September 30, 2023

Beulah Shepard

Beulah Shepard

Beulah Ann Shepard was a political icon, a community activist, and also the fourth of seven children. Beulah was born on June 14, 1921, to her parents, Emmitt and Queen Raleigh in Plain Dealing, Louisiana. Beulah only received a formal education and was also largely self-taught. In 1948, Beulah decided to leave Louisiana to help care for a sister with a new baby who lived in the African-American Acres Home community of Houston, TX. That year she succeeded in paying $1.50 for her first poll tax just so Beulah could vote. She decided to live in Acres Homes permanently and she first gained an employment as a store clerk. Soon after, in 1954, Beulah happily married Lee Shepard and even raised 10 CHILDREN!!!!!!!! Beulah was first exposed to politics when she became a volunteer for Lyndon B. Johnson’s U.S. senate campaign in 1948. Volunteering in the campaign taught Beulah to attend rallies while studying candidates and their platforms as well. Beulah also realized the effect of the ballot on her life. From that point on, she decided to work with many Democratic cities as well as countries, states, and also some national campaigns for over 50 years and never ever ever missed the opportunity to vote in ANY election. Between rallies, Beulah normally worked as a cook, a waitress, a maid, and even a furniture salesperson. Beulah’s everlasting persistence for political and even civic equality for blacks earned the respect and admiration of local and national politicians who sought her advocacy and gave her 24-hour access to them. Beulah even received invitations from the White House and also met presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton. Beulah Shepard was often the unofficial “Mayor of Acres Homes”. Beulah was also a charter member of Acres Homes Chamber of Commerce and helped organize the Acres Homes Health Council. In 1991, after many years of dedicate service to her community, Beulah retired. In honor of her success, the Acres Home Center for Business and Economic Development was named after Beulah in 2004. Unfortunately, after long years of hard work, services, and a great help with our community, Beulah Ann Shepard died on September 11, 2010, after suffering a stroke in 2007. Beulah left a prominent legacy behind. In honor of Beulah Ann Shepard, the city of Houston officially named the Beulah Shepard-Acres Homes Neighborhood Library after her. Hopefully we can encourage young readers and children like me to think about going to the Beulah Shepard library and maybe check out a book or two. It will help our literacy and help us remember the woman who always loves helping her community, Beulah Ann Shepard.

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