The State of Louisiana has approved the historical marker to be mounted where Royal Brooks was unjustly killed at Huey P. Long Ave. and 1st Ave. in downtown Gretna. The cost for the marker is $2,350. We would appreciate the generosity of family, friends and the community to raise money for this installation. This marker will represent a significant part of history in the city of Gretna and will become a space for future generations to learn from the life and legacy of Royal Brooks.
The plaque will read as follows:
ROYAL CYRIL BROOKS
On February 27, 1948, Royal Brooks, a 44-year old African American man and union member of Local 309 FTA-CIO, boarded a bus at Ferry Landing Terminal in Gretna, Louisiana. The woman in front of him paid her fare of one nickel and then realized that she was on the wrong bus. Mr. Brooks offered to ride on her fare and gave her his nickel. This outraged the bus driver, Preston Herbert. Patrolman Alvin Bladsacker boarded the bus, hit Mr. Brooks in the head, and dragged him off the bus. After walking about one block on Huey P. Long Avenue, Patrolman Bladsacker shot Mr. Brooks twice, killing him. A photographer from the Louisiana Weekly took a photograph of Mr. Brooks dying in the street next to his son. In part because of the published image, people were inspired to organize the Committee for Justice on the Brooks case. The organizers put pressure on the city of Gretna to charge Alvin Bladsacker for the murder of Royal Brooks. A jury acquitted him of manslaughter at trial. On April 28, 2018, Gretna Mayor Belinda C. Constant issued an official proclamation apologizing for the killing of Royal Brooks on behalf of the city.
SPONSORED BY THE CIVIL RIGHTS & RESTORATIVE JUSTICE PROJECT IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE BROOKS FAMILY
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- IRA BROOKS
- Margaret Burnham
- Janeen Blake
- Poppy Milner
- JOAN S SOBLE