|Linda Brooks-Burton, 1962 to 2013|
Tuesday's "Homegoing Celebration Service" honoring the life of Linda Brooks-Burton was so large it tested the limits of the Alex Pitcher Community Room at the Southeast Community Facility. Hundreds of friends turned out to support the Brooks and Burton families, and to express the love Linda inspired in so many.
Rev. Ollie Robinson and Lydia Vincent both announced a petition to name the Bayview Branch Library after Linda. At the end of the day, 300 people had signed it.
A similar petition is online now, ready for the electronic signatures of others who support honoring and remembering Linda Brooks-Burton in this way.
Many familiar locals spoke at Tuesday's service, including Jessie Whiley, Larry Ware and a representative of FACESSF, each of whom read original poems in honor of Linda. Dr. Arelious Walker and Walter Johnson gave moving reflections. Dennis Gilmore sang, and the FACESSF Dancers performed to a cheering audience.
Among others who testified to Linda's contribution to the community was the YMCA's Gina Fromer. During the period when the older library building was being demolished, and the present one constructed, the Bayview YMCA housed temporary services for the branch library.
Linda's husband, John Burton, was the final speaker, just prior to the blessing of food and Repast. He expressed gratitude about the turnout with humor: "I'm the one who grew up here," he said. "Linda was from LA!"