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Sunday, October 31, 2010

2010 Rudi Hall Golf Classic

It was a beautiful day for golf on Saturday, October 30, 2010, and some of our intrepid golfers took to the links for a good cause.

The 9th Annual Rudi Hall Classic Golf Tournament was held at the Cattails at Meadowview Golf Course in Kingsport.

The event honors famed golfer Rudi Hall, who passed away in 2002. At one time, Rudy was the manager of Kingsport's Solid Waste Treatment Plant, but always found the time to play golf, and at the same time as a black golfer, raised the standard for everyone. "He dearly loved the game," says Hall's wife Louetta. "He dreamed it, sleeped, loved it. He played all the courses in this area, and even traveled to different states to play in tournaments."

Please click here to see a slide show from the 2010 Rudi Hall Class Golf Tournament at Cattails at Meadowview.

Sponsor of the event was the South Central Kingsport Development Corporation. "It's a good time to bring together golfers of all types, to test their skills and raise money for a good cause," says Reverend Kenneth Calvert.

The money raised from entry fees goes to fund scholarships awarded by the SCKDC every year to deserving students. "Generally, we have 20 to 25 players every year, and historically, we've raised from 7 to 8 thousand dollars for scholarships. Some years we have corporate sponsors, and we tie everything in with the South Central Kingsport banner."

"We give out the scholarship every year during Black History Month, the last Sunday in February," says Reverend Calvert.  "Many students who have received the money have since graduated and moved on to better things. As long as they keep at least a C+ average, the scholarship is good until they finish their degree."

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To readers who access this page through BLOGGER or BLOGSPOT, please access this page through the Douglass Website,, our non-profit .ORG website address.

The Douglass Alumni Association keeps track of visitors to its website at the above .ORG web address, and when you access NEWS AND CURRENT EVENTS, PASSINGS OR OBITUARIES, or one of the other links directly through BLOGGER or BLOGSPOT through a separate link on your desktop or by typing in the BLOGGER or BLOGSPOT address in your address bar, that action bypasses the Douglass website.

That means we don't get credit for your visit. 

BLOGGER and BLOGSPOT are .COM websites, which are for-profit sites, although we can use them for non-profit. We just cannot track visitors who visit through them.

The same goes for WEBSHOTS, another website that we use to post pictures for the Photo Gallery. Webshots is also a pay site which we're using for a non-profit purpose, and its tracking includes visits from folks who have no connection to Douglass or Riverview or Kingsport.

If you have this page or WEBSHOTS saved as a direct link on your computer, please delete those links and visit only through the Sons and Daughters of Douglass website so we can keep an account of the visit.

The alternative to make sure we get credit for visits, is to change our non-profit website main page to a .COM pay site, which means canceling the Douglass website's non-profit .ORG main page, and changing to a for-profit website, and charging a nominal fee for upkeep.

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Please help us keep your free Douglass website free by only accessing news, photos  and histories through our website address. That helps our non-profit status.  I'll be monitoring to see what we have to do.

Thanks for your cooperation!


Riverview's Happy Halloween!

Remember when neighbors sat on their front porches, conversing with each other and waving to folks passing by? Remember when the kids were playing and riding their bicycles in the streets going from house to house without a care in the world? Remember when your child was under the watchful eye of a friend or neighbor down the street, and you didn't have to worry about their well-being because your neighbors had your back?

That time returned to Riverview this weekend.

One of the most popular kids' nights of the year, turned out to usher in Riverview's unofficial return from the drug dealing on every corner, and random shootings, fights and shouting.

The Riverview community was abuzz with Halloween activity on Saturday, concentrated in the center of the neighborhood in the parking lot at V.O. Dobbins, and in the parking lot at Central Baptist Church and in its Fellowship Hall.  The improvements at Dobbins, and the new HOPE VI homes where people were still moving in even on Saturday, served as a family-friendly backdrop.

