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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! (Again, Again... and Again)

Once again, as predicted... Snowman-making weather hit Riverview and South Central Kingsport over the weekend of January 30th, 2010.

The third major snowstorm struck the neighborhood Friday and Saturday, keeping most people inside, but bringing some parents outside to help the kids rebuild the snowperson that melted only a few short weeks ago.

To see a slideshow of the January 30, 2010 snowfall from Willie Hodges, please click here.

"In different places, I measured anywhere from 5 to 7 inches," says Riverview resident Jeannie Hodge, whose husband Willie, snapped a few pictures for us. Official estimates from the National Weather Service raised the snowfall amount to close to 8 inches east of Kingsport into Southwest Virginia and Western North Carolina.

The snow started overnight Friday, and continued well into Saturday morning. "We haven't had this much snow in years in the neighborhood."

The first snowfall that hit Riverview back in December landed anywhere from 7 to 10 inches total, triggering many nostalgic comments from former residents and Douglass alumni about how it reminded them of days past, when the advent of frozen precipitation would created a quietness in the streets.. a cold blanked of serenity in Riverview. The only sounds you'd hear, would be kids sledding and sliding down Clay Hill (those who didn't have sleds, improvised with cardboard boxes), or snowball fights (the bigger kids used to slip rocks in theirs), or riding bicycles fast down the street, then skidding out sideways like the Dukes of Hazzard.

On this third snowfall of the 2010 season, the quiet serenity is still present, but much of the excitement of a snowfall is lost during the renovation and reconstruction work going on in Riverview.

"The manager was smiling at the Food City," Jeannie laughs. "He told one of the news people that this time, he was ready and ordered early. More milk and more bread was here, and he didn't run out."

Van Dobbins, Jr. reports that Manna meals did not serve on Saturday. Normally, the service visits the sick and shut-in with hot meals, to make up for the one they don't get from Meals On Wheels during the week. "Some of the hills, we just could not get up or down on," he reports.

Your Douglass website sent out an advanced weather warning this time, using information from the National Weather Service, WCYB-TV, information about weather patterns learned over the years from doing weather in Knoxville, and personal knowledge of how the weather usually has been in Riverview over many years. That forecast is still posted. Using that comparison, we were able to come up with a forecast that projected on the low end, what the community would get, and what the high end would also be.

"You and Mark Reynolds on Channel 11 started warning people early," Jeannie says, "and that was good. Usually, the weather people get it wrong, but this time, you all hit it right on the head."

Please watch out for icy spots, though. As the snow melts, it'll create a sheet of wetness on the streets and roads. At night with below-freezing temperatures, that sheet is liable to change over to a sheet of ice.

But until the snow is gone (which should be in the next few days), at least for a while anyway, it's snowpeople-making time in Riverview!

Thelma Watterson: National Chemical Technician of the Year!

We all know Thelma Watterson has an analytical mind.

You have to have one, to serve as the Douglass Alumni Association Executive/Working Board's Recording Secretary.

Now, everybody else knows that she's a winner.

Our Thelma Watterson is the 2010 National Chemical Technician of the Year. The award is given for technical and communication skills, safety, reliability, leadership, teamwork, publications and presentations, and is given annually by the American Chemical Society.

Thelma is a personal care formulator at Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport. Her specific job is to define and help compose the fragrances for personal care products, like deodorants, body sprays, and things of that nature for Eastman's Food Ingredients and Personal Care Performance Chemicals Division.

"I formulate personal care products, like deodorants, body sprays, things of that nature for Eastman. I take a list of ingredients and I put them together to see which one gives me the best results. It's like working from a recipe."

There were 13 other people around the country who also qualified for the award, but Thelma came in first, highlighting a 33-year career at Eastman. According to a news release on the award, she is an expert technician and scientist in fibers, filks, polymers, controlled release, instrumentation, automaktion, analytical testing, laboratory synthesis, statistical designs, interpretation of data and formulation.

Folks in the business world have been noticing her expertise.

"As I looked through her notebook," says Dr. Kevin Edgar, former professor at Virginia Tech, "I realized something astonishing... virtually every single experiment Ms. Watterson ever ran for me, ended u as part of a technical report, patent application or publication. She worked so carefully and diligently, her pride in her work was so strong, and her hunger to learn was so intense.. she made very experiment count. There was no carelessness, she did not permit poor communication, and her productivity was, as a result, remarkable. Indeed.. no other technician in my 27 years at Eastman so impressed me with care and dedication."

"I had no idea I was even nominated," Thelma says. "My boss came into my office one day with this grin on his face and I'm thinking, 'what's going on?' He says, 'we have just scheduled an impromptu meeting in the conference room.' I go in there and I'm the only technician in the room. 'Uh oh.. this is not good.' Somebody on the speaker phone goes 'we have just awarded Thelma Watterson the National Chemical Technician Award.' It still hadn't sunk in. The voice on the phone keeps talking and all of a sudden, it hits me: 'THIS IS NATIONAL!' Even now, it's still sinking in, because I didn't even know I was nominated."

In 2000, Thelma improved the quality of test samples for successful evaluations at one customer site, that resulted in business opportunities that made up 75 per cent of one company's business. Not only did she come up with appropriate samples, she also trained others to do it as well. In 2007-2008, she made such significant progress in a new project for the same company, it resulted in more than doubling the size of the business opportunity for a major project.

Right now, Thelma has more than 60 publications, patents and presentations to her credit. For winning National Chemical Technician of the Year, she'll receive $1,000, and will be presented the award at an honorary dinner at the American Chemical Society's Spring National Meeting in San Francisco, all expenses paid.

Thelma has many outside activities. She serves on the Committee on Technician Affairs, Northeast Tennessee Section.. trustee board member at the Shiloh Baptist Church, where she's also a choir member and hospitality committee member. She also serves as the Recording Secretary of the Douglass Alumni Association - Kingsport, and is the organizer for the Senior Citizen Nutrition Program.

She also has advice for future chemists and scientists.

""Always do your best," she says, "and don't give up your goals. If something ever goes wrong, it won't be your fault if you never give up. You never know, somebody might be watching your work. Somebody certainly was watching mine, so always do your best."

And the winners are ...



The Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship recently recognized several businesses at the 2009 Annual KOSBE Awards ceremony. Here are the winners:

*Joyce Grills won the KOSBE Impact Award. Joyce is the owner of The Haggle Shop on Broad Street in downtown Kingsport, won the Impact Award for an outstanding individual and small business advocate.

*Edo Sushi Bar & Grill, owned by May Ling Hu-Lai and Benson Lai, won first place in the young entrepreneur category.

*Phil’s Dream Pit, took first place in the new business category.

*Clean + Safe Janitorial Services, LLC, owned by John Humphries, won first place in the business excellence category for businesses employing 10 or more people.

*Maxwell Coach Company, Inc., owned by Charles W. Maxwell, took first place in the business excellence category for businesses employing fewer than 10 employees.

Maxwell launched the business in May 2005, offering coach services throughout the region and beyond. Today the company operates two large capacity coaches — one equipped with 56 seats and the other with 50 seats — in addition to a 15-passenger van and a 7-passenger van.
“Maxwell Coach Company is committed to community enrichment,” Maxwell wrote in his contest application.
For the past four years, the company has provided transportation for children at the Kingsport Boys and Girls Club. It also provides transportation for seniors for special activities, including annually providing free transportation for a senior picnic.
For several years, Maxwell Coach has offered free transportation as a silent auction item for Friends in Need, the Ameri- can Heart Association, and the Kingsport Boys & Girls Club.
Last year, the company was selected by the city of Kingsport to transport city officials to Washington, D.C., to accept an award from Harvard University’s Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.
In addition to local community involvement, the company has been involved in relief efforts in Louisiana to evacuate victims of Hurricane Gustav, and in Mississippi to assist tree workers in Hattiesburg after Hurricane Katrina.
“As a service-connected veteran and minority owned small business, we face challenges and adversity daily,” Maxwell wrote in his contest application. “I believe and trust in God, who gives me the power to manage the stress from work and family in order to endure and overcome adversity. Adversity has made me the man that I am today and Maxwell Coach the company it is today. Since most businesses do not make it beyond four years, I am especially proud of the fact that we have continued to grow in sales volume and profitability.”
Maxwell was born in Washington, D.C., but grew up in Kingsport, graduating from Dobyns-Bennett High School in 1986.
For more information, visit or contact Maxwell at or (423) 276-3677.
The runner up in this category was A Team Real Estate Professionals, owned by Pam Addington. A Team has remained among the top five agencies in Kingsport, and is 10th in Northeast Tennessee.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Upcoming Black History Month Concert


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for Riverview and South Central Kingsport

If you live in Riverview and South Central Kingsport, get your stuff done early and prepare to hunker down again this weekend, JANUARY 29th, 30TH and 31ST. This advisory is for your Friday, Saturday and Sunday planning purposes from the National Weather Service, Morristown:

"Confidence is high that the depth of cold air will be sufficient for the precipitation to be ALL SNOW across Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia and the Tennessee mountains. Snow amounts of 6 to 10 inches will be possible, perhaps more in the higher elevations."

"A Winter Storm Watch is in effect from Friday afternoon through Saturday afternoon for Sullivan, Hawkins, Washington and Greene Counties in Tennessee; and Scott, Washington and Wise Counties in Virginia."

Forecasts for Riverview and South Central Kingsport are:

Thursday: Partly cloudy with a high of 47, and a low of 25 Friday morning.
Friday: SNOW on Friday with a high of 35 and a low of 27 Saturday morning.
Saturday: SNOW on Saturday with a high of 30 and a low of 12 Sunday morning.
Sunday: Partly cloudy with a high of 32, and a low of 14 Monday morning.

Realistically, I think Riverview might get 4 to 6 inches of snow, as of Thursday's weather-model observations. Please watch this page for revisions leading into Friday, but right now, this storm looks to be as threatening as the other one that hit the neighborhood back in December.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Helen Patterson Passing

We have just received word that former Riverview resident Helen Patterson has passed in Columbus, Ohio.

Helen was the wife of Douglass alumnus Henry Patterson, and the mother to Hank, Mike, Robbie and Tracy Patterson, formerly of Dunbar Street.

Funeral arrangements are forthcoming.

Free H1N1 vaccinations POSTPONED


• BLOUNTVILLE — The Sullivan County Regional Health Department will be holding free vaccination clinics for H1N1 at the Sullivan North High School in Kingsport. two sites from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, February 6th in Kingsport and Bristol. The clinic is open from 10 AM to 3 PM on February 6th, and is available to anyone six months of age or older. No appointments are necessary.

The event is being put off for a week, because of the impending bad weather coming to Kingsport on January 29, 30, and 31.

Johnnie Mae Swaggerty reports that she will be giving free rides to the clinic to any Riverview senior desiring to go, on a first-come, first-serve basis.

“H1N1 continues to circulate in the community, and the best protection continues to be vaccination,” said Dr. Stephen May, regional medical director for the Sullivan County Regional Health Department. More information on H1N1 flu is available online at, or Questions may also be directed to the Sullivan County Regional Health Department at 279-2663.

Dr. Harvey C. Jenkins: An Artwork Sensation!

"I am limited only by the media I can control.. if I don't command the media, I can't look at creative things that I could consider in artwork."

To sit down with a true artist like Professor Harvey C. Jenkins, is to let one's mind float off into the subliminal.. a walk through the abstract. It's a journey where the mind escapes the limits of one's own imagination.

Dr. Jenkins specializes in sculptures, ceramics, and digital photography. His artwork is one of the featured exhibits during Kingsport's celebration of Black History Month. We sat down with him to explore the various interpretations of art.

To view a slideshow of Dr. Jenkins' artwork on display at the Kingsport Renaissance Center, please click here.

To see the individual pictures for download, please click here.

"I think art should say something profound, really make a statement," Dr. Jenkins says. "There's no receptive impact unless it slaps you in the face. Sometimes there is artwork that just sits there, it doesn't really say anything, there's no rhyme or reason to it, but even then, it doesn't mean that it's not making a statement."

"It's all in the way the observer sees it," he says. "If they want to get something out of the artwork, they'll find it, and it's always in the very first impression they get of it."


The former professor of art at North Carolina's Fayetteville State University (1964 - 2005) says, artwork mediums can blend together with each lending itself to the collaberative art message.

