If you have memories of the B. F. Ford School, the Union County Heritage Museum wants to hear from you.

And should.

The Mississippi Humanities Council recently awarded a $7,500 grant to the Museum for an oral history project for the school.

If you or someone you know would like to participate in this project, please contact the museum at 662-538-0014 or email at uchm@ucheritagemuseum.com.

This is your state tax dollars at work for a wonderful cause – the preservation of local history.

No cancel culture – best defined as attempts to ignore history some people find problematic – here. This is an attempt to preserve vital history, not forget about it.

And history is the ship carrying living memories to the future.

The goal is to gather history of the school through the voices of the students and teachers who attended it through the years.

The grant will be used for equipment, supplies, and the cost of videotaping, cataloging, preserving and making the history accessible to the public.

In a related development, The Union County Historical Society is purchasing a state historic marker through the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, which will be placed later this year at the school.

The oral history project is an outstanding opportunity to focus on the school’s history and hear the many stories from former students and teachers. Plans are to have 60 or more interviews before this project is over.

Interviews will focus on the older former students and teachers first for logical reasons. But researchers also want to hear from former students and teachers who were at the school after it desegregated and became and elementary school.

The process of desegregation was a difficult time in Union County, although the county desegregated a year before it was mandated to do so. “We want to collect history from this experience, and we are hopeful that people will share their memories,” according to Museum Director Jill Smith.”

The interviews will be videotaped, and will be on the museum’s YouTube channel, with permission of the interviewee, as well as digitally archived at the museum and the University of Mississippi. “

Media Coordinator Lee Ann Thompson will work closely with this project.

“If people who are interviewed want to tell their stories and not have them published on YouTube, the museum will honor this request, and they will be used only for research,” Smith said. The paperwork of the project mandates that interviews will be published only with the permission of the person being interviewed.

Got a memory of B. F. Ford School? C’mon on down. Lots of folks will be really interested in what you have to say.

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