Activist who spotlighted African American history in Baton Rouge found dead in trunk of her car

BATON ROUGE — Sadie Roberts-Joseph’s sister remembers her as a woman who made things better — who led neighborhood trash cleanups and house repairs, who launched a local group to fight drugs and violence, who founded an African American history museum because, as Roberts-Joseph liked to tell everyone, “If you don’t know where you came from, it’s hard to know where you’re going.”

That legacy was on Beatrice Armstrong-Johnson’s mind Sunday as she thought about how her 75-year-old sister died. Police found the body of the community leader and activist — a prominent voice in the push to make Juneteenth a state and national holiday honoring the freeing of America’s slaves — in a car trunk Friday, about three miles from her home in Baton Rouge.

“She was a total advocate of peace, love and harmony, and she died just the opposite,” Armstrong-Johnson, 68, told The Washington Post on Sunday.

Police are investigating and do not know the cause of the death, the Baton Rouge Police Department said in a statement Saturday.

The East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office will release a preliminary cause of death Monday, chief of investigations Shane Evans told The Post.

News of Roberts-Joseph’s death has brought an outpouring of grief and disbelief from friends, family and local officials familiar with her passionate advocacy for the preservation of African American history.Continue Reading:

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