Preserving History in Chickasha
CHICKASHA — Dr. Raushan Ashanti-Alexander, President of the Chickasha NAACP Tri-County Branch, use to walk the halls of Lincoln School long before he started his effort to preserve them, it's where he learned some of life's most valuable lessons. "Even the doors may not be open be prepared because one day they would be open," Dr. Ashanti-Alexander said.
African American Students weren't welcome at Chickasha High School until 1959, even though the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed racial segregation when it came to public schools in Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954.But Lincoln School founded in 1901 produced some of the finest men and women of it's time including Ada Lois Sipuel-Fisher. "All of the branches of the NAACP met to support her efforts as a very capable student to go to the law school at OU," Dr. Ashanti-Alexander said. In 1949 she became the first African American to attend OU's Law School.Skilled legal minds like Thurgood Marshall would gather at Miles Chapel CME Church in Chickasha to strategize on her behalf. "She's a prime player and it should be known," Dr. Ashanti-Alexander said. And he says buildings where history lives need to be treasured.So four years ago he began he a campaign to make sure the school and church receive the recognition they deserve. "It had to be done, it needed to be done," Dr. Ashanti-Alexander said. And on Tuesday he learned the City's Historic Preservation Commission agreed.They unanimously approved the request. "It's beginning of some great things we are going to see in our community," Dr. Ashanti-Alexander said. The request will be sent to the city council in August for final approval.The NAACP is also working on gathering artifacts to showcase at the church and school.