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By Asriel Gamaliel McLain

This book id dedicated to the memory of those civil rights pioneers who fought for a more perfect union.

Lest We Forget
Mr. Rosie Banks, Sr. Mrs. Ann Brewster Mr. Charles Brown Brother Baruti Mr. Melvin Collins, Jr. Mr. Joe Davis * * * * * * Dr. Leonard C. Barnes Mrs. Willie Boyd Mrs. Helen Brown Mr. Jean Brierre Mrs. Clara Carr Mr. Melvin Crockett Mrs. Peola Davis

Rev. C. Byrd, Sr. *

Rev. Durham (Coushatta) * Ms. Louise Demery Dr. Charles E. Galloway Rev. Herman Farr Mrs. Virginia Harris Mr. Ben Johnson Rev. B. J. Mason * * * Mr. McHenry Hardy, Jr. Bishop Joseph Johnson * * * * Mrs. Marie Gifford Mr,.Pete Harris Mr. J.K. Haynes Ms. Ophelia Kennon * Rev. William Norris Dr. Louis Pendleton * Rev. J. R. Rethledge * Dr. Joseph Sarpy, M.D. * Rev. L. P. Sims * Rev. John B. Simmons * Dr. James T. Stewart

Judge Hilry Huckaby, III Mrs. Dorothy Johnson

Rev. Claude Clifford McLain *

Mrs. Mildred Oliver McLain Dr. Camp Payne Rev. C. F. Robinson Mr. Lawrence Roque Rev. A.L. Scott Mrs. Bernice Smith

Rev. Connie Dwayne Simmons

Rev. Jiles Stills * Attorney Jesse Stone * Mrs. Frances Sullivan * Mr. Claude Underwood Mr. Calvin Wilkerson * Mr. R. L. Williams Mrs. Joyce Bowman * Mr. Kojoe Livingston

Greetings in the name of Him who orders our steps according to His great mercy!!!
In the saga of the Old Testament character Job, he says that after he has endured his fiery trial he would come through like fine gold. Fine or pure gold stands out for its purity as well as cost, but also for its demand. And the purer of the quality of the gold, the more one can his reflected in it. Coming Forth As Pure GoldA Look At Civil Rights Activities In Shreveport, Louisiana 1959-1968 discusses the struggle of a people in Shreveport, Louisiana to be of the shackles of Jim Crow laws that deem they be treated like second class citizens because of the color of their skin. But in the struggle, the character is mirrored in redeeming love acting for positive change as fire changes whatever it touches for good and bad. Its seems like yesterday the events of that turbulent year 1963 when America was forced to face the fact that while our nation embraced the idea of liberty and justice for all, in reality it was liberty and justice for some and bigotry and injustice for some, especially for people of color. While the world was captivated by the display of raw racial hatred in Birmingham, Alabama and Jackson, Mississippi as well as through out this land we love, Shreveport and vicinity saw its share that year of hatred and brutality, especially at the hands of those sworn to serve and protect all of its citizens. This is seen in the savage and unmerciful beating of then Shreveport chapter NAACP President Harry Blake, running innocent citizens off of their front porches as well as the infamous desecration of Little Union Baptist Church, the epicenter of the movement in Shreveport, by riding horses up the church steps and into the sanctuary. Even youth were to endure this fiery trial that September as the police turned their brutality of the courageous youth at J.S. Clark Middle School and the proud and esteemed Booker T. Washington High as students, faculty and administrators were tear gassed, beaten and even arrested for a march expressing support for Pastor Blake as well as the demand for justice and equality for all. Fifty years has lapsed since that fateful year, 1963, a turning point, being what the year 1863 was to that bloody conflict, the Civil War which sought fulfill in faith what the War Between the States did not, making our land free for all. It is in this spirit that this commemorative souvenir journal was published. In putting this book together, it was felt wise to recall the past events that are widely known, but also to include other personalities and events that are little known if at all. Diligent research was done in searching newspapers from that period as well as interview eyewitnesses who were there. We also included a Shreveport Civil Rights Trail which shows sites associated with events and personalities in the movement in late 1950s to 1960s. Here we show the sites as they appear today and the appeared at that time with commentary to put it perspective. Obviously a work like this is not perfect and the author went to great lengths to insure persons who deserve recognition received it if informed of their courage and sacrifice. So if there are persons are not mentioned, but should be, please remember, it was an error of the head and not the heart. As you read this volume, remember how far we have come, and how far we must go. Special thanks to Mrs. Maxine Sarpy, , Mrs. Barbara Pendleton, Dr. Mary Louise Wilson, and Mrs. Sonya Landry for their help. We also thank persons interviewed for this work, Mrs. Verma Lee Henderson, Mrs. Ruther Washington, Mrs. Rosie Roque, Rev. Frank Daniel, Jr. Mr. Henry Sullivan, Mrs. Eula Wright, Mrs. Ruth Bryant and Mrs. Eursla Hardy, as well as posthumously Reverend C.D. Simmons and Dr. J. K. Haynes. Mrs. May God bless you all!!! Peace, power and freedom!!! Sincerely, His Servant, Asriel Gamaliel McLain
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Coming Forth As Pure Gold A Look At Civil Rights Activities In Shreveport, Louisiana 1959-1968
By Asriel Gamaliel McLain

Synopsis of Civil Rights Activities in Shreveport, Louisiana 1959-68


In the aftermath of the Second World War, America began to face the realization that although she believed in the principle of liberty and justice for all, she had not yet fulfilled this commitment. The demands for equality for all citizens increased as blacks having fought to keep America from tyranny, returned from the bloody battlefields of Europe, Africa, and Asia. In 1948, the Democratic Convention, despite southern disagreement, adopted a strong civil rights plank in its political platform. The blow which struck the down racial barriers was a ruling by the United States Supreme Court declaring separate but equal facilities as being unequal and unconstitutional. This ruling , however, was to experience difficulties becoming a reality. Between 1954-68, blacks relied heavily on court decisions and activities such as selective buying campaigns (boycotts), and demonstrations to show America that the time had come for second-class citizenship to come to an end. We shall attempt to examine the human rights struggle in the typical southern city of Shreveport, Louisiana from 1959 to 1968, in which the blacks used the fore stated tactics. In 1959 the plight of the black man in Shreveport was typical to the overwhelming majority of Southern blacks in the United States. The top jobs held by blacks were limited to the traditional fields of education and religion, being that of teacher and the minister. Some blacks held proprietorships in some industries such a dry cleaning, corner groceries, beauty and barber shops. Blacks employed by white businesses held the job of either maid or janitor with the very bleak possibilities of a promotion. In Shreveport there were few, if there were any, public accommodations open to blacks. It is said that the F.W. Woolworth Store on Texas Avenue was the only downtown businesses which provided meager public accommodations for blacks being of course a snack bar in the rear of the building. Restrooms, water fountains were, as usual, segregated as well as school systems with white schools having the better facilities. The attitude of black residents of Shreveport toward the conditions can be categorized into either one of the four following areas: A.) Fear of showing resentment--This was caused by the threat of losing one's job, if one had a financial obligations, it would be impractical to bite the hand that feeds. B.) "Selling out" or capitalizing from the situation"--This was a means of achieving personal gains in exchange for giving information to whites who sought to suppress attempts by blacks to advance themselves. This interesting group of blacks who contributed to repression were called "snitchers", who often attended mass meetings or churches known to be pro-civil rights. Well paid by the establishment, these persons would tape verbatim proceedings and announcements, thus hindering somewhat any secret moves by the black community. C.) Apathy--This feeling stemmed from the belief that fellow blacks would be nonappreciative of any efforts to free them. There was also the question of risking being fired or getting killed. D.) It's worth the risk--There were, however. those blacks a minority who just were not satisfied, having a spark of freedom within their very souls. These blacks felt it was worth the struggle and the risk that their descendants may have a better way of life. One lady, Mrs. Ann Brewster, secretary of the local NAACP and a delegate to the March on Washington in August, 1963, committed suicide to show commitment and because she had become discouraged over the attitudes of blacks and the slow progress made in the struggle. Three institutions from which the attack upon racism was launched consisted of the church, the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the United Christian Movement which was organized in response to the Louisiana Legislature outlawing the NAACP in the State of Louisiana. The activity of the church was revitalized. Younger ministers accepted pastorates in some of the more prominent pulpits of the city between 1959 and 1963. Among them were Reverends C.C. McLain, Little Union Baptist Church; Harry Blake, Lake Bethlehem and New Boggy Baptist Churches; and E. Edward Jones, the Galilee Baptist Church. Also, pastoring during this time were Reverends David Matthews at Antioch Baptist Church; J.R. Rutledge at Evergreen Baptist Church and John B. Simmons at the St. Rest Baptist Church. The black minister, as well as the church, endured trials by identifying themselves with the movement. There was an attempt to bomb the St. Rest Baptist Church but the try failed as the bomb was homemade. However some of the floor was slightly damaged. On a June afternoon in 1963, the policemen called for ministers to come to the station to discuss the movement which they called a communist conspiracy as well as questioning the reports that some of the ministers had received communist literature. On this occasion, police visited Pastor McLains home while he was not there. Upon inquiring of his whereabouts, the youngest son, age 10, at home alone, answered he did not know. The police without a search warrant, which the son knew they should have had entered the home and searched it. The lad did not question the police about a warrant, for he did not know what the cops would do to him. Rev. McLain, accepting the presidency of the NAACP for two years was harassed at night by threats on the telephone. . The Federal Bureau of Investigation was called in to investigate the matter.It was concluded that police were involved because it was believed that they would be the only logical ones to stay up at night to harass someone. Also, when the telephone was answered, sirens were heard in the background of the speaker at the other end of the line. Later, after the federal investigation the calls ceased. Pastor McLain also awoke one morning to find business cards referring to the Ku Klux Klan on the windshield of his car parked in front of the church parsonage at 1140 Kenneth Avenue. Despite all that pres-

sure, Pastor McLain was fearless and displayed courage even though it meant standing alone. He was the only black Baptist minister to greet the Freedom Riders when the arrived at the Trailways Bus Station in downtown Shreveport. It was also about this time in summer of 1962, that Pastor McLain and the Little Union family hosted Dr. King, in what was to be his last visit to Shreveport as other pastors and churches were afraid or apathetic to the struggle for equality. Rev. McLain and Rev. J.R. Rutledge were the only two Baptist pastors who had the courage to meet Dr. King at the airport. The compassion and concern for others is seen in Dr. Martin King, when offered the invitation to stay at the home of Pastor McLain, declined, stating that he did not want others at risk of bodily harm and ,that, when and if they get me, he wanted it to h appen alone. Rev. Blake was beaten and several times requested to come to the police station. Rev. Amos Terrell, pastor of the Lakeside Baptist Church, which was meeting in a converted movie theater, east of Little Union on Milam Street was also beaten. Police rode horses on the very front of the church and even rode them inside the sanctuary of Little Union. The reason given for the black churchs in the civil rights movement is that, 'the church is the only 'free' institution" and the minister is the "only 'free' individual because they are not controlled by outside forces. People look to the church for leadership."1 By the black church being uncontrolled by the establishment, their treasuries, meeting and office facilities could be used for the gathering of funds to employ attorneys for the defense of those arrested, meetings to plan strategy for actions such as boycotts and demonstrations. The National Association for the Advanced of Colored People, even though outlawed in the State of Louisiana, played an important part as a complimenting agency to the church. They would often give to others involved in the movement and would arrange meetings between black and white leadership or those agencies which benefit the black cause. An example of this was when Field Secretary Clarence Laws arranged a meeting with Mr. Rhinehart of the Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (otherwise known as "A & P) to settle matter of hiring blacks at the supermarket, (then located where the last Pete Harris Restaurant was, east of Pete Harris Drive). To avoid, however, any unnecessary confrontation with the white establishment, a new organization was formed consisting of a few ministers, members of the NAACP, and interested persons known as the United Christian Movement. It was headed by a local black dentist, Dr. C.O. Simpkins. Prior to 1959, Dr. Simpkins acted alone to make things better. His reward was only terror, finding cats shot through the head with notes around the neck saying he was next, or a cross burned in front of his house. This violent reaction to his struggle for freedom was climaxed when his new home in a rural portion of Caddo Parish was bombed, an event which later contributed to his decision to move to New York City. The strategy of the black community consisted of three thrusts--selective buying campaigns( boycotting of stores), demonstrations (marches, picketing of stores), and court action (filing of lawsuits against stores and local public agencies). Selective buying campaigns worked to get more blacks employed in decent and respectful positions or to open up segregated facilities. The first successful boycott was in 1959 when blacks confronted the supermarket on Milam Street (presently the abandoned Pete Harris Restaurant) owned by the Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (A & P) concerning the employment of black as cashiers. Since ninety-eight per cent of the trade done at the store was by black customers, Negroes contended that a percentage of the cashiers should be black. Because black encountered problems in meeting with the management, Mr. Clarence Laws, Southwestern Field Secretary of the NAACP arranged a meeting with black leaders and Mr. Rhinehart, Southwest Regional head of A&P stores. The heads of the Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company agreed to hire blacks but this agreement was never carried out. Two weeks prior to Christmas, blacks gave A&P an ultimatum saying if blacks were not hired within ten days, the store would be boycotted. Blacks were immediately hired. Blacks also planned to boycott the Louisiana State Fair which was held in Shreveport annually in October because whites seemed to be allowing whites to unfairly win all of the prizes at amusements. About late 1963, blacks also proclaimed a boycott of downtown in an effort to force desegregation of public accommodations. These later economic boycotts may or may not have had an affect since the passage of the Civil Rights Act was virtually assured by late 1963 or early 1964, in the eyes of some southern politicians. Demonstrations, however, did not play that much of a part in the struggle. There were only major demonstrations during this period which served somewhat to unite the black community. The Shreveport Sun on Saturday September 28, 1963 tells that Booker T. Washington High School became....... "a fort for hundreds of screaming, yelling and apparently resentful students Monday as Shreveport police and Caddo deputies using riot guns, rifles, bully clubs and tear gas, quelled a demonstration which extended one block beyond the school campus.".. The paper also tells of similar incidents happening at a nearby junior high school, J.S. Clark...... "The peaceful demonstration began during the lunch time at the school, which had alternate lunch periods. At the time of the arrival of police officers, only about two hundred students were participating....When officers arrived and stationed themselves on a divider on Hearne Avenue and the sidewalk on Ford Street, which borders the school, the student became resentful and began to throw rocks at passing cars. Traffic was halted past the school. The students began to chant 'We want freedom right now' and clapping their hands while others in their class began to yell 'Freedom' and jeering the police officers." Another recorded demonstration was on Sunday, September 22, 1963, which blacks walked down Lewis Place to Ashton Street then to Norma Street at Milam Street to the Little Union Baptist Church where services were held in memory of the four young girls killed at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. This route was taken "since Public Safety Commissioner George D'Artois had denied them a permit to march from Kenneth Avenue to the Little Union Baptist Church" These demonstrations, though publicly expressing black demands for equality, caused a white reaction which only unified blacks of Shreveport as the Shreveport Sun says in an editorial.....

