The Louisiana Black History Hall of Fame

Founder's Words of Welcome

Welcome to The LBHHF Website!  I invite you to read our Mission, Vision and Purpose. Tap and explore About us and the Programs and Services we want to provide to our Communities, our Youth, this great City and State. Visit Our Team Page and get acquainted with the many dedicated men and women working on this “Journey of Faith” Renovation & Construction Project.
As Founder of The LBHHF, I want you to know it is an honor to work with this Team and serve you through this Historical Landmark.  With prayers answered, we are so thankful that our Board of Directors, Advisors, Donors, Sponsors, City and State Funding Partners helped us to save The Lincoln Theater and preserve it for it represents a rich history of culture, arts, business, entertainment and the unity of our community and now it will be the home of The Louisiana Black History Hall of Fame. 

As we restart renovations and construction, we developed this website to unfold a collection of information, pictures and documents so you can know more about our unique Shades of Heritage and Culture’ s anticipated planning of events and programming in the areas of Music, Film & Video, Theatrical, Gaming, Literature and The Arts that will come from a Blessed Gathering of Talented Men and Women Artists of Baton Rouge who represent the Performing and Cultural Arts Industries and Museum Leaders & Scholars of History, Civil Rights and Religion who believe in our mission and vision. 

The LBHHF Museum and Cultural Center At The Lincoln Theater is Our Legacy, Our Gift to You——and Future Generations.  And I pray you enjoy learning about it in the website!    

Brenda Perry Dunn, MA

Founder and CEO
The Louisiana Black History Hall of Fame

Greetings From the Board's President

Greetings and welcome to The Louisiana Black History Hall of Fame! We are delighted that you have decided to visit our online community. Feel free to discover, interact, and collaborate with us.
Having earned the designation as the “Preserver and Keeper of The Chronicles of Louisiana’s Great Black Achievers”,  the LBHHF endeavors to provide an educational foundation on a proud history symbolizing the success of our through faith and determination. Our work is reflective of the hearts and dedication of countless individuals who are committed to preserving our history for future generations.
It is my distinct honor and privilege to serve as Chairman of the Board of this prestigious organization. I personally invite you to browse our site and become more familiar with our mission and purpose which will hopefully encourage you to join us in our efforts to ensure our rich history is preserved.
Thanks again for stopping by and we hope to see you soon!

Evelyn Augustus Dumas

In Service,
The LBHHF Board of Directors President
Criminal Justice Reform Leader

The Louisiana Black History Hall Of Fame Board Of Directors

Dr. Thomas J. Durant Jr.

Board Vice Chair
LSU Emeritus Professor of Sociology and African American Studies

Irma Briggs

Secretary Treasurer
Retired Educator and Business Owner

Carolyn Bennett

Board Historic Preservation Officer
Former Executive Director of The Foundation for Historical Louisiana

Peggy Bates

Board Chaplin
Community Activist

Michael Domingue

State Administrator for the FHWA Recreational Trails Program for Louisiana

Lauren Franklin

Educator - Professional Scientist

Dr. Steven Heymsfield

Director of Body Composition-Metabolism Laboratory At Pennington BioMedical Research Center/LSU System

Major Reginald R. Brown, Sr.

Former EBR Sheriff Office
Baton Rouge Constable

A.V. Mitchell

Motivational Speaker, Artist and Community Leader

Nicole Scott

Public Relations Coordinator
Founder & Executive Director - The BRridge Agency Inc.

Patricia Haynes Smith

Board Finance Chair
Former Louisiana State Representative
Healthcare and Education Advocate

Mike McClanahan

NAACP National Board of Directors Member
NAACP Louisiana State Conference Chair

Tara Wicker

Founder of The W Consulting Group and Community Builders, Inc. and Former City Councilwoman District 10

Board Of Directors Administrative Consultants Team

Diana Frazier

Treasury Assistant

Jennifer R. Banks, CPIA

Insurance Compliance
J R Banks Insurance & Consulting, LLC

Oliver H. Jones

Oliver Jones

Bookkeeping Services Consultant

Benjamin Ross

Benjamin C Ross

Donor Records Management Consultant

The CAP (Creative Artists and Professionals) Team of The Lincoln Theater Cultural Center

