National Article features Dorothy Wiley and Allendale Strong

A Highway That Doesn’t Exist Is Strangling a Black Neighborhood

By Megan Kimble February 17, 2023 at 9:11 AM CST

In the Louisiana city of Shreveport, residents of Allendale have spent decades fighting a highway expansion. Even if they succeed, the neighborhood is already losing.

Dorothy Wiley outside her home in the Shreveport neighborhood of Allendale. Photographer: Christiana Botic/Bloomberg

In the summer of 2006, Dorothy Wiley and her husband, Charles, moved into a tidy three-bedroom house with peach siding and navy-blue trim in Shreveport, Louisiana.

They’d grown up in Shreveport but had been living in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit. After being trapped in the Superdome for a terror-filled week, Wiley was determined to make a fresh start, and she joined a tide of evacuees heading north to Shreveport, where she’d grown up. Resettling there with family, she heard about a national nonprofit building homes for Katrina evacuees in a neighborhood called Allendale, just west of downtown.

“We could pick where we wanted our home to be built,” Wiley says. “I said, I want my home to be built on the hill. I want to be the light on the hill.”

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