as a patchwork quilt of destroyed Indian reservations. Its citizenry consisted of southern cotton farmers, midwestern wheat farmers, and western cattlemen, with minorities of American Indians, African Americans, and ethnic Europeans.

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