The Bethune Legacy Project (BLP) interviews began in 2007 to research legacy families who are multi-generational graduates of Bethune Cookman College and Bethune Cookman University to chronicle proud Wildcat families whose stories richly infuse our traditions.

Students of Oral History were guided to conduct pre-interview research, including searching B-CC and B-CU yearbooks and Family History Portfolios generated in HI 130 African-American History classes. The class compiled questions, conducted interviews, prepared verbatim transcripts and kept records, all according to the International Oral History Association. Ongoing study will yield trend analysis of Bethune-Legacy Projects by region, gender, generation, career, political and social involvement, changes in B-CC and B-CU over the generations, achievements and contributions, life-changing experiences, enfranchisement, local, national and global impact.

The BCU Oral History Collection philosophy is underpinned with the following sentiment:

“Most human affairs happen without leaving vestiges or records of any kind behind them. The past, having happened, has perished with only occasional traces. To begin with, although the absolute number of historical writings is staggering, only a small part of what happened in the past was ever observed. And only a part of what was observed in the past was remembered by those who observed it; only a part of what was remembered was recorded; only a part of what was recorded has survived; only a part of what survived has come to the historians’ attention; only a part of what has come to their attention is credible; only a part of what is credible has been grasped; and only a part of what has been grasped can be expounded or narrated by the historian.”

—Louis Gottschalk, Understanding History (1969)

Featured Interviews

PinderEpiscopal priest Father Canon Nelson Wardell Pinder from Miami, FL and his wife Marian Grant Pinder from Jacksonville met on the campus of Bethune Cookman University. Father Pinder earned a Religion and Philosophy degree in 1956 and Mrs. Pinder earned a BS in Social Science in 1958. The Pinder’s two children Gail and Nelson II, granddaughter Crystal Priester, her aunt Sherry Parramore, niece and nephew, Nicole Pinder and George Alan Pinder and other extended family members all graduated from Bethune Cookman College or Bethune Cookman University, thus making the Pinder family the personification of a Bethune-Cookman Legacy Family.


BLP Documentary

Project Created By Dr. Jeannette Ford, Associate Professor. Produced & Edited by Maurice Hendricks - Robert Frederick Smith Fund Intern Summer 2019. Narrated by Dr. Clarissa West-White - Robert Frederick Smith Fund Intern Summer 2019.