The Halloween “Boo” Party was held Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m, in the parking lot at V.O. Dobbins, because the ballfield is under cultivation while grass is being grown back from 3 years of construction.

There were costume contests for various age groups, face painting, balloon sculpting, and goodie bags for all the kids.

Click here to see a slide show of the 2010 Halloween "Boo" event at the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Complex

Among all the fun things for the trick-or-treaters, was the "Haunted House," set up and run by the New Vision Youth kids.  Willie Hodges, Jack Pierce and Orvill Bond, along with Johnnie Mae Swagerty and her helpers did what they could, but a high wind played havoc with the "house" most of the afternoon, which, if you were inside the "house," felt like any minute, left an eerie feeling along with the Halloween ghost and goblin atmosphere.

Several of the kids absolutely refused to set one foot inside the "house," but for the ones who braved the visit, they were in for a scary treat.  Ghosts, dead people, and scary Hallowee items greeted them at every turn.

As you can see.. sometimes, the kids were running out of the "house" so fast, they were just blurs.
It was truly a sight to see the kids once they got a taste of the hoops and hollers surrounding the scary Halloween sounds, courtesy of a nearby CD.  Those scared kids tore away from their mothers' grasps and made a beeline straight out the haunted house door them came in, despite momma's attempts to grab them.  Some of them, the ones who didn't want to go inside in the first place, followed true to form.  The tears of fears only stopped once they were outside.

 That's when they realized it was all in fun.  But by that time, there was the face-painting, the Capri-Sun drinks, the candy bags to capture their attention.  Chocolate proved to be a very good pacifier.

The Halloween "Boo" event was sponsored by Kingsport’s Parks and Recreation Community Services, South Central Kingsport, the Weed and Seed program and New Vision Youth.

Please Access BLOGGER, BLOGSPOT and WEBSHOTS Only Through the Douglass Website


To readers who access this page through BLOGGER or BLOGSPOT, please access this page through the Douglass Website,, our non-profit .ORG website address.

The Douglass Alumni Association keeps track of visitors to its website at the above web address, and when you access it through BLOGGER or BLOGSPOT alone through either a link on your desktop, or just by typing in the BLOGGER or BLOGSPOT address in your address bar, that action bypasses the Douglass website, and we don't get credit for the visit.  BLOGGER and BLOGSPOT are .COM websites, which are for-profit sites, although we can use them for non-profit.  We just cannot track visitors who visit through them.

The same goes for WEBSHOTS, which is another website that we use to post pictures for the Photo Gallery.  Webshots is also a pay site.

If you have this page or WEBSHOTS saved as a direct link on your computer, please delete those links and visit through the Sons and Daughters of Douglass website. 

The alternative to making sure we get credit for visits through the website, is to change our non-profit website to a pay site, which means canceling the Douglass website's non-profit main page, and changing to a for-profit website, and charging a nominal fee for upkeep.
This can be avoided if you'll please access the website features through the non-profit website address,

Please help us keep your free Douglass website free by only accessing news and photos through our website's address.  That helps our non-profit status.
Thanks for your cooperation!


Hickman receives Alumni Citation from Maryville College


Maryville College alumnus G. Donald Hickman was recognized with the College’s Alumni Citations during the Alumni Reception and Awards Ceremony held Oct. 23 on campus.

Since 1961, the Maryville College Alumni Citation has been awarded to former students who have, according to the guidelines, “rendered such service in professional, business, civic, social or religious endeavor as to benefit humankind and bring honor to the college, or who have rendered unusual service in any capacity on behalf of the college.”

Hickman, whose parents Mr. and Mrs. William Hickman live on Dunbar Street in Riverview/Kingsport, attended Douglass Elementary/High School.

A 1970 graduate of Milligan College, Hickman spent 30 years in federal government service. The first African-American graduate of Dobyns-Bennett High School, he came to Maryville College in 1966.

He was involved in the All-College Council, the University Christian Movement, the Circle K Club and the Black Interest Group, and was a campus leader.

