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Sunday, September 22, 2013


Those of us who took the opportunities to visit the Bayview Library in years past - and in recent times - with the opening of the brand new Library built on the old one  -  a better library, a modern library - helping thousands shed light where there is darkness.

We all remember Linda Brooks Burton - her presence - always polite and always lending a helping - hand.

I have know Linda for a long time - and her husband John Burton for a longer time.

Today - thousands feel sad that this lovely Black woman, stellar - compassionate, in most anything she touched.

A strong Black woman who was not only in charge of the Bayview Library - but all the libraries in the Southeast Sector. Well respected by those that she worked for - hundreds in this City and  County of San Francisco.

Linda is no more - she has gone to the other side at the age of 49 years. Linda has gone to a better place - having done better - than most - in their life time time. She worked hard - she serverd, better.

All of us who knew her - are shocked - and must now stand tall and represent.

It is not sufficient for us to feel sorry -  which we mus being human  - we must remember  -  Linda was brave, took a stand, and did what was - right - she did right - all the time.

That is why when she met me on the road on her way to the Library she would wish me - and always, always encourage me to do what I did - fight for the community and do what was - right.

There was a time when we all met at the old library - the conference room - the bigger one -  next to the rest room - and we had no choice but to use this conference room.

At one end - stacked the documents linked to the abatement and remediation of the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard - a well known Superfund Site. We gathered there and discussed and implemented our plans - most of it not recorded but there are people still alive - who must remember those seeds - were well planted.

Some of the advocates who met  at the library Maurice Campbell, Lynne Brown, Michael Boyd, Francisco Da Costa, Ahimsa Sumchai, Marie Harrison, Espanola Jackson, Willie Ratcliff - others - too many to mention - all brain storming - and always being accommodated by Linda Brooks Burton - who use to give us the permission to use this conference room - and never once refused us - anything.

Her husband and  my good friend John Burton - always coaching the youth - always inquiring what exactly is happening to the community at large - and how he could help the Bayview Community. Both Linda Brooks Burton and John Burton - stellar, strong, well educated, and proud to be Black and represent.

I can say many good things about Linda - but I can say without blinking an eye - she was a Saint.

She had to deal with all sorts of characters - more when she was in charge of the old library.

These characters came in to create confusion - and some of us had to step in to police the situation.

Linda would stand by calmly - and when the confusion was defused - thank us profusely - for our services.

We remember that and more - and felt we had to do it - because we all loved Linda Brooks Burton - as a sister - and those youth that loved her - like her Mother - who we had to keep - safe - more in a library setting.

My last visit to the new Library was some months ago - when the Museum of the African Disapora (MOED) held an enactment of some members of the Bayview who have left a legacy - and it was well done and all co-ordinated by Linda Brooks Burton.

That was the last time I saw her - and I will never, ever forget her smile and her calm demeanor - her soft voice - and the way she carried herself - always in charge and knowing what to do - in a pleasant manner.

She came up the ranks and had over 30 years of experience - a hard worker - and always looking for new ideas and concepts to make the Bayview Library shine among the other libraries. 

She started a collection of old photographs and had members of the Bayview community to come and represent and shed light on the history of her community. A couple of exhibits still stand - all because of her.

Recently a documentary - on the Bayview she constantly wanted the public to know the better aspects of the Bayvew Hunters Point Community. We thank her - more now than ever.

Linda Brooks Burton did herself, her family, more her husband and children proud.

Linda did us all proud - this stellar, well educated, well mannered Black smart woman - and we all will miss - tremendously.

I was shocked when I heard the news - and those knowing me - know I deal with killings, violence, death - a lot. This one news - shocked me - because as an advacote - Linda Brooks Burton - was our silent partner - helping us in ways - no one else - could.

You have left us Linda Brooks Burton - but we still feel your presence.

There is a lot I can write about you - there is a lot I can say about you - but I know words will not do justice - you were the best.

Watch over our community - the library is a place where those that want to learn and educate themselves can gather and in the privicy of their own - read, learn, and shed light where there is abject - darkness.

So many young children - from so many walks of life - went into that library by Revere Street - and once in - if they saw Linda Brooks Burton - felt at ease.

The children knew her - since they were very young. They knew they could go to her for anything - she was such a Saint.

As I said we must hurt and feel sorry as human beings - but, it is our moral duty now - to represent and honor her by good deeds, doing what is right - at all times.

Linda Brooks Burton will lend us a helping hand - she has gone to a better place - and can do more for us now - for our hurting community - suffering from gentrification, discrimination,  divisiveness and blatant - corruption.

Where our leaders - our Bayview Leaders who should and must shine light - and follow the extraordinary example - of Linda Brooks Burton. May your soul rest in peace. Aho.


You Linda Brooks Burton 
Will always be remembered
Deep in our hearts we loved you very much
And now that we see you no more
We will remember more - that smile - that glow

Years from now - we will think of you
As we touch something - borrow some book
We will look around for you - and remember
That smile, that glow - and feel better 
You touched so many - as any mother

There are librarians and there are librarians
You were the best -  few words and compassion
Your demeanor touching so many young and old
Your advice sound - you made us bold
Now is our time - our time to represent for good

Dear Linda Brooks Burton
May the Lord bless your family
You are in a better place
You are full of grace
Farewell - and God Bless

Francisco Da Costa
September 21, 2013