A blast from the Class of 1974
By Janice Hayes
The Broward County-Wide Class of 1974 is celebrating its 40th Reunion Anniversary. All Broward County High School graduates from the Class of 1974 will convene Aug. 8-10, 2014 in Fort Lauderdale to celebrate. Classmates are arriving from all over the county to share in this event with family and friends. Arrivals include Fredrick Davis, Durham, N.C.; Gwen Wilson-Robinson, Atlanta, Ga.; John Elliott Gray, Methuen, Ma.; Elton Gaddy, Phenix City, Ala.; Constance Coley McIntosh, Decatur, Ga.; Janis Donaville, Cordova, Tenn.; JoEllen McDaniel-Bostick, Englewood, N.J. and many other cities and states.
“We are all excited to be able to get together and reminisce about the good times ‘back in the day!’ It’s going to be a blast from the past looking at old photos and remembering our awkward teenage years,” said Janice Hayes, treasurer for the Reunion Planning committee.
The Class of ‘74 experienced myriad transitions as they progressed through high school during a very pivotal time at the peak of the struggle for racial and educational equality. Twenty years after Brown vs The Board of Education, wherein the Supreme Court abolished segregation in public schools, the Class of ’74 attended desegregated schools in Broward County.
Ironically, in 1970, Frederick Allen, a member of the Class of 1974, was party to a desegregation law suit that was brought by his father, Attorney W. George Allen and by the president of the Broward County Chapter of the NAACP, et al, against the Board of Public Instruction and the School Superintendent of Broward County, Fla. Also, Congressman Alcee Hastings, then a former judge and community activist, played an integral role in the fight for desegregation, as well. As a result, the district court found that the Broward County School Board was operating a dual school system. The Board was ordered to file a comprehensive plan to establish a unitary school system in Broward County.
Fast forward 40 plus years later, Broward County continues to maintain a unitary school system in the classroom and the boardroom. The Broward County School Board now has a Black school Superintendent, Robert Runcie and a Black, female board member, Dr. Rosalind Osgood, working diligently to improve the plight of all students regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or economic status.
Thus, the Class of ‘74 began in their ninth grade year to attend schools all across the county and many former classmates were split up to attend the different schools. The Broward County-Wide Class of ‘74 Re-union presents the perfect opportunity to reconnect, reminisce and reunite. The Class will also be worshipping together at the 11 a.m. service at New Mount Olive Baptist Church, Dr. Marcus D. Davidson, Senior Pastor.
Although this weekend is focused on celebrating, the Bro-ward County-wide Class of ‘74 engages in charitable activities and their mission is to preserve the legacy of community service by contributing to the educational, economic and social vitality of the community. They have contributed to various charitable initiatives, provided needy families with donations and served as volunteers for many other charitable organizations. We salute the Class of ’74, a real “Class Act.”