Hickman was also an All-American football player and valued member of the basketball, and track and field teams.

He majored in sociology and, following graduation, was hired by the Oak Ridge City School System as a social studies teacher, head track coach and assistant football coach.

During his four-year tenure at Oak Ridge, his job was interrupted by service as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army.

In 1978, Hickman joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and for eight years, worked as a special agent in Jackson, Miss., and Washington, D.C., investigating public corruption and governmental fraud.

In 1981, the FBI recognized Hickman with the Distinguished Service Award and, in 1986, Hickman received the U.S. Department of Justice’s Meritorious Achievement Award.

He joined the TVA’s inspector general’s office in 1986, serving as manager of nuclear investigations and manager of internal investigations, before being promoted in 1994 to assistant inspector general for investigations.

Hickman held that position until his retirement 10 years later — with the exception of serving as acting inspector general from November 2002 until May 2003.

An effective leader who oversaw audits and investigations and led efforts to prevent and detect fraud, waste and abuse in agency programs, Hickman received two awards by the Executive Council on Integrity and Efficiency.

In 2000, he received the council’s Award of Excellence; in 2004, Hickman was presented the Council’s Individual Accomplishment Award.

Since his retirement, Hickman has become an author. “Truth Matters,” a murder mystery inspired by real-life FBI cases, was published in 2008.

Hickman, a longtime supporter of Maryville College, has served on boards, task forces and committees at his alma mater.

He is past president of the Alumni Association, and is completing a term on the college’s

board of directors.

Hickman is a member of the College’s President’s Circle and the Calvin Duncan Society.

He is married to Alcoa native Janet Houston Hickman, the general manager of Continental Express Airlines in Knoxville. They have two adult children and three grandchildren.

Hickman, a 1966 graduate of Dobyns-Bennett High School, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. William Hickman of Kingsport.

• • •

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Indians secure unbeaten regular season with rout of Falcons in Church Hill


CHURCH HILL — With a smothering defense and an opportunistic offense, Dobyns-Bennett put an exclamation point on a perfect regular season Friday night with an impressive 42-0 Big 8 Conference road win at Volunteer.

The Indians (10-0, 7-0) will open the TSSAA 6A playoffs next Friday at J. Fred Johnson Stadium against an opponent to be named today.

It had been 16 years since D-B played at Volunteer. On Friday the Indians made the most of their trip to Church Hill.

Kris Wilson —
Volunteer quarterback Houston Harris (12) is tackled by a pair of Dobyns-Bennett defenders.

With the Falcons (2-8, 2-5) determined to stop the Tribe’s vaunted running attack, Indians quarterback Sean Seabolt went to his two-minute offense and completed 7 of 10 passes in the first half for 123 yards and three touchdowns.  By halftime, D-B was on top 35-0 and the clock ran continuously for the entire second half.

Kris Wilson — - Dobyns- Bennett quarterback Sean Seabolt (5) passes downfield during Friday’s game with Volunteer.

“It wasn’t pretty out there at times in the first half,’’ joked D-B coach Graham Clark. “But then my wife took me in when I wasn’t the prettiest thing around.’’

D-B took the opening kickoff and marched 55 yards on six plays, scoring on a 17-yard TD pass from Seabolt to Rusty Clark with 9:29 left in the first quart e r.

Volunteer responded by holding the ball for nearly five minutes but the Falcons’ drive stalled and they were forced to punt from their own 37-yard line.

The Indians’ Paul Slaughter blocked the punt attempt, then raced downfield, scooped up the loose ball on the 2-yard line and jumped into the end zone for the score.

After stopping Volunteer on its ensuing possession, D-B took over on its own 46-yard line with 2:48 left in the first quarter. Four plays later, Chris Sensabaugh rumbled 19 yards to paydirt, dragging three Falcons’ defenders the final 5 yards to the endzone and giving the Tribe a 21-0 lead.  Early in the second quarter, after recovering a fumble on the Falcons’ 23, Seabolt connected with Seth Barger for a 26-yard touchdown and the rout was on.

