BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A LSU professor and a pastor from Baton Rouge teamed up and have published a book on the history of African Americans in South Baton Rouge. The book covers the history of the area from the Antebellum period through President Obama's historic visit to the city.
Dr. Lori Latrice Martin and Pastor Raymond A. Jetson authored the book, entitled South Baton Rouge.
South Baton Rouge, sometimes referred to as Old South Baton Rouge, is an African American community in Baton Rouge rich in history. It was one of the first places African Americans could receive a high school education in the whole state. The three-mile community surrounding McKinley High School was the site of the nation's first successful bus boycott.
When laws restricted where African Americans could live, work, and play, South Baton Rouge was a haven for residents. Restaurants, theaters, gas stations, and other businesses populated the area, and many influential African American judges, lawyers, clergy, educators, and nurses helped sustain the community through the end of legal segregation and beyond.
"South Baton Rouge includes over 100 images of free people of color, historic businesses, faith-based institutions, political figures, the 1953 Baton Rouge bus boycott, dedication of the Toni Morrison Society's Bench by the Road at McKinley High School Alumni Center and President Obama's visit to McKinley High School," said Dr. Martin.
Dr. Martin and Pastor Jetson are scheduled to discuss the book at bookstores around the Baton Rouge area in February and March, as well as take part in the Lecture and Lunch series at West Baton Rouge Museum on Thursday, February 2 at 12 p.m. All proceeds will benefit the McKinley High School Alumni Center.
"As the city celebrates the 200th anniversary of its incorporation, we want to make sure that the history and contributions of black communities, such as South Baton Rouge, are not forgotten," said Dr. Martin.
Additional information about the book is available here.