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Timeline of LAPTA's History

In 1897, Alice McLellan Birney and Phoebe Apperson Hearst founded the National Congress of Parents and Teachers with a mission to better the lives of children in education, health and safety. In 1926, Selena Sloan Butler formed the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers to advocate for children, especially African American children in segregated communities. As the United States progressed through the Jim Crow era, the Civil Rights Movement and the eventual desegregation of schools and communities, the two associations fought side by side for every child. Following the Supreme Court decision that ended segregation, the associations held their conventions in conjunction with one another and worked toward merging in all 50 states. On June 22, 1970, the two congresses signed a Declaration of Unification and officially became one association. The unification of the two congresses is an important part of National PTA’s history and the association’s continued efforts to serve and make a difference for every child. Please note that the name of the Shreveport group used words that we do not use in modern times. Check out the historical documents below which contain lots of details and pictures!

Mrs. M. N. Ringgold

Mrs. Virgil Brown


In 1970, the two parent groups united their efforts to finally advocate for all children together. The below picture is from that event with the newspaper article. 

Black, White PTA Groups Create Single State Agency

November 24, 1970

Two Louisiana Parent-teacher organizations joined forces here yesterday in a merger, creating the racially mixed Louisiana Parents and Teachers Association. The action was taken at Carter G. Woodson Junior High School, where the Louisiana Congress of Parents and Teachers, Inc, a predominantly black group, is holding its 41st annual session. The previously all-white group also was known as the LPTA. Mrs. Leon Price of Dallas (center in picture), president of the National Parents and Teachers Association, called the event an “important time in history of both organizations.”     

Mrs. Price, a native of Alexandria, LA, said the absorption of the black organization into the predominantly while LPTA is not universally popular. “There are those who are not ready and the road ahead may find some bumps, but we have gone too far to turn back. We have had this dream for years; now it is a reality and the future depends upon what we do with it,” she told the new LPTA members. Signing the merger agreement on behalf of the two state groups were Mr. Joe. L. Lewis of Baton Rouge (left in picture), president of the LCPTA, and Mrs. Madelyn Willis of Lake Charles (right in picture), first vice-president of LPTA.

Rev. Gordon H. Stone, associate minister of the Greater Tulane Baptist Church, delivered the keynote address at the LCPTA general assembly. “Separatism is no longer needed,” he declared. “Unity is the challenge if we are to combat the evil forces that confront us in the home, school, church, and community, and in unity lies our strength.” The LCPTA concludes its last session today.

Historical Documents

Scroll through the historical documents below. The first one is "History of the Shreveport Parent Teacher Association for Negroes." Please note that the name of the Shreveport group used words that we do not use in modern times. That is what they called their own group, and we respect their history and contribution to PTA in Louisiana. The second is the History of Louisiana Parent-Teacher Association from its Organization in 1923 to 1943 which was a segregated white group. 

Commendation from Governor Edwards in 2023

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