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This is a contributing entry for M.B. Mayfield Heritage Trail and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.

You’ve arrived at the last stop of the M.B. Mayfield Walking Tour in Ecru, Mississippi: the old bus stop. While the exact location of the old bus stop is still unknown, M.B. Mayfield would most likely have left out of Ecru this way when he took a bus directly from Ecru to Oxford in 1949 when he took a leap of faith and went to the University of Mississippi to learn art in secret.

This bus stop marked the start of Mayfield’s journey to refining his art skills at the University of Mississippi. After Dr. Purser discovered Mayfield’s art in the summer of 1949, Mayfield followed Dr. Purser's advice and took the bus to the University of Mississippi in 1949; this would change his life forever. As Mayfield looked out the window of the bus that Monday in October, he reminisced about his life up until that point and dreamed about what lay ahead. Before that first bus ride, he had never even been away from home overnight, and yet, he was about to spend three away from this beloved town of Ecru as he further developed his art style and unofficially became the first Black man to unofficially attend Ole Miss.

This stop also was the bus stop he used years later to leave Oxford and return to Ecru when he came back to town to care for his ill mother. However, that journey was not the end; it was just the beginning of his career as a freelance artist.

Now, follow Mayfield's journey to Oxford in the second part of our tour to learn more about Mayfield’s story!

Entry by Brittany Ellis

Mayfield, M.B.. The Baby Who Crawled Backwards: An Autobiography. Memphis, TN. Langford & Associates, 2003.