The Cap Team at The Historic Lincoln Theater is a creative gathering of experts experienced in the Arts & Entertainment Industry that provide our celebrations, honoring and presenting of our Shades of Heritage through The Performing and Cultural Arts Programming and Special Events.  These Shades of Heritage are in the areas of Theatrical, Musical, the Arts, Film & Video, Literary and Historical Productions. This CAP Team honors the historical Lincoln Theater Stage, Auditorium and its Legacy to the Arts & Entertainment and Business Industries as a community landmark since 1949.  
Through the preservation and restoration of this historic facility, The Lincoln Theater, continues to symbolize community unity in its efforts to provide a place to educate, entertain and showcase talents, hidden treasurers and promote an environment of appreciation for Music, Culture, Art and History where dreams can be inspired for generations to come.  
Meet The CAP Team

Dr. Ava Brewster Turner

Director of The Lincoln Theater Performing Arts Program
AND UPSTAGE Theatre Resident Theatrical Company for The Lincoln

Ms. Ashli Ognelodh

Director of The Lincoln Theater Cultural Arts Program
International Commissioned Artist
Creative Visual Artist & Arts Administrator

Kenney Neal

Director of Music Productions
Grammy Nominee, Blues Music Award Honoree

Amos Singleton

AV/Acoustics Coordinator

Godric Johnson

Digital Game Developer
Artist, Esports Leader and Musician

Donna Butler

Ms. Donna Butler

Film & Video Productions Director, Founder & Filmmaker Out of The Triangle Productions & Under The City Lights Podcast Show

Michael Bailey

Michael Bailey

Video Producer

Ms. Gisele Haralson

The Art of the Chase Producer, Who Said You Can't, Radio Personality, Gisele On Air Founder, A Celebration of Women

Ms. Samantha Smith

Director of Youth Training & Mentorship
AGAPE Productions Founder and Actress

Herbert Perkins

Website Manager
Visual Identity Designer
Owner, Krimimaru Zaibatsu

Rudi Spruell

Technical Director
Technical Specialist

Henry Turner, Jr.

Musician, vocalist, guitar player, composer, producer and promoter

Artist Keith Douglas

Mr. Cartoon Man

Arielle Butler

Arielle Butler

Public relations for film and digital media

Ms. Roxi Victorian, Director pictured in a dance pose.

Ms. Roxi Victorian, Director

The Lincoln Theater DREAMS & WISHES Program
Founder - Nyama Contemporary Dance Co Southern University Dance Minor Program.
Kennedy Center Performing Arts Scholar

Mr. John Gray

Director of The Winter Jazz Institute at The Lincoln Theater

Latasha Franklin

Latasha Franklin

Assistant Director Film and Video

The Museum Scholars and Leaders Team

Thomas J. Durant, Jr., Ph.D.

LBHHF Museum Director
LSU Emeritus Professor of Sociology and African American Studies

Message from the Director

It is my honor to introduce you to the Museum of the Louisiana Black History Hall of Fame. Our vision is to identify and recognize Black Achievers who have made outstanding contributions to the state of Louisiana in designated fields. The information about these Black Achievers and their contributions has been used in the furtherance of our mission, which is “to educate and inspire achievement.”

Since 1988, the Louisiana Black History Hall of Fame has honored a total of 88 Black Achievers who have received the “Torches of Life Award,” and were inducted into the Louisiana Black History Hall of Fame. The awards categories featured by the program include education, business, literature, inventions, government, communications, civil rights, law, religion, art,
music, entertainment, and sports. The Torches of Life Award is awarded in recognition of contributions that symbolize achieving success by overcoming difficulties and obstacles in life.
Over the past three decades, the Louisiana Black History Hall of Fame has sponsored special programs to honor award recipients who have made outstanding contributions to the state of Louisiana to help educate and inspire achievement of people from the community and around the state, especially young people. Special events and programs have also been held to promote involvement of people from communities across the state. Many awards have been presented and exhibits have been held to promote education and achievement.

Many of our exhibits will be displayed for public viewing in our newly constructed museum. Public or community events pertaining to the awards categories will be held in the historic Lincoln Theater that was recently renovated to provide a venue for community events in helping to fulfill our mission. All members of the community are invited to attend our events and participate in our programs. Thanks to all of the local, city, and state donors for helping to make our dream become a reality. We are excited about serving the community with a variety of wholesome programs and activities. You are cordially invited to join us in our efforts toward the further development of our community!