Kris Wilson — - Dobyns-Bennett running back Chris Sensabaugh (32) heads upfield against Volunteer during the teams’ Big 8 Conference regular-season finale Friday night in Church Hill. The Tribe led 35-0 at halftime and won 42-0.

“Our running game wasn’t going well early in the game so we went to our two-minute offense,’’ said Seabolt. “That opened things up and we took advantage of what they were giving us.’’

Seabolt finished his night’s work with a 24-yard scoring strike to teammate Derrick Steele with 8:38 left in the second quarter and they gave D-B an insurmountable 35-0 lead.

“We opened things up with our passing game tonight,’’ said Clark. “Coach (Darrell) Watson had the defense prepared. They bent a little but I thought overall they played extremely well.’’

Although the Falcons’ running game was thwarted by D-B’s front line, they did manage 85 yards passing in the contest.

“D-B has a lot of speed and are big and strong up front,’’ said Volunteer coach Scott Rider. “I was proud of the fight our guys brought to the game tonight. We just ran into a very good football team.’’

Sensabaugh finished with 43 yards on 11 carries for the Indians. Maurice Cannon rushed twice for 65 yards.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fire Destroys Historic Morristown College Building


Posted: Oct 29, 2010 6:19 AM EDT Updated: Oct 29, 2010 2:25 PM EDT

MORRISTOWN (WATE) - Crews in Morristown spent Thursday night into Friday morning battling a huge, intentionally-set fire at a historic downtown building.
building was fully engulfed by the time crews arrived.Dispatchers say a passing police officer noticed the main building at Morristown College was on fire around 1:00 a.m.
The building was fully engulfed in flames by the time crews arrived.
The deputy fire chief says they haven't determined the cause of the fire, but they know it was arson. He also says vagrants may have set the fire while trying to keep warm.
No other buildings were damaged and no one was injured in the blaze.
Morristown College was a historic African-American college that eventually became part of Knoxville College. It closed in the mid-1990s.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween ‘Boo’ Party set for Saturday

 KINGSPORT — A Halloween “Boo” Party will be held Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the V.O. Dobbins Jr. Complex field, 301 Louis St., Kingsport. Activities will include costume and “hollering” contests, face painting, balloon sculpting, and an appearance of Mud Bone and His Bones. There will be a trunk or treat and goodie bags for all youth. The event is being sponsored by Kingsport’s Parks and Recreation Community Services, South Central Kingsport, the Weed and Seed program and New Vision Youth. For more information, contact Johnnie Mae Swagerty at 429-7553 or Jeannie Hodges at 246-6809.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Articles on the Other Links

There's an article on what our neighbors are doing in Rogersville at the Swift Museum-Price Public Community Center.  It's posted at the NEWS OF OUR DOUGLASS FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS link of your website.

There are pictures from the 2010 Umoja Festival in downtown Johnson City from this past summer.  They're also posted at the NEWS OF OUR DOUGLASS FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS link on your website.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

"Kings of the Hill"

Seabolt-powered Tribe beats ’Toppers for 17th straight time, earns league title and playoff berth

Tribes' Sensabaugh Surpasses 4,000 Rushing Yards for Career


Ned Jilton II —
Dobyns-Bennett’s Maurice Cannon (1) drags a Science Hill defender as he works for extra yardage during Friday night’s Big 8 Conference clash at J. Fred Johnson Stadium in Kingsport.

