Dr. Douglas L. Parris was one of the first African American physicians in Hattiesburg. He graduated from Eureka High School in 1948 and went on to graduate from Tougaloo College and Meharry Medical School. Parris was involved in various community initiatives that focused on bettering the overall health of the African American community.
Berry Neal was a community leader and U.S. Army veteran. He received numerous military decorations for his heroic service in the Spanish American War. In 1948, he became the leader of the first VFW Post for African Americans in Hattiesburg. In addition, Neal was one of fifteen African American men who filed suit against the Forrest County Registrar of Voters for blocking the ability of African Americans to register to vote.
Reverend Jesse Charles Killingsworth was pastor of Bentley Chapel UMC. He worked tirelessly to advance civil rights in Hattiesburg. In 2009, a road in Hattiesburg was renamed to J.C. Killingsworth Drive in honor of Rev. Killingsworth.