How did the Hornet become Booker T. Washington High School's mascot? That story is also part of the BTW Athletic Museum.
Booker T. Washington was established as an all-black school with a black panther as a mascot.
It was difficult in those days for a black school to find activities unless they interacted with another all-black student body program. BTW played teams from Arkansas, Texas, and Kansas to find enough games to fill a season.
Two notable young men on one of those early BTW teams were Ben McKinney ("Big Ben') and W.D. Williams. Both were later to become teachers at BTW.
On a football trip to Ft. Smith, Arkansas (and after winning the game, of course), an opposing team's fan asked why most all-black schools used black panthers for a mascot.
This caused some deep thinking during the long bus drive home to Tulsa and the two young men came to a momentous decision.
They would change the mascot and do it right away before anyone had a chance to voice an objection.
Since W.D. Williams was editor of the school newspaper, he helped the staff in putting together a special edition in the middle of the night proclaiming a HORNET as the new mascot.
Why a Hornet?
The way they figured it, nothing stings like a hornet and no other living creature gets "as mad as a hornet." Stir up a hornet's nest and see what happens. There is also a fact that no one has ever caught a hornet.
In looking back to the middle of the night decades ago, these were two young men that changed the image of their school. GO HORNETS!