The new fight: Securing civil rights fighters ‘Deacons’ in history

Barbara Hicks-Collins stands in front of her father’s historic house, which she would like to turn into a museum. (Photo credit: Alyssa Berry/LSU Manship School News Service)

Published: April 25, 2019

By: Jace Mallory, Caroline Fenton and Brennen Normand

BOGULASA– “That’s my daddy,” Barbara Hicks-Collins, now 72, said as her hand gingerly swept across the image on the Louisiana Historical Site landmark.

Her father, Robert “Bob” Hicks, was an integral part of the Deacons for Defense and Justice, a black group that combatted the Ku Klux Klan in parts of Louisiana and Mississippi in the 1960s.

Barbara Hicks-Collins recognizes the plot of land where she once lived as both a home and a headquarters, and she has been seeking grants and holding fundraisers since her father died in 2010 to try to turn it into a museum.

“I look at it two ways,” Hicks-Collins said. “One is the family house, ‘cause that’s where I grew up and all my siblings and parents, and so we have some very good feelings about this house. And then on the other hand is civil rights. And it dictated so much pain and suffering as we went through the civil rights movement.”

Her father’s work as a Deacon gives her inside knowledge of a group that few people know about. Her home being the headquarters for Deacons’ meetings led to both federal and state landmark designations. And turning it into a museum will provide the most important piece to her—the memory of what happened from which others can learn.

Read more at Fox8Live.

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