Heroes of Black History Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher
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Heroes of Black History Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher

Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher was the first African American to be admitted to and graduate from the University of Oklahoma School of Law. We honor her for challenging and defeating state sponsored segregation in the Oklahoma university system. Her brother Lemuel Sipuel was originally selected by the Oklahoma NAACP leaders to challenge segregation at the University of Oklahoma, but he didn't want to delay his legal education and enrolled at Howard University. Fisher was willing to delay her career to challenge segregation.

Sipuel Fisher's applied to the university and was of course denied, on the basis of race. In response, a team of NAACP lawyers, led by Thurgood Marshall filed suit. The case made it all the way to Supreme Court who ruled that Oklahoma had to provide an equal law school. Oklahoma attempted to comply by creating a law school at Langston University but through subsequent litigation shown it was not equal.

Finally in June 1949 she was admitted to the University of Oklahoma School of Law. Her battles did not end there. She endured great indignities at the university of Oklahoma having a chair marked “colored” and having to eat in a chained off part of the cafeteria.Ada graduated in 1951 and went on to practice law in her hometown of Chickasha, Oklahoma .

In 1992, Oklahoma governor David Walters appointed her to the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma,

Although Ada has passed now we thank her and honor her contribution to black history.


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