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The Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus (LLBC) was established in 1977. The ten founders of LLBC were Rev. Avery C. Alexander, Diana E. Bajoie, Sidney Barthelemy, Louis Charbonnet, III, Nick Connor, Joseph A. Delpit, Alphonse Jackson, Johnny Jackson, Jr., Thomas Jasper, and Richard Turnley, Jr.

The number of African-American legislators has increased tremendously since the inception of the LLBC. This growth is attributed to the LLBC's legislative skill and wisdom. For example, the Black Caucus successfully passed reapportionment legislation in 1983 and 1990, which established more African-American legislative districts, thus allowing for the election of more African-American representatives and senators. Currently the Louisiana Legislature has thirty-two (32) African-American members consisting of nine (9) senators and twenty-two (23) representatives.

Beyond reapportionment, the LLBC has made other major accomplishments, which include:
  • Expanding voting rights
  • Enhancing historically Black colleges and universities
  • Recasting employment opportunities in the work place
  • Eliminating Jim Crow laws
  • Increasing minority business opportunities
  • Fighting against apartheid in South Africa
  • Helping Louisiana's indigent families through expanding educational and economic opportunities and access to adequate healthcare
  • Developing drug rehabilitation programs
  • Proposing laws with tougher penalties to fight the increasing crime rate
  • Assisting African-American Louisiana farmers and landowners
  • Fighting against abolishing affirmative action and minority set-asides
  • Opposing the elimination of one of Louisiana's two majority African-American congressional districts
  • Opposing the unfair mandate that requires only public high school students to pass an exit exam as a prerequisite to being awarded a diploma

Long before the LLBC was formally organized, African-Americans served in the state legislature. In 1968, Ernest "Dutch" Morial, a New Orleans attorney, was elected to the House of Representatives. As the first African-American legislator since Reconstruction, he paved the way for other African-Americans to travel the hard road to Baton Rouge. Before his term expired, he sought and won a seat as a judge in New Orleans Juvenile Court. A special election was held to fill his unexpired term in 1971, which resulted in the election of Louisiana's first African-American female legislator, Dorothy Mae Taylor, a New Orleans community leader.

In the immediate years to follow, other African-American leaders were elected to the Louisiana Legislature. In 1972, Alphonse Jackson of Shreveport; Richard Turnley, Jr. and Johnnie Jones of Baton Rouge; and Johnny Jackson, Jr., Theodore Marchand, Louis Charbonnet, III, and Nick Connors, all of New Orleans were elected to the House of Representatives. In addition, Dorothy Mae Taylor was successful in her bid for reelection.

In 1976, Johnnie Jones lost his bid for reelection and Theodore Marchand did not seek reelection, but more African-Americans won seats. Joseph Delpit of Baton Rouge and Thomas Jasper, Rev. Avery C. Alexander, and Diana E. Bajoie of New Orleans were elected to the House of Representatives. Sidney Barthelemy of New Orleans was elected to the Senate, earning a place in history as the first Black to serve in the Senate. In addition, Senator Barthelemy became the first chairman of the LLBC in 1977.

In 1978, Henry Braden of New Orleans completed Barthelemy's term when Barthelemy won an at-large seat on the New Orleans City Council. Richard Turnley was elected as LLBC's second chairman.

In 1980, Charles D. Jones of Monroe and Jon Johnson of New Orleans were elected to the House. In addition, William J. Jefferson of New Orleans won a bid for the Senate. Furthermore, in 1982 Lee Frazier of New Orleans was elected to the House of Representatives.

In 1984, Lee Frazier did not seek reelection and Louis Charbonnet and Nick Connors lost their bids for reelection. Willie J. Singleton of Shreveport; Wilford D. Carter of Lake Charles; Melvin Irvin, Jr. of Gonzales; Charles R. Jones and Arthur A. Morrell of New Orleans; and Jewel J. Newman and Louis Jetson of Baton Rouge were elected to the House of Representatives. Louis Jetson later died shortly after taking office and his son, Raymond A. Jetson, was elected to complete his late father's term.

Also in 1984, Richard Turnley was elected to the Louisiana Senate and William J. Jefferson was reelected. Dennis R. Bagneris of New Orleans and Gregory W. Tarver of Shreveport were elected to the Senate. Joseph A. Delpit was elected Speaker Pro Tempore of the House of Representatives. William Jefferson then became LLBC's third chairman.

In 1986, Representative Johnny Jackson, Jr. was elected to the New Orleans City Council and Naomi (Warren) Farve was elected to complete his unexpired term. Representative Jon D. Johnson was elected to the Senate and Sherman N. Copelin, Jr. was elected to complete his unexpired term in the House of Representatives.

