Meet the Ancestors!

Top of pageThe following individuals have been identified as exemplars of the Beloved Community. Students are required to select and research ONE SET of exemplars for their essay.

Muhammad Ali & Thomas Merton
Marian Anderson & Eleanor Roosevelt
Ruth Batson & Robert Drinan
Frank Bell Sr. & Henry Martyn Stringfellow
Mary McLeod Bethune & Eleanor Roosevelt
Susan Buffett & Rosa Parks
Robert Byrd & Leon Howard Sullivan
George Washington Carver & Buckminster R. Fuller
Frederik de Klerk & Nelson Mandela
Frederick Douglas & Abraham Lincoln
Jerry Fallwell & Alfred Kee
C.L. Franklin & George W. Romney
A.G. Gaston & Russell B. Long
Abraham Joshua Heschel, Martin Luther King Jr., & Cesar Chavez
Jimmie Lee Jackson & Viola Liuzzon
T.J. Jemison & Russell B. Long
Lyndon Baines Johnson & Adam Clayton Powell Jr.
Rufus Jones & Howard Thurman
Louis Kelso , Russell B. Long, & Sam Walton
Martin Luther King Sr. & George Corley Wallace
Oseola McCarty, Susan Buffett, & Rosa Parks
Golda Meir & Harriett Tubman
Samuel Dewitt Proctor & Sargent Shriver
A. Phillip Randolph & Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Ray Charles & Johnny Cash

Muhammad Ali & Thomas Merton

Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.) was an American professional boxer and activist. He is widely regarded as one of the most significant and celebrated sports figures of the 20th century. From early in his career, Ali was known as an inspiring, controversial, and polarizing figure both inside and outside the ring (Source). Thomas Merton was an American Catholic writer, theologian, and mystic. A Trappist monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani, Kentucky, he was a poet, social activist, and student of comparative religion (Source).

Hint: A Louisville gift to society
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Marian Anderson & Eleanor Roosevelt

Marian Anderson was an American contralto and one of the most celebrated singers of the twentieth century. She made many recordings that reflected her broad performance repertoire of everything from concert literature to lieder to opera to traditional American songs and spirituals (Source). Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was an American politician, diplomat, and activist. She was the longest-serving First Lady of the United States, and served as United States Delegate to the United Nations General Assembly from 1945 to 1952 (Source).

Hint: A 1939 Easter performance
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Ruth Batson & Robert Drinan

Ruth Batson was an American civil rights and education activist. Batson’s career began with the NAACP Boston Branch. While representing the NAACP in local, regional, and national capacities, she led the challenge to the Boston Public School system for educational equality for African American students in Boston (Source). Robert Frederick Drinan, S.J., was a Roman Catholic Jesuit priest, lawyer, human rights activist, and Democratic U.S. Representative from Massachusetts. During the latter 26 years of his life he was a law professor at Georgetown University Law Center (Source).

Hint: Boston desegregation efforts
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Frank Bell Sr. & Henry Martyn Stringfellow

Frank Bell Sr. was one of the early settlers of the 1867 Settlement Community. In the late 1800s, Frank Bell was able to purchase land and build a home in Texas City in an area called The Settlement. Bell’s 1887 home is still standing and now owned by the City of Texas City (Source). Henry Martyn Stringfellow, born into a prominent family of Virginia clergymen, was a graduate of the College of William and Mary in 1858. After the Battle of Galveston on New Year’s Day 1863, Stringfellow married Alice Johnston, and decided to make their postwar homes in Texas, where Henry soon found himself dedicated to horticulture (Source).

Hint: Post Civil War settlement
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Mary McLeod Bethune & Eleanor Roosevelt

Mary Jane McLeod Bethune (born Mary Jane McLeod; July 10, 1875 – May 18, 1955) was an American educator, stateswoman, philanthropist, humanitarian, and civil rights activist best known for starting a private school for African-American students in Daytona Beach, Florida (Source). Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was an American politician, diplomat, and activist. She was the longest-serving First Lady of the United States, and served as United States Delegate to the United Nations General Assembly from 1945 to 1952 (Source).

Hint: A fruitful historic friendship
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Susan Buffett & Rosa Parks

Susan Thompson Buffett was the first wife of investor Warren Buffett, was active in civil rights, abortion rights, and population control causes. She was a director of Berkshire Hathaway, and owned 2.2 percent (worth US$3 billion in 2004) of the company at the time of her death. She was also the president of the Buffett Foundation (Source). Rosa Louise McCauley Parks was an African American civil rights activist, whom the United States Congress called “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement” (Source).

