Known as Shakespeare Park until 1979, this park served as a starting point of revolution and change during the Civil Rights Movement. During The 1960 Dryades Street Boycott, Black New Orleanians protested local businesses that accepted their money as customers but refused to employ them. Protestors boycotted stores on Dryades Street and marched in protest. The 1960 Dryades Street Boycott march started at this park and ended at City Hall.
In the 19th century, John McDonogh, a controversial historic figured remembered for his exploitation of enslaved people and late-in-life philanthropy, owned the land now occupied by A. L. Davis Park. In 1979, the city renamed the park in honor of New Orleans' first African-American city council member, Reverend A. L. Davis. The park is located close to the New Zion Baptist Church, where Reverend Davis often preached.
This site continues to serve the community a space for collaboration, recreation, and celebration.