Bogalusa Civil Rights March
Civil rights marchers are guarded by state troopers in a march to the City Hall in the Ku Klux Klan stronghold of Bogalusa, Louisiana in 1965. (AP/Shutterstock)

Historic 1967 Bogalusa Civil Rights March Honored With Marker Along ‘Louisiana Civil Rights Trail’

Louisiana is continuing to honor its legacy as one of the nation’s birthplaces for the civil rights movement.

CNN’s Leah Asmelash reported that authorities in the state recently added another marker to their new registry tracking locations along the “Louisiana Civil Rights Trail,” this time highlighting Young Park in Baton Rouge to honor the historic march against anti-Black violence that took place there.

According to Asmelash, the new marker celebrates an iconic 105-mile march from Bogalusa to Baton Rouge in the 1960s. 

“The march, known as the Bogalusa Civil Rights March, took place in 1967, four years after the March on Washington,” she reported. “Started by activist A.Z. Young, the 10-day march was a protest against the general treatment of Black Americans, following years of harassment by the KKK in Louisiana.”

The ceremony honoring the location’s new historic designation was attended by Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome and many surviving family members of civil rights leaders involved in the original march.

“It was an honor to be here today with the families of the leaders in this movement,” Nungesser tweeted following the ceremony.

“Yet another great day for celebrating the deep and storied history of Baton Rouge,” Broome added.

The Louisiana Civil Rights Trail currently has four markers located across the state — and all have been honored and selected over the course of 2021.

“Each location on the trail is marked by a 6-foot-tall steel half-male, half-female silhouette, supposed to resemble a protester holding a picket sign,” Asmelash reported. “The first marker was placed outside Dooky Chase’s Restaurant in New Orleans, a sandwich shop that became a popular forum for leaders like Thurgood Marshall, Rev. A.L. Davis, the Rev. Avery Alexander and Virginia Durr to gather.”

According to Asmelash, the other markers include the Old State Capitol building in Baton Rouge, which honored “the massive bus boycott in 1953 that went on to inspire the Montgomery bus boycott,” as well as Little Union Baptist Church in Shreveport, the last place Martin Luther King Jr. spoke publicly before he was killed in 1968.

 

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