(KTAL/KMSS) SHREVEPORT, La – Booker T. Washington High School is celebrating 70 years since opening its doors back in 1950.
“It brings a good feeling to you, knowing that you are apart of a historic site, you are on a historic site every day, it makes me want to pursue more excellence so that we can get our name more out there,” said Jamie Smith, current student of BTW.
The students and faculty Thursday morning held a birthday celebration in the school’s auditorium, reflecting back on the school’s past.
With alumni in attendance who attended the school when it first opened.
“I want to be out there and known, I want to better my education and they make me want to come back to B-T and exchange knowledge to other kids so that they can know this school is a legend,” said Jeszickyren Turks, current student of BTW.
BTW opened its doors for African American students when Central Colored High School closed.
“That made a big difference in the educational opportunities for black students especially,” said Courtland Milloy, a former faculty member of BTW.
Courtland Milloy is the only living faculty member left from 1950.
“And enjoyed every moment of it, I thank Booker T. Washington, it was the best thing that happens to Caddo Parish in its entire history,” Milloy said.
Milloy was 24 when he started teaching at BTW he says the school was the only way for blacks to get a high school education during that time.
BTW wasn’t only opened for Caddo parish students but also surrounding areas like Vivian.
“Vivian had no transportation they had no way to get a high school education until Booker Washington was constructed because there was no busing,” said Milloy.
The school’s day-long celebration ended with a pep rally.