Martha Louise Morrow Foxx and Laurence Clifton Jones Inducted into Hall of Fame
Ms. Foxx was the primary teacher of the blind at the Piney Woods Country Life School in Mississippi from 1929 until 1942. She then became principal until 1951, when the school moved to a new campus in Jackson, thus becoming the Mississippi School for Blind Negroes, where she served as director until retirement in 1969. Martha Louise began her journey in the Piney Woods as an 18-year-old graduate of the Overbrook School for the Blind (PA). She went on to study at several colleges during summers, earning her bachelor and master degrees.
Mrs. Foxx became widely known for her innovative and dynamic teaching philosophy which entailed instruction outside the walls of the school. She insisted that the students be allowed to enjoy outings into the woods around Piney Woods School to hone their senses of touch, sound, and smell. Using what were considered to be progressive techniques she taught students to read braille and large print and insisted that they learn to be self reliant and develop careers to insure they would succeed in making their own way after graduating from the school. Teachers, both black and white, from around the country, came to the Piney Woods to learn and embrace her methods – all before PL 94-142, IDEA, and the Civil Rights movement. This was happening in the heart of our segregated country. It took courage, persistence and unlimited patience. Her curriculum was adopted by the “white” school for the blind in the late 1940s.