New Albany, MS– Former students of Union County Training School/B. F. Ford School are gathering in New Albany for the school’s annual alumni reunion this weekend.
Prior to public school integration in the 1960s, black high school students in Union County attended high school at the campus on the hill in southeast New Albany. It was then known as Union County Training School. The name was changed to B. F. Ford as segregation came to an end.
African-American students then started attending what was then W. P. Daniel High School, now New Albany High School.
The reunion will feature a parade starting at B. F. Ford at 10 a.m. Saturday morning, May 25, and winding through downtown New Albany. There will be a picnic at the B. F. Ford campus from noon until 3 p.m. Saturday and a banquet that evening.
NAnewsweb.com visited with some Union County Training School alums Wednesday afternoon in the lobby of the Hampton Inn, where some of those from out-of-town are staying during the reunion events.
Billy Simmons was among them. Simmons left New Albany at age 18, after graduating from the Union County Training School in 1963. He moved to Peoria, Ill., where he worked for Hiram Walker. Then he worked at Caterpillar for 13 years and, following that, 24 years for the city of Peoria.
NAnewsweb interviewed Billy Simmons and will publish more about his recollections of growing up in New Albany in coming days.
To see pictures of the reunion: https://www.nanewsweb.com/2019-reunion-training-school-ford-school/