"If Sunday, September 22, marked the beginning of Negroes march toward freedom in Shreveport, local leader must credit Public Safety Commissioner George D'Artois with extending a helping hand.... Backing his decision not to permit the parade with nearly 200 city and parish law enforcement officers, he succeeded. In doing so, he also convinced hundreds who witnessed this Stalin display of power, that long cherished hopes, that negotiation and across-the-table could not solve Shreveport's problems" Court actions sought to enforce civil rights laws already passed on the local level or to test local statutes which fostered segregation. Such an example occurred in April, 1965 as suits were filed in Federal District Court, seeking to totally integrate facilities, faculties, and student bodies of the school systems of Caddo, Natchitoches, and Evangeline Parishes. The suits were filed in behalf of the children of Rev. E. Edward Jones, Rev. C.C. McLain, Mrs. Bernice Smith, and Mrs. Dorothy Saxton, residents of Caddo Parish; Mrs. Eleanor Robertson, Mr. James Gay, and Mr. Leo Antee of Natchitoches Parish, and Mr. James Graham and Mr. James Williams, Sr. of Evangeline Parish. Later, however, federal court invalidated the suit of Rev. McLain saying he paid taxes and was registered to vote in Lincoln Parish. The suit resulted in parishes in 1966 gradually desegregating their school systems as did other suits result in the desegregating of facilities whose owners had denied the use of by blacks. The year 1963, was to the Civil Rights Movement what the year, 1863 was to the Civil War a turning point. Shreveport was shaken also the same year but like the majority of seven cities, blacks showed some signs of unity in their cause for equality. On Sunday, September 22, 1963 Shreveport was rocked by violent reaction from city officials especially Public Safety Commissioner George W. D'Artois and those working under him. The confrontation stemmed from a request by black leaders to have a memorial march for the four girls killed the previous week in Birmingham, Alabama. The proposed route was to be from the corner of Kenneth Avenue and Milam Street east to the Little Union Baptist Church where memorial services were to be held, featuring Deacon H. D. Coke, a trustee of the 16th Street Baptist Church of Birmingham, Alabama, who is said, to have discovered the bodies of the girls, as the principal speaker. However, when approximately two hundred law enforcement officers sought to stop the demonstration, youth wearing t-shirts, with the words CORE, FREEDOM NOW and NAACP, underneath jackets walked down Lewis Place to Ashton Street to Norma Street to the church. When they crossed the streets to the church, they immediately removed their jackets to the surprise of the policemen. To stay informed of what was said in the church sanctuary, a red and white convertible was bugged and parked next door to the church to monitor the services to the police headquarters. Following the services, the Shreveport Sun reports..... "At the Little Union Baptist Church where memorial services were held, police bottled off the area while mounted officers paraded up and down. Following the meeting, Rev. Harry Blake, president of the Shreveport branch of the NAACP was beaten. Seven stitches were required to close a gnash in his head. Four youth were picked up and held overnight on suspicion of throwing rocks at the officers. They were released by 11:00 A.M. Monday." Milam Street that night was a place of horror. Police ran residents off the front porches of their homes so as not to have any witnesses to their deeds. They rode horses on the church steps and in the church sanctuary as well as brutally beat another ministers, Rev. Amos Terrell, pastor of the Lakeside Baptist Church as the church was about to begin their broadcast of night worship services on the radio. Mr. Clarence Laws, however, was in town for the services and busied himself in Rev. McLain's study calling federal investigators as well as the office of the Attorney General of the United States, Robert Francis Kennedy. At the same on a couch in the pastor's study, Dr. Joseph Sarpy and his wife, Maxine, who was his nurse, treated Blake's wounds. Dr. Sarpy and his wife, Maxine, were the first African-American professional medical team in the city of Shreveport. For his own safety lest harm befall him in Shreveport hospitals, upon the advice of Rev. C.C. McLain, Pastor Blake was taken for treatment at a hospital in Dallas, Texas. The next day, blacks demonstrated at Booker T. Washington High School and J.S. Clark Junior Hi School. Police again displayed tactics of the previous day, causing injuries to twenty or more students, even clubbing, according to the Shreveport Sun, the principal, Mr. R.H. Brown to the pavement. The school was a fort according to the paper..... "Mrs. N.L. Leech, business education teacher was carried bodily to a paddy wagon after she appealed to the policemen to leave the campus and let teachers take of the situation. She suffered bruises over her arms and shoulders. She was later released....One teacher reported seeing three policemen kick and drag fifteen year-old Joan Welch across the campus. The teacher said one of the officers threatened and made her move back from the window. The girl required extensive medical treatment. Another witness reported seeing a policeman hold a rifle in the back of another girl while beating her on the shoulder with a billy club. The physical education department was a receiving hospital. Many students were issued towels to help clear burning eyes and noses which resulted from tear gas bombs tossed in a crowd in the 1900 block of Milam and into the school itself." It is said that after the incident, the gym resembled an emergency room at a hospital as at least three hundred students and staffers were treated for tear gas. In reaction to these acts of the police, the high school faculty met on the following Wednesday to issue a resolution which listed six specific acts they believed should be brought to the attention of the citizens of Shreveport. These included the clubbing of the principal and the assistant principal, ill treatment of Mrs. N. L. Leech and a sixteen year old girl and the use of tear gas on the campus.

At J.S. Clark, virtually the same situation occurred with confrontation of the police with students. However, tear gas was not issued and no injuries were reported. D'Artois is reported to have said,"I am sick and tired of having to move my whole outfit out here and receiving no cooperation from the Negro school people," and "going to use tear gas or whatever is necessary to break them."8 Tuesday night, September 24, 1963, the executive session of the NAACP passed a resolution asking school children of Shreveport to cease demonstrations immediately to prevent injury to the children. Also a request made by the organization to all black residents and the students to refrain from violence. These incidents only unified the black community of the Shreveport by the fact the white establishment had defiled the black church and the black minister who were deeply respected among Negroes. Another factor which contributed to a closeness among blacks was that when police harassed citizens and students who were not that involved in the movement, white racists showed no respect of any black persons or their property and that they intended by any means needed to keep the niggers in their places. By the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the filing of a suit to desegregate Caddo schools, blacks began to explore their new social and political gains. Passage of the Voting Rights Act increased the number of blacks on the registration rolls, thus in 1966, some blacks considered running for public office. Since the black church and the black preacher had led the struggle for freedom, it was surprising that the black preacher should be among the first to seek office. Rev. E. Edward Jones, Mrs. Simpkins, Mrs.Lathan ran for seats on the Caddo Parish School Board with Mr. Rosie Banks running for a seat on the Caddo Parish Police Jury(which is now the Caddo Parish Commission), the governing body of the parish. Later Rev. Amos Terrell sought election as state representative. None of these candidates made it to a run-off, except Mr. Banks, who was later defeated by a white opponent due to a light turn-out in black precincts. Reasons for the failures of these ventures lie in the fact that Caddo Parish,as well as most of Louisiana, was under the at-large system where voters had to vote for so many of the candidates running for the same offices in a given area. Combining this with white block voting for white candidates and light turn-out in precincts in black areas were assured defeat. Because blacks still not exercise the vote or the franchise these candidates could not count on any solid backing. Blacks were still at the mercy of the at-large system, the only way to be heard by civil authorities was to negotiate with white candidates for promised concessions if they received the black vote and won. This resulted in southern politicians wooing the black vote thus politics became less racist oriented and candidates could deal with other issues facing all the citizens. 1968 witnessed the murders of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.(who incidentally made his public appearance in Shreveport at the Little Union Baptist Church in 1962) and that the of United States Senator Robert F. Kennedy, who was seeking the Democratic Party Presidential Nomination. In this setting, blacks then ventured out to seek fairer employment practices. Where the NAACP was presided over by Billy Joe Mason. In the spring of 1968 the NAACP reported that in spite over 50% of his trade being done with blacks, Mr. Stanley Lewis owner of Stan's Record Shop on Texas Avenue had hired only three blacks in menial positions. In early June as a result of this, the NAACP voted to launch a selective buying campaign against all record shops owned by Mr. Lewis. From June to late August, the boycott wore on with picketing by black citizens from all walks of life. These picketers were harassed by police officers and even by a black woman who hurled threats and uttered profanity at the pickters. However, when blacks appealed for protection, Public Safety Commissioner D'Artois denied it. By late August, Mr. Lewis finally conceded and gave black citizens better jobs. As a result of the successful boycott, other prominent stores, such as United Wholesale(which later became Service Merchandise), Rubenstein's and Goldrings hired blacks as clerics by December,1968. This showed that blacks had achieved some economic strength which if shifted at the right time could somewhat paralyzed the economy of Shreveport. We can by observing these events note that the black church was divinely preserved to be a type of a socially redeeming agency and that nonviolent action was only means to fight for equality. The black church served as a base for struggle for she was not controlled by any outside forces, economic or political but was sovereign within herself. The church was also highly respected which enabled her to be a guiding light amidst the shadows of racist reaction to social change. Non-violence was the only means for achieving equality for armed defiance would be fruitless because whites controlled all the arms and the economy. If blacks had shown armed defiance, white authorities in order to have excuses to smash directly the movement could have either destroyed blacks with force by provoking black violent reaction, frightening white citizens to take up arms thus silencing any white sympathy or moved in to stop what they termed a communist agitated conspiracy. In conclusion, we can observe that with faith in God, blacks were able to use meager resources of spirit, mind, economics and body and literally turn their world upside down.

Pictorial History of the Events of September 22, 1963 at Little Union Baptist Church
Mrs. Ann Brewster and Rev. Harry Blake board a plane for Washington, D.C. for the Historic March on Washington

Pictorial History of September 23, 1963: Demonstration at Booker T. Washington High School

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Shreveport Civil Rights Trail

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Shreveports Civil Rights Trail


As we reflect on the events of 50 years ago, a civil rights trail has prepared showcasing historic sites in the Shreveport. Photos show the site as it looks today, and where possible pictures of the events that took place in September, 1963. We hope you will visit these places of interests and remember how far we have come and just how far we must go to the promised land of justice and equality.

Stop 1: (Old A & P Grocery Store) Former Pete Harris Caf) Corner of Milam Street and Western Avenue )

I In the late 1950s and 1960s A and P (Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company) was the place to shop in Allendale Lakeside. A national chain of supermarkets across America, it existed until the late 1970s in some parts of the country. While over 70 percent of the customers who shopped there were persons of color, the employees as well as management was white which drew concern of ministers as well as other organizations such as the United Christian Movement ( a front of the NAACP since it had been outlawed in the State of Louisiana.) Selective buying campaigns sought to get more blacks employed in decent and respected positions or to open up segregated facilities. The first successful boycott was in 1959 when blacks confronted the supermarket on Milam Street (presently the abandoned Pete Harris Restaurant) owned by the Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (A & P) concerning the employment of black as cashiers. Since ninety-eight per cent of the trade done at the store was by black customers, Negroes contended that a percentage of the cashiers should be black. Because black encountered problems in meeting with the management, Mr. Clarence Laws, Southwestern Field Secretary of the NAACP arranged a meeting with black leaders and Mr. Rhinehart, Southwest Regional head of A&P stores. The heads of the Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company agreed to hire blacks but this agreement was never realized. Two weeks prior to Christmas, blacks gave A&P an ultimatum saying if blacks were not hired within ten days, the store would be boycotted. Blacks were immediately hired. Blacks also sought to boycott the Louisiana State Fair which was held in Shreveport annually in October. It was obvious that whites seemed to be allowing whites to unfairly win prizes at amusements. Late 1963, blacks also proclaimed a boycott of downtown in an effort to force desegregation of public accommodations. These later economic boycotts may or may not have had a great affect since the passage of the Civil Rights Act was virtually assured by late 1963 or early 1964. In the eyes of some southern politicians believed that the late boycotts were needed. This structure while abandoned is a monument to the power of black dollars to make a difference as well as black entrepreneurship that kept us during the dark days of Jim Crow, as Milam Street west was saturated with black businesses of all types to fill the needs of African-American customers From night clubs, grocery stores, gas stations, dry cleaners, and restaurants, to name a few, though the black church was and still the bulwark of our community. 14

Stop 2: Freeman and Harris Cafe

The most popular place to eat in Shreveport was Freeman and Harris. The original caf was a venture between Jack Harris and Van Freeman. The original location was in the 1000 block of Texas Street which was opened in 1923. Later, the two located the their business to 317 Western Avenue. In 1938 no one would have believed that a classy eating place would develop into the type of place that Freeman and Harris developed into. The two welcomed their young and personable nephew Pete Harris to the workforce in 1938. Pete was soon joined by two cousins, Tody Wallette and Arthur Chapman( Scrap). More cousins, nephews, and finally grandchildren became active workers in what became a family business. African-Americans and whites gathered at this restaurant daily to enjoy the food served at Freeman and Harris. This was the most integrated place in Shreveport during lunch time. Politicians, business leaders, religious leaders and ministers, teachers and people from all walks of life enjoyed the food and atmosphere created by all who chose this eating place. Clientele included people from out of town also. During the civil rights movement, freedom riders, civil rights workers, and all of the major leaders of the struggle ate at Freeman and Harris. Dr. Martin Luther King and Rev. Ralph Abernathy ate at Freeman and Harris each time they visited Shreveport. They enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere of the caf. When other fighters for human rights came to Shreveport, it was common knowledge to the African-American community that more helpers had come to the city and they had stopped to eat at Freeman and Harris.

