New scholarship program also a teaching tool for Black History

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - People who went to school during the time when America's education system was separate, but not equal, are looking to help today's generation reach their dreams.

The first ever Black History Scholarship Golf Tournament was held in Gulfport on Saturday.

Thirty-Third Avenue High School in Gulfport closed in 1969 after integration. Graduates said they have fond memories of their teachers at the all black school.

"We remember those people who really inspired us to understand the importance of education," said J.P. Lawrence, alumnus. "We've got an obligation to do likewise."

To fulfill that obligation the Thirty-Third Avenue High School Alumni Association organized the Black History Scholarship Golf Tournament.

The proceeds will help graduates of the Gulfport school system further their education.

"Education is the secret weapon to enhancing one's life and your outcome in life," Lawrence said. "We believe sincerely that education is only the beginning. If all we can do is simply have an event like this to raise moneys that we can use to help young people go to college or go to vo-tech, we think our goal has been met."

Another goal is to educate young people on why opportunities for a good education should not be taken for granted.

"It will allow us to provide events and publications for students and their parents, the general public and also public officials that will enhance their awareness and understanding of how Brown versus the Board of Education impacted the education of African Americans," said Lawrence.

For some of the tournament players, hanging out with old friends was the best part.

Alumnus Benny Redmond said, "It's great to see old classmates. It's always great to see old classmates."

The Alumni Association said about 30 players came out. The group would like to thank the Buena Vista Golf Course and the city of Gulfport for their help.

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