"A camera can take a picture with much more detail," he says, "and then, a metal sculpture can be much more abstract. If someone asks me what I meant by a particular sculpture, my response might be 'what do you think I meant, just by looking at it and making a decision.' That gets the flow of ideas going and when that happens, the artwork can be considered a success. It's a HUGE success, if several people get several different ideas going, generating a informational discussion about the form, the design, and the layout."

"You never want to influence the recipient," he says. "You want them to think about it."

Dr. Jenkins likens the interpretation of artwork, to music.

"People can easily understand the rhythms of music.. they do that very quickly," he says. "Within 10 seconds, they can tell you whether they like the song or not, either its harmony, its melody, its words, its general combination of musical notes. That's really all it is. Artwork can be the same way.. it is an abstract way of viewing music in the physical form. You either like it or you don't like it, but one thing's for sure. For less than 10 seconds, it commands your attention while your mind decides what to think about it."

Since his retirement from teaching, Dr. Jenkins has been on the tour circuit with his artwork, appreciating the chance to challenge different minds with his artwork. He says he's excited to bring his artwork to Kingsport.

"I'm happy to show my works in this great city of Kingsport, on the occasion of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. I have met him twice in my lifetime, and it was a rewarding experience."

It was at that point, your author and Dr. Jenkins began relating Dr. King to artistry in his own right.

"I attended a conference back in the 60's in downtown Atlanta," he remembers. "And some members of the conference remarked, 'we ought to stop by Rev. King's church, it's only a few blocks away. We decided to go, and not only can I remember the sermon he preached, but the WAY he preached it. It was in a repetitive, rhythmatic tone. Different people express their artistry in different ways, and he was masterful in his manner of speaking."

Could Rev. King have been an artist in his own right.. a master in the artwork of the spoken word?

"Indeed," Dr. Jenkins noted, "he had a style of speaking, that lulled you along, almost melodiously, without your even knowing that you were being mesmerized with his tone, the repetitiveness, the harmony of his voice. President Obama has the same gift.. an emotional method of reaching out to someone through the tones of his voice with again, that unnoticeable reptition of words he wants to emphasize."

Dr. Jenkins' artwork, sculpture, ceramics and photography will be on exhibit on the second floor of Kingsport's Renaissance Center Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 8 PM, and Saturday from 9 AM to 12 Noon. The Renaissance Center is located at 1200 E. Center Street in Kingsport.. the phone number is (423) 392-8414.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Douglass Alumni Working Board/Executive Board Meeting Minutes

January 23, 2010

In Attendance:

Andra Watterson, Douglas Releford, Louetta Hall, Sandra Wilmer, Lillian Leeper, Ozine Bly, Kathy Evans, Thelma Watterson, Calvin Sneed, Dawnella Ellis, Sheila Leeper, Judy Phillips.

Meeting was bought to order by President Douglas Releford, prayer by Chaplin Louetta Hall.

Minutes of the last meeting was read by Secretary Thelma Watterson, motion to accept the minutes were made by Calvin Sneed with the necessary corrections. Motion carried.

Financial Report was presented by Sandra Wilmer

She stated that there is $6,167.42 in the treasury and $423.54 in the scholarship fund. Motion to accept the financial report was made by Louetta Hall, second by Andra Watterson. Motion carried.

Old Business:

Ozine Bly wanted to know if there were any notable changes to the Douglass Alumni by-laws. Calvin Sneed stated that there were additions, subtractions and modifications and that the updated by-laws are posted on the Douglass Alumni website.

To see the new updated by-laws, please click HERE

News from the October Community Meeting:

Calvin stated that he pulled 46 pictures from the Douglass Annuals, those pictures will be enlarged and placed in the lobby of City Hall for Black History Month with descriptions of each picture. Later the pictures will be place in the V.O. Dobbins Community room, hallways and etc.

The V.O. Dobbins Center is now the V.O. Dobbins Complex. There were some concerns about the use of complex, but Calvin explained that Alumni and Riverview resident voters who picked complex, agreed with the city that "complex" in this instance is used as a noun and not an adjective. Also there are many other organizations that will occupy the building.

New Business:

Douglass Releford stated that Jeffery Faulkerson was instrumental in helping us obtain our 501 (C) 3 status,and Jeffrey asked Douglas if we (the Alumni Association) could make a donation to his organization. Andra Watterson suggested $200. Motion to accept was made by Andra, second by Louetta Hall. Motion carried.

Calvin Sneed presented the Charter Business Quote. Charter Communications is the company that the Kingsport has picked to service the V.O. Dobbins Complex non-profit offices. The Working Board chose Offer 1 for $89.99 with a 12-month term. The packet includes Charter Business High-Speed Internet, up to 10Mbps, and a Charter Business Telephone. One business phone line, 12 calling features, and Unlimited Long Distance. Ozine Bly suggested that we accept the Charter Offer 1 and next year we could add it to our proposal.

Douglas Releford commented that we should be moved in our office the week of July 4th, if not sooner.

He also stated that the furniture will be used items. We will have stainless steel appliances (stove, refrigerator). We will also have 2 new computers, monitors and a color printer.

Andra Watterson will donate a stainless steel microwave and coffee pot in memory of her (Father, Mother, and Sister).

Thelma Watterson will donate a toaster.

He also passed around a letter from The House of Representative State of Tennessee from State Representative Tony Shipley, inviting the Alumni Association to the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Sit-In.

Douglas Releford met with Morris Baker, who is over an organization that gives grants to minorities. The grant will help promote Black Art. We could even get a part-time secretary if the minority grant is awarded. Louetta Hall suggested that we could volunteer a couple of hours a day to be in the office, and it was suggested that we make out a volunteer schedule so those that want to volunteer could sign up.

Calvin Sneed has been working extensively for two months with Jill Ellis (Mama Ellis) about the Rosenwald Schools and trying to obtain a historical Monument for Douglass School. We have somuch information about the school that the monument will be two sided. The monument is paid for. Deciding a place to put the monument was tabled for our February meeting.

To read the website article on our historic Douglass-Rosenwald School in Kingsport, please click here.

