Just like any other reunion, the alumni of Moton High School stopped at the front table to check in, collect their name badges, and take in the surroundings where they spent a good portion of their youth.
Unlike other high school reunions, Moton’s alumni have a special story.
Moton High School was the only African-American high school in Hernando County, located at 835 School Street in Brooksville.
In the early 1950’s one room schoolhouses around the county were consolidated into larger public schools. The Moton School was one such example of this. The Moton School campus had both an elementary and high school on the same site.
Moton High’s final graduating class was in 1968. Following desegregation in 1969, black students entering high school attended Hernando High. The earliest graduates attending the June 23, 2018 reunion graduated in 1943.
Thomas Floyd, class of 1963 is the President and organizer of the reunion.
Music played as the alums greeted friends and classmates and looked through several years of memorabilia and year books on display. Before dinner was served, some attendees participated in a fashion show where they showcased great looks, stepping in time to modern and retro dance music.
Several spoke of their lives following high school, which included attending college, returning to teach at Moton, and some moved to other areas, only to realize Brooksville was their true home. Some married their high school sweethearts over 50 years ago.
Notable Motonians include Hazel Land, the First African-American Woman to enroll at University of Florida Law School and the first African-American female graduate, Ralph Pearson Former Chief Circuit Court Judge of Dade County (a 1962 graduate) and Irvin Homer, a prominent volunteer in the county. Moton Alum Jim McRae, also Class of 1962, is the author of “The 10 Dollar Car” which is available to purchase on Amazon.
The late Ida Stubbs taught sixth grade social studies at the school and she was a devoted fan of the L.A. Dodgers since they signed Jackie Robinson in 1947. She had a television in her classroom and she always allowed her class to watch the World Series when the games were on during school time. John D. Floyd was the last principal of Moton High prior to desegregation. The elementary school, J.D. Floyd K-8 is named for him.
The class of 1968 participated in a program called Upward Bound which was part of Lyndon B. Johnson’s civil rights legislation to fight the war on poverty. Upward Bound aims to assist certain categories of high school students in obtaining a college education. One example would be the children of parents who never attended college.
Moton’s prom was always a big social event for the community and the high school juniors were responsible for decorating. In attending the joyful reunion, one can imagine what those proms may have been like.