But, as I said, the building is special to me. I am proud to have been hired by Principal Higgins for the job at this school (He must have been desperate to fill the open position.). It was later that I learned of the history of Page-Woodson Fifth Year Center: in a previous life, the property was a "Segregated Negro High School". It was Douglas High, complete with a large indoor swimming pool and an amazing old theater. I dreamed about bringing those facilities back to life.
I was standing in an exceptional place. Duke Ellington had performed on that stage. Oklahoma-City-born Ralph Ellison spoke from that stage. Marian Anderson sang there. And Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, walked across those boards. I wasn't there for the speeches or the music, but I feel a connection just because one of the rooms in the school was designated as mine back in 1990.
I wish I had known the significance of the place when I was there. I would have looked more closely at the sculptures on the outside of the building. I would have listened for the voices in the walls. I would have sought more information about the "black" history. The videos here tell some of the history.