Calvin Sneed will travel to Nashville February 10, 2010 where he was invited to attend the Metro-Nashville Historical Committee that approves markers for the state Historical Commission. On February 19, 2010 the Tennessee Historical Committee will meet to decide whether the historical marker will be granted, and a group of alumni should make the trip, to meet with Nashville Douglass Alumni, and the upper East Tennessee legislative delegation when the Commission decides whether to approve an historical marker for Douglass.

Lillian Leeper stated that she would like to see all the work that Calvin is doing published in the Kingsport Times-News.

Louetta Hall commented that she never understood why Douglass was called Douglass High School when the building housed elementary grades also.

Adjournment was made by President Douglas Releford, Second by Thelma Watterson.

Next meeting will be February 27, 2010. Meeting place, TBA.

Respectfully Submitted:

Thelma Watterson, Recording Secretary

Vaughn Picks up Petition for Rematch with Shipley

Tony Shipley defeated Nathan Vaughn by 326 votes in a contentious 2008 race.



Former Tennessee Democratic state Rep. Nathan Vaughn of Kingsport has picked up a nominating petition to again run for the 2nd House District seat, according to Sullivan County Elections Administrator Jason Booher.
To become an official candidate, the petition must be filed by noon on April 1st.

The man who defeated Vaughn by 326 votes in a contentious 2008 race, first-term incumbent GOP state Rep. Tony Shipley of Kingsport, has already filed his petition with the Sullivan County Election Commission.

Vaughn’s defeat caused a domino effect in Tennessee politics, with the GOP gaining a one-vote majority in the House and maintaining its working majority in the Senate.
With control of both houses of the legislature, Democratic county election administrators were replaced with Republicans across the state.
Democratic constitutional officers were replaced by the legislature with Republicans, and GOP lawmakers also used their power to pass pro-gun and pro-life measures in 2009.


Republican tactics used to unseat Vaughn, who became Northeast Tennessee’s first African-American state lawmaker in 2002, still evoke bitter feelings among Democrats.
A Tennessee House GOP research analyst entered a guilty plea last year to a misdemeanor charge of using Vaughn’s name in a fake Internet campaign against him.
Vaughn had a restraining order issued to forbid the analyst, Scott Gilmer, from using Web domain names such as www.nathan, www.nathanvaughn. net and
Gilmer was paid for “consulting” out of Republican campaign accounts and remains employed as a state aide to House GOP Caucus Chairman Glen Casada of Franklin.
One of the trick Web sites said Vaughn was a friend of organized labor.
In August 2008, the Kingsport Firefighters Association and Kingsport Coalition of Police held a re-election rally for Vaughn. After that event, images from the rally were posted on the address and a message asked the public to “join the AFL-CIO and other unions in supporting Rep. Nathan Vaughn.” The Web page called Vaughn “one of the loudest voices on behalf of Big Labor.”
According to state election law, communication in the candidate’s name is supposed to be authorized by the candidate, his campaign or his representative.
During the campaign against Shipley, Vaughn was also attacked in a Tennessee Republican Party direct mail piece that electronically pasted a picture of his head on a blackbird.
Vaughn was portrayed in the direct mail piece as “part of the liberal, big government flock” with President Barack Obama and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Defeated GOP presidential nominee John McCain beat Obama by 41 points in Sullivan County — or more than 26,000 votes.
Tennessee’s 2nd House District includes parts of Kingsport, Colonial Heights, Indian Springs and Sullivan Gardens.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Douglass Alumni Board Meeting

The Working and Executive Boards of the Douglass Alumni Association-Kingsport will meet next Saturday, January 23, 2010 at 1:30 PM.

The meeting will be held at the Bethel AME Zion Church on Mapleoak Lane in Kingsport.

All board members are requested to attend.

The Dream Continues

At right, Pinkie Horton lights a candle during the annual Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Candlelight Vigil at Glen Bruce Park in downtown Kingsport.

To see the slideshow on the annual Candlelight Vigil in memory of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Dr. please click here.

Some people like to download the pictures they see on the Douglass website.
If you would like to download the pictures from the Candlelight Vigil, please click here.

Below, Trey Richardson and Cassius Wyckoff hold candles Monday night in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Glen Bruce Park and listen to community members celebrate and reflect on his legacy during the fifth annual candlelight vigil hosted by Riverview New Vision Youth and the Kingsport Parks and Recreation Department.

Below, New Vision Youth sing ‘This Little Light of Mine’ at the end of the program.

Candles were lit by and for the following organizations:

Girls, Inc.
Kingsport Fire Department
Kingsport Police Department
Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce
National Guard Armory
Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen
Kingsport and Riverview Boys and Girls Clubs
Kingsport Ministerial Alliance
Kingsport Board of Education
Holston Valley Medical Center
Indian Path Medical Center
Douglass Alumni Association - Kingsport
Northeast Tennessee Red Cross
Kingsport Parks and Recreation Community Services
Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Kingsport
Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority
Sullivan County Health Department

Central Baptist Church
First Broad Street United Methodist Church
First Broad Street Presbyterian Church
Grace Church

Kingsport Residents Parade Down Center Street to Mark MLK Day

‘Just looking, I think this is the biggest participation rate we’ve had.’
— Rev. Ronnie Collins


Pictures by David Grace, Times-News and Calvin Sneed

KINGSPORT — “This is not just a walk down Center Street. This is a walk with purpose.”


To see a slideshow of the parade, from start to finish, please click here.

Some folks might like to download the pictures for family and friends, or just for themselves. To see the individual pictures for downloading, please click here.

Following in the footsteps of thousands who marched the streets of the South generations ago, the Rev. Ronnie Collins and one of the biggest gatherings ever for Kingsport’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade took peaceful steps down the city’s main route Monday.
Collins said he and his group Tennessee/Virginia Fellowship Against Racism have reached four major goals in working with city leaders in relation to the MLK holiday, including the school system recognizing the day “other than a snow day.”

“Just looking, I think this is the biggest participation rate we’ve had. I think 150 is the biggest, and I think we’ve gone past that today,” Collins said.
He said getting even more groups, organizations and individuals to join the parade down Center Street will be the next challenge the group takes on.
“We have to get this parade to become part of the mainstream here in Kingsport,” he said.

“Everyone thinks that the beginning of the parade season starts with the Fourth of July parade or Fun Fest. We need to let and show everyone that that season starts in January with this one,” Collins said. “The resources are there. We have our school children sitting at home on a day like this. They should know about (Dr. King’s) legacy. We plan to get things together and go before the city school board and try to get some things done.”

