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Luther G. Bellinger papers

Identifier: 040

Scope and Contents

The Luther G. Bellinger papers document the work of African American mathematics educator and businessman Luther Garic Bellinger. The collection spans 1947-1980 and includes biographical materials, materials from Bellinger's college years at Johnson C. Smith University, correspondence related to Bellinger's educational career in South Bend, Indiana, in the 1960s, news clippings and publications featuring Bellinger, teaching materials, and mathematics articles Bellinger wrote. The collection also contains a number of photographs, mainly consisting of official McDonnell Douglas photographs depicting Bellinger's work as Director of Equal Opportunity Programs in the 1970s. Other photos include newspaper photos of Bellinger from the South Bend Tribune and the Detroit News.


  • Created: 1947-1980
  • Other: Date acquired: 05/19/1980


Conditions Governing Access

The papers of Luther G. Bellinger are open and available for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright to these papers has not been assigned to the Amistad Research Center. It is the responsibility of an author to secure permission for publication from the holder of the copyright to any material contained in this collection.

Biographical Note

Luther Garic Bellinger, son of Gary and Ruby Bellinger, was born on April 24, 1933, in Blacksville, South Carolina. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1955. Bellinger served in the United States Army from 1956-58. He and his wife, Mary, had one son, Luther G. Bellinger, Jr., born in 1959. After his honorable discharge from the Army, Bellinger taught high school mathematics in Charlotte until 1963, when he moved to South Bend, Indiana, to attend Notre Dame University on a National Science Foundation scholarship, where he earned a Master of Arts degree in Mathematics and Counseling in 1965.

While in South Bend, Bellinger served as Coordinator of Math for the South Bend school system and became a proponent of the "new math" strategies introduced in the 1960s. He conducted workshops for teachers to introduce them to new mathematics teaching methods, developed a television series to help parents, Modern Math for Parents, and delivered over 300 speeches on modern math education to teachers, parents, and students. While working for the South Bend school system, Bellinger's interest in the link between race, poverty, and educational opportunities grew, and he led a program to help low-income students receive job training that would enable them to afford to stay in school.

In 1967, Bellinger was appointed to the South Bend Human Relations and Fair Employment Commission, which led to a position as Corporate Manager of Equal Opportunity at the Bendix Corporation in Southfield, Michigan, from 1967-1970. In 1970, Bellinger started work as the Corporate Director of Equal Opportunity Programs at the McDonnell Douglas Corporation in St. Louis, Missouri, where he remained until the mid-1980s. Bellinger's work received mention in the national publication Jet, as well as many local St. Louis publications. Throughout his career he remained active in his community, and served on the Board of the Directors for the United Negro College Fund from 1972-1975 and on the Missouri Governor's Conference on Education from 1976-1977. Bellinger died on December 21, 2010, in Atlanta.


1.76 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Source of Acquisition

Luther Bellinger per Charles Hicks

Method of Acquisition


Related Materials

The Amistad Research Center also houses the following collections related to the Luther G. Bellinger papers: the Ronald E. Mickens papers, the Brent Taylor Pendleton collection, the Albert Turner Bharucha-Reid papers, the Black Data Processing Association records, the James Blackwell papers, the Henry Braden III papers, the Eugene Collins papers, the Alexander Louis Jackson papers, the Parson vs. Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corporation records, the Brent Taylor Pendleton collection, the Joseph A. Pierce papers, the Raymond J. Pitts papers, the Jesse Olin Sheffield papers, the George Thomas Jr. papers, and the Robert Ambrose Thornton papers.

Processing Information

The Luther G. Bellinger papers were processed during August 2015. This collection was funded in part by an Institute of Museum and Library Services processing grant.

Luther G. Bellinger papers
Jessica Perkins Smith
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Repository Details

Part of the Amistad Research Center Repository

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