"We Cannot Walk Alone:" Images and History of the African-American Community.
Lafayette County, Mississippi. An "Open Doors Exhibition." April through August 2003.
Author of History Unknown
“After the Civil War, the first school
in Oxford [for African-Americans] was started in 1867 under the Freedmen’s
Bureau and taught by Alexander Phillips, an African-American preacher. The
school was held five days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Studies included
grammar, arithmetic, geography, spelling, reading, and writing. Mr. Borrum
also tried to start a school about ten miles west of Oxford but it was
immediately burned.Later several churches created schools such as the Second
Baptist Church School taught by H.W. Bowen. Public education began with the
Oxford Colored High School founded in 1882 and located in Freemantown,
although this school burned. At the turn of the century, Walter Johnson with
his wife Dovie Evelyn Wilburn Johnson created a private elementary school on
North 7th Street [now Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. ] called Del
Mount Seminary. In the rural areas of the country, African-American one room
schools were built every three miles, approximately 46 schools were created
including Dallas, Harrisonville, Oliver, Rush, East Providence, and Galilee
to name a few. Sometimes these schools were held in local churches until a
building was constructed. Many young African-American teachers in Oxford had
their first teaching experience in these schools boarding with local
parents, earning about $22.00 a month.