Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman released the following statement on the passing of former Senator E. Melvin Porter, Oklahoma’s first African-American state senator.
“As a member of the Oklahoma Senate, E. Melvin Porter worked hard to make our state a better place for all our citizens. His election to the Senate in 1964 was a historic achievement for our state. The entire Senate honors his accomplishments and the positive impact he made on Oklahoma, and we extend our thoughts and prayers to Senator Porter’s friends and families during this difficult time.”—Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa
As a state senator, Porter introduced Oklahoma’s Anti-Discrimination Act. He also worked to require the inclusion of black history in Oklahoma’s textbooks.
Since Porter’s election to office in 1964, nine more African-American Oklahomans have been elected to the Oklahoma Senate.