Transcript for The accomplishments from the Douglass Tigers
The community comes to terms with its past wrongs and tries to make it right. ABC's will Carr has more. For more than four decades the Douglas tigers dominated opponents on the basketball court. They're pictures spanning from the 1940s to the 1960s show young teenagers with a true love for the game. Images are black and light the memories are far more murky. Douglas was a segregated all black high school in kings for Tennessee a quiet town nestled into the Holston river that. At that time was split by race much like the rest of the country. In the south Jim Crow laws mandated that blacks segregated themselves in public beauty bourse to drink at a separate water fountains. And anything heat in separate parts of restaurants. Well they have a lot of people places we couldn't go or there were things that we couldn't do. Two movies theaters we incident stairs we could not sit on the first floor. In the late fifties and early sixties Maxi dobbins Johnson played guard on the high school girls team winning trophy after trophy. Competing against other all black schools the boys team even won a state championship before the school shut down in 1966. Many of their trophies disappeared. There are placed inside to pristine cases in dobbins Bennett the all white high school across town. But big tall one. Was right here. But trophy stood out. What a sore thumb for decades students and alumni assumed that trophy had been burned by a wide athletes during the segregation era. It was painful to see that he was painful to walk by and no. It was just sit and myself. Calvin Snead to Douglass high school historian discovered the mistake. Snead didn't downed dozens of the lost Douglas trophies stopped in cardboard boxes inside a dusty closet on the job has been campus. This trophy is needed to come home. There were players out there were only his alumni. That wanted to know what happened to our patrols and to find them it was a blessing. I think Chris pulled a current head coach of the job it's been a boys team found out about the trophies. And the athletes they really belong to. Of the basketball team and they took hand me down journeys from dobbins Bennett. And they would die them in their school colors according to the old timers during games that diet would bleed onto the court. Our guys couldn't fathom live and in those times and that just shows that we've come a long way. So the city pledged to remember at the men and women who played for a school long forgotten. We realized. Then we had a very rich history in both our high schools. That history includes 94 year old William Hickman it's a sky like familiar. Your little via the current food that you says that she were the captain of the football tame. And the co captain of the basketball thing. What position did you play. We'll forward I'd never do school Littman of warmth but I everybody on the line. A three year old Richard waters and on the other hand had a knack for the net. Mount. Milligan a lot of poor. Sense that you met a lot of points and did it feel specialty you to be part of the ten. Where you are. We long and we're wrong. The do you harbor any animosity against the people who discriminated against you know. Why is. I worked through it. More than seventy years. Later water sand and the other countries makers so moving well. Little slower than they once did on the court finally got the full recognition for their community people always deserve. All invited to a trophy presentation at the dolphins didn't basketball games and over the weekend. For one special night the current players even traded in their normal gray maroon jerseys for the original Douglas colors sky blue and gold. This as an African American teacher coach myself. It helps me pay homage to what what those of come before us. And that it knowledge Smits scored big with the former Douglas players. Alone kind coming. But I'm glad it has a Bryant. So is just. Realizing that we are all valued would probably important and we all need to live to camp. And I think that's great inside as he. Today more than fifty years after the Douglas tigers won their last game there accomplishments. And the stories behind them are now on boldest blind. The past has to be acknowledged. You can't know your history until you look back and see where you've come from. Thinking sports and see who pulled. Our thanks to will for that story those trophies back with their rightful owner.
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