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African American museum back open to honor BR icon's legacy

3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago Monday, September 23 2019 Sep 23, 2019 September 23, 2019 10:32 PM September 23, 2019 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE- The Odell S. Williams African American Museum held a soft re-opening recently, and you can now find it open three days a week.

Sadie Roberts-Joseph poured her heart and soul into the museum that she started 19 years ago. Her son, Jason Roberts, is serving as the interim curator until a permanent replacement is found.

Right now, he's juggling a full-time job and managing to open the museum three days a week.

"It's of paramount importance that her work continue," Roberts said. "What she did, she gave everything she had to the community. I can't allow that to stop. So we are going to push forward and continue her legacy and her mission at the museum."

That mission of education was Roberts-Joseph's passion. Her life ended in July when she was found suffocated in the trunk of her car. Ronn Jermaine Bell, a tenant on one of her rental properties was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. Bell's DNA was found at the scene, and detectives discovered that he was behind two months on rent that he owed Roberts-Joseph.

Since her death, many people have come together in hopes of preserving the work the museum does.

The support is something her family is grateful for.

"For the Baton Rouge community I cannot thank you enough for all of the support you've shown, not only my mother's legacy but the museum as well," Roberts said. "The simple fact that recognizing she gave to you and you giving back to her, it means everything to us, and I cannot thank you enough."

Roberts said the museum is planning to launch a website this week with details on the museum.

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