Clara Luper never attained the widespread fame of Rosa Parks in the civil rights movement. She never became the household word that Parks deservedly did.
But someone had to lead the first sit-in to protest the exclusion of blacks in public places. That someone was Clara Luper. In 1958, she and about a dozen others ordered cold drinks at a lunch counter in Oklahoma City.
Bob Collins has been with Minnesota Public Radio since 1992, emigrating to Minnesota from Massachusetts. He was senior editor of news in the ’90s, ran MPR’s political unit, created the MPR News regional website, invented the popular Select A Candidate, started the two most popular blogs in the history of MPR and every day laments that his Minnesota Fantasy Legislature project never caught on.
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