Gov. Stitt Signs Bill Authored by Senator Coleman and Senator Matthews to Establish Oklahoma Civil Rights Trail

KOKH - June 9, 2023 6:36 am

Sen. Bill Coleman, R-Ponca City and Sen. Kevin Matthews, D-Tulsa

Governor Kevin Stitt signed a bill into law that would create the Oklahoma Civil Rights Trail.

Senate Bill (SB) 509, authored by Sen. Kevin Matthews, D-Tulsa, and Sen. Bill Coleman, R-Ponca City, will connect all-Black towns and locations significant to the civil rights movement, including man Native American sites of historical significance. The trail will also help stimulate tourism, foster entrepreneurship, and promote economic development within these communities.

The Oklahoma Civil Rights Trail will begin at Standing Bear Park, Museum and Education Center in Ponca City, then proceed to the site of the 1920s “Osage Reign of Terror” in Fairfax.

After passing through Ponca City and Fairfax, The Oklahoma Civil Rights Trail will continue through the state’s all-Black communities, which include Boley; Brooksville; Clearview; Grayson; Langston; Lima; Red Bird; Rentiesville; Summit; Taft; Tatums; Tullahassee; and Vernon.

The trail will then move to Greenwood Rising and the Pathway to Hope in Tulsa before coming to an end at the Clara Luper Center, which will constructed in Oklahoma City.

Through SB 509, the Oklahoma Civil Rights Trail revolving fund was created. The fund would be administered by the Oklahoma Historical Society. State and federal funds as well as gifts and donations will be deposited into the revolving fund, providing grant funding for the development of the trail and related attractions.


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