BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Marking the beginning of a new school year, hundreds of backpacks were given to children Friday night at Scotlandville BREC Park.
The event honored the legacy of community activist, Sadie Roberts-Joseph, who was killed in July.
Around 200 backpacks were donated to students in the greater Baton Rouge area on Friday, Aug. 9.
“We’ve been doing this for years now. It’s giving back to the community that we serve,” said East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux.
The event was put on by Sheriff Gautreaux and his office, alongside the Professional Athletes Supporting Students (PASS) and the Community Against Drugs and Violence. However, this year’s event honored the life of a community legend. Each of the “queen mother" backpacks has Sadie Roberts-Joseph’s name on them to honor her commitment to education and history.
”To see this out here, this is amazing, this is her legacy, this is what she would’ve wanted,” said Jason Roberts, Sadie’s son.
Sadie Roberts-Joseph organized the city’s Juneteenth celebrations and opened the Odell S. Williams Now and Then African American Museum in 2001.
Friday’s event aimed to continue the good work Roberts-Joseph did in the community.
“She really cared about children, she cared about education, she cared about history, and she was an advocate for change, positive change. And she knew to really affect positive change, it takes a whole community like you see here,” said Sheriff Gautreaux.
And when those children head to and from school, they’ll have a little piece of Sadie, right on their backs.
“Seeing the smiles on these kids faces and knowing that my mom’s legacy is literally going into every single student, every single classroom, it’s amazing. This is what she would’ve wanted,” said Roberts.
Sadie’s son says the family plans to continue to contribute to the community and the children in honor of their mother’s legacy. They also hope to reopen the museum she started very soon.