This Louisiana City Mayor Voted To Bulldoze A Black Neighborhood To Make Way For A Highway

Shreveport Mayor Ollie Taylor joins other public officials who recently voted to bulldoze the Allendale neighborhood.

Allendale Neighborhood
Photo Credit: Photo: Allendale Strong

| August 23 2017,

8:06 pm

Since the tragic effects in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Louisiana black community has been taking it one day at a time to rebuild their foundation.

Now it seems there may be a new threat to their current way of life … but this time, it isn’t a natural disaster.

This vote was controversial because Allendale is a predominantly lower-income black neighborhood.

The Shreveport area actually seen has a strong history of racial tensions, particularly in Caddo and Bossier County.

According to an Equal Justice Initiative report, there were 48 reported African American victim lynches in Caddo and 26 in Bossier between the years of 1877-1950.

There is also a history of destroying poor and black urban areas to build expressways. St. Louis saw a urban renewal boom after World War II. Detroit gutted its black communities around the same time.

Cities that have taken similar actions more recently, such as Boston, New Orleans, Dallas, and Milwaukee have publicly regretted their decisions, with Milwaukee and Boston removing freeways that had been built, according to the Shreveport Times

Critics of Shreveport's decision point to these cities as places lessons should be drawn from.

But proponents of the move say there is nothing to worry about.

The report states that the highway would host approximately 3,600 cars daily, and would produce 30,000 new jobs and $800 million in economic “benefits.”

Providence Engineering transportation consultants backed up Taimerica's claims, and the local chamber of commerce urged Tyler and the other public officials to vote in favor of the bulldozing.

The people's whose homes would fall under the plan called for the opposite.

Wiley evacuated New Orleans after Katrina to find refuge in Allendale. Though her house isn’t directly in the bulldozing path, she still fully opposes the vote for the good of the community.

Even before talk of destroying part of the community arose, Allendale was losing souls. The past few decades has seen the city's population decline. Currently, it is home to about 200,000 citizens.

According to the Shreveport Times, the final vote on the project will be held at the end of next year.