Ouachita Parish NAACP

Group has fought for changes over the years

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was formed nationally in 1909. It worked to eliminate lynching in America and fight to gain legal equality for Negroes. As branches of the NAACP were established across the South laws were passed to stop Negroes were joining. In 1924 the Louisiana Legislature passed a law making it illegal for citizens to be members of “subversive” organizations. The law was aimed directly at the Klan but was used also to prevent Blacks from being members of the NAACP. Until the 1970’s the men who led the NAACP in Monroe did so at risk of arrest. Persons who joined were intimidated with firing and harassment. Leaders of the local NAACP have been:
  • The Reverend S.L. Pierce, 1932-1952. He concentrated on building membership and fighting against the lynching of Negroes in North Louisiana. He was fearless and a powerful orator.
  • Dr. John I. Reddix, 1956-1968. Because of laws that prevented membership in the NAACP he formed a companion organization called “The Guiding Voice” and led the organization during the fight for voting rights of the 50’s and 60’s, spearheaded the desegregation of the Monroe City Schools, Northeast University, and public accommodations.
  • Reverend John Russell, 1972-74; Revived the branch and pushed for increased voter registration and participation. Willie Haynes,1974-76; Pushed for a change in Monroe’s Form of government. Provided a think tank for new political strategies of the 70’s and 80’s
  • Roosevelt Wright, Jr., 1976-1988; Pushed for changes in Monroe City Schools, represented Blacks in Community Develop Block Grants, Protested Police Brutality, established summer feeding programs, and jobs fairs.
  • John Joseph James, 1988. An interim president.
  • D’Ella Walters, 1988-1990; pushed for increased membership and participation in National programs.
  • The Reverend Charles Thomas, 1990-1992; Pushed for Martin Luther King Holiday and spoke out against injustices.
  • Otis Chisley, 1992-1996; Branch spoke out against injustices, promoted youth ACT-SO programs and support of the National Agenda.
  • John Joseph James, 1996. Became president when Chisley resigned to run for mayor of Monroe.
  • Otis Chisey, 1996-. Re-elected president after losing bid to become Monroe mayor.
  • Ervin "Peter" Turner, 2008
  • Otis Chisley, 2010, group not officially recognized because its membership declined to less than 50 members.