SPENCER — Jaylen Mustin's uncle, aunt and grandfather all graduated from Dunjee High School.
And though the historically black school has been closed for 41 years, Mustin got the chance on Monday night to represent his family's legacy at the Oklahoma City school.
Mustin and the rest of the Star Spencer boys basketball team donned gold jerseys with “Dunjee” across the front, a salute to the school that was folded into Star Spencer in the fall of 1972.
“It's like we're bringing back history, because Dunjee went through a lot,” said Mustin, who scored eight points in the 85-68 win over ASTEC Charter with some of his family members from Dunjee in attendance. “To represent the people that went to Dunjee is an honor, and I'm just grateful to get to represent them.”
Dunjee held an impactful place in Oklahoma's history through desegregation and the civil rights movement. The school was named for Roscoe Dunjee, who from 1915-55 published The Black Dispatch, a weekly newspaper that included his personal editorials on racism and the pursuit of civil rights.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall delivered the eulogy at Dunjee's funeral in 1965.
“Roscoe Dunjee gave us the inspiration to get the job done. He didn't wait for anybody else,” Marshall said at the service.
“Roscoe could have been the wealthiest man in the world, but he never wanted anything for himself. He wanted for his people.”
Another key figure in the state's civil rights movement, Clara Luper, taught at Dungee High School, and worked with Roscoe Dunjee on the NAACP's youth council, which organized several sit-ins in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Segregation of schools was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1954, but Dunjee survived for nearly two more decades. But by 1972, the school board closed the deteriorating school as many of its students were being bussed to other schools, primarily Star Spencer.
Following Monday's game, the team posed for a photo with all of the Dunjee alumni who were able to attend the game. It was a special night all the way around, as Star Spencer honored a part of its heritage.
“It means a lot to show that we support everything that school had to go through when it was closed, and give back to the community,” said Star Spencer senior Keyon Prince, who scored 22 points Monday. “We got to meet the people who went there. They tell us stories from the school, so it's pretty neat.”
This was the fourth straight year that Star Spencer has honored the Dunjee Tigers, and coach Patrick Cudjoe sees the importance it has to the community around Spencer.
Cudjoe said holding the event during Black History Month added to its impact.
“During desegregation, they started sending all those students to Star Spencer, and those kids were forgotten about,” Cudjoe said. “They're adults now, grandparents and great-grandparents, and they deserve to be honored. It's fun for us to put on these gold uniforms and bring everybody out.
“Each year this gets bigger and bigger. They come and they show their Dunjee pride. It's a lot of fun for everybody.”