I had the pleasure to watch the students of Douglas Anderson School of the Arts last night April 9, 2021) in their production, "D. A Hands." To say it was a treat is an understatement. These young gifted Black and White students, tackled some of today's "thorniest" problems in an upfront and honest "issues production" about Racism, Respect et al, under the direction of faculty member Keith Johnston.
They wrote the script, as I understand, and of course were the actors. One of the key "acts" was set in Jacksonville in the mid-20's and revolved around Douglas Anderson, the Black community leader who was responsible for the construction of this segregated school for Blacks in 1922. The school was named for Douglas Anderson in 1945.
These students understand many of the issues they are facing during this "integration generation" as many Black students did during the "segregation generation." They dealt with the "uncomfortable array of subjects" including Race and Racism in less than an hour, traversing more than 100 years here in Jacksonville. Their insight could have been--and is--instructive for many adults.
In addition to the varied school persons in attendance, many of whom I did not know, let me drop a few names of those I do know who attended to show "support" ... a delegation of alumni from Douglas Anderson Junior Senior High school during the days of school segregation ... Chris Janson and family...Rudy F. Jr. Jamison and Lauren, Temeka R. Perry, and Tiffany Clark.
Great job to all the students, and especially Douglas Anderson students and actors-Danyel Clark and Lydia Hanson-pictured with me. (I hope I spelled Lydia's name correctly.) They still had another performance later last night. VERY PROUD! ASE'!
Rodney. L. Hurst, Sr.