Book on Old South Baton Rouge seeks integration-era photos

Raymond A. Jetson, Pastor of Star Hill Church, and Lori Latrice Martin, associate professor of sociology and African and African American Studies, are working on a new book with Arcadian Publishers about historic Old South Baton Rouge. The book will cover the period immediately following Reconstruction through the early 1970s when residents of the historic neighborhood integrated elementary and high schools, as well, the state’s flagship university.

The authors hope to replicate the success of a recently published book by professors at Southern University about Scotlandville. The purpose of the book is to memorialize the life and legacy of African Americans with personal, family, professional, business, religious, and political ties to Old South Baton Rouge and Louisiana’s first high school for African Americans, McKinley High School. Upon completion of the book, 100% of the proceeds will benefit the McKinley High School Alumni Center.

The authors invite contributions of original photographs, documents, postcards, etc., from the community. Family and school photos, government documents, business receipts, church anniversary journals, pictures of social club members and events, are just some of the contributions the authors hope to include in the book.

“We want this book to be for, by, and about the people of Old South Baton Rouge. The community nurtured many people who went on to leave their footprints in politics, sports, education, civil rights, theology, music, and the arts, to name a few. It is our duty to preserve this history for current and future generations. Old South Baton Rouge history is African American history; it is American history,” said, Pastor Jetson.

Anyone interested in being part of this historic project is invited to send materials to: Star Hill Church, 1400 N. Foster Drive, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 70806, Attention: Old South Baton Rouge. The authors will also accept contributions during a series of events leading up to the dedication of the Baton Rouge Bench by the Toni Morrison Society’s Bench by the Road Project on Saturday, February 6, 2016, at McKinley High School Alumni Center. The Toni Morrison Society will recognize the 1953 Baton Rouge bus boycott, which served as a model for the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott.

The public can also drop-off contributions for the book, Old South Baton Rouge, at Carver Library, 720 Terrace Avenue, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at 9:30 am on the following dates:

November 21, 2015
December 19, 2015
January 23, 2016

For more information contact: Dr. Lori Latrice Martin at (225) 578-1785 or

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