LSUS Professor Mapping Shreveport's Civil Rights History
Professor Gary Joiner says his motivation is to preserve the rich history and legacy of this area to the overall civil rights movement.
A huge project is well underway to map the civil rights history of Shreveport and Caddo Parish. LSU Shreveport History Department Chair Professor Gary Joiner is spearheading this effort by examining two different time periods. The first time period involves what is considered to be the golden age of the civil rights movement from 1945 to 1992. The second time period runs from 1865 to 1877 during reconstruction after the Civil War.
Professor Joiner is utilizing a mountain of data, ranging from historical documents and photographs to satellite imagery, to name just a small fraction of the resources involved in putting this project together.
Joiner says his motivation is to preserve the rich history and legacy of this area to the overall civil rights movement. “We’ve got a hundred and eighty-plus local activists that we’ve identified so far, forty out-of-town people, including Dr. King. We’ve got 24 cemeteries. We’ve got 44 businesses, 21 churches, 180 homes, 13 schools that were forcibly desegregated. And in public spaces we’ve got 13 of them. We’ve got these corridors. They will be like the spine of what we’re doing.”
Professor Joiner says he hopes this civil rights mapping project of Shreveport and Caddo Parish can lead to the creation of a historical district in the not-too-distant future.