The Clara Luper Legacy
Realizing that beauty comes in all shades, sizes and shapes, Mrs. Clara Luper founded, Miss Bronzeville a national pageant for young women of color. During this time, major pageants did not welcome African-American participants. In fact, the Miss America contest "rule number seven, "stated that" contestants must be of good health and of the white race." It wasn't until 1975 that African -American women were even allowed to participate. However, Mrs. Luper, a visionary and seeker of opportunities for growth and personal development for youth, never believed in waiting around for doors to open, instead she jumped at the chance to expand her Miss Bronzeville efforts by partnering with the newly formed and nationally televised Miss Black America Pageant and became one of the first state promoters.
For more than four decades, Mrs. Luper and her Miss Black Oklahoma Pageant have provided thousand of youth with a platform to showcase not only their physical beauty but their performing talent, intellect and commitment to community service as well. The pageant has expanded through the years providing additional educational and developmental opportunities for young girls, the Page Program and young men, the Miss Black Oklahoma escorts. An educator by profession and at heart, the foundation of the Miss Black Oklahoma Pageant has been scholarship. The thousands of dollars awarded to participants through the years have enabled countless numbers of Oklahoma youth to pursue their dreams and attain success in such fields as Law, Entertainment, Medicine, Business, Education, Finance, Entrepreneurship, Government and the Non-Profit sector.