Robert Nathaniel Perry II was born in 1911, in Wilson, North Carolina. He graduated from J.C. Smith College in Charlotte in 1929. Robert Perry served as principal of Boggs Academy in Keyville, Georgia, as an administrator in the public schools of Thibodaux, Louisiana, followed by seventeen years as principal of Walter L. Cohen Senior High School in the New Orleans Public School system. His civic and cultural endeavors included serving as a District Director of the Boy Scouts of America and active memberships in the New Orleans Chapter of Friends of Amistad, the B-Sharp Music Club, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Women and Men Who Care, Inc., the Bunch Club, and the Board of Directors of Dryades Street YMCA. He also served as editor for the Journal of Louisiana Education Association from 1963 to 1964 and was inducted into Phi Delta Kappa Fraternity, the Honor Society of Educators. At Central Congregational UCC, Robert served as the Superintendent of Sunday School, was a Lay Minister, a member of the Deaconate, and acted as photographer, capturing the activities of the church and its families.
Robert Nathaniel Perry II and his wife, Lillian Dunn Perry, worked to enhance the quality of life for African Americans living in the racially and economically segregated Louisiana of the 1930’s to 1960’s, acting as educators, musicians, Christian leaders, journalists, and civil rights activists. They dedicated their work to preparing children and youth intellectually, culturally, and spiritually, to facilitate their lives as responsible citizens.
The parents of both Robert and Lillian played major roles in their local and wider churches. Their fathers were educated ministers, while their mothers worked to educate within the Christian community. Lillian Dunn Perry’s mother also served for years as the minister of music at Central Congregational United Church of Christ in New Orleans.
From website of Amistad Research Center, Tulane University.