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Stop 3: The Evergreen Baptist Church * 804 Allen Avenue * Shreveport, Louisiana

White Supremacists even had children involved in picketing the church during a mass meeting

The Evergreen Baptist Church is considered one of the old historic black congregations in Shreveport, Louisiana organized in 1878. Originally location on Taylor Street, the church moved to its present site when Interstate 20 was constructed. During the visit of Dr. Marin L. King, Jr. white supremacists as well as members of the Ku Klux Klan marched in front of the church. Deacon Napoleon Barrett stated attendees at the meeting had to park a block away and walked to sanctuary. Obviously those inside the church to the point that many were unwilling to sit by the windows for fear of bigots on the outside might break out or even shoot through the windows. However time passed, several members were involved in the moved for justice and equality by persistently seeking to register and vote, Mrs. Ruth Bryant and her sister, Mrs. Eula Wright. The pastor at the time was Reverend J.R. Rethledge. A graduate of Bishop College, then in Marshall, Texas, he encouraged members to seek to exercise their right to vote as well as support the movement. He also displayed courage by hosting a ministerial luncheon for Dr. King, in 1962, Charles Evers, at a memorial service for his brother, Medgar and a rally at which one of the Freedom Riders spoke. The present pastor, Dr. Aaron Dobynes, during his tenure has sought to raise the conscious level of Evergreen members and the community at large to be sensitive to the call of the gospel of our Christ, especially in matters of economic and social justice.
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Stop 4: Ann Brewster Home * 1627 Templeman Street * Shreveport, La.

Ann Brewster Residence

Mrs. Ann Brewster

1627 Templeman Street is the home of Ann Brewster, a dedicated civil rights worker who constantly fought to help all black people of the southern states become first class citizens of the United States of America. It was in her modest home that locals and giants of the civil rights movement met, planned and instituted strategies for peacefully overcoming the injustices of the times. Some of the giants of the struggle who met at 1627 Templeman Street were Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Reverend Ralph Abernathy, Charles and Medgar Evers, and Wyatt Tee Walker, his executive assistant. The home seemed a safe haven for Dr. King and Reverend Abernathy. Both slept there also when working in Shreveport, Louisiana. It was from 1627 Templeman Street that Ann went from six days a week to the Modern Beauty Salon at 1544 Milam Street. There she and her co-workers Mamie Love, Bernice Smith, Mercedes Rogers, Helen Adams, and Louise Jones worked and took time, when needed to give information to people who needed help in effectively working for the elimination of human suffering in the south. Ann also was the adult advisor to youth who sat in at downtown lunch counters. It was from her modest home that she attended worship at the Little Union Baptist Church. There she sang in the senior or adult choir. It was from this she traveled to Washington, D.C. and joined thousands in the 1963 March on Washington. It was in this house on February 25, 1964 that the pioneer Ann Brewster was found dead. A mystery that many find baffling. The Civil Rights martyr had gone from this world. She nor her work will not be forgotten. A permanent monument to her memory stands on the Milam Street side of the church. Also, annually the NAACP gives a plaque to one who demonstrates the fortitude of Ann Brewster.
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Stop 5: Modern Beauty Shop and the Lighthouse Building


Modern Beauty Shop
Both located at 1544 Milam Street Shreveport, La.

The Lighthouse Building


The name on the building was adapted as a beacon for seekers of membership to one of the most prosperous insurance companies in the state of Louisiana. However, the insurance company started with a small group of Louisiana of business people who believed in themselves and the mind set of their Indiana State University trained executive Bunyan Jacobs. Jacabs had started the insurance company from organizing shares from investors. These shares sold at $10.00 each. The shares grew and voila, a prosperous company was born. The first location was at 1209 Pierre Avenue. August 4, 1958 at 1544 Milam Street. The Lighthouse Building became mecca for African-Americans in Shreveport, Louisiana. Many business were identified because they were housed in the best address for becoming knownThe Lighthouse Building on Milam Street. It was in this building many civil rights meetings were held in dark rooms and behind locked doors. It was from the Lighthouse Company that illegally charged fines by the police were paid from the money saved by the executives of the Company. Another fact of the time to be remembered is that the home of C.O. Simpkins that was bombed during the civil rights fight in Shreveport, that dream home that ended in a pile of rubble was financed by funds from the monies in the coffers of the Lighthouse Insurance Company.
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Stop 6: Freedom House 1525 Milam Street Shreveport, La.

The Friendship House was located at 1525 Milam Street. Dr. J.C. Brierre, a black physician and Dr. Joe Haloubeck, a white physician joined in the late fifties and early sixties to provide a place where the members of both races could meet and discuss race relations in a place solely provided for the purpose of coming together and sharing pertinent information meaningful to working together as friends. The Catholic Diocese, of which both doctors were members, provided this community service. This venture was received greatly by people of both races. Many wanted the place to become a permanent part of the community services. However, a lasting friendship developed between Dr. Brierre and Dr. Haloubeck.
(Note: Since picture of the house is known to exist, pictured is an address card.)

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Stop 7: Former Ritz Theater Site / Lakeside Baptist Church of Shreveport, Louisiana 1713 Milam Street * Shreveport, Louisiana

Prior to the elimination of Jim Crow laws which legalized segregation of the races, the black community turned within for moral, spiritual, educational and economic support. At the time, black businesses included restaurants, gas stations, dry cleaners, clubs and in urban areas, movie theaters. One such facilities was the Ritz Theater, which later on closing was home to the Lakeside Baptist Church. And after the congregation to its new home on Grand Avenue on Elvis Priestly Boulevard of the Municipal Auditorium, it was used as a mosque. However, during the evening of Sunday, September 22, 1963, the Lakeside family witnessed the brute force of the police department as its Pastor, Reverend Amos Terrell was beaten just before the beginning of the live broadcast of night worship during that reign of terror. Pastor Terrell owned a restaurant and later ran for the Louisiana House of Representatives in 1967 but it was unsuccessful. However his candidacy as well as that of Rosie Banks for Caddo Parish Police Jury, and Dr. C.O Simpkins run for Caddo Parish School Board signaled the coming of a new day, when it would be conceivable and possible that blacks would hold high office on all levels of the government.
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Stop 8 : Little Union Baptist Church * 1846 Milam Street * Shreveport, La.

Present Day of Little Union

Circa, 1962 about the time of Dr. Kings visit.

Little Union On the Evening of Sunday, September 23, 1963


Considered to be the epicenter of the Civil Rights Movement in Shreveport, Little Union Baptist Church was organized 1892 in Bossier Parish in a store on the Brownlee Plantation, in the vicinity of present day La. Highway 3 (Benton Road) before moving to its present location in 1912. In the 1960s it was the scene of civil rights activities under the fearless and dynamic leadership of her pastor, Reverend Claude Clifford McLain who served for 32 years. When pastors and churches were afraid of involvement in the movemen t, the church stood behind its leader, and takes with pride that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached for the last time in Shreveport in its pulpit. But it was the evening of Sunday, September 22, 1963 that is forever seared in the minds of Shreveporters, the nation and event the world, when the police in response to the tenacity of black citizens harassed, yes, brutalized people attending the memorial service in commemorating the murder of 4 girls when the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama was bombed. Citizens so as not to witness this reign of terror were run off of their front porches of their homes. Reverend Harry Blake was beaten savagely with mercy to point of needing at six stitches. It was these events at Little Union that led students at Booker T. Washington High School to march in protest, only to be met with severe brutality from the police. Subsequently, after the events of 1963, Pastor C.C. McLain and the Little Union family continued to open its doors to the civil rights community, especially for mass meetings to continue the fight for equality. It was hear that the fires of the struggle for economic injustice were stirred while the NAACP led a boycott against Stan Lewis Record Shop the summer of 1968, as well as the boycott of downtown stores until blacks were hired in meaningful positions during the Christmas season. Because of the support of Little Union, the NAACP at that time had its office in properties very near the church. In later years, inspired by Pastor McLains vision, the church purchased the old Lakeside Building(known as the Powell Building) and renovated it as a Christian Education facility. The building was named for him after his death in 1991. It st ill seeks to fulfill the Masters call to be salt and light and make a difference in the community under the present pastor, Dr. Clifford McLain through various ministries, including a daycare. Little Union boasts of nationally known preachers having stood in its pulpit. Such notables include C. L. Franklin, C.A.W. Clark(a former pastor) William Shaw, William A. Jones, Gardner C. Taylor, Frederick Sampson, Nelson Smith, A.L. Davis, Jr. Also such notables have visited the church for worship including Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Johnny Cochran, and John Conyers to mentioned a few.

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Stop 9:: St. Rest Baptist Church

1664 Garden Street, the address of St. Rest Baptist Church was a popular address for many freedom riders, CORE (Congress of Racial Equality), civil rights strategists and locals who were dedicated to win the fight in the southern part of the United States for freedom for all citizens. This was also true of many other churches of the area that stood as iconic pillars of sanctuaries off the cause of and for first class citizenship of all African-Americans. All of the congregations of those churches wanted everyone to be a full fledged citizen of this sweet land of liberty and the home of the brave. Reverend John B. Simmons was the dedicated pastor of St. Rest at that time. He was a strong leader in every aspect of the struggle. He led his members to work in every aspect of the civil rights struggle. He had led his members to work in every aspect of the civil rights struggle.. On October 9, 1961 CORE was having a Freedom Banquet at St. Rest Baptist Church. Attorney Jessie N.Stone had just completed an inspiring speech when suddenly there was a loud blast and debris falling. Two Molotov cocktail bombs had been thrown into the northwest wall of the church. No one left the building. After fireman and police had cleaned some of the debris up, the persons who had attended the banquet loudly sang freedom songs and ended with the civil rights alma mater, We Shall Overcome. All was not over. Five days following the bombing, the CORE members had planned a Freedom Rally at the Saint Mary Baptist Church at 1460 Kenneth Street. All of a sudden, police cars rushed to the church and arrested sixteen(16) CORE members for bombing Saint Rest Baptist Church. Eric Richardson, one of the CORE members arrested, recognized some of of the policemen who had talked with him across from St. Rest Baptist Church. When Richardson reminded the whole group of policemen of the conversation and that he had identified the black sedan and the white truck that entered the yard of Saint Rest, my! The cover up was exposed! The young men of CORE were released and, the Shreveport, Policemen quietly, very quietly drove away!
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Stop 10: Booker T. Washington High School

Booker T. Washington High School now serves both middle school and high schoo students. well as those in ghgh

BTW on September 23, 1963

Built in the 1950s Booker T. Washington was cited in Life magazine as one of the best high schools in the nation for black children. In addition to the standard academic curriculum, BTW as it is affectionately called often a great vo-tech program in fields such photography and graphic arts, cosmetology and others. The next day, Monday, September 23, 1963 it too would enter the annals of black history in the struggle of justice for all everywhere. Black students demonstrated at Booker T. Washington High School and J.S. Clark Junior High School. Police again displayed tactics of the previous day, causing injuries to twenty or more students, even clubbing, according to the Shreveport Sun, the principal, Mr. R.H. Brown to the pavement. The school was a fort The next day, blacks demonstrated at Booker T. Washington High School and J.S. Clark Junior Hi School. Police again displayed tactics of the previous day, causing injuries to twenty or more students, even clubbing, according to the Shreveport Sun, the principal, Mr. R.H. Brown to the pavement. The school was a fort according to the Sun..... "Mrs. N.L. Leech, business education teacher was carried bodily to a paddy wagon after she appealed to the policemen to leave the campus and let teachers take of the situation. She suffered bruises over her arms and shoulders. She was later released....One teacher reported seeing three policemen kick and drag fifteen year-old Joan Welch across the campus. The teacher said one of the officers threatened and made her move back from the window. The girl required extensive medical treatment. Another witness reported seeing a policeman hold a rifle in the back of another girl while beating her on the shoulder with a billy club. The physical education department was a receiving hospital. Many students were issued towels to help clear burning eyes and noses which resulted from tear gas bombs tossed in a crowd in the 1900 block of Milam and into the school itself." About 400 persons in the gym were treated for tear gas exposure. It is said that went members of the white power structure saw the police brutally manhandling a mentally challenged student who was the daughter of the domestic worker of the president of one of the banks, he summoned Public Safety Commissioner, George DArtois to his office and demanded such tactics and misuse of force cease, or else he would suffer dire consequences to the point of losing his job. Today Booker Washington, boasts of many outstanding alumni who went on to college after graduation, and are now serving the community as well as the nation and world in various fields such as law, medicine, ministry, education, as well in the field of athletics. Its football rivalry with Green Oaks High School in the Martin Luther King area of Shreveport, also known as the Cooper Road is the stuff legends are made of.
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Stop 11: 1900 Block of Milam Street( looking west toward Booker T. Washington High School)

The scene in the 1900 block of Milam Street between Elder and Norma Streets is very quiet today. However, one can notice by the black and white photos that September 23, 1963 the area was anything but that. Students from Booker T. Washington High School attempted to march in protest of the police actions taken the previous Sunday night at Little Union as well as the beating of Rev. Harry Blake. They were also demanded the demise of Jim Crow. The march got as far the next block east of the school where students were met with brute force seen in police beating and use of tear gas. Students were arrested and put in garbage trucks. However many jumped out on the opposite side of the vehicle as fast as the cops put them in. About 16 students were arrested and four had to be treated at Confederate Memorial Hospital (now LSU Medical Center). In addition to the events of September 23, ,1963, the block has another claim to fame in that the house in which internationally acclaimed attorney, Johnny Cockran, spent his early years, still stands across the street from the scene of the BTW incident. Also the scenes from the movie Snitch were also shot in and in front of the second house to the left seen the color photograph.
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Stop 12: The John B. Simmons Home 2031 Ashton * Shreveport, Lousiana

The home of Reverend John B. Simmons is one of the two places where places where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. slept and comfortably ate with friends. It was impossible for him to spend any time in public motels in the African-American neighborhoods of the city. So, not only was he comfortable in the home of Reverend and Mrs. J.B. Simmons, he met many people for conferences and delicious meals.