Hint: Collective spiritual impact
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Robert Byrd & Leon Howard Sullivan

Robert Carlyle Byrd (born Cornelius Calvin Sale, Jr.) was a United States Senator from West Virginia. A member of the Democratic Party, Byrd served as a U.S. Representative from 1953 until 1959 and as a U.S. Senator from 1959 to 2010. He was the longest-serving U.S. Senator (Source). Leon Howard Sullivan was a Baptist minister, a civil rights leader, and social activist focusing on the creation of job training opportunities for African Americans, a longtime General Motors Board Member, and an anti-Apartheid activist (Source)

Hint: Sons of West Virginia impact America
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George Washington Carver & Buckminster R. Fuller

George Washington Carver was an American botanist and inventor. He was born into slavery in Missouri, either in 1861, or January 1864. Carver’s reputation is based on his research into and promotion of alternative crops to cotton, such as peanuts and sweet potatoes, which also aided nutrition for farm families (Source). Buckminster Fuller “Bucky” was an American architect, systems theorist, author, designer and inventor. Fuller published more than 30 books, coining or popularizing terms such as “Spaceship Earth”, ephemeralization, and synergetic (Source)

Hint: Scientific geniuses impacting economic
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Frederik de Klerk* & Nelson Mandela

Frederik Willem de Klerk is a South African politician who served as the country’s State President from September 1989 to May 1994. He was the seventh and last head of state of South Africa under the apartheid era (Source). Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a South African anti- apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist, who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 (Source).

* Frederik de Klerk is the sole surviving person

Hint: Freeing South Africa
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Frederick Douglas & Abraham Lincoln

Frederick Douglass was the most important black American leader of the 19th century. He was born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, in Talbot County, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore in 1808[sic]. He was an African-American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman (Source). Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He led the United States through its Civil War and paved the way to the abolition of slavery (Source).

Hint: Emancipation and the American future
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Jerry Fallwell & Alfred Kee

Jerry Lamon Falwell Sr. was an American Southern Baptist pastor, televangelist, and conservative activist. He was the founding pastor of the Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia. He also founded Lynchburg Christian Academy (now Liberty Christian Academy) in 1967 and Liberty University in 1971 and co-founded the Moral Majority in 1979 (Source). Alfred Kee served as Pastor of the Fellowship Church of Christ, Lynchburg, Va., for over 30 years. He also served as General Vice-President of the International Youth Department, Minister of music for the International Youth Congress, and Chairman of the Board of Evangelism (Source).

Hint: Early efforts to reverse the jail trail
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C.L. Franklin & George W. Romney

Clarence LaVaughn Franklin, often known as Bishop or The Reverend C. L. Franklin, was an African-American Baptist preacher, a civil rights activist, and father of R&B/Soul and Gospel singer Aretha Franklin (Source). George Wilcken Romney was an American businessman and Republican Party politician. He was chairman and president of American Motors Corporation from 1954 to 1962, the 43rd Governor of Michigan from 1963 to 1969, and the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1969 to 1973. He was the father of Mitt Romney (Source).

Hint: Marching with Martin Luther King
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A.G. Gaston & Russell B. Long

George Gaston was a businessman who established a number of businesses in Birmingham, Alabama, and who played a significant role in the struggle to integrate Birmingham in 1963 (Source). Russell Billiu Long was an American Democratic politician and United States Senator from Louisiana from 1948 until 1987, and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee from 1966 to 1981. His influence over tax laws lasted to the end of his career, when he helped write a major simplification of income tax laws in 1986 (Source).

Hint: Economic contribution to an American Future
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Abraham Joshua Heschel, Martin Luther King Jr., & Cesar Chavez

Abraham Joshua Heschel was a Polish-born American rabbi and one of the leading Jewish theologians and Jewish philosophers of the 20th century (Source). Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American Baptist minister, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement (Source). Cesar Chavez (born César Estrada Chávez, locally) was an American labor leader and civil rights activist who, with Dolores Huerta, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (later the United Farm Workers union, UFW) in 1962 (Source).

Hint: Together in the March for a New America
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Jimmie Lee Jackson & Viola Liuzzon

Jimmie Lee Jackson was a civil rights activist in Marion, Alabama, and a deacon in the Baptist church. He was affiliated with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. After participating in a peaceful protest in Alabama in February 1965, he was shot by a state trooper and died a few days later (Source). Viola Fauver Gregg Liuzzo was a Unitarian Universalist civil rights activist from Michigan. A housewife and mother of five with a history of local activism, she was one of three people killed in Selma during voting rights demonstrations (Source).

Hint: Martyrs for the cause
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T.J. Jemison & Russell B. Long

Theodore Judson Jemison was the president of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. from 1982 to 1994. He was pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church for more than 50 years, and was a civil rights icon known as the architect of the 1953 Baton Rouge bus boycott (Source). Russell Billiu Long was an American Democratic politician and United States Senator from Louisiana from 1948 until 1987, and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee from 1966 to 1981. His influence over tax laws lasted to the end of his career, when he helped write a major simplification of income tax laws in 1986 (Source).

