Sadie Roberts-Joseph submitted museum for future Civil Rights Trail; leaders need more input

Louisiana Office of Tourism seeks input on Civil Rights Trail

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Louisiana Office of Tourism wants your ideas. They’re hoping to identify historic locations around the state that played a big role in the Civil Rights Movement.

Leaders of the effort say they need input from the people who know these areas best; one suggestion from the so called “Mother of Baton Rouge” was a spring board.

When Sadie Roberts-Joseph had a vision, like bringing an African American museum to Baton Rouge, she made it happen.

“She dedicated her life to this, and we will not allow it to fail,” said Angela Roberts-Machen. She’s Roberts-Joseph’s daughter.

Roberts-Machen says her mother wanted to connect people with history, but another major mission on her list of improvements for the community was expanding the museum’s reach. That’s why before her death, she was forward thinking. Roberts-Joseph submitted her life’s work to be included in the Louisiana Civil Rights Trail.

“I think this is going to be an integral part in making sure that the whole story is told,” Roberts-Machen said.

The process is still in the building phase, but the odds of this trail happening are favorable. Norman Robinson with the Louisiana Office of Tourism says they've been meeting with community groups and historians all over the state to get ideas. The trail will share with the community how Louisiana helped shape civil rights history.

Norman Robinson with the Louisiana Office of Tourism says right now, the committee is gathering submissions to better understand their vision of historic places and the stories that go along with them. The office is also vetting those submissions.

The Louisiana Office of Tourism is now taking applications to be a part of the Civil Rights Trail.
The Louisiana Office of Tourism is now taking applications to be a part of the Civil Rights Trail. (Source: WAFB)

“What takes priority. What should go in the trail. What it should look like. Whether it’s going to be part of an app or part of a web-based presentation or whether it’s going to be a marker or building people can ultimately just go in and tour," Robinson said.

Roberts-Machen says her mother wanted to have influence by educating the community and making a stop at the museum would ensure that.

“Not only is it her life’s work, but it is very important for our community to continue to build unity and gender inclusivity,” she said.

Robinson says at the end of the submission process, the Louisiana Civil Right Trail Committee with a look at all the applications and determine what will be included in the trail. The deadline to submit an application is Oct. 1.

The Louisiana Office of Tourism will hold additional statewide meetings in August in Port Allen, Bogalusa, Franklin, Grambling, and Vacherie.

The Louisiana Office of Tourism is getting input from the community about what should be included in the Civil Rights Trail.
The Louisiana Office of Tourism is getting input from the community about what should be included in the Civil Rights Trail. (Source: WAFB)

More information about the Louisiana Civil Rights Trail and an application submission form can be found here.

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