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C.O. Simpkins

Oral History



Genre: Interview

Place Covered: Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Department of State

Date Issued:


Subjects: CIVIL RIGHTS | VOTER REGISTRATION | INTEGRATION | Simpkins, Cuthbert Ormond "C.O." Sr., 1925- | Oral history | Rainach, William M., "Willie," 1913-1978 | Long, Earl Kemp, 1895-1960 | Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) | King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968 | National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) | Davis, Jimmie, 1899-2000 | Humphrey, Hubert Horatio Jr., 1911- 1978 | Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973 | Carter, Jimmy, 1924- | Reagan, Ronald Wilson, 1911- 2004 | Bush, George, 1924- | Clinton, Bill, 1946- | Ku Klux Klan (KKK) | McKeithen, John J. (John Julian), 1918-1999 | Edwards, Edwin W. | Roemer, Charles "Buddy" | Abernathy, Ralph David Sr., 1926-1990 | Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana | Tureaud, A.P., 1899-1972


  • Simpkins, C.O. Interviewee
  • Buspice, Roger Interviewer
  • Jackson, Sailor Jr. Photographer


Oral history with civil rights activist and state representative Cuthbert Ormond "C.O." Simpkins. Conducted on September 14, 1993. In this interview, Simpkins his early life in Shreveport dealing with the harsh racism of the Jim Crow South, his time as an activist during the civil rights movement, and his career in the Louisiana House of Representative. During his first race for a position on the School Board in Caddo Parish, Simpkins was the first African American to run for public office since Reconstruction. Simpkins also touches on his time serving in a public position under Governor Earl K. Long. He also talks about meeting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X during the Civil Rights Movement. Simpkins also opines on the changes in politics and civil rights he witnessed firsthand.