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The classes of 1965: Together after 50 years and telling our story

TownsendNelsonThe classes of 1965: Together after 50 years and telling our story

Members of the 1965 graduating classes of Booker T. Washington, Miami Northwestern and North Dade High Schools are all anxiously awaiting their 50th class reunions in 2015.

Representatives from three of the five historically Black high schools formed a collaborative to plan and present a “kick-off” event prior to the individual school celebrations.

Because we were born into segregation, and graduated high school just after the civil rights act was passed, we have always been on the cutting edge of civil rights developments. Our cohorts have a unique perspective on race relations in this country.

Joint Gathering

This reunion ‘kick-off” celebration is a luncheon scheduled for Feb. 7, 2015 at the Miami Shores Country Club, and will focus on the telling of many stories of how civil rights impacted our lives. The goals are to foster camaraderie between the classes, encourage participation in each school’s 50th reunion activities, provide support for each school’s reunion activities, and take a look back to see how far we have come as 50 year graduates. This will be an exciting and nostalgic occasion, and the community is invited to join us.

Telling Our Stories

During committee discussions the group realized the unique commonality of their classes because of the civil rights events of their lifetime. As a result, this collaborative project was developed.

Our classes have memories that tell a story about how they experienced, and were affected by, the civil rights struggle and advances during both segregation and integration. All of the 1965 graduates have experienced unique perspectives of American history. Born into segregation and emancipated into adulthood on the cusp of newly legislated integration laws, many of us have gripping stories to tell. This generation has been identified as Colored, Negro, Black, and African-American. We have been first in institutions of higher learning, work places and neighborhoods. These stories must not be lost in history; we must tell the children.

Class members have been asked to share their personal “memorable story” as an African-American living through the period from 1947 to present. Their story may be selected and developed as an evocative vignette to be performed at the event. North Dade class of 1965 graduate, Leroy Meadows, assistant professor of Theatre Arts/Technical Director of Performing Arts Center at Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) will turn the stories into vignettes which will be performed at the luncheon. Class members were asked to reflect on their experiences before and after the civil rights act. The stories will reflect actual experiences, feelings about the experiences, and any impact on their lives.

Please save the date – Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015 – and mark your calendars for the collaborative luncheon affair at the Miami Shores Country Club. The luncheon cost is $50.00, and tickets can be secured from committee members listed below.

BTW – Ralph Williams (305) 625-8593 or Hattie Jackson-Johnson (770-676-4764); MNW — June Small Garvin (321) 733-0958 or Rudean Tucker Jackson (305) 688-4539 and ND — Jackie Davis-Christian (352) 745-2005  or Richard Miller (305-987-1071)

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