The event officially began in 1998 when a march was held along the same downtown route. Organizers got formal parade applications processed by city officials beginning in 2000.
“At that time, I would say there were more people out here because they were mad about things. Now it’s a celebration. We ain’t mad at nobody,” said former Tennessee House representative and businessman Nathan Vaughn.

Betsy Pierce grew up in the coal mining community of Dante in Russell County and then moved to the Model City when she married. During those years, she remembers segregated restaurants and African-Americans having to sit at the backs of buses.
She said Monday’s gathering gave her a great feeling and a sense of real progress.
“I come from a long line of black people who struggled to get by, to live one with another. I think we have a long way to go, but things are better,” said Pierce.


Monday, January 18, 2010

A Month to Remember


Jerry Machen hangs one of his pieces of rug art for the Black History Month art show at the Kingsport Renaissance Center recently. The show kicks off Tuesday with a reception in the Atrium Gallery at 4 p.m. with speakers Dr. Harvey Jenkins, a former professor of art at Fayetteville State University, and Kingsport native Don Hickman, author of ‘Truth Matters.’

Friday, January 15, 2010

Accused Racist Graffiti Writer Asks For Diversion


KINGSPORT - A 19-year-old Kingsport man has applied for pretrial diversion on a vandalism charge alleging he spraypainted graffiti that police have described as, "racist, obscene and threatening to President Obama" on an I-26 overpass.

Andy B. Frye, 1608 Seaver Road, asked for pretrial diversion following his arraignment on a charge of vandalism over $500 in Blountville court Thursday. Frye was indicted on the charge in September 2009.

According to Baker and Associates Civil and Criminal Trial Lawyers, a person who applies for pre-trial diversion in Tennessee has a background check done by the District Attorney through the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Taken into consideration is the person's personal history including jobs, previous record, references from people who know the defendant, etc., in an effort to find out whether the person is a pre-trial diversion candidate. The prosecutor then negotiates with the defense attorney any conditions the person will have to fulfill, if pre-trial diversion is a qualifying solution to the case. If pre-trial diversion is granted and the person successfully completes the terms set forth by the court, the charge can be dropped.

According to a Kingsport Police Department news release issued after Frye's arrest, the vandalism on the Meadowview Parkway I-26 overpass was reported on April 19th. Some of the graffiti referred to Obama as "the modern Hitler," while other beams on the underpass read "all blacks must die" and "KKK."

Photos of the graffiti are posted on the Web site of the Douglass Alumni Association, a community group based in the Riverview section of Kingsport.

Det. Chris Tincher said Frye was developed as a suspect following a report on the vandalism that was aired by WCYB-TV. Anonymous tipsters then contacted Kingsport police and implicated Frye. Tipsters said Frye had also posted racist and anti-Obama comments on the Internet, but authorities were unable to verify those claims, Tincher said.

Sullivan County Assistant District Attorney Gene Perrin said a decision whether to grant Frye pretrial diversion may be announced at Frye's next court appearance on March 29th.

EDITOR'S NOTE: To view a slide show of the racist graffiti painted on the Meadowview I-26 overpass in April, 2009, please click here.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

MLK-Black History Month Preview

Please click here for an update on the upcoming Martin Luther King and Black History Month Celebrations.

Kingsport to observe MLK Day with parade, vigil


KINGSPORT — A noontime parade, a church celebration and a candlelight vigil are scheduled as part of Martin Luther King Jr. Day observances in Kingsport.
The Greater Kingsport Ministerial Alliance will host the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Service at Bethel A.M.E. Zion Church Sunday at 6 p.m.
The guest speaker will be Bishop Warren M. Brown, Fort Washington, Md., presiding prelate of the Mid Atlantic II Episcopal District of the A.M.E. Zion Church.
A native of Knoxville, Brown recently celebrated 50 years in the gospel ministry. He has held pastoral assignments in Knoxville and Morristown, North Carolina, New York, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C.
Currently Brown serves as secretary of the Board of Trustees of Livingstone College in Salisbury, N.C., is a member of the executive committee of the World Methodist Council, and is president of the Board of Bishops of the A.M. E. Zion Church. He has been honored by Livingstone College Alumni with the “Outstanding Service Award.”
The 10th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade will be held in Kingsport Monday beginning at noon at the intersection of East Sevier and Center streets downtown.
The theme this year is “Remember! Celebrate! Act! — A Day On, Not A Day Off.”
The purpose of the parade is to “celebrate a part of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech coming to fruition with the election of the first African-American as the president of the United States,” said Ronnie Collins, general overseer of the Tennessee and Virginia Fellowship Against Racism and East Tennessee Full Gospel Baptist Fellowship Inc.
“A parade is more inclusive. We’re continuing to put forth every effort for diversity and unity,” said Collins, organizer of the parade.
Monday evening, the fifth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Candlelight Vigil will be held at 6 p.m. at Glen Bruce Park in Kingsport. The event is sponsored by the Kingsport Parks and Recreation Community Services and New Vision Youth.
Churches involved in the event include First Broad Street United Methodist Church, First Broad Street Baptist Church and First Broad Street Presbyterian Church.
Other participating organizations at the event will be Girls Inc., Kingsport Fire Department, Kingsport Police Department, Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce, National Guard Armory, Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen, Kingsport and Riverview Boys and Girls Clubs, Kingsport Ministerial Alliance, Kingsport Board of Education, Holston Valley Medical Center, Indian Path Medical Center, Douglass High School Alumni, Northeast Tennessee Red Cross, Kingsport Parks and Recreation Community Services, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Kingsport, Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority, and the Sullivan County Health Department.
Representatives of Grace Church in Kingsport will light a candle for the earthquake victims in Haiti, and a candle will be lit in memory of Jalissa Ferguson.
The public is invited to attend and bring a candle.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Rosenwald Influence: A Douglass Experience



Your former Douglass High School has an historic connection.. another dimension that brings along a GREAT amount of pride with it.

Douglass was a Rosenwald School.

