State Rep. Anastasia A. Pittman participated in two bridge dedication ceremonies, alongside Director of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation Secretary Gary Ridley, U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Nate Green, the Central Oklahoma Chapter of Top Ladies of Distinction Inc. and the families and friends of community leaders C.E. Pittman and Lecia Swain-Ross.


State Rep. Anastasia A. Pittman participated in two bridge dedication ceremonies, alongside Director of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation Secretary Gary Ridley, U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Nate Green, the Central Oklahoma Chapter of Top Ladies of Distinction Inc. and the families and friends of community leaders C.E. Pittman and Lecia Swain-Ross.

“I was honored to participate in the dedication of these two bridges, which Douglass High School alumni and students requested be named after two prominent historical members of the community,” said Pittman, D-Oklahoma City. “These ceremonies were an opportunity for attendees to celebrate the honorees’ contributions to the community.”

Green, a Douglass High School alumnus, praised the event.

“This ceremony helps bring people together in the community,” Green said.

Swain-Ross was nationally recognized as a top female editor and publisher when she ran the Ebony Tribune and was highly active in community service. She was the founder and first president of the Central Oklahoma Chapter of Top Ladies of Distinction Inc., was crowned Miss Black Oklahoma and worked as an executive assistant for former state Sen. Angela Monson.

Dr. Henry Ponder, interim president of Langston University gave special remarks in honor of Swain-Ross.

Cornelius Earl Pittman was a World War II Navy veteran and musician who once played with the legendary Duke Ellington and led his own band, the “All Stars”. He taught music in the Oklahoma City public school system for 31 years. His students included successful musical artists, music teachers who followed his example and political leaders including former state Sen. Angela Monson, current state Sen. Constance Johnson and the Honorable Vicki Miles La Grange.

Naming bridges and highways for prominent African-American figures is a beautification project of the Central Oklahoma Chapter of Top Ladies of Distinction Inc. Ayshia Pittman, great-granddaughter of C.E. Pittman, first vice president of Top Teens of America and the former president of the Oklahoma City NAACP Youth Council was also in attendance for this historic occasion. Elected officials, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Links Inc., the Central Oklahoma Chapter of Top Ladies of Distinction Inc., and other local organizations will participate in a ceremony Friday to rename a portion of Interstate 35 for Rep. Hannah Diggs Atkins, the first African-American woman to serve in the Oklahoma House of Representatives and a former secretary of state. The families and friends of Atkins will also be in attendance.

“We name streets and bridges after important figures to honor them, but also to help peak interest in the history of a community,” Pittman said. “C.E. Pittman and Lecia Swain-Ross are a great testimony to the rich heritage of service that could be lost without due recognition.”