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Suspect Arrested in Murder of Beloved Louisiana Civil Rights Activist

HeadlineJul 17, 2019

In Louisiana, a suspect has been arrested and charged with the first-degree murder of historian and civil rights activist Sadie Roberts-Joseph. Roberts-Joseph’s dead body was found in her car over the weekend. Thirty-eight-year-old Ronn Jermaine Bell was Roberts-Joseph’s tenant. He was reportedly late on his rent payments, though police say they are still determining a motive.

Roberts-Joseph was considered a local icon in Baton Rouge, where she founded the Odell S. Williams Now and Then African American Museum and hosted the annual celebration of Juneteenth, which she fought to have recognized as a state and national holiday. Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome called her “a standout matriarch of Baton Rouge” and added, “We will make her legacy a priority here in Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish.”

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