Roosevelt Shields
Civil Rights
First African-American band director at Byrd High School in Shreveport.

He was born in a two-room house in the Stony Hill neighborhood of Shreveport. His father, Robert Shields, was self-employed and a native of Dixie, Louisiana. His mother, Annabell Jones Shields of Jefferson, Texas, was a maid and worked at Jess Williams Funeral Home as a collector. One of six children, Roosevelt mowed yards and cleaned gutters, waited tables at Morrison's Cafeteria, and pressed clothes at Washington-Youree Hotel. While attending Grambling State University on scholarship, he played in a jazz band, "The Serenaders." He finished college in 1956 and went to work at Herndon High School in Belcher, Louisiana, where he started a music program. In 1964 he went to Valencia High School, which merged with C.E. Byrd High School in 1973. Named bandleader he remained at the school for 14 years. In the meantime, he was earning his masters degree. He married Enola Hall on June 10, 1963. The couple would have four children and thirteen grandchildren. Roosevelt left Byrd in 1984 and entered another career with Security Insurance, where he remained 14 years, selling life and fire insurance. He also worked as a substitute teacher.