NAACP Mourns the Loss of Civil Rights Activist Clara Luper

Luper, a Longtime Civil Rights Activist, Led Sit-In Protests at Oklahoma City Lunch Counter Where African-Americans Were Refused Service

(Washington, DC) – The NAACP mourns the loss of civil rights pioneer Clara Luper, a stalwart of justice who stood at the forefront in the fight for equality in Oklahoma. Luper passed at the age of 88.

“Clara Luper was a civil rights legend and personal friend. The thoughts and prayers of the entire NAACP family go out to Ms. Luper’s family,” stated NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock. “Ms. Luper’s tireless advocacy for equality for all, her passion for engaging the younger generation and her fearless nature made her one of the foremost civil rights advocates of our time.”

A school teacher, author, mother and community activist, Clara Luper was best known for her key role in organizing a sit-in at the lunch counter at Katz drugstore in downtown Oklahoma City in a stand against segregation. Luper, an advisor to the NAACP Youth Council, went on to become a national figure in the civil rights movement, where she participated in the 1963 March on Washington and the Selma to Montgomery marches of 1965.

“Clara is an inspiration to us all,” noted NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “Her courage, dedication and passion for civil rights and justice was unmatched. She will be missed.”

During her life, Ms. Luper was inducted into the Oklahoma City Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Afro-American Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Women's Hall of Fame.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.


< View All Press Releases