By Freedom Whiting
“Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat.” That is the slogan for the Booker T. Washington Senior High graduating class of 1962. And last weekend the class of ’62 celebrated its 50th year class reunion with music, fun and fellowship. The weekend kicked off Friday with a “Reuniting Party” at It’s Personal by Shelia’s banquet room on Cervantes. The banquet room was decorated with a 1960’s era theme as the class of ’62 gathered and conversed with each other.
Saturday, the class of ’62 met at the E.S. Cobb Center for some leisure time fun as they played card games and billiards. You could even here the sounds of dominos slamming on tables as the class members laughed and exchanged stories of the “good ole” days. After the fun and games, the class members were encouraged to learn and participate in the “Barack Twist”. Carolyn Dubose, chairman of the planning committee stated that President Obama is, “Our president and we wanted to give a salute to him.”
Later that evening, the classmates met back at It’s Personal by Shelia to have a Banquet Ball. With the men in nice suits and the ladies in lovely evening gowns, the classmates ate and listened to old Motown hits performed by the live band, Favor. There was also a memorial portion of the evening held in memory of the 70 classmates that have passed away. The following Sunday morning, the class of ’62 attended church service at the 1st Baptist Church of Ferry Pass.
Booker T. Washington Senior High School opened in 1916 in the building that is now known as the J.E. Hall Center. The graduating class of ’62 was one of the few remaining all Black graduating classes before integration was implemented as a result of a federal court order.
Priscilla Johnson, President of B.T. Washington class of 1962, has been organization the class reunions for 20 years. She says putting the reunions together is exhausting but rewarding. “Coming together and reuniting with classmates lets us reminisce and bring back that class spirit,” Johnson said.
With famous Washington high alumni like General “Chappie” James, Jr. and Roy Jones, Jr., the graduating class of ’62 is proud of the legacy that they have left behind at Washington High. As classmate Vannie Jenkins put it, “Those who do great that graduated from Booker T. Washington High, symbolize a part of me.”