Roosevelt Wright, Jr.
Community Advocate, pastor, writer

Roosevelt Wright, Jr. was born June 28, 1949 in Monroe Louisiana to the union of Roosevelt Wright, Sr. and Louise Davis Wright.O

He was raised in part by paternal grandparents who lived in Panthersburn, Mississippi, a small plantation outside of Greenville, Mississippi.

He attended the first grade at J.S. Clark elementary school in Monroe but moved to Oakland, California in 1956 at the age of seven. There he fell into bad company and was remanded to the Alemeda County Home for boys where he remained until 1958 at which time he was returned to Monroe.

In 1959 he was placed in the 5th grade at Clark Elementary school by virtue of his age, although he had never formally passed either the third or fourth grade. Under the strict care of a neighbor family, Mr. and Mrs. Roosevelt Hill, he soon became an ardent student.

In school he wrote stories and poems for his teachers. Some of his stories were tied together with string and sold to fellow students for 5 cents. He was encouraged to write by a Junior High School teacher, Joyce Bassett, who listened with amusement to a story that he wrote entitled "How the Rainbow Trout got it stripes" and encouraged him to write more. He did and she listened to every one.

He joined the Tabernacle Baptist Church in 1958, associated with the Hill family. There he worked as Junior Usher and sung in the church choir

While in high school, he became a columnist for the local Negro oriented weekly newspaper, "The Monroe News leader" and detailed the activities of youth of his day."

In 1966 he began a youth drama group entitled "Thespians of Tomorrow." The group produced popular Broadway plays such as: "A Raisin in the The Sun", "Twelve Angry Men" and others, as well as numerous religious dramas that he wrote and directed. The group, all teen-agers, traveled the area producing plays for local churches and schools.

In 1967 he was graduated from Carroll High School, an average student, having participated in the school band as a base drummer, drama club as a bit actor, and school talent shows as a comedian.

That same year he enrolled at Northeast Louisiana State College, where there were only a handful of Negro students. At NLSC he worked to integrate the segregated college campus by organizing students to break racial barriers in school fraternal organizations and social groups.

At NLU he organized Negro students into a student organization called "The Negro Developmental Co-Ordinating Committee" which was later changed to the "Students of a Soul Society." The organization soon evolved into what became known as the Student Black Caucus at NLSC. He organized protests, sit-ins and other demonstrations on campus to promote Negro Heritage while fighting what was perceived to be racist practices of the university.

In 1968 he became the first full time African American radio announcer at KUZN-FM which later changed its call letters to KYEA. Using the radio name "Bruce Frazier" he became a popular air personality with the young and source of news and information, as a newsman, with the adults.

In the same year he announced his calling into the Gospel ministry at the age of 19.

For several years he maintained the dual personalities of Roosevelt Wright, Jr., the minister and "Bruce Horatio Antonio Francisco Tremene Leonardo Stavinski Bartholomew, Von Synder, Oglethrope, Wolfgang Frazier, III" the popular radio personality of the night time air ways from 6 to midnight on KYEA Radio.

In 1969 he began publication of a small newspaper called the "Rapping Black." It was printed on sheets of white paper and published with a duplicating machine. The copies, which sold for 5 cents each, told of sit-ins and protests that were being staged at NLSC and pointed to local businesses that refused to hire Negroes.

In 1969 he left Monroe and moved to Forth Worth, Texas to study for the ministry at Southern Methodist University as a trainee for a position with the Methodist Church. He worked a number of short jobs at the Ben Hogan Golf Factory, The Railroad and with a potato chip company.

A little over a year later he returned to Monroe and was rehired at KYEA. He immediately picked up where he left off in his civic and religious activities.
A charismatic personality, he was sought after as a youth speaker at many local churches. Between 1968-1976 he served as youth minister at: Pleasant Green Baptist Church, Truevine Baptist Church, Log Town Baptist Church, New Rocky Valley Baptist Church and Mt Zion Baptist Church in Grambling, Calvary Baptist Church, Mt. Nebo Baptist Church and the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Monroe, La.

In 1970 he became the Youth Director for the Youth program of the Ouachita Multi-Purpose CAP agency. A great organizer, he marshaled hundreds of youth into an organization called "The Black Youth Council" and began a series sit-ins and protest marches against segregation and racial bias.

He studied the works of Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Martin Luther King, Ghandi and H. "Rap" Brown as well at the religious philosophy of Walter Raschenbusch's "Social Gospel." He combined their philosophies into a social action movement that launched the community into a series of civil rights protest marches and demonstrations, while at the same time beginning a self help program called "Operation Helping Hand."

Operation Helping Hand organized scores of youth into volunteer squads that rehabilitated the homes of the poor, both Negro and White. Youth stood on street corners with cups and gathered funds all week, bought lumber and supplies each Friday and once each week they completely rehabilitated the home a poor resident from top to bottom, including paint, screens, wallpaper and other essentials, in a one day "old fashioned barn raising" activity.

In the process of the protests, marches and other civil rights activities he was arrested and detained by the local police and FBI 17 times.
In 1973 he closed his career as a radio personality and concentrated his energies on his ministry and the development of his newspaper which was then called the "Black Free Press." That same year he started a record shop on Desiard Street called "The Black Moses Record Shop."

In 1974 he married Joslyn Adams of Columbia, together they worked to build the two businesses and she supported him in his community service ministry projects.
1974, at the age of 25, he ran for a seat on the Ouachita Parish School Board against Clem Toston. He lost by a little over 200 votes.

In 1976 he was elected pastor of the Tabernacle Baptist Church, after having served as its youth minister from 1970 to 1975. The same year he was elected president of the Ouachita Parish NAACP and his first son Roosevelt III was born.

He used the combined influence of Tabernacle, The Free Press and the NAACP to attack local government for racial bias and to champion the cause of the poor.
As NAACP president he pushed for summer jobs for youth and organized huge job fairs. The summer jobs for youth still remains an integral part of the city program today.
At Tabernacle he pushed members to assume greater roles in community service and leadership as well as promotion of programs to help the poor, mentor youth and build upon the rich African American culture in the arts.

In 1978 his second son Robert Kenneth was born and in October of 1979 his last son, Kita Kenyatta was born.

In 1980 he ran for a seat on the Monroe City Council against Benny Ausberry. He lost by little over 200 votes.

In 1984 he was elected moderator of the B.B. and O. Baptist Association where he pushed churches to be more responsive to the poor and needy and to youth. He established a fire fund to help victims of fires, a scholarship fund for each member church, and began promotion of church based support for the needy through supporting the Twin City Community Welfare.

He served a four year term as the BB and O moderator then stepped down in 1988. That same year he stepped down as head the local NAACP after a 12 year term.

In 1985 he began the Top Gun Leadership Academy for Boys at Tabernacle, an ambitious program to help 50 young men to become Eagle Scouts by the year 2000.

In 1995 he was named State Director of the Louisiana Baptist Youth Encampment. That, coupled with his role as a staff member of the National Baptist Congress of Christian Education and a writer of Sunday School Lessons for the Sunday School Publishing Board, gave him an even wider area of ministry.

Between 1995 and 2006 he remained active in the community, mentoring youth, preaching and helping the poor and promoting youth development.

In 2013 he founded the Excellence Academy Charter School for the Performing Arts. The school is a Type 1 Public Charter School authorized by the Monroe City School Board for students 6-8.