#TheRootTrip: Where a La. Hotel Once Stood, People From the Past and Present Have Been Forgotten

Lawrence Ross/The Root

The next spot on my 1957 Green Book list was the Will Steward Hotel. I wasn’t able to find anything about Will Steward himself, but there were a number of Will Stewards who lived in the Shreveport area in the mid-1950s, although none of them seems directly connected to the building above.

Now apartments, the former Will Steward Hotel is hidden down a narrow lane that is overgrown with vegetation, as though the land is desperate to reclaim itself.

Lawrence Ross/The Root

There was something sad about this location, and I couldn’t put my finger on it. Maybe it felt sad because the people living here appear to have been forgotten, hidden away from the rest of Shreveport, which was one of the goals of Jim Crow segregation: to keep blackness away from the rest of society. Its echoes continue today.

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