Mayor Perkins Issues Apology To Sam Cooke’s Family
There was a point in history when it was not nice to be a black man or woman in America. Racism, bigotry and murder were apart of everyday life for Black Americans for a large period of time. And didn't matter what your social standing was, how much money you made or what you did...if you were black, that's all you were. There's no greater proof of that than Sam Cooke's trip through Shreveport in 1963.
If you don't know the story, you can read the full account here. But, to put it shortly, Cooke was abused and arrested in Shreveport because of the color of his skin. He wasn't allowed to stay at the Holiday Inn because he was black. He wasn't allowed to eat a the restaurant next door to the hotel because he was black. He was arrested for disturbing the peace...but the reality is that Sam and members of his tour were arrested for being black and successful.
The accounts of the ordeal are nothing short of jaw dropping. But, one good thing did come out of his Shreveport trip, he was inspired to write the song of the 60's "A Change is Gonna Come". So, at least something beautiful came out this trip through hell on earth.
With all that said, after 55 years, Mayor Adrian Perkins on behalf of Shreveport is apologizing to Cooke's family for the way Sam was treated. In a statement released on Tuesday June 11th, Mayor Perkins issued the following statement:
Much has changed since 1963 and we have brave men and women like Sam Cooke to thank for that. They made incredible sacrifices in the struggle for freedom and equality. While we have come a long way, we are not perfect. We can do better. We must do better. I am issuing this apology for two reasons: First, the Cooke family deserves it. Second, because Sam Cooke’s legacy reminds us that change comes when people take action.
In addition to the apology issued via a press release from his office, the Mayor has announced that Sam's daughter Carla will be performing at this year's Let the Good Times Roll Festival on June 22, 2019. Carla will be performing some of Sam's classic hits. The Mayor will also address Carla and apologize to her and her family directly on stage.