Hint: Louisiana sons and the American Economic dream
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Lyndon Baines Johnson & Adam Clayton Powell Jr.

Lyndon Baines Johnson was the 36th President of the United States from 1963 to 1969, assuming the office after serving as the 37th Vice President of the United States from 1961 to 1963 (Source). Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. was a Baptist pastor and an American politician, who represented Harlem, New York City, in the United States House of Representatives. During his congressional service, Powell served on a number of committees and continued to agitate for African-American human rights, calling for an end to lynching in the South and Jim Crow laws (Source).

Hint: Great Society legislation
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Rufus Jones & Howard Thurmant

Rufus Matthew Jones was an American religious leader, writer, magazine editor, philosopher, and college professor. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Haverford Emergency Unit and was one of the most influential Quakers of the 20th century (Source). Howard Washington Thurman was an influential African-American author, philosopher, theologian, educator, and civil rights leader. Thurman’s theology of radical nonviolence influenced and shaped a generation of civil rights activists (Source).

Hint: Mystics impacting public spaces
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Louis Kelso , Russell B. Long, & Sam Walton

Louis Kelso was a political economist, corporate and financial lawyer, author, lecturer, and merchant banker who is chiefly remembered today as the inventor and pioneer of the employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) (Source). Russell Billiu Long was an American Democratic politician and United States Senator from Louisiana from 1948 until 1987, and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee from 1966 to 1981. His influence over tax laws lasted to the end of his career, when he helped write a major simplification of income tax laws in 1986 (Source). Samuel Moore “Sam” Walton was an American businessman and entrepreneur best known for founding the retailers Walmart and Sam’s Club (Source).

Hint: Original vision for beloved economics
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Martin Luther King Sr. & George Corley Wallace

Martin Luther King Sr. was an American Baptist pastor, missionary, and an early figure in the American Civil Rights Movement. He was the father of Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. (Source). George C. Wallace was an American politician and the 45th Governor of Alabama, having served two nonconsecutive terms and two consecutive terms as a Democrat. He was a U.S. Presidential candidate for four consecutive elections. He held Southern populist and segregationist attitudes during the mid-20th century period of the Civil Rights Movement. He eventually renounced segregationism but remained a populist (Source).

Hint: Partnership for a new America
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Oseola McCarty, Susan Buffett, & Rosa Parks

Oseola McCarty was a local washerwoman in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, who became The University of Southern Mississippi’s (USM) most famous benefactor. In July 1995, McCarty announced that upon her death a portion of her life’s savings would be left to the university to provide scholarships for deserving students in need of financial assistance (Source). Susan Thompson Buffett was the first wife of investor Warren Buffett, was active in civil rights, abortion rights, and population control causes. She was a director of Berkshire Hathaway, and owned 2.2 percent (worth US$3 billion in 2004) of the company at the time of her death (Source). Rosa Louise McCauley Parks was an African American civil rights activist, whom the United States Congress called “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement” (Source).

Hint: Collective spiritual impact
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Golda Meir & Harriett Tubman

Golda Meir was an Israeli teacher, kibbutznik, stateswoman, and politician and the fourth Prime Minister of Israel. Meir was elected Prime Minister of Israel on March 17, 1969, after serving as Minister of Labour and Foreign Minister (Source). Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross) was an African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and, during the American Civil War, a Union spy. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some thirteen missions to rescue approximately seventy enslaved families and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad (Source).

Hint: Early pioneers in their peoples’ freedom
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Samuel Dewitt Proctor & Sargent Shriver

Samuel Dewitt Proctor was an African American minister, educator, and humanitarian. He was active in the African-American Civil Rights Movement (1955–1968) and is best known as a mentor and friend of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Source). Robert Sargent “Sarge” Shriver, Jr., was an American politician and activist. As the husband of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, he was part of the Kennedy family, serving in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations (Source).

Hint: Architects of the Peace Corps
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A. Phillip Randolph & Franklin Delano Roosevelt

A. Phillip Randolph was a leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement, the American labor movement, and socialist political parties. He organized and led the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first predominantly African American labor union. In the early Civil Rights Movement, Randolph led the March on Washington Movement (Source). Franklin Delano Roosevelt, commonly known as FDR, was an American statesman and political leader who served as the President of the United States from 1933 to 1945 (Source).

Hint: Partners in the Early Federal Employment efforts
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Ray Charles & Johnny Cash

Ray Charles Robinson, known professionally as Ray Charles, was an American singer- songwriter, musician, and composer. Charles was blind from the age of seven. He pioneered the genre of soul music during the 1950s by combining blues, rhythm and blues, and gospel styles into the music he recorded for Atlantic Records (Source). John R. Cash was an American singer- songwriter, guitarist, actor, and author. He is widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century and is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 90 million records worldwide (Source).

Hint: Musical geniuses who affected the nation’s soul
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