History of the Shreveport Ghetto
With a population of around 200,000 people, the majority of Shreveport’s residents live in the city’s black communities of the Shreveport ghetto and urban neighborhoods, in one of Louisiana’s largest cities.
This short story of the Shreveport ghetto and urban neighborhoods explains how the city’s black community grew over the years to being located in most of the Shreveport neighborhoods.
Originally, the city of Shreveport had only a few black communities like Allendale and Mooretown, but not until the 1960s and 1970s did the city become predominantly African-American, as many of Shreveport’s white families left for Bossier City and other communities in the region and state.
The white flight led to many of Shreveport’s communities that date back to the 1800s and were built as early as the 1920s like Ingleside and Highland to become part of the city’s African-American community by the 1970s.
Before the 1960s, the city of Shreveport had a few sections of the city that were well-known for the city’s black population.
Places like Milam Street, a once popular street that runs through Allendale and Lakeside, and Texas Avenue, another former famous business and entertainment district and was the center of Shreveport’s black culture.
The main original communities of Shreveport for African-Americans were the Bottoms, officially known as St Paul’s Bottoms and later renamed Ledbetter Heights, Allendale, and Mooretown, which have been part of Shreveport’s African-American community since the 1800s.
In the 1980s, the city was at its peak with its population, being the 67th largest city in the country, but during the following years, Shreveport’s population has been decreasing with the removing of homes and the amount vacant houses throughout the city.
Within the streets of Shreveport, the 1980s and 1990s brought in a new era into the city with gang affiliations and ties to Los Angeles that took control of the city with Crips in places like Cooper Road and Bloods in areas like Queensborough, but these affiliations would later fade away in the 2000s.
Below is a few of the main “Ratchet City” neighborhoods of the Shreveport ghetto:
Queensborough: One of the cities oldest and largest neighborhoods, located between Jewella and Hearne streets
Cooper Road: Officially named Martin Luther King Drive, this section of the city known as “The Island” with it being isolated from the rest of the city and being one of the few North Side neighborhoods. Also, Cooper Road is one of the city’s oldest and one of the most historic African-American communities.
Ingleside: Located around Hearne Avenue, this small community was built in the 1920s and became predominantly black by the 1970s.
Allendale: Along with the Bottoms and places like Mooretown, Allendale was one of the original black communities in the city, which dates back to the 1800s and was a thriving community until the 1970s.
Mooretown: One of the first all-black neighborhoods in Shreveport, begun around Broadway and Cleveland during the early 1900s and expanded throughout the years.
Cedar Grove: A large community based around 70th Street, along streets of Linwood Avenue, which is the West Side, and on the East Side off of Line Avenue.
Cedar Grove did not become a black community until the 1960s and 1970s, after originally being its own separate town from Shreveport until the late 1920s. Cedar Grove was also the location of the “1988 Riots” after a black man was killed.
Stoner Hill / Highland: Two of the few neighborhoods on the East Side of Shreveport, along with Water Side and Wilkinson Terrace, these two sections are two of Shreveport’s oldest communities.
Shreveport History Sources:
Mhsmarchitects.com: Allendale One: Allendale Past and Present.
Blokker, Laura. The African American Experience in Louisiana. Greensburg, Louisiana. Southeast Preservation 2012.
Brock, Eric J. Eric Brock’s Shreveport. Gretna, LA: Pelican Pub., 2001. Print.
Brock, Eric J. Shreveport Chronicles: Profiles from Louisiana’s Port City. Charleston, SC: History, 2009. Print.