By John Kaiser III – Navarro County Gazette

Entering the City Council meeting chambers on April 11, there was a positive energy that filled the room. A number of people from all around had gathered to be present for the honoring of Joe Brooks, all unbeknownst to him.

Mayor Don Denbow thanked Brooks for his long history of continued community service declaring Monday April 11, 2022 as “Joe B. Brooks Day”.

Visibly moved, Brooks turned around and gave an impassioned speech in which he stated “It’s never been me, or I, it’s always been we. We did these things.” A sentiment that is evident in the featured picture used in this article. When asked to get a shot of him for this story, he made sure he was not alone in it.

Brooks went on to talk about forming the arts council back in a time “when it wasn’t but about two people who even knew what he was talking about“.

Today, I think, for the first time we exist in this country to acknowledge humanity. We’re interested in the Ukrainians. We didn’t do it for the Jewish people, we didn’t do it for the black people, we didn’t do it for the gay people. We finally realized we are all in this together.” Brooks ended his speech on these words and left to a roar of applause.

In meeting up with Brooks afterwards, he was touched by the outpouring of support. As he reiterated his stance that it was a “we” that got so much done, a passerby stopped to point out, while that may be so, it took someone to actually move forward and put all those things the “we” accomplished into action. That someone being “he”.

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