"We Cannot Walk Alone:" Images and History of the African-American Community.
Lafayette County, Mississippi. An "Open Doors Exhibition." April through August 2003.



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History, Reconstruction, 1869-1875
Written by Mrs. Susie Marshall

"Black schools in the county were taught by black teachers. Alexander Phillips taught at the Oxford Female Colored School in 1874-75 and received a wage of $50.00. Other teachers included Joseph Phillips, George Humphries, Emma Webster, and Henry Brothers.

The area of Oxford between North 7th Street and 5th Street extending south from Price to Jackson Avenue was originally called Freemantown. Oral tradition says that the area was sold to freed slaves after the Civil War and became known as Freemantown. By the turn of the century, small houses dotted the area, each with a small garden and often livestock such as pigs, chickens and cows. Water was furnished from cisterns and wells. The original 7th Street was dirt, becoming gravel with the use of cars, then rough pavement about 1939. Freemantown was a small African-American community with churches, schools, stores and businesses. Second Baptist's Church stands on the south edge near the site of former Mama Nance’s (Nancy Humphrey’s) grocery store. Bird Kirkland ran his blacksmith business nearby, shoeing horses and fixing wagon wheels. In 1974, Freemantown underwent Urban Renewal which created wider streets and new housing for many of the residents.  On August 5, 1996 the historical marker for Freedmen Town was placed by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.”

History, page four


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