Don Raymond’s story lives on

The life and legacy of Don Raymond will not be forgotten any time soon, thanks in part to the father and daughter duo of Dwayne and Mya LaGrange.

Raymond, a St. Charles Parish native, lost his life in a tragic 1969 car accident when he was only 16 years old. He was not only one of the first black students to attend Hahnville High School, but he was the first black athlete to ever participate in sports at the school.

Noted as being an independent and self-motivated teenager, Raymond enrolled at HHS under the Freedom of Choice rule, which allowed voluntary but not forced integration. At the time of his death, Raymond was a junior in high school and a member of the football, baseball, basketball and track teams.

The night before the fatal accident, Raymond had participated in four events at a district track meet – and in each event he placed first.

Mya grew up in St. Charles Parish and graduated from Destrehan High School in 2012. As a junior in high school she wrote a children’s book on Raymond’s life.

“I wanted to create something that would share the story with young readers that was age appropriate for them,” she said. “I grew up fascinated with Ruby Bridges. I had the movie on VHS and I had the book … I was even able to meet her a couple of times. So when I heard that a similar story happened right here … to know such a legacy existed so close to me … I was fascinated.”

Mya’s father Dwayne recently visited Luling Elementary and read students there Mya’s book as a part of the school’s Black History Program. She said he plans on visiting other classes and sites to share the book with as many students as possible.

“It was a very inspiring story to write,” Mya said, adding that she hopes to write more children’s’ literature centered around equity and diversity in the future.


About Monique Roth 919 Articles
Roth has both her undergraduate and graduate degree in journalism, which she has utilized in the past as an instructor at Southeastern Louisiana University and a reporter at various newspapers and online publications. She grew up in LaPlace, where she currently resides with her husband and three daughters.

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