Missing For 50 Years, Central High School Composite Resurfaces
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WATER VALLEY – Local historian Calvin Hawkins was very excited when he received a message from Andrea Pullen, his former classmate and owner of Backtrack Antique Station in Water Valley. Pullen received a picture from a colleague, an original composite of the members of the Class of 1952 who graduated from the African-American high school in Coffeeville.
When Pullen asked Hawkins if he wanted to purchase it, of course he said, “yes!”
Hawkins could not believe a picture that was discarded in the trash decades earlier had resurfaced in an antique shop.
Hawkins said he was told that all of the original graduation pictures that hung on the walls at Central High School were thrown away during integration of the schools. The only picture salvaged was the picture of the Principal Mrs. Hattie Berry. The 1952 original graduation picture is the first to surface.
Hawkins is hopeful he will be able to collect all the other original pictures from Central High that have been missing for over 50 years.
Through the help of the alumni of Central High School and Davidson High School and numerous families, Hawkins was able to collect many individual photos of graduating class members to preserve in “Under the Dusty Sands,” a book he published last year featuring more than a century of the county’s African American history.
Hawkins requests anyone who may have an old pictures or artifacts pertaining to either Central High School in Coffeeville or Davidson High School to please contact him at (662) 473-7922.
He is in the process of completing separate books about these schools and would like to add more pictures. He also thanks Pullen for contacting him about such an important piece of history.
“Somebody’s junk is always somebody’s treasures,” Hawkins added.