Historian and Vicksburg native Dr. William R. Ferris was honored with the placement of a Mississippi Blues Trail Marker in his honor Tuesday. The marker honoring Ferris, winner of two Grammy Awards for his documentation of blues and other folk legends, is located on the corner of Grove and Washington Streets.
Ferris is a professor of history at UNC–Chapel Hill and an adjunct professor in the Curriculum in Folklore. He is associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South and is widely recognized as a leader in Southern studies, African-American music and folklore. He is the former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Prior to his role at NEH, Ferris served as the founding director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi, where he was a faculty member for 18 years.