Pastor John B. Simmons and other ministers ride the city bus to challenge the segregation laws. 25

Stop 13: Site of the Old 13th District Baptist Association Building (corner of Kenneth Avenue and Milam Street)

Because of the cruelty of Jim Crow laws and limiting opportunities for blacks prior to the 1950s and 60s, blacks Often spearheaded by religious, business, and civic organizations pooled their resources to have developed facilities that the community could use. One such facility was the Old 13th District Building which belonged to the 13th District Baptist Association located at the corner of Milam Street and Kenneth Avenue. The two story building was built of cinderblocks. On the lower level was offices, one of which at one time housed a barbershop and another a large office which often served as a place of worship for newly organized churches. The top floor was a vast auditorium were community meetings where held such as association gatherings, place of worship for congregations in their infancy, or a temporary house of worship for churches whose buildings were being completely renovated for a long period of time as in the case of Little Union n the spring and summer of 1961. It was most significant role was in September, 1963 as a gathering spot for civil rights demonstrators who were lined up there going east to Lewis Place, in an attempt to march to Little Union Baptist Church for the memorial service to to the victims of the Birmingham, Alabama church bombing that previous week. Since Public Safety Commissioner George DArtois refused to permit the march, threatening to arrest those who dared to march, the demonstrators then turned south, walking the back way, and arrived at the church while others came by car to the cheers of those in the church and the anger and dismay of DArtois and the Shreveport law enforcement community. The building like some properties that served the black community in terms of fostering civic responsibilities, business development as well as economic empowerment was torn down in the early years of the 21st century. But the legacy and the memories of its role in the life of black Shreveport, will remain forever.
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Stop 14: Former Parsonage of the Little Union Baptist Church of Shreveport, Louisiana 1140 Kenneth Avenue * Shreveport, Louisiana

This house, purchased by Little Union Baptist Church in 1959, was the residence or parsonage, for Reverend C.C. McLain and family from 1959 to 1974. During the tumultuous early 1960s when Pastor McLain served as Shreveport NAACP chapter, bigots were call the house making death threats. Pastor McLain would be cool, calm and collective, responding by giving them his address and say that he would be waiting on them, as he hoped that their life insurance was paid up. And one time, the Ku Klux Klan, left cards on the windshield of his old brown Dodge when it was parked in front of the house. The situation got so bad that the FBI was called in to interview Reverend and Mrs. Claude C. McLain and family. While I was never fully determined who was behind the harassing phone calls, some had speculated it may members of the police department of Shreveport, since background noise sounded as if the callers were in law enforcement office. On two separate occasion, two would be bombers were caught on the property. Pastor McLain had a very peripheral vision and could see behind him. The white gentleman when caught, then begged for his life, as was told to leave the property immediately. Nevertheless to say he did, unharmed. On another occasion, footsteps were heard in the drive way late one night. But Mrs. Mildred McLain, Pastor McLains wife, screamed and the alleged bomber ran, an act which saved the lives of the McLain family as well as the would be attacker who was about to be shot by Pastor McLain, in order to saved his family. On a June afternoon in 1963, the policemen called for ministers to come to the station to discuss the movement which they called a communist conspiracy as well as questioning the reports that some of the ministers had received communist literature. On this occasion, police visited Pastor McLains home while he was not there. Upon inquiring of his whereabouts, the youngest son, Asriel, age 10, at home alone, answered he did not know. The police without a search warrant, which the son knew they should have had, but did not entered, the home and searched it. The lad did not question the police about a warrant, for he did not know what the cops would do to him. However, the police later that day and picked up Pastor McLain, as well as Reverend David Matthews, who pastured Antioch Baptist Church, and lived down the street on Kenneth Avenue where a cross was burned on his front lawn, as the Klan got the wrong address, thinking they were terrorizing Rev. McLain. Other ministers were picked up by the police as a form of harassment that Friday, but released a few hours later. Like most homes of ministers, a guest room was kept ready in the event, a visiting preacher came to town as blacks could not stay in local hotels. When Dr. King came for what would be his last visit to Shreveport, in 1962 as the guest of Pastor McLain and the Little Union church, he was offered the hospitality of the McLain household. The compassion and concern for others is seen in Martin King, when offered the invitation to stay at the home of Pastor McLain, declined, stating that he did not want others at risk for bodily harm and that when and if they get me, he wanted it to happen alone

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Stop 15: Old Galilee Baptist Church

Galilee Baptist Church was founded in 1877. It was located on this site from 1917 to 1975. In 1958, during the pastorate of Rev. J.H. Stewart. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke here, effectively initiating the Civil Rights movement in Shreveport. Strategies which lead to Caddo School desegregation also were mapped out here. This site is included in the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

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Stop 16: Site of Stans Record Shop( corner of Texas Avenue and Common Street)

The Youth Council, an arm of the Shreveport Chapter of the NAACP was organized in 1968 while B.J. Mason was serving as Chapter President. Larry Boogaloo Cooper was President of the Youth Chapter and Charles Crockrom was VicePresident. The development of leadership skills along with gaining access and employment at local businesses was the goal of the youth council. Stans Record Shop was the first target. Council members picketed their establishment all summer while being threatened, intimidated and arrested and charged with disturbing the peace. Ladies active in the community including Willie Bell Boyd, Eursla Hardy, Dorothy Johnson, Peola Davis, Julie Lester, Maxine Sarpy and Barbara Pendleton relieved the members each Saturday morning. This activity led to meaningful employment at Stans Record Shop and later, after the Black Christmas Boycott throughout downtown Shreveport department stores and food outlets..
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Stop 17: Former Walgreen Pharmacy in Downtown Shreveport

Stop 18: Former Woolworths Department Store

Stop 19: Site of H. L. Green Store in Downtown Shreveport

Civil Rights Trail Stops 17, 18, and 19 are combined on this page as they, along with Sears Department Store, were sites of the sit-ins. here in Shreveport. They are about one to one and half blocks about on Texas Avenue across from the Caddo Parish Courthouse. Until the mid to late 1980s downtown Shreveport was the place to shop as the more affluent citizens of the Port City shopped at Rubensteins, Selbers, M. Levi, Palais Royal and Goldrings while working class and poorer people traded on Texas Avenue which was the site of what was known as 5 and Dime Stores, such as Woolworth, Kress, H.L. Green, the equivalent of what be today would be, the Dollar Store such as Dollar Tree. While downtown shopping, store customers and those who worked in the vicinity, would stop and have lunch at segregated lunch counters, with the one for white customers in the front of the store and the one for blacks in the rear. However that system was challenged on July 17, 1963 when 11 young people simultaneously in groups of 2 or 3 went to the lunch counters and demanded service. One participant, Mr. Henry Sullivan, stated that the reaction of whites, both store personnel as well as shoppers panicked and were in a state of disbelief. The police were then called and those freedom fighters were then carried off to jail. The sit-ins at lunch counters here in Shreveport as well as throughout the south were as a battering ram knocking down the walls of segregation, underscoring the power of soul force over against brute force of racism and bigotry. They also laid the foundation for the next phase of the movement, namely economic empowerment, which underscored that the truth that it is not just important to have the right to eat a sandwich anywhere, but also the need to have a job so one could afford the sandwich as black Shreveporters would challenge the business community to hire persons of color in meaningful positions.

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Stop 20: Shreveport Bus Station

One of the most memorable group of foot soldiers in the movement were the Freedom Riders, who were predominantly college students, both black and white who travelled through the south. They sought test as well as take out segregation in terms of travel on the bus as well as the use of the waiting rooms at bus terminals. The bus station in Shreveport too was the scene of a visit of the freedom riders. While the response to their visit here was not as violent as in other parts of the region, it still received notice from the local press and of course harsh response from the local law enforcement. Upon their arrival and refusal to obey the laws of segregated waiting areas, they were arrested, along with Rev. Harold Bethune, a local pastor. Their display of courage had local support including that of other ministers including, Rev. C.C. McLain who was the only pastor to greet them at the bus terminal on a hot summer day. At least two of them addressed the congregations of the Little Union Baptist Church and the Evergreen Baptist Church, pastored by Reverend J.R. Rethledge who also hosted a mass meeting at which one them spoke. The tenacious ride of the Freedom Riders, led to the Interstate Commission which regulated travel and trade across state lines, moving to knock down laws sanctioning segregation on various modes of public transportation on buses, trains and in waiting rooms serving customers.

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Step 21: The Castle Hotel

Prior to the fall of the Jim Crow laws, blacks, no matter what social status one had, were forced to stay in segregated facilities, including hotels. Even if one had achieved in any field, he was dogged by what the prevailing culture said was a curse of ones skin color. To provide accommodations to serve this need, hotels opened across the south to accommodate people of color. The Castle Hotel was such a facility here in Shreveport in the Ledbetter Heights(then known as the Bottoms Area) on Sprague Street. It was here such notables such as B.B. King, Court Basie, Duke Ellington stayed when performing in the Port City, despite their talents and appeal across racial lines. Black athletes also stayed there when in town playing at the Palace Park. Also during his visit to Shreveport, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stayed here. While the hotel is gone, it forever has a place in the museum of memory during the struggle to make America a more perfect union.

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Shreveport Civil Rights Pantheon (Hall of Fame) Here is a tribute to the personalities who are the heroes and heroes of the movement in this community. Remember their Tenacity and faith to break down the barriers of segregation. Succeeding generations must remember that future generations stand on their shoulders. Dr. C.O Simpkins Father of the Civil Rights Movement in North Louisiana

Dr. C.O. Simpkins, D.D.S. a national Civil Rights icon, known by most as the Father of the Civil Rights Movement in North Louisiana, ,was born and reared in Mansfield, Louisiana. He was the eldest of two children born on January 13, 1924 to Dr. O.S. Simpkins and Mrs. Olivia Gardner Simpkins. He had one youngest sister, Marguerite Simpkins Call. He was a product of the DeSoto Public Schools System and spent quality time also growing up under the nurturing of his loving grandmother, Mrs. Ella Simpkins of Mansfield. Dr. Simpkins is an undergraduate of Wiley College in Marshall, Texas. He later completed dental school at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. After graduation he returned to Louisiana and set up practice with his father, a practicing dentist in Shreveport, Louisiana. Not long after, he opened his own dental practice in Gary Street, an office later purchased by Dr. L.C. Pendleton. Dr. Simpkins immediately became involved in civil rights activities. He was the first black man to run for a seat on the Caddo Parish School Board in 1954, having garnered as many white votes as blacks exemplifying that there were some decent whites in the area who would vote for a qualified black person. He worked with others to promote voter registration and citizenship education in the area as well as equal resources for all schools. Later on, his home was bombed by the Ku Klux Klan because of Dr. Simpkins attempts to get blacks registered to vote and his other civil rights endeavors. In 1958 he met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at one of Kings speeches in Chicago, Illinois. They became friends. Dr. Simpkins invited Dr. King to come to Shreveport for his first visit in August, 1958 for the United Christian Movement Conference on Registration and Voting. Dr. Simpkins was a founding member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference having served as Vice-President under the Presidency of Dr. Martin Luther King. After the bombing of his home and his inability to get home insurance as well as insurance for his dental practice, and his concern for other people in the community who were trying hard to protect him at risk to their own lives, he decided to leave Shreveport. After 26 years of self-imposed exile, practicing dentistry and continuing his activism in New York City, he returned to Shreveport. He ran in 1990 as the first serious candidate for Mayor, having won in the primary and narrowly in the runoff. The next year he ran and won a seat in the Louisiana House of Representatives where he served from 1992 to 1996. Dr. Simpkins is married to Dr. Elaine Shoemaker Simpkins and is the father of five children: Dr. C.O. Jr., Deborah, Eric, Lisa and Cheri. 33

Mrs. Frances Sullivan Shreveports Rosa Parks Mother of the Civil Rights Movement in Shreveport, Louisiana
Mrs. Frances Sullivan was the musician and choir at the Saint Mary Baptist Chuch of Shreveport. On August 1, 1957. She was arrested for refusing to move from a designated white seat. Her home was at 1456 Rex Street/

Senator Gregory W. Tarver


For years, Gregory W. Tarver, Sr. Has had the honor and privilege of representing the Northwest Louisiana communities as Louisiana communities as Louisiana State Senator, Shreveport City Councilman and Caddo Parish Police Juror. He was lived and worked almost his entire life in the greater Shreveport area as a long standing business owner, community activist, and proud family man. Senator Tarver has worked very hard to enhance the growth of Northwest Louisianas communities, cities, ,towns and rural areas as well as improve the quality of life for the people who live in these areas. Senator Tarver became the first African American Senator in Northern Louisiana since Reconstruction. His priority while serving as Louisiana State Senator, is to maintain as high standard of growth for our area; the facts prove that he has, and continues to do so. In his earlier years, Tarver served as Chairman of the Insurance Committee, and as member of the Finance, Environmental Quality, Commerce (Ex-Officio), Judiciary B and Local and Municipal committees. Tarvers work created new jobs and job security. His uncanny ability to understand and work the system to benefit the people of our communities is a gift that not all political minds possess. Tarver was elected and served as State Senator for twenty (20) years until he chose to retire in 2004. After retiring for eight years, he made an incredible comeback to serve the people of District 39 again. Currently, he serves of the following committees: Finance, Judiciary B, Vice-Chairman of Local and Municipal Affairs, Senate and Governmental Affairs, Senate Executive Committee, Veterans Affairs and Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget. He has proven time and time again that he would not take the people of our communities for granted. He stands his ground and shoulders his responsibility to improve the livelihoods and businesses of those he represents. Through out the years, Tarver has worked hand in hand with many of our citizens and community leaders on numerous important projects and events to make our region and state what it is today. As a young man, Tarver attended Alton High School, then Grambling State University until his education was transformed from campus life to military life, serving in the armed forces, with tours of duty in Germany and Vietnam. Upon returning home, he began working in his family businessJ.S. Williams Funeral Home and Insurance Services. After learning and maturing within the businesses, he became the CEO of the familys 112 year old establishment. Tarver was taught early in life about the importance of helping the people of the community and being a part of their growth. These lessons led to his calling of being civic leader and public service official. He served on the Board of Confederate Memorial Hospital where he worked for the name change of the hospital. As a member of the Caddo Parish Police Jury, Shreveport City Council, and other local community organizations, his goal has always been to level the playing field for the youth, elderly, and the working men and women of our communities who for so long had no one to deliver for them. Tarver, his wife, Velma Kirksey-Tarvera professional life coach, and his children, are proud to be a part of this great community. He is truly grateful for the opportunity to be of service to you. Melvin Lee Collins, Jr.

