There have been protests against the plans to demolish Booker T. Washington, as it is one of the oldest and largest New Orleans High Schools. The opening in 1942 of Booker T., as it is commonly known, was cause for celebration for African-American in New Orleans. Booker T., located next to the Calliope Projects, was a first in the city: a state-of-the-art facility built specifically for African-American education. Forty years earlier, the New Orleans School Board had vowed to limit black education to the fifth grade, and now Booker T. stood as an important accomplishment: a learning facility that rivaled even the best white high schools. It has a magnificent auditorium with a stage that has been graced by legends such as Ray Charles, Paul Robeson, Marian Anderson, Dizzie Gillespie, Mahalia Jackson and Louis Armstrong.
Places like Booker T. are alive. Even though it has been abandoned since Hurricane Katrina, Booker T. still holds an immense amount of energy from the 63 years it was full of students and teachers. Tens of thousands of teenagers have walked through the hallways, learned in the classrooms and sat in the massive auditorium. The walls have seen laughs, cries, friendship and fights; they have watched children learn valuable life lessons and witnessed their growth into adults.
The mural depicts the eye of Booker T. Washington High School and attempts to depict the life of the historic school. This amazing place is in its dying days. It will soon be destroyed by giant wrecking balls and will be reduced to a pile of bricks and wood. The only thing that will be left of Booker T., will be the countless memories that its former students and teachers hold. This film is meant to share with you the spirit of Booker T. It is a testament to the life of an important piece of New Orleans' history, a history that needs to live on long after Booker T. is gone.