The Bethune-Cookman College Centennial Oral History Project

By:
Dr. Jeannette Filomena Ford
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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
Stream: Learning, Education, Training
Presentation Type: Workshop Presentation in English/ Chinese
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Jeannette Filomena Ford

Assistant Professor of History, School of Social Sciences History DEPARTMENT, Bethune-Cookman College
USA

Jeannette Filomena Ford participated in a University of Hawaii field study of China's ethnic minorities during the summer of 2004 and is fluent in Chinese and somewhat fluent in Japanese. She hails from the village of Endicott, New York, USA. She graduated with a double major in History and Chinese at SUNY Brockport in 1975, and, after completing a Master's degree in History from SUNY Stony Brook in 1980 she was the first American student selected to participate in the sister school relationship arranged by Dr Yang Zhenning at Stony Brook University. Ford studied modern Chinese history and taught English at Fudan University, and some years later continued research on modern Chinese intellectuals and taught at Shanghai Teacher's University (1992-1993). Ford (under name Jeannette Ford Fernandez) is the author of Mao's Prey: The History of Chen Renbing (Garland Press, NY 2001). Appointed to the position of Assistant Professor of History at Bethune-Cookman College in 2001, Ford has globalized the curriculum and created the Centennial Oral History Project (COHP) and the Family History Project (FHP). Both student-centered projects seek to add to the literature on local African-American History and create primary resource documents for analysis and dissemination. Ford's mother, Rose Marie Ferraro Ford, an Italian immigrant, has written two autobiographical books and provides inspiration for the pursuit of oral history.

Ref: D05P0032