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Rossie Banks, Sr.


A great supporter and member of Little Union Baptist Church for 30 plus years until his death in 1986. He was born in Couch wood, Louisiana near Cotton Valley, Louisiana. Moved to Shreveport, Louisiana in the late 1950s. Primary occupation was as a master barber in the lakeside community during his professional career. He also owned and operated other businesses in the lakeside/Allendale community. He believed in African-Americans having ownership in term of owning your own home and business. He was very active with the NAACP and the Civil Rights Movement during the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Mr. Banks taught Sunday school at Little Union Baptist Church for several years. He was the first African American to file and run city wide office in Shreveport, Louisiana Police jury during the 1970s. He was one of the first African-Americans to own a Bail Bonding business in Shreveport, Louisiana during the 1970s. One of the first, if not the first African-American to own and operate a convenience store in the Allendale community during the 1970s located near historic Mount Canaan Baptist Church. It was called Self Help Grocery at 200 Leroy Street. He led the charge for the city of Shreveport to build Fire Station number 4 next to Booker T. Washington High School during the 1970s to service the citizens of the Lakeside area. Mr. Banks led the charge in voter registration for Blacks in the city of Shreveport during the 1960s and 70s. His children and grandchildren have continued his tradition of service and business ownership by owning several businesses in the Shreveport-Ruston, Louisiana area. He has one being a barber, a grandson who is a pastor in the city and another grandson who is a talented church musician.

Claude Clifford McLain


Born in Choudrant, Louisiana, Claude Clifford McLain, was the first born of the union of John and Almetta Mattox McLain. At the age of seven, his father was murdered by a white man because John McLain sued him and won. However, young Claude did not let that tragedy set him back in terms of failing to reach his potentials. After completing school at what was to become Grambling State University, he hopped on a freight train bound for Tuskegee University. Upon his arrival on the campus, the first person he sees is Dr. George Washington Carver, who is gathering flowers. Dr. Carver gets him a job at the campus dairy milking cows and selling manure for $1.00 a load to pay his tuition for his studies to become a veterinarian. However, the Lord had other plans as Claude after much struggle within yielded to the call to the gospel ministry. Realizing the call to preach was a call to preparation, he attended Bishop College, then in Marshall, Texas. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree, he served as pastor of various churches in North Central Louisiana. It is during this period he became one of the first blacks to register to vote in Lincoln Parish, Louisiana, despite efforts of the power structure t o maintain the status quo. Pastor McLain supported Martin Luther King, Jr. during the Montgomery Bus Boycott in terms of sending money to help with the struggle there. Later, he became word of the first black pastors to attend an accredited seminary, namely, Union Theological Seminary in New York City. In 1959, he was called as pastor of the Little Union Baptist Church of Shreveport, Louisiana at a time when the movement for justice and equality was gaining momentum across America. Known for his determination for doing the right thing, he served as President of the Shreveport Chapter of the NAACP. Death threats did not deter him and he, along with Dr. J. R. Rethlege were privileged to host Dr. King at Little Union, allowing to speak in his pulpit when other churches and pastors shied away during his last visit to Shreveport, in June, 1962. Later, C.C. as he was known, would later be appointed Chairman of the Board of Elections of Lincoln Parish, Louisiana as well as serve as Vice-President at Large of the Louisiana Missionary Baptist State Convention. He lovingly gave leadership to Little Union for 32 years, guiding them in the acquisition of the Lakeside Building (Powell Building) and renovation of what is now known as the C.C. McLain Education Building. A loving father of four sons and one daughter, and husband to his wife, Mildred for 52 years, Claude Cliford McLain passed in 1991.

Harry Blake
Born in Webster Parish on a plantation, Pastor Blake graduated from Bishop College, in Dallas, Texas, where he also was a charter member of Mu Gamma Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. He served as pastor of both the New Boggy Baptist Church of Bethany, Louisiana and the Lake Bethlehem Baptist Church of Shreveport. It was during this time that he as President of The Shreveport Chapter of the NAACP that he was savagely beaten unmercifully by the officers of the Shreveport Police Department. Later on he assume the pastorate of the Mount Canaan Baptist Church, leading it to be one of the innovative and progressive congregations in the nation. Reverend Blake has also served in various leadership capacities in denominational leadership including Moderator of the 13th District Baptist Association, the Louisiana Baptist State Convention, General Secretary of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., and Regional VicePresident of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. 35

Louis Pendleton
Dr. Louis Christopher Pendleton was born in Monroe, Louisiana, to Velda Leola Long Pendleton and Joseph Anthony Pendleton, Sr. While well known as a dentist, his civic leadership stood out as a star in the night especially in the lives of African Americans in Northwest Louisiana. This is evident is his push to widen opportunities for all, improving the quality of life in education, civil rights, health, business, culture and housing. Dr. Pendleton was the founder of the Ark-La-Tex Communications committee which opened up employment to African-Americans in the broadcast industry. With strong opposition to the creation of the Community Action Agency in Caddo Parish, working with leaders like the Honorable Alphonse Jackson, the late Dr. Jesse Stone and others, he accepted the Presidency of the agencys first Board of Directors. Through lawsuits in the early 1970s, he co-chaired the committee that found and gained representation for African-Americans residents on the Caddo Parish School Board and Police Jurynow the Caddo Parish Commission. He along with the late Attorney Hilary Huckaby,III, was a leading organizer of Blacks for Lasting Leadership (BULL). This group filed a lawsuit that did away with the old commission form of government, ,which did not allow for AfricanAmerican participation. This lawsuit led to the strong Mayor-Council form of government that we enjoy today. Dr. Pendleton was appointed by the late President Lyndon B. Johnson to the Louisiana State Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. Dr. Pendleton was a prominent supporter of the local NAACP and the organizer of the Youth Council. Dr. Pendleton is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades. They include the Liberty Bell award by the Shreveport Bar Association., Business Leader of the Year award presented by the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce and with his lovely wife Barbara, the Brotherhood and Sisterhood Humanitarian Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews (now the National Conference for Community and Justice). He was also inducted into the Junior Achievement or North Louisiana Business Hall of Fame. A lifetime member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., his past and present affiliations include: Pelican State Dental Association, Northwest Louisiana Dental Society (a subset of the Pelican State Dental Association), National Dental Association and American Dental Association; Louisiana State University Board of Supervisors; Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana (member and treasurer of the Board of Directors); Shreveport Housing Authority; Loyola Foundation of Shreveport; The Community Foundation of Shreveport-Bossier; LSU Shreveport Foundation Board of Directors; Volunteers of America Board of Directors; Louisiana State Fair Board of Directors; Louisiana State Tourism Commission; Chairman-Permanent Review Board under the Diocese of Shreveport (chartered for the protection of children and young people); Finance Council of Diocese of Shreveport and St. Johns College Corporation. Dr. Pendleton was a member of the Cathedral of St. Johns Berchmans, where he served in many capacities.

Henry Walker
Just as in the battle against slavery prior to the Civil War, black Americans had white allies known as abolitionists, so during the movement seen in the many whites who came in support of the March on Washington, they those of good willwho know racism is wrong. Henry Walker wss such a person. He graduated from Tulane Law School in 1968 and practiced civil rights law in Shreveport for the next forty years until he retired in 2008. Henry Walker graduated from Tulane Law School in 1968 and practiced civil rights law in Shreveport for the next forty years until he retired in 2008. He filed numerous lawsuits against Commissioner George DArtois, and filed over ten suits that forced the closure of eleven prisons in North Louisiana parishes including all of those in Caddo and Bossier. Mr. Walker has been president of the Shreveport Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, is a co-founder and past president of the state Criminal Defense Bar, and received appointed to the Caddo Parish Public Defender Board. He has chaired the Civil Rights section of the Louisiana Trial Lawyers Association, and he chaired the domestic violence section of the Louisiana Bar Foundation, and was instrumental in the formation of a new Juvenile Justice section. He is also a past president of VYJ (the Volunteers for Youth Justice) here in Shreveport.

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Mamie Love Wallace


Mrs. Mamie Wallace, the eleventh of twelve children, was born to the late Rev. Robert and Lula Stewart in the Calvary Community on Seven Pines Road in Benton, Louisiana. As soon as Mamie graduated from Bossier Training School in Benton, she moved to Shreveport where she worked as a Cosmetologist. Mamie, along with her good friend Ann Brewster ( a civil rights activist ), opened and co-owned Modern Beauty Shop. Bernice Smith, a good friend and cosmetologist also worked in the beauty shop. These three women would be instrumental in changing the course of black Americans civil rights in Shreveport. Mamie joined the NAACP early. In 1958 Mamie met Dr. Martin Luther King and Dr. Ralph Abernathy in New Orleans, LA., and asked if he would come to Shreveport to speak and motivate the people to take a stand against the injustices and unfair practices in the city. Dr. King came to town and spoke at Galilee Baptist Church where Mamies brother, Rev. Jessie Stewart was pastor. Following the services, every car that was parked outside of the church was ticketed with a large fine. Mamie was upset that African-Americans could not dine at most restaurants, drink at certain water fountains or try on clothing in stores. Mamie picketed Stans Record Shop; sat in the bus station when the Freedom Riders came through with food and drinks for them. She also participated in a march down Milam Street to protest the 1963 church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama. Mamie reared three children, Anne Stewart, Johnny Bell Stewart and Gwndolyn Barnes. Gwendolyn was responsible for Mamies travel to Washington, D.C., to President Obamas inauguration. This was a dream come true for Mamie. She stated she knew having a Black President would eventually come to pass; she just did not believe she would live to see the day.

Bernice Smith
Born in Benton, Louisiana Bernice Smith was one of 13 children. She moved to Shreveport, Louisiana after enduring indignities in her small hometown. After completing studies at Magnetic Beauty School, Mrs. Smith went on to work for Modern Beauty Shoppe. She became a local civil rights leader and beautician. Amid the Montgomery Bus Boycott and a myriad of sit-ins across southern states, Mrs. Smith chose to use her business as a haven in the fight for equality. She opened her services and limited resources to the hundreds of freedom riders that traveled through Shreveport. Mrs. Smith unselfishly opened her home to the activists determined to bring change to a nation buried in racism. Not only was she an advocate for freedom riders, she also fed and temporarily housed tireless picketers in support of minority owned businesses in Shreveport. Mrs. Smith was one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit that desegregated Caddo Parish Schools. Brenda Bragggs, Mrs. Smiths daughter, became the first African-American female to attend C. C. Byrd High School. In 1958, a few years prior to his iconic I Have A Dream speech, she had the opportunity to meet Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Shreveport at the historic Galilee Baptist Church. Mrs. Smith passed away Sunday, December 12, 2010, at the age of 83. Mrs. Smith has one son, Mr. Lynn Braggs, and two daughters, Brenda Braggs and Rosalyn Kady.

Brother Baruti
Baruti Donkor Ajanaku, formerly Ardison, was born out of the union between the late Sadie Mae Ardison and the late Grover Shannai on January 16, 1954. Brother Baruti said, When I learned my came from the slave chains, it had to go. God didnt give any man the right to chang e another mans name. He gave each its own on which to get it on. I changed my name and attitude to Baruti D. Ajanaku (no compromise, no backing down), thats my identity, that is my legacy and the way I approached my life. Your name should tell who you are, whe re you are, and where you came from. Brother Baruti was born and raised in the steel and concrete jungle of Shreveport, Louisiana. He attended Caddo Parish Public School System and also received a full indoctrination of Ghetto Life. Baruti was one of eight children, and had four children of his own. Four offspring that he loved dearly, and dedicated his life to. He is remembered for his steadfast support of Youth Coucil of the NAACP and his respect and admiration for the leader, Larry BooGa loo Cooper. He also promoted positive issues and sought unity in the black community as well as an Afro-centric view of reality.

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Charles Crockrom, Sr.


