Remembering Raines | Schools

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Remembering Raines
Remembering Raines

Remembering Raines

“A mind is a terrible thing to waste” is
the quote from the United Negro College Fund (UNCF),
the dedicated educators of Raines High School
displayed in the documentary “We Remember Raines”
cared about their students, encouraged
student success and were role models in their communities.

There was no “time to waste, only time to build young minds”
was one of many comments made about the importance of teaching.
Raines has gone through a transformation of leading the state of
Florida with scholars, scholar athletes, influential men and women
that even in the 21st century are powerful in their authority and
authoritative abilities to educate and help youth.

The documentary “We Remember Raines” shows the progression
of a school that influenced not just a community, but a city and
a state, far reaching nationally was its influence.
Raines High School possessed national influence because
of the dedicated and intellectual professional educators
and administrators that graced the Viking Halls. That influence
spread nationally for academic achievements and a reputation of
graduating leaders in disciplines of science, education, business,
sports, medicine and other disciplines. When Raines graduates
spoke others listened for good reason. The accomplishments of
Raines graduates showed how education of Blacks was a high value;
Blacks saw education empowering and culturally unifying.
The education of young African American women and men was
beneficial and empowering. Some saw this as a community
benefit some saw it as a threat.

Raines, a school that had such an impact academically its athletes
were true scholar athletes, other schools locally and state wide
dreamed of the quality of men and women graduating with the skills
to influence and inspire. Raines students did not sit by and let the
world pass them by they possessed a passion for learning and a
mission for success. They understood the stakes were high and that
because of the sacrifice of others they had to be successful. Cultural
unity, family bonding, civic pride and the erudite actions in
everything helped make Raines strong and gave it soul.

There was no expectoration of failures only reaching personal goals
of success. As you watch this documentary look in the eyes of these
students of the past as you watch “We Remember Raines.”
Students had pride in their abilities, pride/respect in their teachers
and understanding of the value for education. The quality of a
“Red Tails” movie/documentary that brings memories of past pride
in accomplishments, achievements nationally and locally,
development of community growth and cultural strength for
African Americans.

This can be seen in “We Remember Raines” The power and glory
of Raines High School has continued to happen with higher education
scholarship, drafting to the ranks of professional athletes, earning
of higher educational degrees and competing for high level careers
in the state of Florida and nationally.

There was no need for a George Lucas Film creation when
Jacksonville’s own Emanuel Washington ’90 graduate of Raines
High School had a dream and a mission to create “We Remember Raines.”
Just as George Lucas used his own resources to create a work of art
that too many did not believe in, Mr. Emanuel Washington used
community resources and built relationships with those in the
community that shared his vision. “We Remember Raines” this
documentary was too important not to be made, to vital to be
left as a dream or a unfulfilled vision. Through the furore and passions
of determination “We Remember Raines” transitioned from the
beginnings of the who/whom of the leadership that elevated
Raines to the academic powerhouse that created a historic
tradition of young men that were taught how to be men of action,
men of conscious, men of honour and men of scholar

The same could be said about the young women of Raines that
learned how to be young ladies of style, grace, pose, and cultural
skills that allowed them as women to manage homes with confidence,
but also learned the value of education and the
empowerment to be able to manage a business, coordinate
family responsibilities as women, earn higher educational degrees
and excel as professional in many areas. Raines High School young
women through their organizations that can be seen the documentary
understood the importance of training and teaching young women
to be leaders as well as managing homes, intelligent managers of
finances and empowered future wives and mothers. These are not
sexists ideologies, but realistic and empowering skills that young
women needed to learn even in the 21st Century.

Raines High School of Duval County Public Schools established a
pride that enveloped a community. The power and influence of
Raines can only be understood while watching the documentary,
there is an understanding the mission of the administration and
teachers who themselves where seasoned educators with life
experiences that allowed them to demonstrate true community
involvement, stake-holdership in the community they lived in
and having earned higher educational degrees. These educators
were role models, influencers in community and their collective
churches. Not only did Raines High School educators walk the
walk, but they talked the talk and could dance the dance. While
the fancy sayings of “Drop It Like Its Hot” may blare from
radios of today, the students of Raines High School of the
past were showing as Maya Angelo’s emotional poetic talents
that in order to thrive and grow as African Americans, Negros
or Blacks that they must “Always Rise.” No matter the challenge,
circumstance or setback Raines students were taught

Before there was a “No Child Left Behind” legislation,
Raines High School administration and educators were
already reaching behind and saving lives through teaching
of students to excel in life not just survive. Casey E. Barnum
stated in a powerful speech in the manner of a historical remembrance,
” Community, Ole La Villa, Ole Duval County and Ole
Jacksonville are usual terms of endearment heard locally; yet,
do we know the true nature or origins of the place we all call,
home? Our individual homes form a microcosm of our community.
Churches and schools offer other vital pieces to our overall First
Coast macrocosm. These three institutions ideally cultivate and
disseminate the physical, mental and spiritual knowledge that’s
essential for a vibrant educational body.

But, throughout the (904) landscape our churches have gone viral
while, our homes and schools have succumbed to the cancer of
malevolence. Meanwhile, benevolent stances have made our
community idle and speechless as the heritage of Ole Stanton,
Ole Douglas Anderson, Ole Matthew Gilbert, Ole Darnell Cookman
and Ole Northwestern were being systematically altered to mere
novelties and old memories; and, not the essential resources that
we remembered them as; those, memorable days allowed each
community of this Bold New City the self sufficiency and the
audacity to collectively once utter such a claim!”

Many want to know why Raines is so successful, why the traditions
of excellence and advancement still is prevalent for the Vikings?
Raines is a rarity in its community admiration, tradition for excellence
and forward thinking to academic subjects that other schools and
school districts try to model. “We Remember Raines” should be a
must see for current Raines students, their parents and future Raines
students. The community must support this documentary not resort to
down playing a masterpiece that has already won awards (Historic
Preservation Societal Award) and nominated for recognition in the
film industry and gaining national attention. The potential for
recognition is unlimited; the passion of this documentary is seen as
each interrelated story blends into a living testament to the importance
of education and the power to influence by dedicated educators,
educators that also thrived to learn themselves.

Remember Raines, be inspired and move to action to continue a
legacy that many have tried to write off as having died, but just as
the poem “Still I Rise” Raines High School

WJCT and Raines Photos

Emanuel Washington and Casey Branum Interview

We Remember Raines -

We Remember Raines wins awards and recognition

The Jacksonville Public Education Fund (One by One)

Northwest Jacksonville Community Development Corporation

Historic Preservation Societal Award
for the “We Remember Raines” Documentary Film Production


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