Not the school building on Louis Street, built in 1951. The FIRST Douglass School building on East Sevier Avenue at Center Street, built in 1928, was a Rosenwald School. Although the school name was changed from Oklahoma Grove to the Douglass School in 1929, the original name for the new building on file at the Tennessee Department of Education in Nashville long ago, was "The Douglass-Rosenwald School."

So, exactly what is a Rosenwald School?


This story begins in the early part of the 20th century with Booker T. Washington, the great champion of African-American justice. Washington drew lots of attention from white politicians, philanthropists, and educators, as he sought to make life better for his people.

First of all, understand that Booker T. Washington was a very smart man.

Although he knew his people needed to help themselves, he also thought the best way for his people to move forward was for them to be educated. Getting a good education, he always felt, would not only help African-Americans survive, it would elevate them in the eyes of white people. One of his main goals was for rural black children to have safe, multi-purpose school buildings. It was a lofty goal--most black schools in the South were dilapidated structures.. drafty buildings with rats in the corners, and walls that could barely stand.

Washington wanted better for his people, and he knew any improvement would cost money.

It was to that end, he always somehow surrounded himself with influential whites people of the time.. businessmen, movers and shakers, industrialists, men of character, men of financial integrity.


One of those men was Julius Rosenwald.

Rosenwald, the son of Jewish immigrants from Germany, was a partner in Sears, Roebuck and Company back in the early 1900's. By establishing the company's soon-to-be-famous mail-order business, he rescued the store chain from bankruptcy and became a wealthy man. Rosenwald had many philanthropic interests, among them, the plight of African-Americans. He donated millions of dollars for programs to help the underprivileged in his hometown of Chicago, and many other large cities. His spirit of giving to what he considered worthwhile causes was well documented.

Booker T. Washington saw the financial potential in that, and named Rosenwald a Board member at Tuskegee Institute, the African-American school for higher learning he led.

Their friendship grew quite strong.


If it were possible to overhear one of their many conversations, as they strolled along the campus at Tuskegee.. "You know, my friend," Washington probably said, "I'm encouraged by the wonderful education the students are getting here on campus."

"They do seem to be learning a lot," Rosenwald probably replied, as the birds chirped in the breeze. "It amazes me how they get to campus, and they leave smarter than when they got here."

"You know, if we could just touch their lives early on," Washington might have responded.. "Their elementary schools are so run down, it's difficult to shape those little minds.. if their parochial schools don't provide a good enough atmosphere to learn. I wonder how we could remedy that?"

"Those children deserve the same kind of learning environment as the white children down the street," probably offered Rosenwald.

"I'll tell you what," Washington continued. "Let's pick some schools to experiment with, I know of a couple close by. Let's fix 'em up, make them places that the children will want to come to, and we'll see what happens."

"I like that idea, my friend," Rosenwald probably said, as they turned a corner of the historic Tuskegee campus, toward the warm Alabama sunset.


Washington wasted no time.

He picked 6 rundown black elementary schools in the immediate Tuskegee area hidden in the rolling hills of the rural Alabama countryside. The Loachopoka School in Lee County, Alabama, was the very first Rosenwald School, to feel the buzz of the saw, the hammering of the nail and the sweat of the brow. True to his word, Julius Rosenwald donated money from his own pocket to rebuild Loachopoka and the 5 other schools. He mandated warm classrooms and school lunches, together with black instructors who had a knack for teaching black children.

The results were impressive.

Black children immediately embraced their new learning environment. So impressed was Rosenwald that he established a fund, for the sole purpose of either building new, or refurbishing old, black elementary and high schools around the South. Through the Rosenwald Foundation, headquartered in Chicago with an administrative office in Nashville, Tennessee, 4,977 schools, shop buildings and teacher homes were built, a total of 5,401 structures in all.

But African-Americans had to prove they deserved the schools. Black residents had to also contribute money, and the Rosenwald Foundation would also put up funds, to show the white school boards and districts they meant business.


"What struck me and what I think is very important to remember," says Dr. Nancy Stetten, Education Consultant with the Tennessee Department of Education in Nashville, "is to realize the extent to which the local community contributed to the construction of the schools. I don't know if white schools had to be built with the help of donations from local people, but if you check the Rosenwald Schools, you'll see that the local black community gave financial support to constructing the building, along with financial support from the Rosenwald Foundation, and ultimately the white Board of Education."

"Back then, that was obviously a strain for the black people of the community," she says. "There were not a lot of very wealthy people there, but they did contribute."


400 miles from Tuskegee and a world away from Alabama, the Oklahoma School was struggling dearly as the educational institution for African-Americans in Kingsport, Tennessee. It was passed down to the black community when the city built a new school for the white children that formerly occupied it. Oklahoma's history pre-dated all the other schools in Kingsport, and even the incorporation of Kingsport as a city. Located in an open area near the Robert E. Lee School location, Oklahoma was renamed the Oklahoma Grove School for the stand of oak trees that surrounded it.

According to ole timers in the black community, the school had been given to them in a run-down condition at first, and local parents had already been struggling to keep it standing. At first, the school housed about 40 black children, but the student population was growing rapidly. Learning in a distracted environment, soon became a challenge.


It was no secret that many of Kingsport's black parents used their skills to shore up the building and make repairs, so that their children could learn in a comfortable environment. Stoking the fireplace, patching the walls, sometimes right in the middle of classes, students huddled up in the winter, sweating and fanning in the spring... through pictures and personal accounts, the building was lucky to be standing--every year, the building deteriorated even more, such that repairs became futile at best.

Any subsequent attempt at finding and locating the school in pre-occupied buildings, produced the same results for the African-American community. Each time the "Oak Grove School" moved to locations at Walnut Avenue (now Sevier) and Myrtle Street, and the 700 block of Sullivan Street at "5-Points" where the chinese restaurant is now located, students and teachers found the buildings in deplorable condition.

Eventually, Kingsport's apparent dead-end attempts to locate a permanent home for the city's African-American children to learn, attracted the attention of the Rosenwald Foundation, which immediately came forward with a plan to help fund a new all-black school for the city.

To the rescue came Robert E. Clay, Julius Rosenwald's state agent in charge of dispensing funds for the Rosenwald Foundation, based in Nashville.

