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Profiles

  • Howard Finster (1916 - 2001)
    Howard Finster (December 2, 1916 – October 22, 2001) was an American artist and Baptist minister from Georgia. He claimed to be inspired by God to spread the gospel through the design of his swampy l...
  • Buford Pusser "Walking Tall" (1937 - 1974)
    Immortalized by three screen portrayals of his career, Walking Tall (1973), Walking Tall II (1976), and Walking Tall III: The Final Chapter (1977), McNairy County Sheriff Buford Pusser earned a reput...
  • Grace Sherwood (c.1660 - 1740)
    Grace Sherwood The witchcraft case of Grace Sherwood is one of the best known in Virginia. She was accused of bewitching a neighbor's crop in 1698. Allegations grew over time until the Princess Anne Co...
  • Lucy Berkeley (1683 - 1716)
    Lucy Burwell is best known for rejecting the fervent and sometimes menacing courtship of Governor Sir Francis Nicholson. The teenaged daughter of a key Virginia family chose to marry Edmund Berkeley,...
  • Ella May Wiggins (1900 - 1929)
    Ella May Wiggins, textile worker, balladier, and union organizer, was born in the mountains of Cherokee County, near Bryson City, North Carolina, the daughter of James and Elizabeth Maples May. In ...

What is a "folk hero?"

Here's a definition from American Folk Heroes

Folk heroes and heroines are not born as superstars. In fact they often begin life as everyday people who are transformed into extraordinary people by significant life events, often in response to social injustice, and sometimes in response to natural disasters. In all cases they are individuals who have found a way to apply their particular character strengths, beliefs and values to overcome adversity.

  • All folk heroes represent what is possible for the common person; they offer a road map, so to speak, of how to keep moving in the face of oppression or corruption and are often the people we admire most and often aspire to be like.

Add "the folk hero in your family" to this project from wherever they may be. Collaborators, feel free to add to the lists that get us started, and to the Project photo gallery.

Historically documented only, please.

Resources

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The Making of a Jewish Folk Hero: The Golem of the Maharal of Prague

The Golem of Prague, a Jewish Folk Tale provides one of the finest examples of this synthesis of history, culture and religion in its hero the Rabbi Judah Ben Loewe, known as the Maharal. For while his association with the golem is fictional, the Maharal himself was a very real person.