The Shreveport City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to honor two downtown business partners, Roberta Minor and Elgin Hill. The two were owners of R & E Beauty Shop at 1232 and later 1233 Milam Street, but beauty wasn’t their only business. They are two people who gave back to their community in a variety of ways, and their lives of business and service is being acknowledged by an honorary street renaming.
The plaque will be going up in the near future in the 1200 block of Milam Street. Below is the official Proclamation, replete with all the legal language, but filled with details about the work of Roberta and Elgin.
RESOLUTION NO. 19 OF 2023
A RESOLUTION DEDICATING THE 1200 BLOCK OF MILAM STREET IN HONOR OF ELGIN HILL AND ROBERTA MINOR, AND OTHERWISE PROVIDING WITH RESPECT THERETO
BY: COUNCILWOMAN TABATHA TAYLOR
WHEREAS, Roberta Ford Minor and Elgin Hill, graduates of Central Colored High School, studied cosmetology at the Milam Street Trade School. Roberta and Elgin received their cosmetology and instructor licenses shortly after graduation and worked as beauticians at Henrietta’s Beauty Salon as well as taught at Henrietta’s Beauty School; and
WHEREAS, Henrietta Sartor, the owner of Henrietta’s Beauty Salon and Beauty School, moved her beauty school to 1233 Milam Street and in 1949, Roberta and Elgin became business partners and opened their own business by renting an adjacent room from Henrietta; and
WHEREAS, after a few years under Henrietta’s wings, Roberta and Elgin branched out and opened a shop across the street at 1232 Milam Street; and
WHEREAS, in 1956, Henrietta decided to close her beauty salon and school. She sold the businesses to Roberta and Elgin. They renovated and updated the property and moved to the 1233 Milam Street building; and
WHEREAS, during the 1950s and ‘60s, the Beauty Shop provided numerous services and offered various educational opportunities to customers, their children, and any member of the community interested in taking advantage of the services; and
WHEREAS, in addition to operating R&E House of Beauty, Roberta and Elgin operated Magnetic Beauty School, which was in operation from 1958 until February of 2014. Magnetic Beauty School provided thousands of students with the opportunity to learn a profitable trade. Additionally, over the years, they operated Magnetic Beauty School #2 in Mansfield, Louisiana and a Beauty Salon in Grambling, Louisiana; and
WHEREAS, during their lifetime, both ladies received numerous awards for their contributions to the field of cosmetology and their community service. Elgin, along with Henri-Anna Carroll of Monroe, were the first two black women appointed by Governor Edwin Edwards to serve as supervisors on the Louisiana State Board of Cosmetology. Elgin served as an instructor at Booker T. Washington and was an active member of numerous professional and service organizations such as the National Hair Culture Association, the Louisiana Hair Fair Committee, the Louisiana Beauty Culture League, the American Business Women’s Association, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, City of Shreveport Planning Board, Friends of Barnwell commission for Shreveport’s Barnwell Art Center and many other civic organizations. She was a very active member of Baptist Temple Church; and
WHEREAS, Roberta received numerous awards including a Woman of the Year Achievement Award presented by the Alpha Sigma Chapter of Theta Nu Sigma Sorority, Phenomenal Woman Award presented for Outstanding Service to her family, church, organizations, community, and City by 1000 Women, Inc., a Lifetime Achievement award presented by the Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc. Beta Psi Chapter. In addition to being an industrious business leader, Roberta devoted much of her time, talents, and money to St. James United Methodist Church. She served on numerous committees and served on the Trustee Board for many years. She served as President of the Trustee Board for over 25 years prior to resigning from that position at the age of 96; and
WHEREAS, in February of 1994, in recognition of Black History Month, the Shreveport Minority Business Council presented an award to Elgin and Roberta of R&E House of Beauty and Magnetic Beauty School for their economic contributions through their business over the years. In July of 2003, they received an award for loyal and dedicated service from the Captain Shreve Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association presented on the occasion of their 20th Anniversary Celebration. In April of 2005, they received a Distinguished Service Award presented by the Louisiana State Beauticians and Barbers’ Association, Inc. in June of 2014, they received an award from the Louisiana Association of Cosmetology Schools for over 50 years of dedicated service in Cosmetology Education and in February of 2020, Mrs. Minor accepted the Business Legacy Award presented to R&E House of Beauty at the State of Black Shreveport Symposium and Economic Summit; and
WHEREAS, the contributions made by Roberta, Elgin, and the R&E House of Beauty Salon have been duly noted in two books authored by the late imminent historian, Professor Willie Burton, “On the Black Side of Shreveport: A History” (1994) and “The Blacker the Berry: A Black History of Shreveport” (2002). Additionally, the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce recognized the accomplishments of Roberta Minor and Elgin Hill by including their names on bricks in its Women of the Century Inspirational Garden honoring 100 women who had “contributed to the betterment of the Shreveport/Bossier communities from 1900-2000….”; and
WHEREAS, the two friends and partners worked together up until the summer of 1999, when Mrs. Hill became ill and unable to work. At that time, Mrs. Minor assumed the responsibility of continuing to operate the Beauty Salon and the Beauty School. With invaluable assistance from Mrs. Isabella Sanders and dedicated and gifted instructors, Magnetic Beauty School continued to operate until 2014. With the help of the operators, numerous friends and relatives, Mrs. Minor continued to operate R&E House of Beauty until March of 2020 when the business closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and
WHEREAS, after being closed for some seven months and due to the unrelenting persistence and generosity of some very loving and loyal customers, repairs needed to reopen the shop were completed and the beauty shop reopened in November of 2020 with Roberta continuing to operate until she died in March of 2021 at the age of 100.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the City Council of the City of Shreveport in due regular and legal session convened, that the Mayor, on behalf of the City, is authorized to dedicate the 1200 block of Milam in honor of Elgin Hill and Roberta Minor.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that in accordance with Resolution No. 156 of 2019, the dedication marker should be approximately 9 inches tall and 42 inches wide and should be placed on an existing standard or street sign if the placement is authorized by Traffic Engineering.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that all resolutions or parts thereof in conflict herewith are hereby repealed.