Sunday, January 26, 2014

Black History Month " Civil Rights in Tangipahoa & St.Helena Parishes"

Jo-Ann Lewis Frazier
Pioneer for change in Amite, La.
Before I can actually think about "Civil Rights in America" I must first think about "Civil Rights in Tangipahoa Parish." Chronicling the important milestones by African Americans in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana. This past August, we commemorated the 50th anniversary March on Washington, D.C., It was pioneers like Jo-Ann Lewis Frazier,  Adam Gordon, Deloris Harrell-Washington, Dr. Willard Vernon, and Kingsley Garrison who stood up against the forces of hatred and racism. 

They protest for change in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana. But somehow I think we have forgot about that part of our history. I am a child from the 60s and can remember segregation and the conversation about the lynchings, KKK, and other racism acts against people of color. 

On, 23 August 1967, After the march, A.Z Young president of the Bogalusa Civic and Voters League announced plans for a second march. The first march, a 10 day trek from Bogalusa to Baton Rouge to present a petition of grievances to Governor John McKeithen supposedly drew over 500 participants.
source: 23 August 1967 p. 10-A, no byline

The 1953 bus boycott in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Baton Rouge was the site of the first successful bus boycott of the 1950s. This event became a blueprint for the more publicized boycott to take place two years later in Montgomery, Alabama, and it set the stage for desegregation in the Deep South.

This month everyone should reflected on a family member, neighbor, community leader who fought and stood up for change. This month I chose to celebrate family members who had the courage to make a difference and change the course of history.
Jim Crow Segregated Water Fountains

Just how many people in Tangipahoa and St. Helena Parishes know that in 1963, what was suppose be a summer project to register blacks voters in Iberville, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, Tangipahoa and East and West Feliciana parishes turned into something that would change the voting history for African Americans. More than 300 people was jailed, most of them were teenagers. 20 Children was injured during this demonstration. 

Yet, we forgot about the moments and time in our history, we soon forget about the struggles of our ancestors and family members who experience the Jim Crow south. We forgot about the strange fruit hanging for the trees that whispered during the night. We forgot about the times that we couldn't walk on the sidewalks in town. These are history lessons that can help us better shape our presence and future, if we only take a moment to remember. 

Tangipahoa African-American News