Charles Crockrom, Sr. was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, to the parents of O. B. Sr. and Frenchel Mays, one of six children. He graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in 1969. In 1973, Charles earned his Bachelors of Arts Degree in Social Science from Miles College in Birmingham, Alabama. He later earned his Masters Degree in Guidance and Counseling in 1978 from Alabama State University, Montgomery, Alabama. Additional training in his area of specialty is extensive. In 1968 he was elected Vice-President of the NAACP Youth Chapter, serving under Larry (BooGaLoo) Cooper as President of the youth, and B. J. Mason, President of the Adult Chapter of the Shreveport NAACP. He, along with other members of the organization, participated in numerous civil rights activities for several years. Their efforts through Marches, Selective Buying Campaigns and Sit-ins resulted in meaningful changes in the city. He along with the other officers and some members of the organization were arrested on numerous occasions and suffered injustices for their bravery. Bishop Joseph Johnson, Bishop of the C.M.E. church residing in Shreveport, Louisiana arranged for Charles, along with Larry Cooper to matriculate at Miles College in Birmingham to continue their education and get them safely out of Shreveport. Mr. Crockrom has been a contributing member to many organizations in Birmingham. In 1984, he was appointed to serve as a member of the Birmingham Racing Commission by the Jefferson County House of Representatives, State of Alabama. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board. In 2007 he was given the opportunity of a lifetime to return to his Alma Mata, Miles College to serve as Vice President and a member of the Presidential Cabinet. He has experienced numerous other highlights in his career which include serving as Administrative Assistant to the first Black Mayor of the city of Birmingham, Dr. Richard Arrington Jr., and to the offices of the United States Congress 6 th Congressional District. He is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and is married to the Rev. A. LaVeartice Crockrom. They have three children and three grandchildren.

Ernest Edward Jones, Sr.


A native of DeRidder, Louisiana and the son of a Baptist preacher and a devout Christian mother, Pastor E. E. Jones, Sr. as he is internationally known is also an icon in the Shreveport Civil Rights struggle. Prior to assuming the pastorate of Galilee, he served as under shepherd of the Mount Harmony Baptist Church of Ruston, Louisiana. Holding bachelor degree from both Grambling State University and Bishop College, Reverend Jones has led the Galilee Baptist Church of Shreveport for more than a half century, leading it to fulfilling his vision of Galilee City which in addition to encompassing the church sanctuary itself has a family life center, apartment complex , a stadium, and most recently a daycare center. In addition to being a voice for social justice during the height of the movement, he was one of bold souls who filed suit to integrate the Caddo Parish School System in the mid-1960s which resulted in his children being some of the first to cross the color line in attending predominantly white schools. Known as a great preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ, he is remembered for electrifying the audience as the main speaker at the memorial service for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the then SPAR stadium. He also was one of the first blacks to serve on the Caddo Parish Police Jury, while his wife, Leslie served on the Caddo Parish School Board. As the was the case of many civil rights leaders of that era, ones life was always on the line, and Pastor Jones was no exception. While living on Butler Street, their home was the victim of a random shooting but no one was hurt. Reverend Jones is also a leader in the Baptist work and witness and as served as moderator and president of his state convention as well as the President of the National Baptist Convention of America. He presently serves as the President of the Baptist Ministers Fellowship and Vicinity and is a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. He and his charming and lovely wife, Leslie, are the parents of one son and three daughters.

Joseph Johnson
Giving oversight of Christian Methodist Episcopal churches in the states of Louisiana and Mississippi, Bishop Johnson labors in the movement remind us that discrimination did not discriminate as far as gender nor denominational affiliation is concerned. A theologian, he and his brother are remembered for interceding with the Justice Department in his residence by phone to bring to the attention of the federal government of the injustices against civil rights activists in Shreveport in the late 1960s. Encouraging and counseling civil workers, he also hosted a meeting with civil rights leaders on numerous occasions in his residence. During the black Christmas campaign (boycott) owners of downtown Shreveport department stores were invited to his home to discuss hiring blacks in meaningful positions in their stores. Several of them attended the meeting including Aaron Selber, the co-owner of Selber Brothers Department Store. Shortly after other demonstrations and these meetings, downtown merchants hired black sales personnel in their stores. Bishop Johnson helped Larry Cooper and Charles Cockrom enrolled in Miles College to further their education and for their safety since they were activists in the movement for civil rights in Shreveport 38

Larry Napoleon (BooGaLoo) Cooper


Larry Cooper was born in 1948 in Sewickley, Pennsylvania to United States Navy Seaman Napoleon Cooper and Helen Perry Cooper, a public school teacher. In 1954, at the age of 6 he relocated to the Shreveport, Louisiana family home of his grandparents, Rev. J. Conklin Perry and Mrs. Bessie Norris Perry. His grandfather was the 50 year sole proprietor of Perrys Book Store and Music Center, 50 year franchisee of Johnson Publishing Company, a 50 year franchisee of Avon Products, Incorporated and Associate Pastor of Antioch Baptist Church. In 1962, at the age of 14, BooGaLoo conducted he first sole action of civil rights protest and Direct Resistance during the Booker T. Washington High School Annual Police Student Assembly when her made his displeasure with the police known. Shortly thereafter, at age 15, he was relocated by his family to attend the Louisiana Preparatory High School at Grambling College.. In l964 he was relocated to the Lafayette Louisiana Boarding School. In 1965-1966, at age 17 and 18, he held the Organizer/Strategist role in the Grambling Student Protest. He was arrested and held in the Outdoor Cage in Ruston, LA on the Courthouse grounds by the Lincoln Parish Sheriffs Office and was later imprisoned on the Lincoln Parish Chain Gang for his lead role in the Grambling Protest. In 1967, at age 19, he relocated to Shreveport Louisiana and graduated from Valencia High School. In 1968, he was elected as the City and State President of the NAACP Youth Councils, College Chapters and Young Adult Branches in the state of Louisiana. By this time he was well indoctrinated in the protest movement and he radicalized the local civil rights protests. Numerous activities were conducted under his leadership and that of B. J. Mason, President of the Adult Chapter of the NAACP in Shreveport. Inclusive in these protests were the following: March on School Board for equity and black history in schools, Selective Buying Campaign against Stans Record Shop for securing hiring of blacks in meaningful positions, March on downtown Shreveport and Black Christmas Campaign for jobs in downtown stores and equal treatment of black shoppers, and the Sit-in at Tic-Toc grill for the right to eat at their lunch counters. These efforts paid off but at high prices. Larry, and other members of the organization, were arrested and beaten by police officers on many occasions. In 1969 Bishop Joseph Johnson, Bishop of the C.M.E. church was instrumental in getting Larry and Charles Crockrom into Miles College in Birmingham, Alabama to further their educations. Larry has also received coveted Ann Brewster Award presented by the Shreveport Chapter of the NAACP for his outstanding contributions to the civil rights movement in the area. After leaving Miles College he moved to Washington, D. C. where he has been involved in several national and international business ventures.

Maxine Elizabeth Prescott Sarpy


Maxine Elizabeth Prescott Sarpy was born in Houston, Texas the youngest child and only daughter of Dewey Aristotle Prescott and Mildred Mary Seymour Prescott. At the age of six the family moved to El Paso, Texas where she was reared. She attended Douglas Elementary, Junior and High School prior to the desegregation of the school system. After the integration of the schools in El Paso, she transferred to Thomas Jefferson High School where she graduated. She then entered Texas Western College majoring in Nursing. She later transferred to the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing, specializing in Maternal and Child Health. After completion of the program she was asked by Dean Majorie Barthoff to return on the faculty the following fall to teach Obstetrics and Gynecology, which she did. She became the first African American to teach at the university. In 1963 she moved to Shreveport, La. after she married Dr. Joseph Sarpy who was practicing medicine in the city. This move occurred two weeks before the memorial service was held at Little Union for the four little girls bombed in Birmingham. Her husband was called back to the church after the service by Ann Brewster because Rev. Harry Blake had been beaten in the church by the Commissioner of Public Safety and other officers. She accompanied her husband back to the church where they, after getting instruments and other surgical supplies from his medical office next door to the church, stitched up Rev. Blakes head in the church. This was her introduction to Shreveport. After the Little Union incident she and her husband became very active in the civil rights activities of the area. Mrs. Sarpy served as Secretary of the NAACP chapter during the 1960s. She chaired many voter registration drives and served as director of a voter registration project when federal registrars came into the city to assist. In 1966 she was invited to Washington, D.C. by Attorney General Nicolas Katzenbach to attend their first conference on Implementation of the Voting Rights Act, one of two invited from the state of Louisiana. She and other ladies participated in the selective buying campaign sponsored by the NAACP against Stans Record Shop by picketing the store until they hired blacks in meaningful positions. This spread to other parts of downtown during a Black Christmas Campaign when blacks refused to purchase anything from the stores the Christmas of 1968. Shortly after, all the stores integrated their staffs. Other civil rights endeavors included: Monitoring the television stations and filing complaints with the FCC which resulted in blacks being hired as cameramen and broadcasters, including anchors; founding member of BULL, this organization filed suit against the city of Shreveport for a change in city government. In 1984 she was appointed as the first woman in the history of the 39

of the city to serve on the Shreveport City Council, serving the unexpired term of Senator Gregory Tarver. Her husband, Dr. Joseph Sarpy, was an inspiration and motivator for her and many others during the movement. For his many roles during the period he was presented the Ann Brewster Award by the NAACP. Mrs. Sarpy has been very active in the community, having served on many boards and organizations. She served as chairman on many of them. The Port of Caddo-Bossier honored her by naming a street after her, Maxine Sarpy Boulevard. She has received other awards and commendations, too numerous to mention. Mr. Sarpy is the mother of a daughter, Julie Marie, a son Mark Daniel (his wife Laney), and the grandparent of two granddaughters, Marsha Clemons and Monique Clemons and Monique Lacour and four great-grandchildren Monet, James, Caleb, and Addison.

B. J. Mason Jr.
Author and Civil Rights Activist, B.J. Mason was born April 5, 1944 in Shreveport, Louisiana to Rev. Walter, Sr., and Zeola Stewart Mason. He attended Charlotte Mitchell High School and Grambling College (now Grambling State University) where he received the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Speech and Drama and pledged Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated. He returned to Grambling University In 2001 where he obtained the Master of Liberal Arts Degree. After completing undergraduate school and teaching briefly, Mason moved to Chicago, Illinois where he worked as a features writer for the Chicago Sun Times, associate editor for Ebony Magazine and freelance writer for such magazines as Essence and Heart and Soul. He was a long time columnist for the Shreveport Sun. In 1968 and 1969, Mason spearheaded the city-wide Civil Rights Movement as President of the Shreveport Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Under his leadership, businesses in downtown Shreveport opened its doors to hiring blacks, and changes were made in the local school system by being more conscious of the needs of black students. Marches, boycotts and sit-ins were conducted at various sites to promote civil rights causes and these protests were successful in accomplishing their goals. Larry (BooGaLoo) Cooper and Charles Crockrom served as President and VicePresident of the Shreveport NAACP Youth Council under Masons Presidency. In the early 1970s, he appeared in guest starring roles on T.V. shows such as Mod Squad, Mannix and Love American Style. He also appeared in the movies Mandigo and WUSA with Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. He was among the early African-Americans starring in television and movie productions. He authored two books, Jerusalem Freedom Manufacturing Company and Sunday Morning Blues, and also wrote the Hollywood movie, The Book of Numbers. His latest work, Walk on the Water was completed shortly before his death. Mason was the recipient of numerous commendations and community service awards including the prestigious Ann Brewster Award presented by the NAACP for Civil Rights. He was a licensed counselor and ordained Baptist minister, and he took seriously his charge by ministering to those on the highways and by-ways as he felt led by the Holy Spirit, and for that many will be eternally grateful. He was married to Queen Phillips and to this union one son was born, Binaca Joseph Mason.

H. Calvin Austin, III


Calvin along with Frank Daniels and Art Anderson was at the center of the storm at Booker Washington, that fateful September day in 1963 during the student demonstration in protest for Rev. Blakes beating as well as for the cause of civil right s. For their nerve in the face of bigotry, they paid a price. Calvin was barred from attending high school his senior year and had to finish his high school education under another name in New Orleans due to death threats. He is also beaten by four white men. However, he is vindicated when he decades later is granted a high school diploma from Caddo Parish Public Schools. Lest we forget, the late Ann Brewster. This native of Bossier Parish, by vocation was a beautician, but by vision, a civil rights icon, serving as Secretary of the Shreveport branch of the NAACP and attends the 63 March on Washington, along with Reverend Harry Blake. Her home in Shreveport was a safe house for civil rights workers who came from out of town. She entertained such notables as Medgar Evers, Charles Evers as well as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. During the sit-ins downtown, she is an advisor and goes to jail with 11 young people for sitting at the lunch counters. Her untimely and mysterious death, officially determined to be a suicide, makes her a saint in the hearts of lovers of the movement everywhere.

Ann Brewster

Melvin Lee Collins, Jr.


Melvin Lee Collins, Jr., editor of The Shreveport Sun from 1962 to 1983, born October 29, 1919 to the union of the late M.L. Collins, Jr. and the late Cora Collins. Born and reared in Shreveport, he attended the public schools and graduated from Central Colored High School. He earned the B.A. degree from Bishop College, Marshall, TX and did further study in journalism at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, MO. He also served with the U.S. Army during World War II and was humanitarian who believed strongly in equality for all men. Collins worked with his father, the founder of The Shreveport Sun, from the time he was a tot and assumed editorship of the paper in 1962 following the demise of his father. Through the years he worked for the betterment of mankind. He held membership in the NAACP, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, National Newspaper Publishers Association, and the Louisiana Press Association. Collins headed The Shreveport Sun during the 1960s and 1970s when local media coverage of the struggle for equality was sparse and often prejudicial. Under Collins leadership, The Shreveport Sun was intimately involved in the local Civil Rights struggle and its leaders, and steadfastly covered and editorialized on local events, often under threats from local white leadership. He strongly believed in the power of the press and resolved that the truth would be told through the pages of The Shreveport Sun. Melvin Collins, Jr. died July 10, 1983.

