The civil rights icon paved the way for black students in Oklahoma


Nancy Randolph Davis helped change the face of education here in Oklahoma when she was admitted to Oklahoma State University.

After graduation, she continued to be a driving force in Oklahoma public education and her legacy lives on today.

After graduating from Langston University, Nancy Randolph Davis wanted to continue her education.

She was twice denied admission to the then Oklahoma A&M College, but in 1949 she became the first black student admitted.

“When she entered OSU (Oklahoma State University), she was not allowed to sit in the classroom with her white classmates.

She had to sit outside the classroom to listen to the teacher where she could barely hear.

Eventually they let her come in and sit in a closed office corner still separated from her white classmates,” Nancy Lynn Davis said.

Randolph Davis earned his master’s degree in home economics. From there she went to work.

“Over the years, she taught home economics, she taught family relationships, she taught child care,” Lynn Davis said.

She began teaching in 1944 and continued to serve Oklahoma students for over 40 years. Nancy Lynn Davis said she too had dedicated her career to a life of service. She not only served Oklahomans as a News 9 reporter, but as a teacher, just like her mother.

“One of the things that my mom particularly passed on to us is that you can get your education, you can achieve it, but you have to be able to go back and help another human being,” Lynn Davis said. .

Nancy Lynn Davis believes if her mother were here now, she would have compassion for teachers and students as they face the challenges of COVID-19.

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