Home of Deacon of Defense leader Bob Hicks dedicated as 7th historical marker on trail
Members of the Robert "Bob" Hicks family dedicated the Louisiana Civil Rights Trail marker at the Hicks house in Bogalusa
On Aug. 11, city officials and friends joined Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, daughter Barbara Hicks Collins, wife Valeira Hicks, and son Charles Hicks at the home for the dedication. In 2015, the House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Located at 924 Robert “Bob” Hicks Street in Bogalusa, the house served as the base of operations for the Bogalusa Civil Rights Movement in 1960. It was a regular meeting place for the officers of the Bogalusa Civic and Voters League and the local Chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality. The house was a safe place for civil rights workers and served as an emergency triage station. The breakfast room became the communications center for the Bogalusa Chapter of the Deacons of Defense and Justice, an armed self-defense group that protected civil rights workers from violence. The living room was an unofficial office for the civil rights attorneys who pioneered groundbreaking lawsuits in education, housing, and employment.
Hicks is best known for his leadership in founding the Bogalusa Chapter of the Deacons for Defense and Justice. He later served as president and vice president of the Bogalusa Civic and Voters League.
In August 1967, Hicks joined civil rights activists A.Z. Young and Gayle Jenkins to lead the Bogalusa to Baton Rouge March, referred to as the “105-mile gauntlet.” While facing substantial opposition requiring protection from National Guardsmen and police, the march grew from 25 to 600 people during the journey. In August 2021, a Louisiana Civil Rights Trail marker was installed at A.Z. Young Park in Baton Rouge honoring the courage of those men and women.
The Louisiana Civil Rights Trail informs, inspires, and invites visitors to experience and explore Louisiana’s prominent role in the Civil Rights Movement. The trail reveals inside stories and examines the civil rights era from culture and commerce to desegregation and protests and confrontations.