Schools of Pass Christian
Louis Raymond Perkins
As an early volunteer in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Perkins, a graduate from Randolph High School in Pass Christian, served as Chairman for a Civilian Defense Unit.
Upon enlistment with the Navy in June 1942, Perkins was trained in navigation. But instead of creditable military duties, he was reduced to menial tasks because of his color. Nevertheless, the 18-year-old, pressed for more noble tasks of performance and was eventually rewarded with a more meritorious duty assignment. Following the war, he went on to receive a Masters Degree in 1957, having completed his B.S. Degree in 1949.
Early in life, Perkins had demonstrated his leadership distinctions. He was one of the organizers of the Knights of Zeus, which conducted Mardi Gras Balls and Parades in downtown Pass Christian during 1939 and 1940.
As a graduating senior in the Randolph Class of 1942, Perkins was Class President, Football Team Captain and Editor of the Senior Class Souvenir Book. Excerpts from his February 1942, Editorial depict his dreams, attitude and valor.
"Two months ago tomorrow -- December 7, 1941, treachery, tyranny and trickery were released in our back yard.
"Negro youth, fresh from the lexicon of scholastic achievement and knowledge, injected with the serum of facing the world courageously, has met with discouraging obstacles, sent forth by our foes.
"We are not asleep. We too, have been aroused by the stimulus of barbarism and realize that we, who are Negroes, have also been involved. We intend to do our share.
Prior to enlistment, he organized and served a Civil Defense Unit for which he received a Mayoral Letter of Commendation from former Mayor W.G. Simpson.
As a world traveler and Educator, Perkins was a College professor at the University of the District of Columbia teaching biology, microbiology, and physiology. --And taught History and Philosophy at the National Institute of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
During a trip to Corpus Christie in 1981, Perkins stated that, "Blacks now growing up in this nation must look to their own communities for motivation and inspiration. There are too few national heroes to provide such inspiration."
During a return visit to Pass Christian, for Black History Month, in 1983, he extolled, "It is for my ancestors I carry on. We must open the door for the little children coming on. We must be the lighthouse that beacons for others."
Louis Perkins has received many acknowledgements for his indefatigable activities and accomplishments, as a community leader, Educator, author, and public speaker.
At the age of 73, in 1999, Louis R. Perkins resided in Washington D.C., while continuing to teach history and the humanities, and maintains communication with family and friends in the Pass.