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Ten years before Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards was born, his grandfather, Frank Miller Edwards, Sr., voted in the Louisiana State Senate to enact several state laws that defied the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation ruling.
Those laws helped prolong a bitter but unsuccessful four year legal fight by proponents of segregation that ended in the fall of 1960, but fueled the racial animosity captured in the iconic 1964 Norman Rockwell painting, “The Problem We All Live With,” which was inspired by a 1960 photograph of a young black girl, Ruby Bridges, walking to her newly integrated New Orleans public school accompanied by federal marshals.
Frank - Miller - Edwards - Sr - Term
Frank Miller Edwards, Sr. was in his first and only term as a State Senator representing Tangiapahoa County in 1956 when he joined his colleagues in unanimously passing what Louisiana State University Law School Professor Charles A. Raynard called “a thirteen-act package . . . calculated to maintain forced separation of the races in a variety of context” in a December 1956 article titled, “Survey of 1956 Louisiana Legislation: Legislation Affecting Segregation” published in The Louisiana Law Review:
Proponents of segregation obtained the adoption (without a dissenting vote) of a thirteen-act package of legislative measures at the Regular Session, calculated to maintain forced separation of the races in a variety of contexts. Seven of the new laws are aimed at the preservation of segregated public education.
Others - Parks - Facilities - Rooms - Passengers
Four of the others are concerned with public parks and recreational facilities, waiting rooms for passengers in intrastate commerce, employer-furnished sanitation, eating and drinking facilities for employees, and dances, social functions, entertainments, and athletic events. Two of the measures propose to amend the Constitution. The first designates various park and recreational bodies, and educational officers and boards to be agencies of the state, withdraws any previously granted consent...
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