"Bob Clay was a very dynamic and pursuasive speaker," remembers Jill Ellis, who, as a child, attended many meetings with her parents the Looney's, that Clay would hold. "Anywhere he could speak to a group of black residents, be it at churches, meetings, programs, picnics.. you would find him there, convincing black people to give up their money to help build local schools for black children. And you've got to remember.. 25 cents here, 50 cents there, a dollar around the corner.. that was a lot of money back during the Great Depression. Black people did not have a lot of money. But that's where Clay's charisma came in: 'Let us build these schools so that our black children can learn in a positive environment, just like the white children.' Somehow he got it."

"Clay was a native of Bristol," says Mrs. Ellis, "I don't know if it was Tennessee or Virginia. Even though he was serious in his fundraising, I always remembered him to be a fun person, always laughing, always loving a good joke, and having a special feeling for Bristol, Kingsport and Johnson City. But it was Kingsport he made a special emphasis for, in the Tri-Cities."

"He may have been less successful in fundraising in his hometown and in Johnson City, but based on the contributions from the black people of Kingsport, he made quite an impact."

According to the Rosenwald Card File Database at Nashville's Fisk University, the Douglass-Rosenwald School in Kingsport was built in 1928-1929 on 2 acres at the corner of the old Bristol Highway (now Center Street) and East Walnut Avenue (now East Sevier Avenue) at a total cost of $52,235 dollars.

Of that, the file notes that local Negroes (as referenced in the file) contributed $400 dollars, and the Rosenwald Foundation put up $3,150 dollars towards the construction. Once the Kingsport City School Board saw that the community was giving of its own money and an outside source was willing to help finance a new building, the Board allocated the remaining $48,775.

The building was an eight-teacher type structure. Rosenwald Foundation planners had one type of school, designed for a north-south plat, and also one for an east-west facing. The Douglass-Rosenwald School would be a north-south design, which mandated two wings of classrooms on either end of the main building, with the center reserved for a combiled auditorium-cafeteria. Offices, restrooms, clothes closets and other needed rooms would be in the center as well.

Comparing the blueprint plan with the Douglass-Rosenwald School that was built, shows the exact nature of the construction. Because of the growing number of black children, the Douglass facility was also built as a 2-story structure, something Rosenwald scholars noted, happened occasionally, but not often. The school was ready for occupancy by the fall of 1929, and the move wasn't a minute too soon. School Board records show the black student population in Kingsport had more than quadrupled since 1920.

Please click here to see the data card file for the Douglass-Rosenwald School in Kingsport.

The Douglass Elementary-High School in Kingsport was one of 375 Rosenwald Schools eventually built in Tennessee. The Foundation made financial contributions in many other states, all of them south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

Alabama - 405 schools
Florida - 127 schools
Georgia - 271 schools
Kentucky - 161 schools
Maryland - 155 schools
Mississippi - 639 schools
North Carolina - 819 schools
South Carolina - 503 schools
Tennessee - 375 schools
Virginia - 382 schools

Arkansas - 391 schools
Louisiana - 442 schools
Missouri - 5 schools
Oklahoma - 199 schools
Texas - 526 schools

"The Rosenwald Foundation did not provide ALL of the money to build the black schools," Dr. Stetten noted. "It wasn't even a majority of the funding. But it was that little extra push that was the difference in it happening, or not happening. There could have been the feeling by the local school board that if they didn't take the money, they could lose it. That's only speculation on my part."

Although Douglass-Rosenwald was of the eight-teacher type, there were also plans from one-room schools, to 8 or 10 rooms. The Rosenwald Foundation even built homes for teachers, and shops for schools it did not build.

Please click here to see the blueprint plans for all the Rosenwald Schools.


"It was the very strong combination of several beliefs that education was the way to help their children," Dr. Stetten says of the local African-American contribution to building the new school. "Research shows the black schools back then were very underfunded, and if parents wanted their children to succeed and get more education than they had, they would have contribute something financially themselves."

"It makes me sad to think that many people nowadays think public schools are failures, that they feel that our children are not learning as they should," Dr. Stetten says, "and then, there's the legacy of these Rosenwald Schools. Back then, these schools were viewed as the greatest hope for our children, which is a long-lost view of our history. The Rosenwald Schools were neat and tidy buildings, they were well-built, beautiful and well-designed. They showed care in their design, and that showed care for our children, that we cared enough to have them in good schools."

"I can just imagine the difference it must have made to the black school children and their families, when suddenly they were moved to a much nicer school. The learning level probably jumped tremendously."

Our research for this article shows that Douglass was one of four schools that received Rosenwald funds.


Another Rosenwald School was the all-black New Canton-Rosenwald School, in the New Canton Community in Eastern Hawkins County. The database indicates that school was built during the same years (1928-1929) as the Douglass School, and was a two-teacher design school.

Please click here to see the original data card file on the New Canton-Rosenwald School in Hawkins County.

Black folk in the New Canton community contributed $400 dollars for a new school to replace the one that was falling apart at the time, and the Rosenwald Foundation put up $750 dollars, which included a special aid contribution of $250 dollars. The remaining $1,700 dollars was funded by the Hawkins County School Board, and the New Canton School was built on 2 acres in the vicinity of the Allen's Chapel AME Church, at a total cost of $2,850 dollars.


A third area Rosenwald School was the all-black Prospect School in Scott Couunty, Virginia. Database information shows that the $2,300 dollar total cost, consisted of both the black community and several whites in Gate City contributed $600 dollars, Rosenwald funds gave $500 dollars, and the Scott County Board of Education made up the remaining $1,200 dollars.

Please click here to see the data file card on the Prospect-Rosenwald School in Gate City, Virginia.

The Prospect-Rosenwald School started out built to "Tuskegee standards" as a two-teacher type school built in 1923-1924, but was later expanded to the four-teacher type design, then five-teacher in 1925, with the funding as follows: black contributions $2,000 dollars... white contributions $300 dollars... Scott County Board of Education, $4,000 dollars, and Rosenwald funds, $1,100 dollars.


We also noted a contribution to the Langston School in Johnson City, for the construction of a shop building in 1929-1930, which stood separate from the main school building. The six-room shop's total cost of $16,500 dollars was funded with $14,100 dollars of Johnson City School Board funds, and $2,400 dollars in Rosenwald funds. Although Rosenwald funds helped build the shop building, no Rosenwald money was spent on the Langston School building itself; there Langston itself is not considered a Rosenwald School.