In 1988, Richard Turnley and Jewel J. Newman were not reelected. Instead, Cleo Fields of Baton Rouge was elected to the Senate and both Melvin "Kip" Holden of Baton Rouge and Irma Muse-Dixon of New Orleans were elected to the House of Representatives.

In 1989, Dennis Bagneris of New Orleans became the fourth chairman of the LLBC. Charles D. Jones of Monroe was elected the LLBC's fifth chairman in 1990.

In 1991, William J. Jefferson was elected to the United States Congress from the Second Congressional District. Diana E. Bajoie of New Orleans replaced Jefferson in the Louisiana Senate, thus becoming the first Black woman to be elected to the Senate. Renee' Gill Pratt was then elected to the House of Representatives to complete Bajoie's unexpired term.

In 1992, Charles D. Jones of Monroe, Marc H. Morial of New Orleans, and Donald Cravins of Grand Couteau were elected to the Senate. John M. Guidry of Baton Rouge replaced Joseph A. Delpit, who did not seek reelection, in the House. Willie Hunter, Jr. replaced Charles D. Jones in the House. Additionally, Edwin R. Murray of New Orleans filled Charles R. Jones' unexpired term in the House after Jones was elected as Judge of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Roy Quezaire replaced Melvin Irvin, Jr. of Gonzales. Also elected in 1992 from newly created House districts were Pinkie C. Wilkerson of Grambling, Dr. Charles I. Hudson of Opelousas, Wilfred Pierre of Lafayette, Dr. C. O. Simpkins of Shreveport, Israel B. Curtis of Alexandria, Sharon Weston of Baton Rouge, David Armstrong and Troy A. Carter of New Orleans and Kyle M. Green of Marrero. In 1992, Senator Dennis Bagneris became the first African American President Pro Tempore of the Louisiana Senate and Sherman N. Copelin, Jr. became the second African American Speaker Pro Tempore of the Louisiana House of Representatives.

In 1993, Cleo Fields was elected to the U. S. Congress from the 4th Congressional District and Representative John M. Guidry filled Field's vacant seat in the Louisiana Senate. Yvonne (Dorsey) Welch was then elected to complete Guidry's term in the House. In addition, Paulette R. Irons filled Irma Muse-Dixon's vacant House seat after Muse-Dixon was elected to the Louisiana Public Service Commission. Mr. Elcie Guillory of Lake Charles was elected to replace Wilford Carter in the House after Carter was elected as a district judge. After David Armstrong of New Orleans served just a small portion of his term, Cynthia Willard-Lewis was elected to complete his unexpired term.

In 1994, Senator Marc Morial was elected Mayor of New Orleans and Representative Troy Carter was elected to the New Orleans City Council, thus creating two vacancies. Paulette R. Irons replaced Marc Morial in the Senate and a non African-American was elected to fill her vacant seat. A non African-American was also elected to fill Troy Carter's seat. Also, Senator Diana E. Bajoie was elected as the sixth chairman of the LLBC, thus becoming the first female chairman of the Caucus.

In 1996, Ernest Baylor was elected to fill the House seat formerly occupied by Willie Singleton, who did not seek reelection. Cedric B. Glover was elected to fill the house seat left vacant by Dr. C. O. Simpkins, who ran for another office. Wilson Fields, brother of Cleo Fields, was elected to the Senate filling a seat left vacant by a non African-American. Dennis R. Bagneris was elected to his second term as President Pro Tempore of the Senate and Raymond A. Jetson was elected as the Black Caucus’ seventh chairman.

In 1997, Sen. John Guidry was elected as judge, thereby creating a vacancy in the Senate. Former U.S. Congressman Cleo Fields was elected to fill the remaining term of Sen. Guidry. Also, Sherman N. Copelin, Jr. was elected as LLBC’s eighth chairman in 1997 and was re-elected to serve additional terms in 1998 and 1999.

In 1998, Senator Dennis Bagneris was elected as judge to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Lambert Boissiere, Jr. was elected to complete his term in 1999.

Also in 1999, Rev. Avery Alexander, one of the Caucus’ founding members, died following the LLBC Community Outreach Tour. Sherman N. Copelin, Jr. and Naomi Farve lost their bids for reelection and Rep. Danny Mitchell and Raymond A. Jetson did not seek reelection. During 1999 elections, Karen Carter of New Orleans was elected to Rev. Alexander’s vacant seat; Leonard Lucas and Cedric Richmond replaced Sherman Copelin and Naomi Farve, respectively; Lydia Jackson of Shreveport filled Danny Mitchell’s seat and Michael Jackson of Baton Rouge replaced Raymond Jetson. Senator Cleo Fields was elected as Black Caucus’ ninth chairman.

