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Spotlight on History

Black History Month

Black History Month



The LDMA is highlighting Black History Month during the month of February with a collection of videos highlighting African American history and culture in Louisiana.  Be sure to explore the complete Black History Month topic to see more stories and interviews with Black Louisianans who have made significant contributions to the state.





A.Z. Young, the organizer of the Bogalusa Civil Rights March



Bogalusa Civil Rights March (1967)

View several reports on the 105-mile march from Bogalusa to Baton Rouge, which was organized by civil rights activist A.Z. Young.




The Marchers: 16 Days on Highway 1



The Marchers: 16 Days on Hwy 1 (1982)

See a documentary chronicling the 16-day, 246-mile Black voter registration march from Shreveport to Baton Rouge in June 1982.



New Orleans Four


New Orleans Four (1983)

Watch a Folks episode honoring the four African American girls who integrated the New Orleans Public Schools in 1960 – Ruby Bridges, Gail Etienne, Tessie Prevost, and Leona Tate.




With All Deliberate Speed



With All Deliberate Speed (1983)

View this documentary examining the 30-year history of school desegregation efforts in Louisiana following the landmark Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education.



Justice Revius Ortique


Justice Revius Ortique (1992)

See a Louisiana: The State We’re In profile of Justice Revius Ortique, the first African American to serve on the Louisiana Supreme Court.





Author Ernest J. Gaines


Ernest J. Gaines: Louisiana Stories (1993)

Watch a documentary profiling the life and career of award-winning author Ernest Gaines, whose work was inspired by his childhood experiences in Pointe Coupee Parish.




Signpost to Freedom: The 1953 Baton Rouge Bus Boycott


Signpost to Freedom (2004)

View this documentary chronicling the circumstances and events that led to the 1953 Baton Rouge Bus Boycott, the nation's first large-scale bus boycott protesting segregation.




Baton Rouge's Troubled Waters


Baton Rouge’s Troubled Waters (2008)

See this LPB documentary which explores the close ties of the African American community in Baton Rouge and the challenges they faced during segregation.




Louisiana's First Black Nurses


Louisiana’s First Black Nurses (2013)

Watch a SWI story highlighting the pioneering Black nurses working at the only hospital unit available to Black nurses and patients in Baton Rouge during the 1950s.



Louisiana's Black Church: The Politics of Perserverance



Louisiana’s Black Church (2021)

View this documentary exploring the history and importance of Black churches in Louisiana from the time of slavery to the Civil Rights Movement and the modern day.



Safe Haven: Louisiana's Green Book


Safe Haven: Exploring Louisiana’s Green Book (2021)

See a series of digital shorts highlighting the Louisiana locations in the Green Book, a travel guide that listed places that were safe for African Americans to visit during segregation.




Black Greek Life


Crossing Over: Black Greek Life (2022)

Watch a series of reports on the history and culture of Black fraternities and sororities, including stories on the Divine Nine, Colorism, Community Service & Stepping and Strolling.




Clarence Jones and the Heritage Choir


Heritage Choir (2022)

View an Art Rocks! story profiling Heritage, a Baton Rouge-based choral ensemble aimed at preserving and performing spirituals, directed by Clarence Jones.




Gov. John Bel Edwards Pardons Homer Plessy


Homer Plessy Pardoned (2022)

See Governor John Bel Edwards pardon Homer Plessy, the plaintiff in Plessy v. Ferguson, the 1896 United States Supreme Court decision that upheld the doctrine of separate but equal. 




African American Veterans Monument


African American Veterans Monument (2023)

Watch a story on the unveiling of a new monument honoring Black veterans on the grounds of the State Capitol and a profile a Colonel Paris Davis, a recipient of the Medal of Honor.



Louisiana Civil Rights Museum in New Orleans



Preserving Civil Rights History (2023)

View a SWI story highlighting the state’s efforts to preserve the history of the Civil Rights Movement in Louisiana, including the new Civil Rights Museum and Civil Rights Trail.




To see more stories, check out the complete Black History Month topic and our blog post on our BHM stories from Folks.