- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 13, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma’s first African-American state senator has been honored on the floor of the Senate, 50 years after his election to office.

Surrounded by family members, former state Sen. Melvin Porter received a standing ovation after a resolution was read in his honor.

The 84-year-old Democrat from northeast Oklahoma City was elected to the state Senate in 1965. He was a graduate of Vanderbilt Law School and a former head of the Oklahoma City chapter of the NAACP.

For 18 of his 22 years in the Oklahoma Senate, Porter was the only African-American senator in the 48-member body.

Since then, nine other African-American members have been elected, all of them to either Senate District 48 in Oklahoma City or District 11 in Tulsa.


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