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The first black deputy sheriff in Bossier Parish, hired Feb. 1, 1968 under late Sheriff Willie Waggoner. Also served as the first black licensed bail bondsman and retired as the first black detective in the Bossier Sheriff Dept.
This Huntington High School graduate is the former hard hitting home run specialist for the Cleveland Indians baseball club.
A Benton, La. native, he pitched six seasons in the American Negro Leagues with the Kansas City Monarchs from 1937-43. His baseball career started locally as a member of the Shreveport Tigers.
An NAACP civil rights worker and co-owner of a Shreveport beauty shop. Died in 1964 in what looked like a suicide in her Allendale home. A memorial has been set up at Little Union Baptist Church where she was a choir member.
JERRY TIM BROOKS
He was the first black to play on the Querbes Golf Course in 1964. His first iron was a broken 5 iron that a white man had broken and given to him. He fixed it up with a stick and played in the streets and vacant fields. His golf career consisted of 603 amateur golf tournament victories. He was inducted into the Southern University Hall of Fame.
JOHNNIE L. COCHRAN
Shreveport native who was one of the most sought after defense lawyers in the country. Known as the lead defense attorney for football great, O. J. Simpson in perhaps the most captivating murder trial in U.S. history.
The Kansas City Chiefs drafted him and in his first season, he ran for more than 1,000 yards and was selected to play in the Pro Bowl. On June 29, 1983, he lost his life while attempting to save the lives of three drowning children. In July 1983, this Haughton native was awarded the Presidential Citizen Medal for making the ultimate sacrifice.
GARY “BIG HANDS” JOHNSON
Former Grambling State University football star played for the San Diego Chargers and was voted Super Bowl MVP. Johnson, who grew up in Bossier City, is in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.
HUDDIE “LEADBELLY” LEDBETTER
Reared in Mooringsport, Ledbetter played a 12-string guitar along Fannin St. A bronze statue of him was dedicated in 1993. Known for such songs as “Goodnight Irene,” “The Midnight Special,” and “Rock Island Line.”
JUDI ANN MASON
Television producer Norman Lear discovered this scriptwriter while she attended Grambling State University. A native of Bossier City, she has written for several television shows including “Different Strokes”, “A Different World” and “I’ll Fly Away”, and movies including “Sister Act II”.
The first black supervisor named to serve in the Bossier Parish School System. She had a local public school named after her. Today, that historical black school on 1518 Cox St., Bossier City, serves as an alternative educational center.
DAVID HERNDON RAINES
Born in 1860. A prosperous farmer in Pine Island, La., near Shreveport, who made more than a million dollars from oil and real estate properties. He donated 22 acres for the construction of a center for juvenile delinquents after moving to Shreveport. Today the area is the site of the David Raines Community Center at 1625 David Raines.
ODESSA S. STRICKLAND
From Minden and Shreveport, he was one of the founders of Universal Oil, Gas and Mining Company, Inc. in 1930 and served as secretary/general manager of the company for many years. He was credited with the invention of the electronometer, which could locate, trace and define the meters and bounds of oil and gas fields.
EPHRIAM DAVID TYLER
Referred to as the Rustic Poet or Shreveport’s Poet Laureate. Born in 1884, he wrote about his experiences, racial problems and personal views throughout his life. His poetry is read by thousands of black and white Americans.
Legendary football coach at Charlotte Mitchell High School and former assistant principal at Airline High School. Once starred as a pitcher in the Negro Baseball League.