Dr. John I. Reddix
Dr. John I Reddix

Dr. John I. Reddix was a civil rights activist during the period between 1956 and 1972.

He gained prominence when he challenged the local voter registrar Mae Lucky when she purged 5786 Negroes from the voting books. Reddix, through an organization he called the “Guiding Voice” went to court[1] with a local attorney, James Sharp, largely at his own expense to have the voting rights of Blacks restored. He testified before investigating committees hearing charges of voter irregularity.

The information presented by Reddix, with that added by other complainants across the South was a contributing factor to the passage of the 1964 Voting Rights Act which secured Black voting rights from that time forward. He was a prime mover in the efforts to desegregation Northeast University, voter registration and desegregation of Monroe City Schools. He provided finance and direction to youth who worked to desegregate Monroe during the 60’s. A few years later Reddix made a bid for the parish school board and was defeated.

He was disheartened in the struggle when he heard Blacks in his early 1970’s race tell him that they would not vote for him because he word a beard and a goatee. In the early 70’s he retreated from active civic involvement having made his lasting contribution to Monroe history. Until his death he lived in retirement with his wife Frances.

One of his daughters, Ollibeth Reddix, took up his quest for community improvement, and was elected to the Ouachita Parish Police Jury, largely on the strength of the reputation earned by her father.

  1. ^ Reddix vs May Lucky: https://www.courtlistener.com/opinion/244437/dr-john-i-reddix-v-mrs-may-lucky-registrar-of-vote/