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In Their Own Words

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Personal Reflections of The Week of September 15 22, 1963


The following sections are reflections of persons who lived through the events of the height of the civil rights struggle in Shreveport, Louisiana that fateful week. Readers are urge to read them, reflect on them and then rededicate ourselves to the continued fight for equality and justice for all. Memories of Reverend Frank Daniels
Today, July 2, 2013, as I sit and contemplate on a day of activities for my grandsons fifth birthday, it caused me to think back to how things have changed. It was his request to go bowling again, with the much anticipated visit to the snack bar. In my day, we looked forward to the homemade of our cake, of our choice, and ice cream . Todays children would not be content with this meager fare: there must be gifts, parties at such venues as Chuck E. Chesse, a local pizza, Expo Center, etc., if at home there must be an air filled bouncing feature in which you can jump or tumble to your hearts content and if possible, a visit to Splash Kingdom or Six Flags at a later date. My dilemma how to address this new generations expectations with a side dish of retro reality. I looked back in my mind, googled sites on the computer, reviewed old copies of the Shreveport Journal, Times and Sun. In doing so I was looking back fifty years to a time when a fifteen year old young black boys expectations were like comparing the creation of the wheel to going into space. The early 60s were the best of times and the worst of times. This country was in social turmoil, we as black people were experiencing situations like a bubbling hot pot waiting to spill over. The 60s were a time when we had powerful and thought provoking black leaders who showed us that we had a voice and needed to get over the fear of using it. Because of such leaders on the national scene as Mr. John Lewis, Mrs. Rosa Parks, Rev. Ralph Albernathy, Rev. Jessie Jackson, Rev. Andrew Young, and Dr. Martin Luther King. Then on the local level, here I am an impressionable fifteen year old boy-man, who sat at the feet of local leaders like Rev. John B. Simmons (my spiritual mentor and pastor) Rev. E. Edward Jones, Reverend Claude C. McLain, Rev. Harry Blake and others. At 15, the product of a Christian home led by my maternal grandmother and mama. I was the man in the house in my mind since my parents were divorced. I willingly accepted the responsibility of walking to or catching the bus(when money was available) to go downtown to pay the household bills. I learned at an early age my placesitting at the back of the trolley, going through certain doors, and to drink out of fountains marked colored only. The church was the center of my social life, so I learned to speak publicly via various programs. I learned to be respectful of my elders and those in charge. I learned how assist and be courteous to elderly women and women in general when I attended mission meetings with my grandmother (because my mother worked various shifts at Confederate Memorial Hospital(which is now LSU Medical Center). It was my job to read for them, listen to their conversations which often spoke of their concerns for the social unrest experienced at the time. Several events led to one of the most volatile events in Shreveport history. On September 15, 1963 four young black girls were killed as they attended Sunday School at a church in Birmingham, Alabama. The following week, Rev. Harry Blake were brutally beaten on the steps of Little Union Baptist Church by the Shreveport Police. Witnessing these events, several students decided to meet at the flag pole on the campus of Booker T. Washington High School to pray for the families in Alabama and Rev. Blake. People called it a planned march, but all of it started out as a brief moment of prayer. Remember the social pot was boiling. And a voice in the crowd said, Lets march. With no thought of where, we started walking off the campus down Milam Street toward Little Union Baptist Church. By the time we got to Norma Street, I was arrested by officer by William Bill Hines, one of Shreveports two black officers. He hand-cuffed me and placed me in the back of his patrol car. Later, after being processed, finger printed and put in a holding cell, this scared 15 year old boy/man waited for the next shoe to drop. Thinking, if they beat a prominent pastor like Harry Blake to within an inch of his life, what could or would they do to a quaking 15 year black/man/boy? Because a neighbor had seen me in the back of the police car (our neighborhood watch), my grandmother go the word and was soon making an appearance at the police station. In hindsight I learned that others were arrested, hauled off in the long wooden sided garbage trucks that were used at that time. I also learned of the physical and vocal harassment that the principal, Mr. Brown and some teachers were subjected to. Going back to school the next day, I was suspended and sent home. After meeting with the superintendent of schools for Caddo, my grandmother was told that I was expelled and could no longer attend Caddo Parish Schools. I finished my junior and senior year at Notre Dame Catholic High School, where the tuition was $13.00 a month. Thats an insignificant amount now but it was a small fortune in 1963 for a single parent household. Fast forward back to today, July 2, 2013. How do I impress upon my grandson the privilege and joy he should 42

have, now that he can go through the front door of a bowling alley, how not to take for granted the right to step up to the snack bar and place his order for Nachos and a Coke. Yes, we will go bowling but there is a story to shared first. The pot boiled over like a pot of rice, but because we are no longer telling the story of 60s, because we as a people have become complacent and our voices have become hushed because colored signs are now pulled down. We dont have to sit in the balcony of a local movie theaters after entering the side door. We are now again taking for granted the privilege we now experience because someone died for those rights. Fifty years later we should not just take and write about it but we should be pro-active, the Supreme Court is reversing Civil Rights policies. White men like George Zimmerman can shoot and kill a 17 year old black boy and due to legal loopholes get off, fully acquitted.

Memories From Mrs. Verma Lee Henderson


On Sunday evening, September 22, 1963, I was at the memorial service. I was singing in the choir, that Sunday. The memorial service was for the six children killed in Birmingham, Alabama: four girls murdered in a church bombing and two young men killedone by the police and another by a group of white supremacists. I was there in when they rode horses into the sanctuary. It was dark. Attorney Jessie W. Stone was at Little Union. He told us not to leave. Some at the time would allowed to leave Little Union. He was scared as the police were from Pierre Avenue all the way down Milam Street. So we had to take back streets to get to the church. After we were dismissed, the police invaded Little Union Baptist Church on September 22, 1963 at the Memorial Service. Serious injury was inflicted on Rev. Harry Blake and others. I was at the church during this time. Tear gas from the police disbursed the demonstrators at Booker T. Washington High School, September 23, 1963. Students were protesting the police for the beating and for attacking the Little Union Baptist Church, the day before. J.S. Clark School and Booker T. Washington got together they w ere trying to help. We parents had children going to both schools. That was a scary day for Lakside and Allendale. I was also at Little Unon when Martin L. King, Jr. spoke to the people(his last visit to Shreveport). At Little Union we had mass meetings(to keep up the spirits of the people as well as disseminate information). We were scared but proud. The police would stop cars when going to mass meetings. We also had spies or snitchers who would tell what was going on inside the meetings. I was also a member of the NAACP in the 60s.

Memories From Mrs. Ruth Wilson Bryant Laying It On the Line


In the 50s My hero, Pastor J. R. Rethledge and other area ministers were actively involved on behalf of their members. Many were taken off welfare without warning for the money they put in church and trying to register to vote. Bus segregation law was challenged in 1957. The rule was, whites sat front to back and blacks sat in the back. The whites would not conform. They continue to sit in the back of the trolley. Once, I dared to sit in front of a white person in the back of the trolley instead of standing. The white woman decided to move because the sun was in her eyes. There were occasions when blacks up or put off the trolleys for such actions. Voter Registration Drives Many blacks denied this right I made many trips to the Registrar of Voters office. Rev. Rethledge had a committee at Evergreen Baptist Church to assist members with registration cards. They asked if any member was having problems. I stepped forward. I told my story. I was asked to be a plaintiff in a case against V. Charles Mitchell, director of the Registrar of Voters. I laid it all on the line, my safety, my job, and my family was at risk. I recall going to Dr. C.O. Simpkins office and taking a seat. Someone came out and said here she is!!! I told my story to the Civil Rights Commissioners. They assured me I had nothing to fear, because I would not be crossed examined. Rev. Rethledge and Rev. John B. Simmons of St. Rest Baptist Church met me at the Caddo Parish Courthouse to vouch for me. Their presence meant nothing. The next step was to see Attorney Jesse Stone. There I gave a deposition. At the time I was employed at Confederate Memorial Medical Center (CMMC) now known as Louisiana State University Medical Center. I knew my job was gone because of the attempts to register to vote and doing the deposition. I breathed a sigh of relief when I was informed Judge Ben. C. Dawkins threw the case out. It was a challenge to even try to register to vote. When blacks presented several forms of identification such as utility bills, and even a drivers license those pieces of identification were not considered sufficient. Some voter regi strars even demanded a white person identify them and vouch for their character. A few whites would vouch for some blacks when they registered, provided they would to vote right meaning promise to vote for the candidate they were told to vote for. Some blacks agreed just to get registered but on election day they would cast a ballot for the candidate of their choice. 43

In the late 1950s and 60s


There were many mass meetings at area churches. In 1960 or 1962 I was privileged to see Dr. King. Yes, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. came to Evergreen Baptist Church. There was a big dinner served. We had fried chicken, collard greens, sweet potatoes, corn bread and rolls. After the meal, there were inspiring speeches. Dr. Martin Luther King was the chief speaker. In 1963, I found myself in grave danger. There was a planned march for the four little black girls that were killed in Birmingham, Alabama. I left my home at 1817 Poland Street being heavy with child or pregnant. I walked two blocks to the 1800 block of Milam Street. There I heard the march had been canceled and to get off the streets. Slowly I started home. On the wooden bridge crossing the canal of Milam and Sycamore, I heard my sister-in-law franticly crying, Get off the bridge!!! Give off the bridge!!!. As I stepped off a galloping horse rode by. Motorcycle police and dogs roamed the neighborhood. Streets lights were broken. It was not until later that I found out that Rev. Harry Blake was beaten. My only daughter was born that December 4, 1963.

After All
I laid it all on the line for equality at CMMC. When the order was given to integrate CMMC there was resistance. White employees would move rather than sit with blacks in the cafeteria. Blood give patients was segregated, with blood bank donations made by blacks labeled red and blood bank donations made by whites were labeled with white stickers. I and other would have them running all over the place when we would sit at a table with them. Many still practice segregation. White water fountains, color water fountains, separate toilets were the order of the day.

1975
A new day, the new governor of Louisiana, Edwin W. Edwards, new hospital administrator, new medical director, and new State Representatives and State Senators. The fight was on. A union was formed at CMMC. Grievances were written. I was one of the 25 original workers to sign for the petition for the union. The fight for the change the name Confederate Memorial, change the colors of the uniform, and our salary. I was questioned by an administrator, "What do you want? I answered better pay and treatment.

2001 laying it all on line with interfaith


We walk the neighborhood, report code violations. In 2005, we helped with evacuees with voting rights, trips to Baton Rouge, Jena, Louisiana to support the Jena Six, thus laying it all on the line. I boarded the bus early to march for the Jena Six. The town was closed down. The bus had to park a great distance from the courthouse. Ms. Willie Mae Myers and I toiled together on the long walk.

Medicaid Expansion
We teamed with the AARP and Together Louisiana to travel to Baton Rouge to help with uninsured. NAACP Member-Healthcare. Laying It All On the Line. If I can help somebody, then my living wont be in vain.

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Overcoming Hurdles to the Ballot Box


Reflections from Mrs. Eula Wright
My personal experience brings to memory the very strenuous and fearful times of the Civil Rights Era here in Shreveport from the late 1950s and 60s. Sarah Hines, a dear friend of mine, now deceased, and I faced many hurdles to get to the ballot box. When it came to blacks registering to vote, the whites wanted to make it as difficult as they could while discouraging blacks from trying to register. There was a requirement that if you wanted to register, you would have to get some white person to write a letter telling who you were. I did not want to get any white person to write a letter on our behalf because it was rumored that if a white person wrote a letter for you, then they could then tell you who to vote for. And we did not want that. Five trips to the Caddo Courthouse were made before I could become a registered voter. The first visit, I was asked to recite the Preamble to the United States Constitution. I failed at that attempt. The second visit, I was required to prove citizenship and residency. I took birth certificates of my two eldest children, rent receipts, and utility bills. Again the attempt to register to vote failed. The third visit, I brought check stubs from my job at Confederate Memorial Hospital(now Louisiana Medical Center) and the state retirement contributions verification that was sent to employees every six months. This attempt also failed. The fourth visit, I was asked if I had some type of license, a fishing or hunting license, knowing full well that a black woman would more than likely not possess a hunting or fishing license. Well, failure again. The fifth and last time I went, I took everything that I had taken previously learned the preamble, rent receipts, utility bills, birth certificates, check stubs. Everything was laid out on the counter and as they perused through the documents, they looked at the rent receipt and saw the landlords name(a white man) whose signature they let stand as a white person verifying who I was. At. Last I became a registered voter in the mid 1960s. I remember one account of the marchers protesting on Milam and I believe it was during the time when Public Safety Commissioner George W. DArtois rode the horse up into Little Union Baptist Church. They had Milam Street blocked off and you could not get any further west than Park Avenue. I got to the area near Park Avenue and I could see my young children that the police had cordoned off and made them all sit on the steps of a womans house located next to the Congo Club at the corner of Milam and Park, near the Ritz Theater(formerly Lakeside Music Hall and Lakeside Baptist Church). I remember being frantic because they would not allow me to get my children. I remember being present at every rally that was going on. I was present at the meeting in Evergreen Baptist Church when the Ku Klux Klan was protesting out front. It was a frightening time. At that time I always enjoyed sitting in the church near a window whenever I went for worship. But when the Klan was there out front, I moved to the center of the church away from the windows in case they would throw something through the window. After Medgar Evers was murdered, Charles Evers, his brother, spoke at a memorial service rally at Evergreen

Baptist Church during the pastorate of Dr. J. R. Rutlege.

