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Rev. Brooks at cornerstone ceremony for Lincoln Temple: 1928 | by Washington Area Spark
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Rev. Brooks at cornerstone ceremony for Lincoln Temple: 1928

Rev. Robert Brooks (standing next to table) presides over the laying of the cornerstone at Lincoln Temple Church at 11th and R Streets NW in 1928.


Brooks was an activist minister in the Washington, D.C. area and acted as a judge during the mock trial of police conducted by African Americans in 1937 of during a campaign against police shootings in the city.


Brooks was also involved in the 1948 Cafeteria and Restaurant Workers strike, leading a delegation to U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Lewis Schwellenbach asking for his intervention when the cafeteria services provider was attempting to break the union.


His church was often the meeting place for progressive groups and causes and he counted among his parishioners NAACP founder and long-time rights activist Mary Church Terrell.


For more information and images related to the 1948 cafeteria strike, see


For a deep dive into the 1948 cafeteria workers strike, see


Photo by Addison N. Scurlock. The image is courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History : Archives Center.

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Taken sometime in 1928