Sadie Roberts-Joseph, a prominent community activist in Baton Rouge, LA and the founder of the city’s African-American history museum, was found dead in the trunk of a car. Police say they are now searching for the “person or persons” responsible for her death.
Roberts-Joseph was only 75 years old. She was discovered Friday afternoon in the truck of a car approximately three miles from her home. Police did not explain what exactly led them to the car where her body was found. Baton Rouge Police Sgt. L’Jean McKneely stated that investigators are still determining her cause of death.
Roberts-Joseph was a well-respect civil rights leaders in Baton Rouge. Back in 2001, she founded the Baton Rouge African-American Museum. The museum features exhibits of African arts and tells the story of minority inventors. The museum also includes historical artifacts from the civil rights era, including a bus from 1963 that was used during the civil rights boycotts in Baton Rouge.
Roberts-Joseph is also the founder a nonprofit organization Community Against Drugs and Violence and every year she hosts a “Juneteenth Celebration”, a commemoration Of the emancipation of slaves in the American South.
“We have to be educated about our history and other people’s history,” she told The Advocate newspaper in 2016. “Across racial lines, the community can help to build a better Baton Rouge, a better state and a better nation.”
Her sister, Beatrice Johnson, to The Advocate that Roberts-Joseph had came by her house, which is two door away, last Friday because “she had mixed some cornbread, but her oven went out, and she brought it here to put in the oven.”
“The bread is still there,” Johnson said, “She never came back to get it.”
The news of Roberts-Joseph‘s death shocked the Baton Rouge community.
“She was one of the last black oral street historians of Baton Rouge and dedicated her life to telling the story of freedom fighters in my hometown with the most beautiful art,” wrote one Twitter user. “Rest in Power, Miss Sadie. You didn’t deserve this.”