McKinley Alumni Newsletter

Black History Month 2022

From Pebbles to Platinum

Winter 2022  //  McKinley High School Honors the Legacy // Issue 18

Let’s agree that Black History is American history, Nevertheless, America is currently facing cases of parents and school boards around the country charging that knowledge of our country’s painful past could be harmful to the psyches of some children. As a result, certain classes and libraries might be forced to omit some of our history. But McKinley, which began as the little pebble called Hickory Street School, must not forget that though the world changes, the fight for right never ends.

 We must keep our history alive by remembering the road many traveled to create a school where all are welcome to partake of a quality education. McKinley has indeed risen from a pebble, polished and changing col-ors over the years, to its distinghished position today. Like platinum, that soft and very precious metal, McKinley’s place in Baton Rouge is treasured and priceless. We, the McKinley family, must remain ac-tivists in the fight to ensure that the history of our people and of course our school is never lost.

Visit by education secretary

The Honorable Miguel Cardonas, Secretary of Education under President Joe Biden, paid a visit to the McKinley Alumni Center earlier this month. The purpose of his visit was to observe several area schools, including McKinley Middle Magnet. At the recommendation of scholo superintendent, Sito Narcisse, however, he detoured several blocks over for a few minutes to check out the “Center. His expressed desire was to see the museum.

Rev. Dale Flowers, McKinley Alumni Association President

Rev. Dale W. Flowers


From the Pen of the Alumni Association President

Looking back over the history of our people in this country and McKinley in particular, I cannot help but be thankful for God’s bounty of the wonderful gift of education that McKinley has been. Yet I am troubled by the many challenges fac-ing our young people, who will be charged with changing the world for the better. One hundred years ago, students faced poverty, poor facilities and sometimes the difficulty of just getting to school. Today, however, they confront a society permeated with guns, drugs and an ever-present social media that threatens to their worth. Add to that the effects of Covid-19 and the rise in Black teen suicide that has come as a result, and I realize that we who are the beneficiaries of McKinley’s gifts must seek ways to support our young people as they navigate the difficult waters of today’s world. Let us vow to live out the words of Hebrews: Don’t forget to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

New Neighbor: Eva Legarde Research Center for Coastal & Environmental Studies

The former Polk Elementary in school year 2022-23, is proposed to become a grade 6-12 school, focusing on coastal and environmental issues in conjunction with LSU. Although some McKinley alumni members have voiced concerns about a school in such close proximity to McKinley, they have been assured that the new school will have a much smaller population, with no traditional sports, and will, therefore, serve as a complement to McKinley. The school is named in honor of Eva Legarde, a former School Board member, the first Baton Rouge public school to be named for an African American.

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