A Recap of “An Evening with Jack”

A Recap of “An Evening with Jack”


The Delta Bohemians were invited to attend a celebration in Friars Point, Mississippi on Saturday afternoon, Dec. 10th. The event honored Mr. Roosevelt “Jack” Robinson for his enduring contributions to the Friars Point community, his church, his family and friends.

Brother Roosevelt Jack Robinson

Brother Roosevelt Jack Robinson - Recipient of Friars Point, Mississippi Citizenship Award 2011. Photo by The Delta Bohemian

Jack, or “Bruh Robinson,” as he is affectionately known by many who love him, is the father to eight children and a host of grandchildren. As was evident during the tribute, he is loved by his community, his family, his fellow Masons, his church, and a large number of folks who have benefited from his goodness, wisdom and desire to serve others.

One of Jack’s daughters, Clara Thompson Lockett, works with Poor William at the Clark House Residential Inn located in downtown Clarksdale.

The Delta Bohemian pieced together a multimedia sampling of event highlights and below is a copy of an article written about the tribute published in Friday’s edition of the Clarksdale Press Register (CPR), now out on the newsstands or located at www.pressregister.com. We encourage folks who like to be informed about the “happenings” in Clarksdale and Coahoma County to subscribe to the CPR.

The following article was published in the Clarksdale Press Register on December 30, 2011.


By Billy Howell – aka Poor William

Friars Point held a positive, community-melding event recently to honor longtime resident Roosevelt “Jack” Robinson with a Citizenship Award for his lifelong service to the town and its residents.

The 85-year-old Robinson, also affectionately known as “Bruh” Robinson, has six daughters and two sons. He moved to Mississippi from Arkansas when he was five-years old. He has resided in the town of Friars Point since 1965, having held positions as alderman and assistant mayor.

Robinson served in the U.S. Army during World War II, retired after 29 years of service with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, helped launch the local Head Start program, and has served in various capacities in many church and community organizations.

“An Evening with Jack” featured remarks by family members, town officials, several area pastors and uplifting music by the Friars Point Male Chorus – all nattily dressed in dark suits and red ties. The Saturday event was held at the Friars Point Elementary School Cafeteria, and featured presentations and recollections by those who know Robinson best.

After the surprised Robinson arrived via limousine, the Friars Point Male Chorus led the gathering in several gospel songs well-known to the audience. Cheryl Word Thomas gave the opening remarks and introduced the Master of Ceremonies – her father, the Rev. Willie Word.

“I have had plenty of time to work with Mr. Jack in the church, the Masonic Lodge, and in the community, where we cook ribs and rib tips,” Thomas said to a room full of chuckles. “Today is truly a good day to set aside to honor you Uncle Jack, Mr. Jack, Deacon Jack.”

Rev. Word began the celebration by thanking God for all the blessings He had bestowed upon those gathered and by specifying why Robinson was being honored.

“Today we celebrate a man’s life,” Rev. Word said. “One may say he is a great husband, some may say he is a great father, a great grandfather, a great brother, a great uncle. Others may say he is a great leader, a great person, but many say he is a great friend. Mr. Roosevelt Robinson, Uncle Jack, this is your life.”

Tributes were given by individuals in three key areas where Robinson focused his lifelong habit of service: home, church, and community.

“I am here to pay tribute to Bruh Robinson and I don’t need no paper to talk about Bruh Robinson,” the familiar voice of Friars Point Mayor James Washington intoned.

Washington said he goes all the way back with Robinson to a time when as a child he would sit at Robinson’s mother’s kitchen table.

“I was here at a time when everybody’s child belonged to every elderly person; that’s how far I go back,” Washington said. “Now, we don’t have that now, but I was thinking about Bruh Robinson as a citizen. If you got any kind of Christ in you, it makes you feel good to know that there are still some people who care about other people.”

The Outstanding citizen award was presented by Washington on behalf of the town of Friars Point and the Friars Point Board of Aldermen to Robinson for his good deeds of citizenship and acts of kindness, which have made the community a better place to live.

Robinson’s pastor, The Rev. Robert Watkins of Friendship Missionary Baptist heralded Robinson’s integrity, faithfulness, wisdom and teachable spirit.

Former Coahoma County Sheriff Andrew Thompson gave a heartfelt tribute informing the audience, “When you get Mr. Robinson’s blessing, you got a blessing.”

Friars Point Board of Alderman Johnny Elmore said Robinson taught him and others how to be a man and how to raise their families.

Robinson’s granddaughter Vineta Brown wrote a poem as a tribute to her him. The following verses extracted from the poem sum up his goodness and concern for others: “He’d work on the river, came home every two weeks, he’d save all his name brand cereal for us to eat. He helped my grandmother raise about 15 in one house, and when he said ‘hush,’ we got as quiet as a mouse. He has always put others before him, because he knew it would pay, so congratulations Grandpa, today is your day!”



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  1. Charlotte Land says:

    What a sweet tribute to obviously a wonderful man!! May we all listen and heed the lessons from our elders in our community. Mr. Jack was surely blessed with such a loving family, friends and community, and may we all share his love, hard work and kindness to generations to come.

  2. very nice, Happy Birthday Mr Jack

  3. Gladys Artis says:

    First of all, I want to thank Mr. Willie for working so diligently on such a positive and powerful story. Well done!!! This was a most rewarding moment for dad, and everyone who had a hand in capturing his unwavering generosity. May the Delta Bohemian be always blessed with rich down home stories to share and a host of astonishing people who care.

  4. Gracie James says:

    What a sweet tribute to an obviously great man that touched many lives in his community.

  5. Great comments folks! Thanks for reading and watching the video. I hope you will share it with others who may find it interesting and hopeful.

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