Black History Month : J.W. Scarborough

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Brought to you by the Concerned Citizens Association

J.W. Scarborough, businessman

J.W. Scarborough graduated in May 1961 from Central High School with a class of over 160 students. He became a member of First Baptist Church on North Street, in 1962. He was drafted into the US Army Dec. 22, 1965. He reported for basic training at Ft. Polk and was later sent to Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo. for AIT then overseas to the Philippines, Vietnam and Bangkok, Thailand. He married Eddie M. Baptiste in April 1968. They were blessed with two girls, one boy and six grandchildren.
In 1965, the late Mr. Ben Johnson and others organized the Natchitoches Parish Voters and Civic League. After his tenure with the Ben Johnson Funeral Home, he got involved in politics on the local, state and national levels.
Ben D. Johnson, Frankie R. Jackson, Randolph Jones and Scarborough hired a black female attorney from Alexandria in the 1970s to file a lawsuit in Federal Court in Shreveport against the Natchitoches Parish School Board for reapportionment and won the suit to integrate Natchitoches Parish Public Schools. Not only were schools integrated, but so were faculty, staff and students. Scarborough and others broke barriers blocking equal access into mainstream Natchitoches.
He was elected a police juror in 1975 and he was unprecedented in bringing many businesses and industry to the Parish including Country Pride, Willamette Paper Mill, Trust Joist, Marteo Plant, Alliance Compressors and the Feed Mill.
Scarborough was President of the Mental Health Clinic Board of Directors.

This article appeared in the Feb. 19, 2022, print edition.

His special recognitions, awards, and service include being inducted into the Grassroots Hall of Fame of the National Association of Community Health Centers, 43 years on the Coordinating Development Board of Directors and Executive Board, 30 years on the Out-patient Board of Directors, 25 years on the Louisiana State Board of Community Health Clinic, as Chairman of the Mental Health Board and on the Police Jury. He served 17 years on the State Police Jury Executive Board Association, five years on the National Association of County Officials Board, Served as President of The National Association of Black County Officials and as President of Local NAACP. He was recognized in Jet Magazine in 2005, and has been a member of Voters and Civic League since 1965. For 46 years, he owned S & S Flower Shop and Tuxedo Rental and has been an activist for over 50 years.