KINGSPORT — Sooner or later Science Hill may grow accustomed to losing football games to Dobyns-Bennett. D-B (9-0, 6-0) defeated the Hilltoppers Friday night 49-6 to win the Big 8 Conference championship and clinch a berth in the TSSAA’s 6A playoffs. It marked the Indians’ 17th consecutive victory over Science Hill (5-4, 2-4) and came on senior night. Quarterback Sean Seabolt and halfback Devaun Swafford kept the chains moving constantly with big gains, and fullback Chris Sensabaugh reached a milestone. Seabolt accounted for 310 yards. He rushed eight times for 143 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns on runs of 44 and 21 yards. Seabolt also completed 3 of 4 passes for 167 yards and two TDs.
“We came out fast just like we did against Tennessee High and David Crockett,’’ Seabolt said. “Come playoff time, we’ll not be able to start slowly. We’ve got to get on top of people.’’

Ned Jilton II —
Science Hill’s Ryan Mitchell, left, lays a big hit on D-B’s Devaun Swafford (8).

Swafford, who became nauseated before the game, scored three touchdowns — on runs of 36 and 7 yards and a pass reception covering 47 yards.
“We entered the game thinking it would be a hard-fought one,’’ Swafford said. “Nobody expected us to win by this much.’’
Sensabaugh picked up 45 yards on eight carries to surpass the 4,000-yard plateau in his 3½-year stint as a varsity starter. He is by far D-B’s modern-day rushing leader with 4,008 yards.
“It’s a good feeling to know I’ve gained that much yardage,’’ Sensabaugh said. “It’s something for me to remember, but what I really want is a state championship.’’ D-B got two quick TDs on Swafford’s 36-yard dash and 47-yard pass catch for a 14-0 lead. Science Hill bounced back with a 10-yard TD pass from Justin Snyder to Gannon Glaspie. D-B’s Derrick Steele, who had two catches covering 119 yards, blocked the extra point kick.  From that point, it was all D-B. The Indians reeled off three more scores in the second quarter for a 35-6 halftime lead.

Ned Jilton II —

Dobyns-Bennett quarterback Sean Seabolt (5) cuts back toward a hole in the Science Hill defense on his way to a touchdown Friday night in Kingsport.

“Seabolt made good throws and Steele had two outstanding catches,’’ D-B coach Graham Clark said. “It’s hard for an opponent to key on just one thing in this offense. Our defense played extremely well, giving up only one TD on a short field.’’
When D-B got its first two TDs, Science Hill’s defenders were crowding the line of scrimmage. Swafford went to the left on an option play and cut back near the goal line for his 36-yard score. “I got out in space and Maurice Cannon threw a perfect block,’’ Swafford said.   Five minutes later, Swafford hauled in the 47-yard pass from Seabolt to make it 14-0.
“It was a straight fly pattern,’’ Swafford said. “I saw that no one was back there and just took off. We sent both slotbacks downfield.’’  Clark gambled early in the second quarter after Science Hill had closed the margin to eight points. He had Seabolt throw from the D-B 13-yard line. Seabolt hit Steele on the run and he beat a lone defender to the end zone.  “I ran a post route,’’ Steele said. “We faked a run and I was able to get behind No. 12 (Glaspie) and Sean threw a great ball. He almost got a hand on it.’’

Before halftime, Seabolt romped 44 yards for a TD and Swafford scored again on a 7-yard run.
Seabolt got another TD in the third quarter on his 21-yard run. The final D-B score came with reserves on the field — Chris Cook pitched a 20-yard scoring pass to Jackson Crum.

“We executed,’’ said Ty Hayworth, D-B’s mammoth lineman. “When we do that, things usually come together.’’ Science Hill seemed doomed from the start. D-B outgained the Hilltoppers 316-73 in the first half.  “When you come here, you can’t give up big plays early in the game,’’ Science Hill coach Stacy Carter said. “D-B has a great team. Seabolt is a heck of a player. He’s probably as good a free safety as he is a quarterback.’’

Outside linebacker Will Allen spearheaded D-B’s defensive charge.   “Science Hill is our biggest rival and we knew we’d have to pick up our game,’’ he said. “We’re communicating well on defense. I didn’t expect this kind of score but I’m happy with it.’’

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Black Man and the Confederate Flag: A Study of Contrasts

"The South will rise again!"