It is with that passion for history that Dr. Durant became one of the initial members of The Louisiana Scholars Committee that developed the honoring format of The Louisiana Black History Hall of Fame Inductees and approved the educational premise that their contributions can be inspirations for others to achieve. As a past Advisor and currently the Vice President of The Board of Directors, Dr. Durant’s knowledge, experiences and contributions as an author, scholar, historian, and professor has helped to lay the educational foundation of The Louisiana Black History Hall of Fame Museum.

The Louisiana Black History Hall of Fame Museum Team

Peggy Bates

LBHHF Museum Assistant Director

Pastor Fred Jeff Smith

Shiloh Charitable Foundation

Dr Charles Vincent

LBHHF Historical Advisor
Professor, Author and Educational Scholar

Kathe Hambrick

Museum Professional Consultant

Irma Briggs

Exhibits and Historical Displays
The Briggs Photography Collection

Photographer Aaron Cormier

Premiere Photography & Special Events

Bishop Ivory D. Payne

Black History Research & Information
Publisher & CEO, Leaders Publications and The Weekly Press Newspaper

James W. Terry III

Historian, Arthur, Curator, Photojournalist

Aaron A. Escort

Black History Research & Information
Associate Publisher, Leaders Publications

Gisele Haralson

EBONY LETTERS Bookstore Manager at The LBHHF Museum

Melissa Eastin

Director of Special Collections of The East Baton Rouge Parish Library
The LBHHF and The Lincoln Theater Artifacts & Collections Partner and Historic Educational Programs

Visual Artist Derrick A. Williams, Designer

The LBHHF First Induction Class Exhibition

Maxine Crump

The LBHHF at The Lincoln Theater Conferences Development Co-Coordinator
The LBHHF Civil Rights Center Welcome Commentator; President and CEO – Dialogue on Race Louisiana: Elimination of Racism through Education, Action and Transformation; Leader in Media Communications and Public Services.

Ms. Camille Vincent, MA

Museum Program Director
Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church.
African American Historical Research and Administration Specialist

Historical Scholars Committee

Dr. Arthur Tolson, SU
Dr. Charles Vincent, SU
Dr. Thomas Durant, LSU
Dr. Raymond Lockett, SU
Dr. Huel Perkins, SU LSU
Attorney Johnnie Jones

The Louisiana Historical Scholars Committee (1) helped the Founder and Initial Board of Directors develop the LBHHF Inductee Format which was later confirmed by our first Induction Class led by Dr. Charles Vincent.  (2) A final official Inductee Requirements Criteria Committee’s submission with Dr. Gloria Braxton was confirmed by Dr. Thomas Durant and approved by the Board of Directors and Founder. (3) Dr. Huel Perkins and Attorney Johnnie Jones assisted with developmental planning of format for EXHIBITION 1953: The 1953 Baton Rouge Bus Boycott Civil Rights Center- an Exhibition Event Induction of The Louisiana Black History Hall of Fame.

The UPSTAGE Theatre Team

The mission of Upstage Theatre Company is to serve as a venue to nurture and expand the talents of African American artists working collaboratively with established artists to create and develop works that challenge us to see ourselves and our world in new ways.

Dr. Ava Brewster Turner

UPSTAGE Theatre Founder

President – Ava Brewster Turner, Ph. D.
Vice President – Terreance L. Turner
Treasurer – Lloyd Turner
Secretary – Ruthie Harris
Chaplin – Eunice Talmore
Sailor Jackson, Jr.
Mada McDonald
Doris Piper
Marie Powell

Motto: “Showcasing Our Heritage on Stage”

The Facility Operations Team

Anthony Kimble

Facility Operations Management
CEO Kimble Properties LLC

Ashley Crayton

Facility Operations Management
Owner, Connecting the Dots LLC,
Property Management

Darryl Johnson and Tarick Johnson

The Lincoln Deli & SYI Cafe Managers Owners

Ron Davis, IT Division Manager

ITECH Consulting Group

Odell Wilmer, Sr.

