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Who should have a place on a definitive list of the best of the best, the most distinguished among achievers, the most impactful individuals in a state rich in contributions from African Americans? We assembled a seven-member panel of experts, and the result of their collective wisdom is the following selection from our list of the forty-five most influential African Americans in Oklahoma.
By Susan Dragoo
Published January/February 2015
Hannah Diggs Atkins
[ 1923-2010 ]
Hannah Diggs Atkins was Oklahoma’s first female African American legislator. Elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 1968, she served until 1980. During her time in office, the North Carolina transplant, who represented the 97th House District in Oklahoma City, was an advocate for Oklahoma’s most vulnerable citizens. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter appointed her a U.S. delegate to the United Nations. “She was an outstanding, dynamic trailblazer of the first magnitude,” says panelist Hannibal B. Johnson.
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Get There: Every day for a week, we will feature one selection from our list of the forty-five most influential African Americans in Oklahoma history Purchase the January/February 2015 issue of Oklahoma Today—the African American Issue—to see the entire list.