AARP Chapter 1449 Pays Tribute to Black History Month

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

There were 53-Members of AARP Chapter 1449 in attendance on Feb. 24, 2017, for the annual Black History Month celebration.

The members spoke of important people and events in African American History, especially those locally unknown contributions. For instance, the first African American Mayor in the United States was the honorable Pierre Caliste Landry. He later became president of the Ascension Parish Police Jury, a lawyer, Justice of the Peace and a Tax Collector, in Ascension Parish.

Next, the first African American police patrolman in Ascension Parish was Clem Bem (C. B.) Washington from1958-1972. The first African American Policeman in Gonzales, La. was Thomas Hargrove. He was given the power to arrest anyone. He was a city policeman by night and a school bus driver and plumber by day. 

A notable African American woman is Alice Thompson Jackson, a native of Gesimar, La. She was a civil rights activist during the time that Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus. Mrs. Jackson drove her bus through hostile crowds to deliver African American students and pick them up to and from the racially desegregated schools in Ascension Parish. 

During this great celebration, the members were blessed with some melodic African American spirituals sung by, an Ascension Parish police deputy, Michael Brooks. AARP’s executive meeting will be held on March 23, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at 2337 S. Robert Wilson Rd. Gonzales, La. The regular meeting will be held on March 24, 2017 at the same location and time.

Contributed Report