“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.”
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. 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. The accomplishments of Raines graduates showed how education
of Blacks was a high value; that 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 as Blacks saw education empowering and culturally unifying.
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 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 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 (education).
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
a home 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.
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 “STILL I RISE.”
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
Emanuel Washington and Casey Branum Interview
We Remember Raines - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XkpJhHRNjw
We Remember Raines wins awards and recognition
For more information:
ICHIBAN, Casey E. Barnum
6455 San Juan Ave #17
Jacksonville, Fl. 32210