• Rutledge H. Pearson was born and raised in Jacksonville, Fl, and was the former President of the Florida Branch Conference NAACP as well as the Advisor to the NAACP Youth Council of the NAACP. He was also Rodney Hurst’s mentor. Rutledge Pearson was the Former President of the Florida Branch Conference NAACP as well as the Advisor to the NAACP Youth Council of the NAACP and was Rodney Hurst’s mentor. Mr. Pearson was influential in his activism because he helped and motivated many white people across the state of Florida to fight for black rights and dignity. He became an activist in 1953 after he could not play baseball in his hometown of Jacksonville. He died in a vehicle accident while on his way to Memphis, Tennessee, to organize laundry employees. In Jacksonville, Florida, he has a school, a US Post Office, and a park named after him.