Please click here to see the data file card for the Rosenwald "Shop at Langston School" in Johnson City.

Probably the biggest surprise in our Rosenwald research is in Kingsport, at 1000 Summer Street.

The Lincoln School was also a Rosenwald School.

Was Lincoln one of Kingsport's all-black elementary schools?

The evidence would seem so, although early school records do not indicate this.

Both Lincoln and Jackson Schools were proposed and built in 1921, and Lincoln eventually moved into its current building (at right), at the same time (late 20's - early 30's) that a new all-black elementary-high school building was proposed to replace the old all-black Oklahoma Grove school building. The new "Oak Grove" school was never built, but both Lincoln-Rosenwald and Jackson Schools were, with Lincoln-Rosenwald constructed on 3 acres just off the old Bristol Highway (now Center Street). The Lincoln-Rosenwald School was built for a total cost of $13,392 dollars, of which Negroes (as referenced in the file) contributed $300 dollars, the Rosenwald Foundation $850 dollars, and the Kingsport Board of Education put up the remaining $12,542 dollars.

Please click here to see the data file card for the Lincoln (Lincoln-Rosenwald) School in Kingsport.

And therein, lies a lot of confusion.

To date, there is no evidence that black children ever attended Lincoln in the
1930's, even though evidence exists that African-Americans did contribute to its construction in the years 1930-1931.

"I have no idea why Lincoln, a white school, ended up with Rosenwald funds," says Mrs. Ellis. "Clearly, Rosenwald intended his funding to help build black schools, but it's hard to tell if Kingsport had any ulterior motives back then by getting Rosenwald money for Lincoln. After all, the Oklahoma Grove School still existed AFTER Lincoln received funding from the black community and Rosenwald. The name 'Abraham Lincoln' held a lot of clout and was much revered in the black community. It's only speculation on my part, but perhaps somebody on the Board of Education may have said, 'with Kingsport growing so fast (which it was doing rapidly in the 20's and 30's, here are some funds that we could use, so let's try and get them, even though they're intended for colored schools.' Again, that's only speculation on my part."

In 1951, the new Douglass School was built at 301 Louis Street in Riverview to house Kingsport's African-American elementary and high school students. That school was built entirely with funds from the Kingsport Board of Education, the Rosenwald Foundation having ended its philanthropy many years before.

It was then that the legacy of the Rosenwald Schools began to wane, not only in Kingsport, but in Tennessee and around the South. After Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954, society slowly moved towards integration, and the all-black schools and the lessons of the past that led to the benevolence of the Rosenwald Foundation, began to fade into history.

After standing empty for many years, the majestic Douglass-Rosenwald School on East Sevier Avenue, after serving as headquarters and jail for the Kingsport Police Department, eventually met the same fate as many of its Rosenwald counterparts. The historic building was unceremoniously and quietly torn down, its valiant and courageous history reduced to a pile of dust and debris.

But is the legacy forgotten? Has it vanished, whisked away as dust in the winds of change?


As people learn more about the heritage of the Rosenwald Schools, your Douglass Alumni website has uncovered a small, but dedicated movement from state to state, to remember the schools funded by the Rosenwald Foundation, and honor them by reviving some of that new learning education enthusiam.

African-Americans entrusted the legacy of the Rosenwald Foundation to Fisk University in Nashville, where a database is kept of all of the former Rosenwald Schools.

To access the entire Rosenwald Foundation School Database, please click here.

"The Rosenwald Schools were very special institutions," says Dr. Stetten. "Unlike most schools that got primary attention from their local school boards, the Rosenwald Schools received special attention from the residents in the community. Each resident felt they had a personal stake in the construction of the school, and the level of education that was taught there. In fact, they did.. their hard-to-come-by dollars helped put up the building, and as a result, there was a huge sense of pride in what the community had accomplished."

"The Rosenwald Foundation provided the push that got it all started.. and kept the enthusiam level high."

"Alumni of the Douglass School in Kingsport, their descendants and the entire community of Kingsport have a very special reason to be proud of their former school."

"It was a Rosenwald School."


If only Julius Rosenwald and Booker T. Washington knew the fruits of the seeds they sewed back in the 1920's.. you might find the two old friends strolling along the grounds at Tuskegee in the 21st century, their conversations modern in nature, but philosophies still old-school:

"I've been getting several emails about the renovation work at one of the schools in West Tennessee," Rosenwald might tell his friend. "Seems the EPA wants another land impact study. The foundation spends as much money trying to meet the environmental impact studies as in renovating the buildings themselves."

"I know what you mean," Washington might reply. "Those environmental people are blowing up my Blackberry, too. We can only do so much. I've got a meeting with the lawyers in Atlanta next week on that."

"No matter," Washington might say after some thought.. "It's important to get that school back up and running. One of the teachers texted me about a remarkable student in one of her classes at one of the schools. She says, he's writing a thesis on the molecular structure of the brain tissues in the central nervous system, and the lab in the school has not been renovated with the updated material from M-I-T."

"Would more money help?" Rosenwald might respond. "I've got some new funding sources on standby."

"It could," Washington muses. "After I went on Oprah a few weeks ago, she texted me with a pledge, then I got a call from the Gates wanting to help through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and PBS sent my systems analyst an email, wanting a video conference on contributions through the Annenberg Foundation. The Benton Foundation wants to sponsor a telecommunications link to all of our schools, so we can set the other school renovations."

As they strolled off into the sunset and into the history books, Washington is overheard to mutter..

"So many kids.. so little time."


This article is dedicated to the memory of all Rosenwald teachers at the Douglass-Rosenwald School in Kingsport; and "Mama Jill" Ellis and Alene Sneed, both Douglass Elementary teachers in the "new" Douglass building built in 1951. Mrs. Ellis, who knew the Douglass link to the Rosenwald Foundation, prodded me into finding the documentation, and encouraged the historical referencing of the facts in the story, and...


...Alene Sneed, who, herself, often spoke of the benefits of the Rosenwald influence in the former black schools. As a child growing up in the 1930's, she attended, and graduated from, the Farmington-Rosenwald School in Marshall County, Tennessee, another school partially funded by the Rosenwald Foundation.

---Calvin Sneed