First Alumni Day: stories of sports, struggles, pride, success

at work

by Carmen Cummings

I knew nothing about Mack’s history until the Alumni Day — the first we’ve ever had at the school.   I learned about Mack’s past history of basketball dominance (Bill Russell, Antonio Davis, Hook Mitchell) and its ties to the Black Panther party in the 1960s.

I didn’t know we had a school song.  I thought they would sing it, but nobody did.

We had panels about college, the Black Panther Party, and school traditions. The Black Panther grew after they led a protest after a school-age boy was hit when there were no traffic lights in the neighborhood.

I didn’t know that J.W. McClymomds was a school superintendent in Oakland . Also,  I found out that students call the lunch “Patty” because it was the last name of the woman who served lunch at Mack and also free lunch for students everywhere. The little things that I’ve learned today helped me imagine how Mack used to be and still can become.

People outside of our community only hear the bad things about McClymonds but never know the history and how we strive through our everyday struggles.

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