Mayor Teri Johnston and the City Commissioners honored one of our local heroes by proclaiming October 1st Roosevelt Sands, Jr. Day.
Mr. Sands was born in Key West in 1930 into a respected family of community leaders, who have over generations advocated for civil rights, housing, healthcare and employment opportunities for African Americans and the Bahama Village community.
Throughout his life he has continued that honorable tradition. He served during the Korean Conflict and for many years after as a Sergeant in the Army Reserves. In fact, at the age of 91, he is still known to many as Sarge.
Mr. Sands worked as an occupational specialist at Key West High School for more than 20 years. Over his decades of public service, he has mentored countless youth, shared his wealth of Key West history, and served the City as a member of the District VI historic naming committee.
In addition, he served on the Key West Housing Authority Board from 1970 to 2022, as a champion for safe, affordable and essential public housing.
With the example of Mr. Sands and the Sands family, several generations of Conchs have grown to become educators and legislators, striving to make the world a safer and more just place.
“Thank each and every one of you for helping me grow and defend this wonderful city of ours,” said Mr. Sands. “I only hope that I have done something for someone to say ‘I hope my son’ or ‘I hope my daughter will be just like him.’ Thank you so much, Key West. I love you.”
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