Fred Douglass High School reunion unveils historical marker

Fred Douglass High School reunion unveils historical marker

JACKSONVILLE, Texas (KLTV) - A special high school reunion in Jacksonville today brought people from many different places and many different generations together.

The Fred Douglass High School All Years Reunion also served as a historic dedication ceremony.

“I’m not bragging at all, but I want everybody to know that I graduated from Frederick Douglass High School in Jacksonville, Texas,” said Dr. Earl Barner to his fellow alumni.

That was something all in attendance had in common today — where they graduated from.

When they graduated may have been decades apart.

“I graduated in 1952,” said Margene Williams, an alumni in attendance.

Saturday’s reunion also held the ceremony for the unveiling of the land’s new historical marker.

“The state of Texas, which forged this marker for us, has a strict set of guidelines it’s not easy to get approval,” said Dr. Deborah Burkett, a representative from the Cherokee County Historical Commission. “But, the alumni association worked day and night to pull together all the resources.”

Some alumni came all the way from Los Angeles, California.

“We want to keep it going,” said Barner. “We don’t want it to die out because there’s a legacy here and we want our descendants and our descendants’ descendants to know where we came from. We came from roots where we had teachers and community people who cared for us and guided us in the right direction."

The oldest alumni in attendance said the day was well worth the wait.

“It means a whole lot,” said Williams. “I’m so happy to see everybody, I’m so glad for the sign, I’m so glad to be here and so proud for the memory of my school.”

The alumni said their next hope is to build a community center on the grounds so future students can continue the Fred Douglass legacy.

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