Marie Blackston Walker
Civil Rights

She was born in Shreveport to Milton and Ollie Hall Blackston. Marie's father was a sharecropper, her mother a maid. They separated when Marie was two. She resided with her mother briefly, then lived with her father, who was re-married, in McDade, Louisiana. She recalls raising chickens, storing meat in a smokehouse, and keeping perishables in a "croaker sack" in a cistern. Clutching her lunch in a bucket, she walked two miles to a one-room school in Adkins, Louisiana. Meanwhile, her father sharecropped on plantations of Ross McDade and Charlie Horton. Marie chopped cotton and worked in the homes of whites, including the W.H. Horton family. At 15, she married James Stafford. At age 27 she married R.D. Walker at 27. Marie had no children, but raised a niece, Ella Pearl Randall Johnson. She and R.D. moved to Shreveport, where he passed away in 1952. Marie recalls segregation times in Shreveport when "we all had to go through the back doors of all the restaurants," she says. She served as a domestic for a Dr. and Mrs. Saunders and worked for New Way Laundry. She was awarded Stony Hills Outstanding Woman of the Year in 2006. She has been a member of Hopewell Baptist Church for many years.