Alumni From Former All-Black High School Reunite - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Alumni From Former All-Black High School Reunite



    I.M. Terrell's alumni base may be shrinking, but the graduates of Fort Worth's only all-black school are still celebrating reunions. (Published Saturday, July 23, 2011)

    Alumni from a former all-black high school in Fort Worth are reuniting this weekend, almost 40 years after the school closed down. I.M. Terrell's alumni group is getting smaller by the year, so every year is that much more special.

    The men and women who gathered at Sycamore Creek Park Saturday went to high school when racial segregation was still going on in Fort Worth. I.M. Terrell alumni from the 1930's through the 70's came together to celebrate.

    James Mallard from the class of '54 organized the reunion, which included a picnic, a car show, and a golf tournament.

    "It's wonderful to me to grow up as I did and to be educated. We had some good teachers. I mean, we were brought up well," said Mallard.

    During its time, I.M. Terrell was Tarrant County's only all-black high school. It was named after a former principal, and students were bussed in from all over North Texas. The high school shut down in 1973 and re-opened in 1998 as an elementary school.

    Joann Lewis is one of the high school's youngest alumni and was sad to see the campus close.

    "We were just crying all the way back," said Lewis. "Even when we see each other on the street, it's like it's still a reunion. You see I'm out here sweating. Yeah, it's fun. I wouldn't miss it."

    I.M. Terrell still has thousands of alumni across the country, but that number is shrinking. No more students are graduating.

    Charles McDade, 89, is one of the few alumni from his class of 1942 who's still alive.

    "I enjoy talking with them. And they tell me about the time when they came out of school and whatever and football season," said McDade, now a great-grandfather.

    And they'll reminisce all weekend over food and music.