Shreveport City Council recognizes 2 entrepreneurs, makes 2 formal apologies

The apologies revolve around what happened on 2 days in September 1963
This iconic photo of the Rev. Harry Blake was taken after he was beaten in September 1963.
This iconic photo of the Rev. Harry Blake was taken after he was beaten in September 1963.
Published: Feb. 22, 2022 at 8:46 PM CST
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Shreveport City Council members acknowledged two entrepreneurs and made two formal apologies.

The actions came in the form of three resolutions adopted during the City Council meeting the afternoon of Tuesday, Feb. 22.

Resolution 16 acknowledges Shreveport natives Keyondra and Kimberly Lockett “for their extraordinary talents.” Target’s Black History month campaign, Black Beyond Measure, chose the Atlanta residents’ Jolie Noire clothing line to represent Black culture.

The resolution also describes Keyondra Lockett as “... a #1 Billboard Chart Topping singer-songwriter who has shared the stage with artists such as Yolanda Adams, CeCe Winans, Kirk Franklin, and Mary Mary, to name a few. She is also the first and only gospel artist to have a licensing deal with a top company, Kenya Doll Brand, which is an African-American brand whose mission is to empower adolescent girls.”

And the legislation says Kimberly Lockett “... is a celebrity fashion stylist and has been seen on various national platforms and television networks such as BET, HypeHair.com, Essence Magazine and many more. Her personal style has been featured and recognized in major online publications and blogs such as Essence.com, 50 Fab Fashion Instagrammers and Fashionbombdaily.com.

The two apologies, Resolutions 17 and 18, are directed at Little Union Baptist Church members and their descendants and the Rev. H. Calvin Austin and Booker T. Washington High School students. They revolve around two days in September 1963.

The apology to Little Union Baptist is over an encounter that occurred Sunday, Sept. 22, 1963. The Shreveport church held a memorial service that date for six African-Americans, including four young girls, who were killed when a bomb exploded in a church where they were worshipping Sept. 15, 1963, in Birmingham, Ala.

During the memorial service, the resolution recounts, Shreveport police officers “... rode horses inside the newly renovated church sanctuary up and down the aisles, leaving a trail of horse manure before grabbing (the) Rev. Harry Blake and savagely beating him outside the building.”

Church members who were there that date still remember what happened and bear emotional scars, according to the legislation. “The sights, sounds and odor of that event are still vivid in the minds of members who were children at that time and were engaged in cleaning the refuse left by the horses.”

The beating of Blake drove Austin and Booker T. Washington students to march in protest the following day from the school and down Milam Street. Police ordered the students back to school and, when they refused, “... brutally attacked them with batons and tear gas.”

That’s where Resolution 18, the second apology, comes in.

Below is Resolution 16 honoring Shreveport natives Keyondra and Kimberly Lockett:

Below are Resolutions 17 and 18, formal apologies to Little Union Baptist Church members and their descendants and to the Rev. H. Calvin Austin and Booker T. Washington High School students over encounters that occurred Sept. 22-23, 1963:

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