Black History Month: J.C. Watts

My name is Easton Smith, I'm a student at OU, and I'm interning with the Political Communication Center. As part of my internship with the PCC and as part of Black History Month, we would like to recognize J.C. Watts, Oklahoma's first African American representative to the U.S. House of Representatives. Born Nov 18th, 1957 in Eufaula Oklahoma, J.C. Watts first rose to prominence as a quarterback for the Eufaula high school football team. In 1979, he would go on to take his skill at football to become OU’S starting quarterback and lead the team to two consecutive Orange Bowl victories. His success as a football star gave him name recognition that helped him to win election to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission in 1990, becoming the first African American to win a state-wide office in Oklahoma. In 1994, he went on to win election to the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming the first African American to win election to the house, south of the Mason-Dixon line, since Reconstruction.

 

J.C. Watts, 3rd from the Left with unidentified women at an event.