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1968!!! The Battle for Economic Justice By Mrs. Eursla Hardy


My participation in the civil rights movement began when I heard my husband, McHenry Hardy, Jr., Dr. Louis Pendleton, and Dr. Joseph Sarpy discussing the Youth Group of the NAACP making plans in organizing a picket-line for the downtown Stan Record Shop. They were discussing that it would be helpful to get different organizations or groups to participate with the Youth Group of the NAACP picket line. I said, I would like to participate on the picket line. Maybe members of my social club, :The LaDames will participate. Certain members of the LaDames Social Club that participated were: Maxine Sarpy, Barbara Pendleton, Willie Belle Boyd, Dorothy Johnson, Pecolia Davis, and myself, Eursla Dickerson Hardy. My husband said, ,Baby, I dont think you will be able to do this! You must be able to close your mouth; do not talk with your s ign back and forth in front of, ,Stan Record Shop. Plus, you must be prepared to be arrested. I said, I can do it! Please let me try! Then our club members purchased overall pants and the overall had many pockets, were were able to put our toothbrushes and toothpaste in our pockets. My husband and I were school teachers as was Barbara Pendleton and Dorothy Johnson. Maxine Sarpy was a nurse. The school teachers were out for summer vacation. The picket line was successful by the end of the summer. The Youth Group of the NAACP wanted blacks hired as clerks in the Stan Record Shop. This was the beginning of the drastic change that the downtown stores made after the black community boycotted the downtown stores during the Christmas holidays in 1968! Larry Boogoloo Cooper was the President of the Youth Group of the NAACP and Mr. B. J. Mason was President of the NAACP.

FALSE ARRESTS JAIL TERMS SERVED BY MANY BLACKS By Dr. Mary Louise Wilson
People of color were picked up for almost anything imaginable in the early sixties. Imagine college students trying to use the downtown library and ending up in jail with a fine of $100 and 90 days sin jail!!! Willie BradfordSouthern University, Baton Rouge Campus; Philip PennywellSouthern University, Baton Rouge Campus; Melvin Crockett, Tuskegee University; Lawrence Rouge-Tennessee A and I are four who were just wanting to use the library downtown and ended up in jail with a fine. Then, there were many others who were thrown in jail for just trying to be served in the clean part of H.L. Green, ,Woolworth, Kress, or trying to get decent services at Sears or pass to the ticket office through what wass for white only or drinking from a water fountain that was labeled WHITE ONLY. Mrs. Helen Brown, Ann Brewster, Bernice Smith, ,Mercie D. Rodgers, Mildred Nelson, Mamie Love, and Ophelia Kennon who stayed in jail 12 days just for sitting on a stool that was in a segregated part of Woolworths. There were so many more who are mentioned throughout this treatdle. Many of the people who were fined, beaten, thrown dead cats on their lawns and had yard signs painted while crosses burned to illuminate the area with ignorance have scars even today that will not vanish.

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The Deacons of Defense


The Deacons of Defense were an active group of men who devoted their lives and time to the defense of persons active in the Civil Rights Movement. It is terrible that more honor and historical reverence have not been given to this group of men. They were much like their counterparts in other parts of the south. They held watch over the lives and activities of Freedom Riders, special visitors to Shreveport for rallies, speeches, and meetings. Willie Burton writes about Mr. Virgil Hall, the leader of the local group of Deacons. He describes a shootout Mr. Hall was caught in while driving around checking on those who worked with Hall. Burton adds that Mr. Hall gave special attention to the safety of Reverend Harry Blake. (On the Black Side of Shreveport: A History 2nd Ed. Shreveport, La. 1994, page 101.) Other Deacons of Defense whose identity could found were Mr. Nathaniel White who guarded many areas but concentrated on Galilee Baptist Church and the protection of Reverend E. Edward Jones and that membership. A third name found was that of Mr. Zelma Whyche who was well known for all that he did around major meetings, Ann Brewster and many notable visitors. Mr. Whyche later became a well known sheriff in Tallulah, Louisiana. Rosie Banks, a well known barber, was the deacon of defense for some parts of Lakeside and Lakeside Acres, especially for the Sarpys.

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A Fine Mess
As Told By Rosa Harris Robertson and Ruther Harris Washington The Daughters of the late Deacon Andrew Harris On the night of September 22, 1963, after worshipers had left the Little Union Baptist Church, the Shreveport Police literally rode horses into the sanctuary at 1846 Milam Street in Shreveport, Louisiana. Here is the account of what the daughters of the then janitor of the church, Deacon Andrew Harris saw in their words On a hot steamy Shreveport day, the Chief of Police led the riot on horseback into the Little Union Baptist Church. His men (other policeman) beat and whipped innocent citizens of the black community including men, women, and children. Our unforgettable memories included policemen beating community leaders that led a march for human rights with bully clubs/night sticks. In the midst of this chaos, a white policemen confronted our father (the late Deacon Andrew Harris) while standing on the front porch of our house and said to him, Nigger get back in the house unless you want your butt whipped. My father very calmly gathered his wife and his children and went into the house which was only two doors from the church. We all witnessed policemen going into the church on horseback with intentions of doing considerable damage to anything in their way. On the next morning, when our father woke up, he called us to go with him to the church and help clean up. He was an officer of the church and also the custodian at the time. The house of God was in disarray and horse manure all over the carpet and floors. We did not understand why our father had to clean up this mess and why we had to help. Our father simply responded by saying, One day you will understand.

Sitting-In So Others Could Stand Up!!! As Told By Mr. Henry Sullivan


At age 17, Henry, a 1963 graduate of BTW, give involved in a sit-in in July, of that year when the United Christian Movement (actually the NAACP, which was outlawed in Louisiana at that time) a few nights prior to the event met at Evergreen to plan the event. He stated that at the planning meeting held at Luvert Taylors grandfathers was interpreted by Shreveport police who stopped by under the pretext of a response to domestic violence but to really see who was there. It was decided to stage the sin-in at three storesWoolworths,H.L. Green and Sears. There were eleven young people, accompanied by three adults/ The adult group was composed of two women and one man. The strategy was that one of the protesters would serve as a look-out, after having walked around into the store. They would wait for signal and then sit down at the same time at the whites only lunch counter. Mr. Sullivan stated whites would panic and refuse service and then call the police. When asked would they do if served food,, he stated they would accept it but they would not eat, for fear some racists had spat in the food or something worst. On this July day, in 1963,when they challenged the system, the police were called and they would be picked up on a patty wagon and taken to the Caddo Parish House across the street on Texas Avenue. When they arrived at the parish jail, one of the sheriffs deputies, called them, a load of coons. The demonstrators were taken upsides and booked. While they were being questioned, Public Safety Commissioner George Drtois arrived and snorts, Niggers, if you dont cooperate, I ll take this telephone cord and wrap it around your neck. They then spend eleven days in the parish jail. During this time they gained respect and support from other inmates who were confined with them, even to the point of admiration for standing up to white folks. Inmates also provided them from other inmates who might do them harm. Some inmates admitted they had nerve to kill a person or rob him, but 49

Afraid to stand up to white people for their rights. On occasion to passed the time they would sing freedom songs, which church songs, the wording of which was changed from strictly religious ones to those which the feelings of the movement It was so powerful in jail at that times some in jail go religion and wanted to be baptized. Rev. Major Johns, the CORE leader at that time stated since there was no water available to immerse a person, all could do was to sprinkle a drops of water from the face bowel, in the name. The jailor on the other hand told them if they did not keep quite, he would give them any dinner and let them go hungry. Eventually thanks to the legal skills of Attorney Jesse Stone, they were released. Mr. Sullivan went on to say because his daddy feared from his sons safety sent him to Minneapolis, Minnesota to stay with an other sister. He attends college at Southern University prior to transferring to the University of Minnesota. As with anything else, a change did come, and segregated lunch faculties are history.

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The Nicodemus Club and the Battle for the Ballot

J. K. Haynes

Claude Clifford McLain

Clyde Louis Oliver

C.D. Simmons

Clara Carr
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The Fight for the Right to Vote!!!!!


Louisiana Literacy Test Circa 1960 I discovered this literacy test as I was going through some of my late mothers possessions. I keep it as a memorial to what that generation had to endure to get the right to vote. It was a test that my mother and father as well as older brothers and an only sister to endure during this time. By the time I became eighteen in 1971, the law was changed and all I had to do was fill out a card. As you examine the literacy test you might some irrelevant questions on the application that had nothing to do with the right to vote such as, verifying that one had either not given birth to a child out of wedlock, nor fathered a child out of wedlock and was not at the present shackingor what the law would see as a common law marriage five years before applying to become a registered voter. And an applicant had to figure out his age down the exact year, month and day. He or she had to say whether he was a homeowner, tenant or renter. I suppose this was done as a way of intimidation since if the landlord or has he was called a boss man or plantation owner, were one still living on his land, found out one had tried to register to vote he could force the family out into the street. You will also note ten different tests consisting of eight questions. The applicant had to answer 6 out of 8 correctly which dealt with information would could learn in a high school civics class. When registering to vote after taking the test the registrar of voters or a staff member would tell you whether you passed or failed. But to increase the chances of being allowed to register to vote, one would have to remember what test he took as no one test had the exact same set of questions on it so as to mixed them up just in case one memorized the answers. Finally you will notice that a potential voter had to write out by oral dictation of the registrar the Preamble of the United States Constitution. I thought I would share this with readers to underscore the concern I have at all this wicked attempt to suppress the black vote and preserve the legacy of what my parents and others black and white fought and died for during the 1950's and 60's which left deep imprint on me. My father was one of the first blacks to register in Lincoln Parish in 1948. (That is where Grambling State University is located.) He and Mr. J. K. Haynes, Mrs. Clara Carr, a supervisor in the Jackson Parish Schools, Reverend C.D. Simmons, a local pastor, and Reverend Clyde Oliver, a local minister as well as my uncle organized the Nicodemus Club@ named for the biblical figure who came to Jesus by night. They met late at night to plan strategy to become registered voters. One of the road blocks to filling out the application was to know the ward and precinct that they resided in which they did not know. But a white gentleman sympathetic to cause of equal justice suggested that daddy get a post office box and write Baton Rouge, our state capital and find out the the needed information and have it sent to back to Ruston where we lived. The reason the post office box was used was to keep the white power structure in the dark as to what they were planning. There is a strange twist to how this small episode in civil rights history ends. In 1971, Governor Edwin Edwards decided to appoint a black in Lincoln Parish as President of the Board of Elections. And you guessed it, it was my father who became the boss or supervisor of the woman in the register of voters office who sought to prevent him from registering to vote. She apologized to daddy saying she was only doing what she was told to do.(Talk about Joe Bidens laughing, consider Gods laughter at injustice and oppression as well as mans evil schemes.) I also went to high school with two of her grandsons, one of which is a minister in Baton Rouge, On the day that our nation began the national celebration of Dr. Kings birthday in 1986 I had dinner with he and his wife and children. Also at our 30th class reunion he and I sat down to dinner, in 2001, and I made this statement, Well, Dr. Kings dream is partially fulfilled here, He asked what I meant to which I replied, He said that one day the sons of slaves and the sons of former slave-owners would sit down at the table of brotherhood. Remember, your ancestors fought in the Confederate army to keep my family and my people as slaves and my slave ancestors lived in Vienna, Louisiana up the road, owned by the Mays brothers. Here you and I are sitting here eating gumbo and fried chicken and we aint mad each other. How great is our God. This little bit our great history as a people fighting for the other 2/5 of citizenship since the Constitution declared us to be 3/5 of a human being.

A G. McLain
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Sample Literacy Test Circa 1960s for Voting In Louisiana This is a copy of sample exam used to help perspective voters get ready for their journey to the parish courthouse. Its appearance is to remind us how far we have come and how far we have to go. As you look over the test remember those who fought and died to secure this precious right for all people as well as those are yet fighting to form a more perfect union.

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The North Louisiana Civil Rights Coalition Salutes Those Students Who Dared And Marched at Booker T. Washington High School, September 23, 1963 As Well As Those Arrested For Sitting-In at Lunch Counters In Downtown Shreveport Stores, the Library, and the Bus Station For their courage, they suffered for laying it all on the line. Students Who Were Treated at Confederate Memorial Hospital (Now LSU Medical Center)
Patricia Oliver Pasty Pennington Calean Payton Mary Ann Jones

Students Who Were Arrested and Turned Over to Juvenile Detention


Arthur Lee Anderson * Herschel Oliver Louis Elmore * Arthur Lee Taylor Sherman Beavers * Frank Daniels, Jr. Louise Demery(Deceased) * Annie Lee Thrishel Mary Ethen Allen * Betty Jean Mims Peggy Autrey

Students Who Were Charged With Contributing to the Delinquency of Minors


John Lawrence Smith * Lonnie S. Sartor Emmett Holmes, Jr. * Charles Brown (Deceased) H. Calvin Austin, III

Students Who Were Arrested For Sitting In At Downtown Store Lunch Counters
Joseph Russell * Luvert Taylor * William Bradford Melvin Crockett (Deceased) * Lawrence Roque (Deceased) Larry Nichols * Henry Sullivan Ann Brewster(Advisor) Students Arrested At The Library Reginald Nichols Gladys Russell James Hollingsworth

Students Who Were Arrested At the Shreveport Bus Station


Mary McGinnie * Delores McGinnie Luvert Taylor * David Dennis Along with Reverend Harry Blake and Reverend Harold Bethune
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During These Golden Anniversary Celebrations of the Civil Rights Struggle Across America We Remember Jackson, Mississippi * Birmingham, Alabama Shreveport, Louisiana
And Of Course

Selma, Alabama Where Our Mother, Mrs. Viola Liuzzo Gave Her Life So All Could Have That Precious Right to Vote
From Her Daughters Sally Liuzzo Prado * Mary Liuzzo Lilleboe Penny Liuzzo Herrington

After 50 Years, The Struggle to Form a Perfect Union Continues

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Senator Gregory W. Tarver Louisiana State Senate District 39

Rev. J.S. Williams

Senator Gregory Tarver notes that his grand-uncle and grandfather served as the founding officials of the first NAACP chapter in Shreveport in the late 1800s His material Uncle ClaudeDr. H. Claude Hudson, local dentist, served as the first president of the local chapter, while his grandfather, J.S. Williams, local businessman and founder of the J.S. Williams Funeral Home and Insurance Companies, was the second president of the NAACP. Senator Tarvers brother, Dr. Leon Tarver II, president emeritus of the Southern University System, was president of the Shreveport chapter of the NAACP in the early 1970s.

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