LEBANON, Mo. – A Lebanon High School senior has received the Princeton University’s Prize in Race Relations award for a documentary about an African American educator.
Abram Barker created the documentary “Good Morning, Mrs. Ford” to showcase Mrs. Eleanor Ford, one of the district’s only African American teachers. She was the first Black teacher in the integrated school.
Ford’s story is told through interviews with her family and friends. According to an article from Missourinet.com’s Alisa Nelson, the school district didn’t fire her after integration, but rather demoted her to the position of librarian. But that ended up giving her more time with ever more students.
Barker’s mother, Elizabeth, recalls her time with Ford.
“She was just such a powerful educator, and just a storyteller, and someone that just had such an incredible impact on the youth of the community for several generations,” she says. “If I was in trouble in the hallway, I knew I was about to receive some extra attention and guidance, and that’s what I was looking for all along with whatever I did that put me out there. And you’ll see in the documentary that everybody that spoke about her has a specific memory and something that she did for them.”
The Princeton Prize in Race Relations (PPRR) recognizes and rewards high school students who, through their volunteer activities, have undertaken significant efforts to advance racial equity and understanding in their schools or communities.
Along with the award, Barker received $1000 and is invited to meet with other award candidates involved in racial justice work.
To view the documentary, “Good Morning, Mrs. Ford”, click here.