Desiard Street

Graffiti for all to see on a building along DeSiard Street in the African-American neighborhood of Monroe, Louisiana. The message reads, “Jesus Save Us, Make Us Wise, Protect Us From The Law”.

I grew up in the countryside north of Monroe and for the first 45 years of my life it was my home. DeSiard Street was the original main street of Monroe for close to a hundred years. Downtown on Desiard was the place families went to go to the bank, to buy clothes, to the visit the dentist, or to take in a movie. The original “Five Points” was at the intersection of DeSiard and the Illinois Central Railroad crossing. This area was the domain of white folk for a very long time. Gradually, over the years as businesses moved away from downtown to Louisville Avenue, DeSiard Street along much of its length from the river to where it intersected with  Louisville avenue, featured more and more run down, burned out or otherwise unoccupied buildings.

Graffiti is a blight, but it also tells us a lot about an area. It’s about anger, fear, poverty, power and much more. The building shown at the top of this post is many blocks away from the downtown area. I am not sure what its current function is or what it was in the past, but I will find out on my next visit to Monroe.

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Contact Bob Powers: sicilyislandhills@yahoo.com
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