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After 179 years since it was first discovered, Shreveport has its first black female Mayor.

Ollie Tyler was named the city’s 48th Mayor in December 2014 after spending 43 years in education.

“I think for those who come behind me as African Americans, it does give them hope, and it does give them inspiration that this is a place they can end up in as mayor of Shreveport, particularly women,” she said.

Born in Louisiana she received a Bachelor of Science degree from Grambling State University and a Master of Education degree from Louisiana State University. Tyler was appointed as the first black woman to serve as Superintendent of Schools for Caddo Parish Public School System, which consisted of 44,000 students. She retired from the Louisiana Department of Education in 2012.

Vowing to lower crime, increase the city’s reserves and beautify neighborhoods, Tyler won a runoff election for Mayor with 65% of the vote against a white female lawyer 15 years younger. Surprisingly, she has never served as an elected official.

During her political race, a piece of her past resurfaced and it was revealed that the now mayor fatally shot her abusive husband in 1968. Hoping to avoid bringing up the once complicated time, Tyler said she was never indicted and said the killing was ruled an “accidental and justifiable homicide.”

She went on to become a teacher, Caddo Parish’s director of middle schools, the parish’s deputy superintendent, New Orleans city schools’ deputy superintendent, superintendent of Caddo Parish Public Schools, Louisiana’s deputy superintendent of education and acting state superintendent of education.

She outlines the vision for the growing city, alluding to making it an affordable safe environment, an economic opportunity, educational attainment/training and a good quality of life.

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(Photo Source: Ollie4Mayor)