James H. Ratliff, Jr. was a graduate of Eureka High School who worked in the Hattiesburg Public School District for many years. Ratliff devotedly served as a science teacher, an award winning choir director, assistant principal and principal at several schools within the District. In addition, he was a longtime member of Truelight Missionary Baptist Church as well as a Hattiesburg Tourism Commissioner.
Dorie and Joyce Ladner, sisters and community leaders, grew up in the Palmer’s Crossing area, and both became civil rights activists who were integral in Freedom Summer of 1964. The sisters organized for the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Dorie was arrested for her efforts in attempting to integrate the Woolworth’s lunch counter in Jackson. Later, Joyce pursued a Ph.D. in sociology and Dorie pursued her Masters in social work. Both women remain active in civic and civil matters. Dorie Ladner is a social worker, civil rights activist and community leader. Dr. Joyce Ladner is an author, civil rights activist, sociologist, and former interim president of Howard University.