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Tri-state Profiles During Black History: Pastor Anthony Brooks

There are activities in today's world that can be done with ease such as joining a non profit, playing a sport or furthering your education.
There are activities in today's world that can be done with ease such as joining a non profit, playing a sport or furthering your education.

In the 50's and 60's many of those tasks were segregated, but Anthony Brooks broke down racial barriers. A few highlights on his resume, he marched twice with Doctor Martin Luther King Junior and he's the University of Evansville's First Black Tennis Player.

At an active 79-years-old Reverend Doctor Anthony brooks is in a place of comfort...his sanctuary.

"If it had not been for the church, I never would've achieved my goals, this is my social motivation, this is my camaraderie, these are my peers " he says.

He's Pastor of 7th Street Baptist Church in Henderson. Titles are ways to identify positions and accomplishments. Reverend Doctor is a lengthy introduction, but there are about a dozen more titles that can be added.

A charter member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated, one of the first all black organizations at U.E, The First Black Purple Ace Tennis Player, and in education Brooks integrated multiple schools by becoming the first Black Principal of Stanley Hall and the first Black Teacher at West Terrace, both in Evansville.

"It's so important for young people to make sure you got the basic tools, that's education and faith...and you'll make it" Brooks explains.

Those tools have guided Brooks throughout life and into about 60 years in ministry.

"Preaching and teaching are compatible fields because they both involve the development of people and they both involve the mind."

If you're quick at math, Brooks is almost 80, meaning he was born in the 30's and lived through a turbulent Civil Rights era.

"When I walked into the bus station and it says Colored Seating Section..it was an insult and devalued you as a person. I've always had that social motivation to make life better for people, to provide people with those things that have been successful to me to share with others."

Titles can lead to awards, which can turn into making history, none of which were a priority for Brooks.

"There's been a lot of first barriers I've broken because I was trying to pave the way for others...not because I was all that efficient or effective but my attitude as if I can serve in a position where my character and my work skills will be viable to somebody else down the road, that's what I did."

Titles are interchangeable and sometimes unforgettable. Here's a man of many firsts, but more importantly, a man looking out for the well being of our future generations.

"A helper...that's all I been anyway..I never fought for myself persay..it's always been for somebody else."

Anthony Brooks is the father of Memorial Baptist Church Pastor Adrian Brooks.
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