African American museum founder discovered dead in car trunk

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (AP) — A 75-year-old Louisiana woman who founded an African American history museum in the United States (US) was discovered dead in the trunk of a car, and police said last Saturday that investigators were working diligently to find those responsible.

Baton Rouge police Sargeant L’Jean McKneely said investigators were still waiting for a coroner to determine a cause of death for Sadie Roberts-Joseph after her body was found last Friday afternoon.

The Advocate reported Roberts-Joseph was the founder and curator of the Baton Rouge African American Museum, which she started in 2001.

“Sadie was a tireless advocate of peace,” the Baton Rouge Police Department posted on its Facebook page, adding, “Our detectives are working diligently to bring the person or persons responsible for this heinous act to justice.”

Roberts-Joseph also organised an annual Juneteenth festival at the museum, marking the date June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers delivered belated news to Texas that President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring all Southern slaves free. The document had been finalised more than two years earlier.

The museum features African art, exhibits on growing cotton and black inventors as well as a 1953 bus from the period of civil rights boycotts in Baton Rouge. It also has prominent exhibits on President Barack Obama, whose presidency Roberts-Joseph cited as an inspiration to children.