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Black History
 

Afro-Americans and Caddo Parish Police Jurors/Caddo Parish Commissioners

 

      In 1971 was a pivotal year for blacks in Caddo Parish seeking political office.  For year’s blacks that tried to run for office in Caddo Parish failed to win.  This was due primarily because of at-large elections and gerrymandered districts that diluted black voting strength.  Reapportionment suits began to appear throughout Louisiana.  By 1971, reapportionment laws had created single-member districts that would give blacks a chance to wins seats on the School Board and the Police Jury (the predecessor body that governed the Parish from 1847 until it was replaced by the Caddo Parish Commission in 1984).

     The November 1971 primary election in Caddo Parish featured eighteen blacks running for local and state offices.  Sixteen from three districts that made up predominately Afro-American districts for the Caddo Parish Police Jury.  Those elected were: Educator Hersey Wilson, District Seven; Dr. C.M. Lester, District Six; and Reverends M.M. Flynn and E. Edward Jones; District Eight.  The police jury had twenty members.

     In 1975, Donald Aytch was elected to the Police Jury from district ten, Gregory Tarver from district five, David Wyndon from district seven, and William Hines.  Aytch became the vice president in 1982 and president in 1983.  This was the first time that any black had been elected to such positions in the history of the Caddo Parish Police Jury.

    Mrs. Eddie Jones became a member of the Caddo Parish Police Jury representing district five when Gregory Tarver was elected to the Shreveport, City council in 1978.  Mrs. Jones, in her eighty’s was the oldest elected official in the states when she retired in 1992.  Shirley Wills alone with Mrs. Jones were the first black women to be elected to a police jury in the State of Louisiana when they won election in 1979.  Attorney Willie Singleton, the first black to run for mayor in Shreveport (1974), also won election in 1979.

     In 1984, the Caddo Parish Police Jury becomes the twelve members Caddo Parish Commission.  Donald Aytch, Mrs. Eddie Jones, Hersey Wilson, and David Wyndon were the black members of the Commission.  Ken Epperson joined this crew in 1991 when a fifth area in Caddo Parish was reapportioned to reflect the growing black population in the Southeast area.  Michael Williams, a retired firefighter, join the commission when Mrs. Eddie Jones resigned in April of 1992.  In October of 1992, Williams was elected out right. 

     In 2001, Joyce Bowman (district five) was elected in 1999 alone with Rose Wilson McCulloch (district two), the daughter of Hersey Wilson, Carl A. Pierson Sr. (district three), and Patrick Williams (district seven).

      The 2003 election witness a new level when Clifford Collins was elected as the Commission representation from district twelve, alone with Lindora Baker (district six) and Stephanie Lynch (district seven), making the make up of the Caddo Parish Commission six blacks and six whites.

 

 

 



                                                                                                                                        

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