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February 8, 2024

Honouring Black History and Futures

At Lord Cultural Resources, we honour Black histories, heritage and futures 365 days a year.  

We want to introduce you to two places where history comes alive, where the past informs the present, and where the future holds endless possibilities.

Clara Luper Civil Rights and Freedom Center

Oklahoma City
“I came from a family of believers. We believed in the sun when it didn't shine. We believed in the rain when it wasn't raining. My parents taught me to believe in a God I couldn't see."
—  Clara Luper, educator and activist 
Driven by her passion for youth advocacy, Clara Luper, a public school teacher, served as the sponsor for the Oklahoma City NAACP Youth Council. Under her leadership, the young people met regularly at a renovated gas station they named, the Freedom Center. The small space became the hub for civil rights activity where Mrs. Luper led the group in planning lunch counter sit-ins, the first of their kind in the United States, which were instrumental in breaking discriminatory barriers in public accommodations. She led by example, demonstrating her personal commitment by going to jail 26 times for peaceful protests. The non-violent philosophy and demonstration tactics taught by Mrs. Luper became replicable models later leveraged in civil rights protests throughout the United States.
The Clara Luper Civil Rights and Freedom Center of Oklahoma City will honor the pivotal role Mrs. Luper played in fostering the modern civil rights movement, locally and nationally. Spanning three city blocks, the complex includes multiple buildings and landscaped areas, which will be woven together and presented to visitors as an “interactive journey to equality.”
Lord Cultural Resources is helping to define and plan the Freedom Center Building (the existing structure where Mrs. Luper’s nonviolent civil rights movement began), a Visitor’s Center, the Clara Luper Civil Rights Center and a multipurpose Education and Event Center. 

Learn more about the center and how you can support it


Virginia Key Beach Park

Miami, Florida

The historic Virginia Key Beach Park in Miami was established in 1945 as a result of bold wade-in civil disobedience motivated by segregation and the refusal to grant regional beach access to people of color. Although significantly smaller than the neighboring “white only” Crandon Park, Virginia Beach was a place of joy and a hub for African American life.
Throughout the 1950s, the beach was an active and busy destination with world-class attractions, concessions and amenities. However, by 1960 the beach was in decline as Miami-Dade County deemed it too expensive to maintain two beaches.
The park closed in 1982 and was left abandoned for the next 20 years with buildings falling into disrepair and beaches neglected and damaged by storm erosion and rising sea levels. In 1999, a group called the Virginia Key Beach Park Civil Rights Task Force was established largely to thwart plans to lease the park to private developers and retain the park for public use. This task force ultimately became the Virginia Key Beach Park Trust.
Historic Virginia Key Beach Park re-opened to the public in February 2008 with many of the amenities of the past, including the bathhouse, concession stand, carousel house, train and picnic pavilions fully restored. The next step for the Virginia Key Beach Park is the construction of a museum building that will be a site of activism, a site of preservation and a site of celebration.
Lord Cultural Resources is in the process of creating a Master Plan. Our commitment is to ensure that the community's voice is heard and that the stories deeply rooted in this place are shared in a way that truly embraces its historical significance.

Learn more about the park and how you can support it


Ready to make a positive difference with your cultural organization?

Chat with our consultants today to learn how we can support your ideas. Whether it's crafting strategic plans or creating impactful spaces and engaging exhibits, we're here to support you every step of the way.