Lois B. Wilson
Civil Rights

Lois was born at home near Flournoy, Louisiana, to Heard and Lizzie Williams Booghrey. Her father was a schoolteacher and farmer who also owned a sawmill and grocery store. She recalls having "family night" each Wednesday when the family discussed problems and activities. At age eight she was sent to a boarding school in Gibson, Louisiana. She completed Coleman High School at age 15, then enrolled at Prairie View A&M, where she graduated. She moved to Shreveport in 1944 and taught three years free of charge at Coleman College. In 1945 she married Ras Wilson, Jr. They had no children. Lois began teaching in Caddo Parish schools. She initiated the Community Action Program to teach adults literacy. When five civil rights workers--three Caucasians and two African-Americans--came to Shreveport they stayed in her home. Soon after their arrival a friend sent her a fruit basket, with a note hidden in the bottom stating that, "your people have turned you in to the FBI that you are housing civil rights workers," she recalls. She has some bitter feelings about the civil rights movement. "A lot of people have blown it out and told a lot of lies," she claims. Many were "trying to make a name for themselves." Lois was teaching at Oak Park Elementary School when integration began. She volunteered to teach at Warner Park Elementary School, where she retired in 1990. In all she taught in public schools for 36 years. Lois continues to work with voter registration. She is the author of three books: Black Youth at the Crossroads, Black Americans in a Racist World, and Pieces of a Negro Path.