BATON ROUGE – LSU Associate Professor of African and African American Studies and
Sociology Lori Latrice Martin recently co-authored a book on the history of an African
American community in Baton Rouge. The book, “South Baton Rouge,” covers the time
from antebellum America to the historic visit by President Barack Obama.
The community of South Baton Rouge, sometimes referred to as Old South Baton Rouge, is rich with historical importance. It was one of the first places African Americans could receive a high school education in the state. The three-mile community around McKinley High School, the first high school for African Americans in East Baton Rouge Parish, was the site of the nation’s first successful bus boycott. When laws restricted where African Americans could live, work, learn and play, South Baton Rouge was a refuge. African American restaurants, theaters, gas stations and other businesses populated the community. Change-makers including African American lawyers, judges, clergy, educators and nurses helped sustain the community and other parts of the southern half of Louisiana’s capital through the end of legal segregation and beyond.
“‘South Baton Rouge’ includes over a hundred 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,” Martin said.
Martin and co-author Raymond A. Jetson, a pastor of Star Hill Church and CEO of MetroMorphosis, are scheduled to discuss their book at local bookstores in February and March and as part of the Lecture and Lunch series at West Baton Rouge Museum on Thursday, Feb. 2, at noon. All proceeds from the book benefit 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,” Martin said.
Martin received her Ph.D. from the University of Albany, State University of New York. As a professor of sociology, she collaborates with her colleagues and students at LSU to open minds and capture sociological imagination. Her research interests include race and ethnicity, racial wealth inequality, black asset poverty and the sociology of sports.
South Baton Rouge: https://www.amazon.com/South-Baton-Rouge-Images-America/dp/1467124729
Contact Alison Satake
LSU Media Relations
PHOTO CAPTION: A Turnbull family photo.
PHOTO CREDIT: Hill Memorial Library