SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Shreveport NAACP president Lloyd Thompson confirmed Monday morning that longtime Shreveport activist Dr. Artis Cash has died.
Multiple sources close to Dr. Cash were told their friend and colleague was rushed to Christus Highland Medical Center in south Shreveport shortly after midnight from an apparent heart attack. They were told he passed away about 1:00 a.m. this Monday, November 14.
Cash was the pastor and founder of Shreveport Christian Church and chairman of the Shreveport chapter of the National Action Network.
Cash spent years advocating for civil rights and in 2008 ran for the U.S. Representative in Louisiana's 4th Congressional district.
His sudden death has stunned those who knew and loved the controversial leader, who was never afraid to speak his mind or fight for his beliefs.
"I was with him on Saturday when we had the election voting at the NAACP," recalled Pastor Linus Mayes of New Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in Shreveport.
Sitting in his church sanctuary, Pastor Mayes described how he and his longtime friend, Dr. Cash, would speak at least every other night on the phone. "He was a man that stood up for right and righteousness."
"He loved the underdog. But he especially loved the black underdog (laugh), okay?" smiled Shreveport City Council Chairman Willie Bradford.
Bradford said he considered Dr. Cash a close personal friend. He recalled how Cash felt after returning to Shreveport, from California, back in the early '90's and was sorely disappointed. "He came back into an environment, into a city that he thought was racist, he thought was non-progressive," continued Bradford.
So, Bradford said Dr. Cash, or 'Doc' as he called him, did the only thing he knew how to do: Fight back with words of faith and leadership.
"He was a(n) outspoken person for the African American Community," added Lloyd Thompson, president of the Shreveport Chapter of the NAACP.
Thompson reflected on the challenges Dr. Cash faced, saying he had sometimes been ostracized by the very people he helped. But through it all Thompson vividly remembered show Cash never lost faith in them or the cause, and was a powerful motivator.
Thompson just run re-election on Saturday as the local NAACP chapter president. In fact, Thompson credited Dr. Cash for insisting he run again for the office. The same holds true for Willie Bradford, who also described Cash as a strong motivating factor in running for office.
Artis Cash was 68-years-old. Funeral arrangements are pending.