History

Opelousas Museum Highlights Black History Month

The Opelousas Museum and Interpretive Center is honoring Black History Month with a celebration of the first black law enforcement Lieutenant Julius Guillory, Sergeant Bernard Lewis and Sergeant Phillip Stelly on Saturday, February 3rd from 1-3pm.

In the mid-1950s, three courageous black individuals joined Opelousas Police Department during a time of segregation. These three trailblazers of law enforcement include Lieutenant Julius Guillory, Sergeant Phillip Stelly, and Sergeant Bernard Lewis. They were leaders not only for the police department but for the entire city. With courage they maintained professionalism and stayed focused on doing the job that they were called to do, even during this time of overt racism. At the time, black officers were allowed to join law enforcement but were banned from training to advance their careers. Through determination, they overcame adversity and paved the way for other black male and female officers.

On February 3, we honor these local heroes. There will be a photo exhibit as well as oral history presentations that bring to life the challenges and accomplishments of these leaders. The presentation will be followed by a reception sponsored by CLECO.

Upcoming Events

February 29th – Books signing with Dr. Walter Davis, author of The Journey of a Sharecropper’s Kid. 6 — 8 p.m.

Dr. Walter Davis Sr. will be reading from his new book, The Journey of a Sharecropper’s Kid.
The book chronicles the struggles and joys of growing up under the Sharecropper system in South Louisiana. The book provides details that take you back to youth in the 1940s and 50s the story is told through the lens of spirituality and despite hardships, he embraces “blessings of forgiveness.”
Dr. Walter Davis, Sr. was born Jan. 27, 1937 in Port Barre, Louisiana. He always resided in Louisiana. Today he is a general contractor and part owner of Triple D Construction company in Opelousas. Also at present he is a pastor at Believers for Christ Ministry in Opelousas. HE received an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Pneuma Theological Seminary of Oakland, California. He and his wife, Rose Mary Manuel Davis, raised nine children.

Volunteers Needed for the 1st and 3rd Saturdays

The Opelousas Museum is looking for volunteers to open the museum on Saturday, once or twice a month. For more information call 337-948-259; or email museum@cityofopelousas.com

VOLUNTEERS are needed for a variety of tasks such as welcoming guests, doing clerical work and documenting artifacts. We can arrange hours that work best for you. Museum work is enjoyable for retirees, great experience for students and is engaging for anyone who likes to learn.

SPONSORS: You can help the Opelousas Museum by sponsoring a special exhibit, event or celebration through a financial or in-kind donation. We appreciate help for refreshments, equipment or other needs. We will thank you by including your name or business name on this newsletter and in social media–your number of admirers will increase!