"The government is out of control!"

"The Civil War was not about slavery!"

Those modern-day chants are not coming from the Sons of the Confederacy, or the beer-drinker at the local redneck bar, or even the community loudmouth hiding behind a white sheet with two holes poked in it.

They're coming from H.K. Edgerton of Asheville, North Carolina.  He's now a  political activist and self-proclaimed preserver of Southern heritage.

He is also African-American.

"The northern folks used black folks against the southern white folks in the southern United States to perpetuate the institution of slavery," Edgerton told your Douglass Website recently, one Saturday morning in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. We found the national political figure and former NAACP local Asheville president, waving the rebel flag outside a Sons of Confederate Veterans rally where he had a speaking engagement, on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee a few weeks ago.

"There were a lot of things going on in the body politic back then that people don't want to talk about," Edgerton says, "and they (northerners) always try to find the bad things and the hate, but there were a lot of good things goin' on around here in the southland of America, and I'm not here defending the economic institution of slavery. God, in his infinite wisdom allows something to happen that brought sincere, honorable people in here and mixed in those folks wit the Christian Bible and the Christian thinking that those folks had, and some things happened. Some things that only God Himself can explain."

Edgerton says, one of those things was what he calls, "a love between a man called SLAVE and a man called MASTER." It is that ideology that sets him apart from most African-Americans.. and sets them at his throat.

"When you see the rebel flag," says Edgerton, "black folk have a tendency to think about slavery, than they do when they see the Stars and Stripes flying. The Stars and Stripes has more guilt hanging on its raggedy drawers than anything we talk about the Christian Cross of St. Andrews here," referring to the rebel flag he's waving. "This is an honorable extention, this is a Christian symbol, and has been used across the world. Other people in the world understand the symbolic meaning of this flag, and what these (black) folks have done is, they certainly think about slavery because my northern protagonists laid the economic institution of slavery, which is a lie. There were a lot of things on the table at the time of the Civil War.. slavery was a key issue, but it had nothing to do with the economic institution itself. The Civil War was about what property was."

As you can imagine, Edgerton's comments stir up controversy in the African-American community, and nothing but praise and admiration from members of the southern heritage groups who wave the rebel flag. Even as we interviewed him, folks attending the Sons of Confederate Veterans event in Pigeon Forge, were not afraid to approach him, have pictures made with him, and ask questions in support of his views.

Edgerton has been quite out-spoken in those views, but he directs much of the media coverage of his opinion at CNN.

"Now there are some black folks," he began, "I gave an interview to CNN to a young black man by the name of Don Lemon, who refused to allow me to talk. Every time I began, he'd ask me a question. I began to answer that question, and he'd just cut me off. The problem with the whole thing was.. they thought i would just appear on their terms, just an old field n-r running around over there, scatching his head with some white folks. Far from the truth."

For the record, click here to see the actual CNN interview that Don Lemon did with Mr. Edgerton back on June 9th, 2010.  The video is a YouTube clip.

For the most part, Edgerton travels back and forth across the country, mostly in the southern United States, what he refers to as the "southland of America." Wherever he goes, his appearance and his views spark considerable conversation, depending upon who is listening.

"I spoke at Sycamore Shoals (in Elizabethton, Tennessee) recently," he says, "and a young black man in the audience approached me. His name was Darnell, can't remember his last name. I began to tell him some of the things I'm telling you right now, how black folks made the implements of war, provided the food stuffs for General (Robert E.) Lee's beleaguered army, went off to war and may have taken up arms. They built bridges, stayed at home, protected those plantations, all kinds of things black folks were doing around here. I began to tell him about General Nathan Beford Forrest, because all this stuff came up that Nathan Bedford Forrest started the Ku Klux Klan.. he did not do that. Some men from Pulaski, Tennessee did that."

