One the First African-Americans to Re-enter the Oklahoma Legislature, Curtis L. Lawson Dies at Age 72

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In 1965, Curtis L. Lawson was among the first of many African-Americans to re-enter the Oklahoma legislature after the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Friends and family converge in Tulsa to celebrate his life and contribution to Oklahoma History.

Curtis Levern Lawson was born to Reverend Joe Lawson and Etta Perry Lawson on August 16, 1935 in Pine Bluff Arkansas. The Lord called him home to a place of peace and rest on April 24, 2008.

Curtis was a graduate of Merrill High School and after serving in the Air Force (11th airborne Div. 503rd abn inf Regiment) during the Korean conflict; he attended A.M&N College in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. In 1960, Curtis entered the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville to study law.

Curtis, his wife Laverne, and young son Michael moved to Tulsa in 1964. Soon after, he passed the Oklahoma bar exam and began his law practice. Curtis immediately became an active voice and participant in the civil rights movement and other community activities.

In 1965, Curtis Lawson became part of Oklahoma history when he was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives as the first African American to represent Tulsa. He served in that capacity until 1969.

Curtis was an active member of the NAACP, The North Tulsa Historical Society, and he enjoyed researching and studying the history of African Americans, Native Americans, and the human experience. A published author, Curtis was especially proud of the series of articles he wrote on the African Slave Trade for the Oklahoma Eagle, and his piece called "The Man in the Hole in the Wall" published in the Vintage News magazine.

Family and friends paid tribute to Curtis Lawson's life and contributions to Oklahoma history on April 30, 2008. Notable resolutions of condolences were from the City Council of Tulsa, Oklahoma Senator Judy Eason McIntyre and Representative Jabar Shumate.

Curtis L. Lawson's Commitment Services were held with military honors at Fort Gibson National Cemetery on May 2, 2008 12:00PM.

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