Educator and Civil Rights Activist
Joyce Henderson was an Oklahoma City high school student in the mid-1960s. She served as the song leader on Saturday mornings at Calvary Baptist Church when the city’s civil rights giants gathered to plan marches and protests across Oklahoma City.
Henderson’s early work with the NAACP was helped by her relationship with one of her high school teachers, Clara Luper. It was Clara who led thirteen children into Katz Drug store in Oklahoma for the nation’s first lunch counter sit-in demonstration. She also chaperoned Joyce and a large group of black students who attended the 1963 March on Washington where they heard Martin Luther King Jr., deliver his “I Have a Dream” speech. Clara became Joyce’s teacher, mentor, and personal guidance counselor.
Of her thirty-seven years in education, Joyce spent twenty of those years as principal at five different area public high schools in Oklahoma City.
Her many honors include induction into the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation Wall of Fame.
She is featured in Children of the Civil Rights, a documentary film, along with others who participated in the sit-in movement in Oklahoma City.
Interview with Joyce Henderson
Müllerhaus Legacy Website Team
Date Created: March 1, 2016
Date Published: May 8, 2016
Notes: Recorded by John Erling in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Digital Audio Sound Recording, Non-Music.
Tags:Kanye West, Senator Robert Kerr, Charlton Heston, March on Washington, I have a dream, Martin Luther King, Mahalia Jackson, Lunch counter sit in demonstrations, Jim Crow laws, Clara Luper, John A. Brown, Katz Drug Store, Civil rights, Racism, Race relations, Equality, NAACP