Just a year after becoming a state in 1907, Oklahoma elected its first black state legislator: A.C. Hamlin of Logan County.
However, some of Hamlin’s lawmaker colleagues tried to make sure it wouldn’t happen again.
They passed a constitutional amendment that effectively limited black voters by creating ridiculous voter registration requirements.
As a result — and despite having sponsored multiple pieces of successful legislation — Hamlin lost a bid for reelection.
The amendment was finally declared unconstitutional in a 1915 court case. But it was too late to help Hamlin, who died in 1911.
Black History Month: Notable Oklahomans and state history