Independent Historian

Dr. Linda Reese is a former Assistant Professor of United States History, Women’s History, and Oklahoma History at East Central University (Oklahoma). Her research focuses on women of color in the American West and the struggle for racial, economic, and gender equality in 20th century America. She is the author of Women of Oklahoma, 1890-1920 (University of Oklahoma Press, 1997) as well as journal and encyclopedia articles. Since the publication of “Cherokee Freedwomen in Indian Territory, 1863-1890,” in Western Historical Quarterly (Autumn 2002), she has been at work on a book examining the Freedwomen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Oklahoma. She is the winner of the 2003 Coordinating Council for Women in History Catherine Prelinger Award.

Florence Beatrice Smith Price (1887-1953)

Florence Beatrice Smith, the first black woman composer to garner an international reputation, was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1887, to James H. Smith, a dentist, and Florence Gulliver Smith, a former school teacher and private lesson piano teacher who also managed several local … Read MoreFlorence Beatrice Smith Price (1887-1953)

Septima Poinsette Clark (1898-1987)

Septima Poinsette Clark is perhaps the only woman to play a significant role in educating African Americans for full citizenship rights without gaining sufficient recognition.  Clark was born the second of eight children in Charleston, South Carolina, to Peter Poinsette, a former slave, and his … Read MoreSeptima Poinsette Clark (1898-1987)

George W. McLaurin (1887-1968)

George W. McLaurin provided the Oklahoma civil rights case that damaged the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson “separate but equal” legal position beyond repair.  He held a master’s degree from the University of Kansas and taught at the all-black Langston University until 1948.  NAACP attorney Thurgood … Read MoreGeorge W. McLaurin (1887-1968)

Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher (1924-1995)

Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher was a leading activist, attorney, and educator who opened higher education to African American students in Oklahoma, and laid the foundation for the Brown v. Board of Education decision.  After graduating from the segregated Langston University in 1945, Fisher volunteered to … Read MoreAda Lois Sipuel Fisher (1924-1995)