More than 50 years after Sam Cooke’s death, a Louisiana mayor has issued an apology to the beloved singer after experiencing poor treatment at a Holiday Inn.
According to a CNN affiliate KSLA, In 1963, Cooke and his band made reservations at a Shreveport Holiday Inn, north of downtown. However, the entertainer was turned away because he’s black.
During the city’s annual “Let The Good Times Rool” festival, Mayor Adrian Perkins apologized to Cooke’s daughter and presented her with a key to the city.
“We need to come to terms with our past so we can move forward in a positive way, so this is the beginning. Specifically, with this, it’s a beginning of a new relationship with the Cooke family,” Perkins said.
Cooke and the band members were in town to perform, but were arrested later that day after leaving the hotel lobby for “blowing their car horn loudly and interrupting other guests.” They were held for five hours and released on a $102 bond, according to the 1963 Shreveport Journal.
David Washington, a close friend of the late singer, said the honking was due to a car malfunction and not a petty act of revenge from being denied the right to say. The incident at the Holiday Inn helped is believed to have spawned his most famous song, “A Change Is Gonna Come.”
The following year in December 1964, Sam Cooke was shot and killed in a Los Angeles hotel. He was 33.