Johnson Elementary Memorial in Morehouse Parish - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Johnson Elementary Memorial in Morehouse Parish

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MOREHOUSE PARISH La.  (KNOE 8 News) - Old friends celebrated what once was, and unveiled a special monument to preserve a part of their history.

An empty field for more than 40 years was a place revisited Thursday by more than 40 people who all share part of the same history.

"This spot marks the spot where we came for our education. Our early education grades one through eight," said George Payne, a graduate of Johnson Elementary

A two-story brick building named Johnson Elementary once an all-white school became vacant until others turned it into an opportunity in 1951.

The school was preserved and turned into a school for African Americans for 18 years until desegregation.

"After integration there was no need to use this school. Of course it was a small building. Eight classrooms and it was more economical to take the kids to Mer Rouge, To a larger school and to put together those resources to educate them," said Payne.

Johnson elementary was knocked down, and the community unveiled a memorial in it's place.

"You can't take the memories away, we just want generations to know that after us that what used to be in prior years," said Payne.

Frank Mcghee, Jr. Who lives in Houston Texas visited the site Thursday, not only to admire the monument, but to catch up with some old classmates.

"It's rejuvenating, It's revitalizing... It's also an input if you will as each one of us shares things relative to where we are. It's an input into, this is who I am, this is where I used to be, and look at us now. Whatever us now is," said McGhee.

They said that the memories and experiences they had at Johnson Elementary are still strong.

"It really is a reunion. It's like a family reunion as well as a school reunion because again like I said we were a close knit group of people in this community," said Payne.

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