After taking a few years off due to the pandemic, the Noxubee County High School Class of 1972 is gearing up for its 50th reunion to be held June 24-26 at Plymouth Bluff.
Co-organizer Linda Adams Brooks said the classmates have been meeting every year since graduating. A different group takes over organizing the activities and each year, the events are different.
This year, Brooks, Dorothy Brooks Burres and Omega Tate are in charge of the festivities. All are Columbus residents. They are hosting this year’s activities at Plymouth Bluff so all classmates will be able to attend.
“Friday night will feature a meet and greet. Saturday, we’ll have a banquet,” Brooks said. “Sunday will be the church service. We’re trying to do as many things outside as possible to be safe and to make people feel comfortable.”
Many members of the Class of 1972 were former students at B.F. Liddell High School in Macon.
The Noxubee County School Board’s integration plan was approved by United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, in the summer of 1970.
Before integration, the Noxubee County school district operated six schools, one white and one nearby Black school located in each of three geographical areas. The white schools had 872 students, while 3,573 attended the Black schools.
According to the ruling in the case of United States vs. Hinds County School Board, Thomas Leroy Richie, a staff specialist in the Education Resource Center of the Department of Education of Mississippi State University, recommended: “As the Noxubee County High School has insufficient science, laboratory and other space for specialized courses for more than 280 students, he approved the board’s proposed assignment of all 12th grade students, county-wide, to this school, and the assignment of county-wide grades 9-11 to the B.F. Liddell High School, a much larger and better equipped facility. He particularly agreed with the school board’s expressed intention of renovating the Noxubee County High School facility to eventually become a centralized high school for grades 9-12.”
Brooks and Tate noted that during their time in school, there were protests and the “schools closed for a bit.”
“And now, we’ve been through the pandemic,” Brooks said of her class, which contained over 200 students. “All of us have stayed in touch and meet almost every year. We are just really tight-knit. … All of us who survive that, we’d like to see each other again and celebrate that God brought us through that.”
During the civil rights movement, the classmates learned to lean on each other, love one another, Brooks said.
“Our children are around the same age, as are our grandchildren. Even they are connecting,’” she said.
Brooks noted that the organizing committee still is looking for classmates.
“A lot of people who we met in 2019 during our last reunion have moved since then and we don’t know where they are,” she said.
People with information on classmates can contact Tate at 662-640-9432.
Brooks noted that even 50 years later, many of the classmates still are finding new connections. For instance, some classmates are now raising their grandchildren.
“As we’re getting older, we are finding out more that we have in common,” she said.
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