The Bethune-Cookman College Centennial Oral History Project
Bethune-Cookman College students celebrate Dr Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955) in the History Department's Centennial Oral History Project. In 1904 Bethune opened the Daytona Industrial Institute for Training Negro Girls, and in 1923 Bethune's school merged with the Cookman Institute, a school for boys in Jacksonville. Mary was born 15th of 17 children and was the first in her family to have been born free. In the United States, slavery of African-Americans did not end until 1863. American schools remained segregated until 1954. Historically Black Colleges provided education for African-American students. Today, Bethune-Cookman College students are discovering through oral histories how the force of Bethune's personality and character blazed a path for education and human rights. Bethune founded the Historically Black College and provided leadership as the powerbroker on the Federal Council on Negro Affairs, President Franklin Roosevelt's "black cabinet"; she led the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) and directed the National Youth Administration's Office of Negro Affairs. Bethune organized a 1937 conference held by the Department of Labor on the Problems of Negro and Negro Youth, at which Eleanor Roosevelt delivered a key speech. The meeting outlined a blueprint for the Civil Rights Movement. Oral history interviews have been conducted among individuals who knew and worked with Bethune. The product for presentation is a paper entitled "Head Heart, Hand: Mary McLeod Bethune and Bethune Cookman College (previously published in It's About Time: Reflections on Central Florida. Orange County Florida Regional History Journal Vol 2 No. 1 4/04). Dr Jeannette Ford will deliver a powerpoint presentation about the COHP. The process is delivered to participants in the workshop on "How to Direct an Oral History Project". They will be provided hands-on material and suggested guidelines for successfully directing oral history projects.
Keywords: Mary McCleod Bethune, Historically Black Colleges, Segregation, Ethic Diversity, African-American History, Discrimination, National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, Daytona Beach, Florida, Booker T. Washington, African-American History, Bethune-Cookman College, Oral history, Student-centered
Dr. Jeannette Filomena Ford
Assistant Professor of History, School of Social Sciences History DEPARTMENT, Bethune-Cookman College