Hicks home receives national recognition

Published 11:01 am Monday, February 16, 2015

Valeria Hicks and Barbara Hicks-Collins were all smiles Thursday after two state government officials presented a certificate that signified the old family home at 924 E. Robert “Bob” Hicks Street was officially placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Bob Hicks was a leader in Bogalusa during the turbulent Civil Rights era of the 1960s. Bogalusa natives Sailor Jackson Jr. and Tammy Bridges presented the certificate to Bob Hicks’ widow, Valeria, and daughter, Barbara Hicks-Collins, at Valeria Hicks’ home on South Columbia Street.

Jackson represented Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler’s office. Bridges represented Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne’s office. She is with the Office of Cultural Development’s Division of Historic Preservation.

“I never imagined my house or my husband would be recognized by the country because during the Civil Rights movement, he was only doing what he thought needed to be done,” Valeria Hicks said.

Hicks-Collins was also thankful for the honor.

“I’m proud beyond words and overcome by emotion that the house where I spent many years as a child is being recognized as significant and worthy of preservation,” Hicks-Collins said. “Recognition on this level is as permanent as it gets.”

The home was officially added on the National Registry on Jan. 20 for its significance to the region’s Civil Rights Movement and for importance to the ethnic heritage of African-Americans.

Bob Hicks was a prominent figure in the fight for justice on local, state and national levels.

The Robert “Bob” Hicks Foundation has scheduled a news conference on Feb. 20 to officially announce the addition of the Hicks home to the National Register. The 10:30 a.m. press conference will be at the old Hicks family home. Valeria Hicks, other family members, citizens involved with the Civil Rights Movement, as well as representatives of the Office of Lt. Gov., Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation, Executive Office of the Secretary of State, and local and state dignitaries are expected to attend.

The date of the press conference is significant because it will be on what would have been Robert Hicks’ 86th birthday. He died in April 2010 at age 81. Mayor Wendy Perrette reportedly will declare the day as Robert “Bob” Hicks Day in Bogalusa.

On Nov. 22, 2014, the marker signifying the family home as a significant historical place was unveiled.