Environmental Compliance/Health and Safety
CEO, Wilmer Environmental, LLC
Indoor Air Quality & Board-Certified Mold Inspector


**Sherlin Watson

Community Outreach

**Cherry E. P. Ross

Community Outreach

*Joan Forbes

Community Outreach and Community Partnerships

*Vance Gibbs

Project Development

*Agnes Andrews

Insurance Senior Advisor

**H. W. Perry

Event Transportation & Musicians Research

**Katherine Martin

Community Outreach

**Dr. Charles Vincent

Initial LBHHF Historical Advisor in Inductee Achievement Research

**Edward Wisham

Project Development

Minister Ivory Payne

Museum Research and Events

**Bro. Aaron Escort

Museum Research and Events

Dr. Adriane Conrad

Project Support & Programming

*State Senator Regina Barrow

Project Programming EXHIBITION 1953 - The Baton Rouge Bus Boycott Center

*Melissa Eastin

The LBHHF Artifacts & Special Collections Partner

Raymond Jetson

Project Development and Community Collaborations

Lyman White

Community Outreach and Fundraising

Brandon Smith

Community Collaborations and Programming

Mada McDonald

Community Collaborations and Programming

Brittany Marshall-Zeno

Community Collaborations and Programming

**Advising for over 20 years

*Advising for over 10 years

State Project Management Liaison Advisors Louisiana Office of Facility Planning – Capital Outlay

John Richard

Gus Critini

Mark Gates

Michael McLean

State Project Funding Endorsers

State Senator Sharon Westin Broome

State Senator Yvonne Dorsey

State Representative Larry Selders

State Representative Melvin “Kip’ Holden

State Representative Patricia Haynes Smith

State Senator Cleo Fields

City Project Funding Partners

Anita Lockett

Tasha Saunders

Jennifer Robin

Jim McDonald

Rolanda Ellis

Glenda Gauthier

Marlee Pittman

Administrative Team

Brenda Perry Dunn, MA

Founding Executive Director

Jeff Barbin and Dennis Blunt

Phelps & Dunbar Law Firm

Agnes Andrews

Senior Insurance Advisor

Redell Norman

Special Projects

Tasha Smith

Grants Compliance Consultant

Bert Faulk, CPA, Faulk & Winkler Firm

Federal IRS Services/Audits

Nicole Hobson-Morris, Deputy Officer

State Office of Historic Preservation

Shannon Johnson, Insurance Agent

Assurance Insurance

Tameka Blake, BA

Board Administrative Services
Community Assistance

Emily Tilley, O'Brien House

Board Administrative Services
Community Assistance

The Louisiana Black History Hall of Fame

Brenda Perry, Founder

Greg Burchell

B. L. Williams

Audrey J. Scott

Daniel Keys, III

Thomas McCoy, III.

Mrs. Helen J. Perry, Initial Advisor

Mrs. Rupert Richardson, Initial Advisor

The Project Design / Renovation and Construction Team

Morgan M. Watson

President, MEL, Inc., Engineering & Construction Consulting Firm
PHASE I: The Lincoln Theater Historical Features & Mechanical Repairs

Franklin L. Lassiter

President, Frank L. Lassiter, Ph.D. & Associates - Architects & Project Planning Firm
PHASE II: The Lincoln Theater & Cultural Center Renovation Completion and Expansion of The LBHHF Museum

Elmer Jones

PE – Mechanical Engineer

John Jolly

PE – Consulting Engineer, Mechanical-Electrical-Fire Protection

William Mead

PE – Civil Engineer

Justine Lemoine

Consulting Landscape Architect

Ebonie Mathews

Original LBHHF Website

The Proud Project Funding Partnerships and Wall of Donors

City of Baton Rouge Partnership

The Honorable Sharon Weston Broom, The Mayor of Baton Rouge, Councilwoman Carolyn Coleman of District 10, and The Metro Council is The Project’s Major City Funding Partner through The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). Build Baton Rouge, The Redevelopment Authority of East Baton Rouge

State of Louisiana Partnership

Governor of Louisiana, State Project Endorsers State Senator Cleo Fields and State Representative Larry Selders with the Louisiana Legistrative Black Caucus and The State Legislature , Office of Facility Planning – Capital Outlay Project’s Major State Funding Partner for this historical project.

The Wall of Donors & Special Recognitions

Official Listing of Dedicated Donors and Sponsors throughout this “Journey of Faith” will be constructed in The Louisiana Black History Hall of Fame Museum.

Special Sponsors