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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Hello 2008! We Have Much To Consider!

From all of the Douglass Alumni Association, your neighbors in Riverview-South Central Kingsport, and our relatives and friends living in faraway lands:


We have a lot to be thankful for, going into this New Year. With the Grace of God, many of us have our health, our families, our friendships, and the heritage of growing up together in our EXTENDED families. Through our compassion for our people, many of our sick and shut-in also know they are loved. Through many years, we have weathered storms many communities and neighborhoods around us are still trying to get a handle on.. Our folks were never afraid to give out advice, and above all, discipline other folks' children when they needed it, because our mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers realized that ALL children need to be kept focused on the things that will make them prosperous adults. Several folks in our community have not afraid to speak out and stand up for the advancement of the neighborhood. Their taking a stand borrowed a line from the movie "Network": WE'RE MAD AS HELL.. AND WE ARE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE! WE weathered many storms because we are proud of our history in Kingsport, and despite our constructive differences, we are always able to sit down and talk out various opinions, to reach one that reflects the betterment of our community.


This year promises to be the Year of Change in Riverview-South Central.. The Historic Riverview Apartments are about to be torn down to make way for the HOPE VI Redevelopment.. our historic Douglass High School is scheduled for a renovation that will, once again, make it The People's Building.. the old historic Central Baptist Church sanctuary has been proposed as an expansion of the Kingsport Boys and Girls Club.. these are among many other renovations and developments planned for our community.

Our corporate neighbors and the City of Kingsport are now taking notice of us, and the pride we have in Riverview-South Central. No longer are folks afraid to invest time, money and energy in our desires and goals, no.. they are now WELCOMING discussion on them. That is a huge step, some say, not seen since the beginnings of the neighborhood.

From the ashes of the chemical dumpsite it was built over, Riverview-South Central is rapidly becoming a source of renewed interest in the future of Kingsport, not to mention the African-American populations of East Tennessee and even Eastern Kentucky, Southwest Virginia, and Western North Carolina.

We will always look back to remember the values that spawned the community integrity for which we are proud. Let us resolve this New Year to continue presenting ideas that will benefit our neighborhood, inspire spirited brotherly-sisterly discussion, and then benefit our people.

For many, many years, our people could only see ahead weeks and months in advance.. our vision was cloudy. Now with a renaissance and rebirth going on in our community, and a rejuvenated interest from the surrounding area in what we are doing in Riverview-South Central, the skies have cleared and we can now look ahead YEARS in advance.

It is now a source of pride in the area to tell people that we are from Riverview-South Central.

THAT is a wonderful feeling, my friends!