Linda W. Reese

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.

Sarah Rector (1902–1967)

Sarah Rector at Age 12 Sarah Rector received international attention at the age of eleven when The Kansas City Star in 1913 publicized the headline, “Millions to a Negro Girl.” From that moment Rector’s life became a cauldron of misinformation, legal and financial maneuvering, and … Read MoreSarah Rector (1902–1967)

Francis Hall Johnson (1888-1970)

Image Ownership: Public Domain Composer and musician Hall Johnson was born in Athens, Georgia in 1888 to Alice Virginia Sanson Johnson and William Decker Johnson, a bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. His musical talent was apparent from childhood when he studied piano with … Read MoreFrancis Hall Johnson (1888-1970)

Joseph Silvestre White (1835–1918)

Jose Silvestre de Los Dolores White y Lafitte in 1857 Image Ownership: Public Domain Composer and violinist Jose Silvestre White was born in Matansas, Cuba in 1835 to Don Carlos White and an Afro-Cuban mother. His father gave White his first instruction in violin, and … Read MoreJoseph Silvestre White (1835–1918)

Florence Beatrice Smith Price (1887-1953)

Image Courtesy of AfriClassical.com 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 … Read MoreFlorence Beatrice Smith Price (1887-1953)

Septima Poinsette Clark (1898-1987)

Septima Clark and Rosa Parks Image Courtesy of Highlander Research and Education Center 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 … Read MoreSeptima Poinsette Clark (1898-1987)

Barbara Ann Posey Jones (1943 – )

Image Ownership: Public Domain In 1958, Barbara Ann Posey, then a high school student, emerged as one of the most important youth leaders in the campaign which began that year to desegregate the major public accommodations in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  Posey’s public stand against racial … Read MoreBarbara Ann Posey Jones (1943 – )

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)