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Susie Marshall, Freedmen's Town
Photographer Martin J. Dain visited Oxford in the early 1960s to document William Faulkner’s fabled Yoknapatawpha County. With many days spent wandering and photographing, Dain eventually stumbled upon the African-American-owned B & B Cafe that was tucked away in an alley on the northwest side of the town’s square. Luckily, he snapped a few photographs while he was there. The picture here is one of the very few, if not the only, known images of the place. While long gone, the cafe is still part of the collective memory, and there are many locals who are quick to share their stories.
Susie Marshall served over 41 years, from 1937 to 1978, as an educator in Oxford and Lafayette County. She was a Jeanne Supervisor for 26 African-American Lafayette schools from 1952 to 1964. She graduated from Rust College in elementary education in 1952 and received a Masters Degree from the University of Mississippi in 1972. Here, Mrs. Marshall recounts tales of fortune tellers, fried pies, and an Oxford that has seen plenty of changes over the last handful of decades.
Visit this website for more information on African-American history in Oxford, Mississippi.