Dr. Louis E King

Louis Eugene King was born in 1898 in Barbados, the youngest of nine, and was orphaned as a child. After the death of his parents, he was partly raised by his sister and her husband. He came to New York in 1906 and subsequently attended public schools. In 1918–1919, he majored in pedagogy at Storres College in West Virginia. After a year of teaching, he became a general studies major at Howard University from 1920 to 1924. Here he quickly gained a reputation as an outstanding debater, and he was editor of the student newspaper. He started medical school at Howard in 1924, but soon had to drop out and work as a history teacher to support his family. He married and moved to Gettysburg, PA He and his wife had two daughters and one grandson.

Despite the Depression and extreme financial limitations,he pursued research to debunk the idea that the innate intelligence of people could be determined by a universal metric.He was a trail blazer on many fronts. He was the first Black Anthropology Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University. Dr.King is widely considered to be the first anthropologist of any race to study African American communities.He viewed anthropology as a way to achieve “cultural vindication.” His doctoral dissertation and research was on the topic of “The Negro Life in Rural Community.” This research challenged the thought of the day by white anthropologists. Columbia University initially denied to award him his Ph.D. It was not until many years later, after a great deal of protestation, he was finally awarded his degree.
He was employed as the first Black Historian at Gettysburg National Military Park, worked with the Gettysburg Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the Naval Depot in Mechanicsburg ,PA. Dr. King taught Anthropology at Gettysburg College for 2 years.
As a resident of Gettysburg, Dr, King was an outspoken social justice advocate. He served on local boards and committees advocating for fair and equal education,housing, and so much more. Gettysburg grew to be a greater place because of his presence.

James Jones

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