William Ferris, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
My career as a folklorist has focused on African American oral tradition with a special interest in music and the blues. This work is inspired by my childhood on our family farm in Warren County, Mississippi. Our family was the only white family on the farm. As a young child, Mary Gordon took me each first Sunday to Rose Hill Church, a black church on the farm, where I learned to sing the spirituals and heard powerful sermons delivered by Reverend Isaac Thomas.