Voices of Courage: Cultural Experiences

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – NBC 6 is promoting racial understanding with our ‘Voices of Courage’ series. Sometimes the best way to understand people of different backgrounds is to learn more about their culture.

“A lot of times Black culture is misunderstood or kind of overlooked,” says Shalisa Roland from the Shreveport Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau. She shares her top four local resources which help people better understand African American culture. At the top of the list, Big Mama’s Antiques and Restoration, located at 6403 Dogwood Street in Hosston, Louisiana. It’s owned by Ray Stevenson.

“I’ve never seen anyone so full of life who wants to kind of explain all these things to you,” said Roland. “So he has an actual bag where the slaves used to fill bags full of cotton. He has that there and he has so many other antiques and things. Some things are just so invaluable that you can’t purchase them, and there are other things for purchase.”

Roland says dining can satisfy your appetite and your soul. She recommends checking out www.ShreveportBlackRestaurants.com. “When you support a black restaurant you’re supporting our culture and you are closing the gap between racial injustice and racial wealth,” Roland explained.

ARTspace is helping share history and explain the Black experience in America with its Black Out Exhibition. “It’s a lot of thing about the history of black women’s hair, the clothes that we wore and the icons that were overlooked.”

For an entire list of things to do, stop by the Convention and Tourist Bureau Visitor Center located at 629 Spring Street in Downtown Shreveport and pick up the Spice and Soul brochure. “It has so many different pages full of historic things in our area and ways that you can experience it.”

Roland says doing any of these things will improve understanding and compassion.

“So when you understand where we came from you kind of understand where our mindsets are on what we’re currently going through.”

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