In 2000, Rep. Pinkie Wilkerson of House District 11 died in office and Rep. Richard "Rick" Gallot of Ruston, Louisiana was elected to complete her unexpired term. Also, in 2000 Rep. Cynthia Willard of House District 100 was elected to the New Orleans City Council and former Saints player, Patrick “Pat” Swilling was elected in 2001 to complete the remainder of the term. In addition, Rep. Arthur Morrell was elected as the LLBC’s tenth chairman.

In the fall of 2001 Sen. Wilson Fields was elected as Judge to the Nineteenth JDC in Baton Rouge thereby creating a vacancy in Senate District 15. Rep. Melvin “Kip” Holden was elected to fill the remaining term of Sen. W. Fields. In a special election, Avon R. Honey was elected to fill the vacancy created by Rep. Holden in House District 63.

In 2002, Rep. Renee Gill Pratt of House District 91 was elected to the New Orleans, City Council thereby creating a vacancy in House District 91. In a special election Rosalind Peychaud was elected to fill the remaining term of Rep. Pratt. 

In 2003, Sen. Jon D. Johnson, Reps. Leonard Lucas, Rosalind Peychaud and Patrick “Pat” Swilling all of New Orleans, lost their bids for re-election and Sen. Gregory “Greg” Tarver and Rep. Kyle Green did no seek re-elections During the 2003 elections, Ann Duplessis, Austin Jalila Jefferson-Bullock and Austin Badon replaced Leonard Lucas, Rosalind Peychaud and Patrick Swilling respectively; Rep. Lydia Jackson was elected in Shreveport to replace Sen. Gregory Tarver and Derrick Shepherd of Marrero, replaced Rep. Kyle Green and  Roy Burrell of Shreveport was elected to House District 2 (replacing  Rep. Lydia Jackson).  Also, the Caucus gained an additional member, Cheryl Gray of New Orleans in House District 98. Rep. Willie Hunter was elected as the LLBC’s eleventh chairman.  In 2003 Sen. Diana Bajoie and Rep. Sharon Weston Broome were both elected as the first African American women to serve as President Pro-Tempore (Senate) and Speaker Pro-Tempore (House) respectively.

In 2004 the caucus also saw the passing of dearly beloved State Representative Dr. Charles I. Hudson of Opelousas district 40. Donald Cravins, Jr., son of Senator Donald Cravins, Sr. was elected to complete his unexpired term. Furthermore, State Senator Paulette Irons from Senate District 4 was elected as a Civil District Court Judge in New Orleans and State Senator Melvin "Kip" Holden of House District 15 was elected as the first African American Major-President of East Baton Rouge Parish. After his inauguration in early 2005, Representative Sharon Weston Broome made a successful bid to replace him in the Senate in District 15. She resigned her post as Speaker Pro-Tempore of the House of Representatives, and filled his unexpired term in the Louisiana Senate. Additionally, to fill the new vacancy in House District 29 Rep. Regina Ashford Barrow ran and won. Furthermore, in 2005, Representative Yvonne Dorsey of House District 67 was elected as the Speaker Pro-Tempore of the House of Representatives.

2005 continued to see changes in the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus. Representative Murray was elected State Senator to replace Irons, and Senator Lambert Boissiere of New Orleans ran successfully for the Constable Seat in Orleans Parish, thereby creating a vacancy in Senate District 4. Representative Juan LaFonta of New Orleans successfully campaigned and filled the unexpired term left by Murray’s recent Senate election. Rep. Cedric Richmond was elected the Caucus’ 12th LLBC Chairman and Representative Derrick Shepherd ran successfully for Senator Boissiere’s unexpired term and was elected to the Louisiana Senate. Sen. Shepherd’s election created another vacancy in the House of Representatives. In June of 2005, Terrell Harris, of Marrero was elected to fill the vacancy in House District 87 created by Sen. Shepherd.

Representative Cravins Jr., and Senator Cravins are the only father and son to serve in the legislature at the same time.

2006 brought new changes to the caucus as well. Rep. Arthur Morrell ran for and won election as the Clerk of Criminal Court in the Parish of Orleans thereby creating a vacancy in House District 97. A special election was called, and his son Jean-Paul “J.P.” Morrell was elected to fill his father’s unexpired term.

Also in 2006 Senator Donald Cravins, Sr. ran for Mayor of Opelousas, which he won thereby creating a vacancy in the Senate. His son, Rep. Donald Cravins, Jr. ran to fill his father’s unexpired term. He won that election, and in 2006 was sworn into the office of State Senator representing the 24th Senate District.

When Senator Donald Cravins, Jr. won the Senate race, it created a vacancy in House District 40. That seat was then filled by Elbert Guillory who took office in 2007.

Rep. Glover ran for Mayor of Shreveport and in 2006 won the election and became the first African American Mayor of the City of Shreveport. His election as mayor created another vacancy in the House, and in March 2007, Patrick Williams ran and won the seat as State Representative for House District 4 thereby filling the unexpired term left by Cedric Glover.