Early Sunday morning, a very special woman turned 90-years-young. Valeria P. Hicks was honored at Bethlehem Baptist Church by the community. She is a a civil rights trailblazer who helped to desegregate Washington Parish by leading African Americans to the voting booths, working with the Deacons for Defense, and giving freedom riders a place to stay in her house when it was not safe to do so.
Hicks received special recognition. The Mayor of Bogalusa, the Governor, the sheriff, and local representatives declared June 9th, 2019 as Valeria P. Hicks Day in Washington Parish. Additionally, the sheriff presented Hicks with an honorary sheriff's pin.
Ms. Hicks says she gives God the glory for all her many years and thanks God for keeping her and her family safe during turbulent times. Hicks is the wife of the late Robert Hicks, a very influential leader in Bogalusa and the founder of the Bogalusa chapter of the Deacons for Defense. Recently, their home was added the national registry for historic places. You can see it here.