Student Work – Stetson Kennedy and Ryan Dunn

Stetson Kennedy by Rouby Jackson

Rouby Jackson

Stetson Kennedy

Stetson Kennedy was born on October 5th 1916 and died on August 27th, 2011. He could be known as the man who made a racist secret society, not so secret. However, speculation and doubt also looms over the authenticity of his contribution. (William Grimes, Stetson Kennedy, Who Infiltrated and Exposed the Klan, Dies at 94,NY Times, Aug.30,2011

In the NY Times obituary article the author highlights his legacy as a writer, researcher, and Human Rights activist but also tries to close the book on years of debate over whether Kennedy really went undercover in the Klan.

Stetson Kennedy made himself a significant mark in history. As a folklorist, he recorded the         oral accounts of the personal history and hardship of African American Floridians during the Great depression (Grimes, 2011). As a Human rights activist, he began authoring publications that focused on speaking out against the deprivation of liberty at the clasp of Jim Crow laws, and the Klan who thrived under its auspices. Kennedy’s 1954 publication  entitled the “Klan Unmasked”, recounted information he obtained while infiltrating the violent racist organization group, which helped weaken it forces.(Emily Langer, Stetson Kennedy, author of Klan unmasked, dies at 94,Washington Post, Aug.28, 2011, . After an investigation of these accounts by Florida writer Ben Green, Kennedy admitted in part that there were some information used from an informant and put into first person.( Grimes, 2011)

Mr. Kennedy was graced by many great people who shared his passion and talent, notably his travels collecting folklore with Harlem Renaissance writer Zora Neale Hurston (Grimes, 2011). He walked with Martin Luther King during the freedom marches and even ran a write-in campaign as governor of Florida (Grimes, 2011). Kennedy’s publications span from 1946 to 2008. His works have earned him several honors and awards through the decades and continues to to influence literary history . Among them,  in 2005 he received a life estate of his home that sits among 4 acres, now called Beluthahatchee Park. His  home has become a Literary land mark and historic site in St. Johns County of Florida. (Susan D. Brandenburg, Stetson Kennedy is Still Beluthahatchee Bill, Oct.22, 2004, In 2006, At the age of 90 Stetson had his seventh wedding ceremony to Sandra Parks. Kennedy Stetson died at a Jacksonville Fl. Hospital. (Emily Langer, 2011) The cause of death was due to complications of bleeding of the brain (Grimes, 2011.)He is survived by his wife, son Loren, grandchildren and several stepchildren (Grimes, 2011). He  is also related to cowboy hat maker John B. Stetson on this mothers side of the family (Emily Langer, 2011).

Ryan Dunn by Wolf Pamphile

Wolf Pamphile

Ryan Dunn

Ryan Dunn was born in Medina, Ohio on June 11, 1977 and died on June 20, 2011. He was one of the original members of the world wide known group Jackass. Dunn was mostly known for his great TV personality and for pulling the best pranks on his fellow co-stars.

Slotnick, D. (2011, June 20). Ryan Dunn, Daredevil Comedian, dies at 34. New York Times. Retrieved from


According to the police report from West Chester, Pennsylvania, acquired by ABC News, Dunn and a passenger died in a car accident after leaving a club. Police believes that excessive speed and alcohol were the main causes of the accident. Ryan Dunn blood alcohol level was .196, twice over the legal limit, which is .08. Dunn’s 911 Porsche was also traveling at least at 130mph, when it went off road into the woods, and quickly engulfed in raging flames.

Fisher, L. (2011, June 22). Ryan Dunn Was Drunk and Speeding: Police. ABC NEWS. Retrieved from

Ryan Dunn is survived by his parents, Ronald Dunn and Linda Piscitello; a stepfather, Thomas Piscitello; a stepmother, Lynn Dunn; a fiancé, Angela Cuturic; a sister, Brandi Berman; a brother, Eric Dunn; two stepbrothers, Thomas and Joseph Piscitello; and a stepsister, Nicole Filippelli. However, Dunn did not have a will.

Slotnick, D. (2011, June 20). Ryan Dunn, Daredevil Comedian, dies at 34. New York Times. Retrieved from


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