Saturday, November 13, 2010

My William M. Raines

In 1965, more than ten years after the historic Brown vs Board of Education of Topeka (1954) decision intergration of the Public schools in Duval County had barely begun. Duval County largest high school (No. 165) opened in the Moncrief area of Jacksonville on January 25, 1965. The opening of the school brought about the reassignment of 1,305 black high school students in grades nine through twelve from Northwestern Junior-Senior High School to the new school. The 2000 student capacity high school was a $2 million project and duplicated the new Fletcher High School in the Beaches community. The school opened unnamed and was referred to simply as School No. 165.

Dr. Andrew A. Robinson was appointed principal of the new school. Robinson, a 35 year old African-American and Jacksonville native, held a Bachelor of Science degree from FAMU and a doctorate in education from Columbia U. One of the early black students at Raines, Darryl Wilson, linked Dr. Robinson and his “Ichiban” philosophy as he said:

It is sort of a saying [Ichiban]! There are expectations of things you can do as an individual and in society. You are a representative of society (From picking up a sheet of paper to putting your shirt tail in). The characteristics…if you are going to be number one. You have to behave like Ichiban!

In June of 1965, the school board adopted the name William M. Raines High School for the new school. William M. Raines was a prominent black educator who served as principal of Matthew Gilbert High School in Jacksonville from 1938 until his death in 1950. The students selected the Viking as their mascot and their colors red and grey. They also adopted the motto “Knowledge is Power” and so now School No. 165 had an identity of its own..

(Author D.K. Garrison speaks at the "Rainesmen" induction ceremony)

Congrats to this years inductees...Mr. Ian Tyler Mobley, Mr. Darius Young, Mr. Devron Lester, and Mr. Jerry Brown. Special thanks to Mr. J.C. St. Fleur and Mr. Willie Hall for inviting me to come back to Raines to share Survive365 concepts with its students. Finally, Hats off to Principal George Maxey and his Staff for the continued dedication they have committed to bring Raines back to its EXCELLENCE!!!

For more information on having Author D.K. Garrison speak at your school or organization please contact Kimberly Morrison at 866 642-9125 or email her at:

***Historical info provided by UNF professor

Milano Flascucci~

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