THE ICON: Wilbert Rawlins Jr.
THE LEGACY: At Landry-Walker High School, they march for Mr. Rawlins. They don’t march because he tells them to, though. They don’t march because they have to. They march because he makes them want to. That’s because Wilbert Rawlins Jr. is the best kind of teacher: the kind whose passion is infectious, and not just about band — although that’s important, too. He infects his students with a passion for achievement, for self-worth, for the idea of being a part of something bigger and for becoming the best version of themselves possible, whether that’s in the band room, in formation on the parade route, or when they’re at home struggling with that night’s math assignment. So, at Landry-Walker High School, they march for Mr. Rawlins. And whether they realize it or not, when they do, they’re marching for themselves, too.
THE ARTIST: Queen Hope Parker
THE INSPIRATION: “This is the alternative to all that gangbanging and drugs and bull. Band is a full-time job! You go to school all day, and then you got practice till long about seven o’clock. And you been holding yourself (ramrod straight). Got to keep it right. So you’re tired. You can’t be hanging on no street corners.” — Wilbert Rawlins Jr., in a 2008 New Yorker profile