Two East Texans Get Black History Awards - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

02/28/05 - Lufkin

Two East Texans Get Black History Awards

Rev. Bettie Kennedy Rev. Bettie Kennedy
Ruben "Jelly" Samuel Ruben "Jelly" Samuel

by Ramonica R. Jones

Black History Month ends this week, but two East Texans are being honored for contributions they make to East Texas all year long.

Community leader, Rev. Bettie Kennedy, and legendary athlete, Ruben "Jelly" Samuel, received awards Monday.  Reverend Kennedy is well-known across the state for her moving historical characterizations.  She called getting the Black History Award special and unique and challenged the community to get involved.

Rev. Kennedy said, "I know that we need to do more in our community to touch more lives.  The little that I've done maybe has made a dent in our society in which we live."

Ruben Samuel played baseball back in the 1940s, before blacks were allowed to play major league ball.  Although he's gotten a lot of recognition over the years, he said each award he gets is special.

"I feel great [about] all of them I get, every one I get," Samuel said.  "From '70 on up, I've been getting rewards."

Rev. Bettie Kennedy and Ruben Samuel have known each other since 1950. They often work together and even go to the same church.

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