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October 18, 2013

Former student shares memories of Lincoln Schools in documentary


A former Chickasha student traveled from his current residence in Milwaukee to share his memories of Lincoln Schools. 

Lafayette has translated his memories into a documentary that will be shown at the 2014 Storytelling Event, presented by the Loretta Y. Jackson African American Historical Society. This year, the event will focus on Lincoln School and its rich history. 

Lafayette and his wife, Venora McKinney, met with Loretta Y. Jackson of the Loretta Y. Jackson African American Historical Society to tour the Verden one room schoolhouse. 

The McKinney family, Jackson said, were highly regarded by the Lincoln School community. Parents hoped that their children would pattern themselves after the McKinney children, of which their were nine, all students of Lincoln School. 

In the documentary, Lafayette recalls the readers that Lincoln Students used that were aimed towards African American students. These readers used photos of actual African American students and teachers and talked about the positive influence of African American leaders in society. 

Lafayette also shared his recollections of the different idiosyncrasies of the different teachers that he had at Lincoln School. For example, one teacher had a poster covered in paper pockets. Each pocket had the name of each student in the class. Students who remembered to bring a handkerchief to class put a white card in the pocket. Not remembering to bring a handkerchief resulted in steep consequences, Lafayette said. 

In addition to historical photos of the school, the documentary shows the neighborhood surrounding the school including houses, churches and Lincoln School today. 

Lafayette put the documentary together in a few weeks. He said that he had the memories and knew what he wanted to say but did research to find documentation and graphics. 

While the viewer sees the school through Lafayette's experience, the former student said he wanted the documentary to celebrate the school.

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