“When you have made your choice, it is
providence that is your guide. Good, bad, or
indifferent. Your fate lies in that.” Morgan
Freeman. Applying this inspirational quote to
this article’s subject, Louis Flournoy (who is
now no longer with us), it is very suitable. You
see, I have recently had the privilege of
interviewing Flournoy’s daughter, Barbara
McIntyre, a Southern University graduate, who began her own academic career at Hampton Institute, in attempts to capture
information regarding his legacy.
Louis Eugene Flournoy was an African
American scholar, Veteran, and educator.
Born to parents Emma Rush and Oscar James
Flourny on December 3, 1921, in Vernon,
Louisiana, he resided in the parish of Jackson.
In his adolescent years, he attended Jackson
elementary and being the studious and
educated fellow he is, he went on to attend
Jackson Training School and graduated in 1941.
After graduation, his education at his then
university, Southern, was interrupted by his
call to enlistment in the United States army
from 1942-1945. During this time World War 2,
was in motion, and he was positioned as a
postal clerk. At one point during his service, he
was even stationed out of the country in
Europe! Talk about experiences!
Proceeding his honorable discharge in ‘45, he
returned to the states and resumed his studies at Southern.
By 1947 he had completed his bachelor’s
degree in Social Studies at Southern
University, a renowned Historically Black
College, located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Here, Flournoy met his future wife, Mary
Osborne, for the second time. They eventually
married in 1948. Remember my
aforementioned detail regarding his
schooling? Well, our dear friend Louis was
indeed quite the man of letters. Immediately
after receiving his degree, he acquired an
additional Master’s degree at Texas Southern.
Always productive, in the same year of ‘47,
Professor Louis began his teaching career as a
classroom teacher and later principal for an
additional 15 years each. Beginning at Union Central
High school located in Columbia, LA, he
remained there for 11 years. Soon enough he
mastered the fundamental levels of teaching,
and was adjudged a prime pedagogue for
Lincoln Parish. In addition to these
achievements, he was asked to assume the
Principal position at Hopewell school,
stationed in Dubach, Louisiana for
approximately 3 years. After his tenure at
Hopewell, he was asked to become the
principal of Glen View Jr, High Ruston,
becoming the first African American to hold
the role of principal of a predominantly white
school after integration. He eventually retired
from Glenview by 1979. Flournoy absolutely
broke racial barriers during his prime and set
the bar high with such an extensive reign
regarding his positions at the time.
He remained solely in retirement for the most
part, excluding his active involvement and
duties at St. Benedict Catholix Church.
Through it all, he had his wife of 66 years,
Mary, by his side. Together the couple shared
their children as follows : Barbara McIntyre,
James O. Flournoy, son-in-law Ervin
McIntyre, and daughter-in-law Marcelina C.
Flournoy. His family continues to grow as the
couple lead an empire in the making with
grandchildren, Pamela and Erika McIntyre,
Jamie , Adonis , and Tony Flournoy, and a
plethora of nieces and nephews, his legacy
forever lives on.
By: Rhiana Thomas