Two Historically Black high school rivals put their pride aside to bring unity through gift exchange

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HISD high school rivals exchange helpful for gift for unity

HOUSTON (KIAH) – Two Historically Black high school rivals are putting their pride aside and bringing unity to their hallways by donating COVID-19 masks to each other.

Almost a century-old tradition continues with Phillis Wheatley and Jack Yates High School by exchanging some form of a peace offering. This year it’s face masks with the school’s mascot on them to promote safe practice during the ongoing pandemic.

Jack Yates school alumni presented about 1,000 COVID-19 masks to Phillis Wheatley on Wednesday, November 17th in the school library.

The alumni group plans activities throughout the school year to keep the kids engaged and aware of their school’s history.

The goal is to create unity amongst the rivals. each season the schools exchange some type of “peace offering”. This year it’s face masks. The alumni want the legacy to continue with safety as the first priority.

Every year, the high schools play against each other in a football game called the “Turkey Day Classic”.  Phillis Wheatley Senior Principal Joseph Williams says this is a 94-year tradition.

“We are true rivals but at the end of the day, we’re all family. We’re all HISD family. And I think no better time than now is we really got to work together and be a team and a family. You know- and dealing with this pandemic and so many other things. It’s really important and we want our kids to see it as well,” said Williams.

Jack yates students and staff received their masks last Tuesday.

On the other hand, the principal at Phillis Wheatley says the “Turkey Day Classic” was re-named the “Fall Classic” earlier this year. The game is typically played in October or November. Principal Williams says the game is even bigger than the homecoming games.


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