For the record, Edgerton is correct on this account. Click here to read the Wikipedia article on Nathan Bedford Forrest, which indicates he was indeed the first Grand Wizard of the Klan, but provides no evidence that he was neither the founder, nor one of the Klan's original founding members.

"Matter of fact," Edgerton says, "General Lee was asked if he would head up the Klan, and he said 'I don't have time, get General Forest to do it.'

Edgerton is clear in his insistence that the troubles of southern America were born on the backs of northern "Yankees," who brought those problems with them during the Civil War, "because here in the southland of America, you've got the Union league running around here, terrorizing black folk and white folk, whipping black folk, making 'em vote in the Republican party, all kinds of things going on around here. It was chaos. The Ku Klux Klan was trying to bring some law and order around the southland.. these folks (northerners) were just terrorizing us."

For the record, Edgerton does not appear to be correct on this account. Click here to read the Wikipedia article on the Ku Klux Klan, which indicates the Klan's only original intention was to intimidate and terrorize persons of color after the Civil War.

We asked Edgerton what he would tell African-Americans who might not understand and don't agree with his views on the rebel flag and southern heritage.

"You cannot separate any of this," Edgerton told us, referring to the rebel flag he waved to the Smoky Mountain tourists along the Parkway in Pigeon Forge. "You can't blame this on anything. Look at the 13th amendment.. basically it says that if the white man in the south would agree to Mr. Lincoln's tax increases, then Congress would never have the ability to write an amendment to end the economic institution of slavery. The white folks in the south said, 'we are not going to do that to our black folk.. emancipation is already coming to the south. The whole world participated in the slave trade, so don't lay that on the white folks in the south."

"Black folk need to dig into their own backgrounds, their own heritages and see where they came from."

Hear part of the interview your Douglass Website did with H. K. Edgerton on Saturday, August 28, 2010 on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  Just click the "PLAY" button.

"Digging into our own backgrounds.. perhaps, discovering what we have to be proud of in our own ancestries."

That may the ultimate meaning behind H.K. Edgerton's views on southern heritage.. that African-Americans need to research their own backgrounds, and make value judgments based on their OWN ancestral experiences. Apparently, Edgerton has researched his own background, and reached conclusions that he feels that he should share, through the rebel flag and his views.

YOUR heritage.. may be quite different from his.

How will you celebrate that heritage?

Fish Fry This Saturday

South Central Community Development, Inc. will sponsor a

* Fish Fry
* Saturday, October 23, 2010
* 1:00 until ??
* $4.00
* Benefit - Drug Education for Youth Program (DEFY)
* Splash Pad, 1101 Martin L. King Dr.-Ferguson Park V. O. Dobbins Field

See You Saturday -

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

You Can Pay Your Alumni Dues Now

It was discussed at our last meeting that it is important for members of the Douglass Alumni Association to pay their yearly membership dues. The dues are $25.00 per year.

It is very important that dues are paid because now that we have an office, we also have bills that are due every month. So I am sending out a plea for everyone to pay their yearly dues now.

Thanking you in advance,

Doug Releford
Douglass Alumni Association President

The Clean-up of Riverview: A Process in Motion Continues

Riverview and South Central Kingsport are both just a little bit cleaner now. In fact, you may have noticed some of your neighbors with trash bags walking the streets and alleys of the neighborhood.

The annual Fall Trash and Litter Pickup was held on Saturday, October 16, 2010. The event is part of the Great American Cleanup, with national sponsors Pepsi, Glad Storage Bags, Wrigley, Troy-Bilt, among others.

Locally, the event is sponsored by the Weed & Seed office of South Central Kingsport Community Development Corporation.

"We do this twice a year, in the spring and the fall," says Jeannie Hodges with Weed & Seed. "The tons and tons of trash that we've been picking up over the years are now down to a minimum. I think that people have caught on and want to keep their community clean, and we're not getting as much trash as we used to."

Click here to see a slideshow of the 2010 fall cleanup in Riverview and South Central Kingsport.

The first trash pickup more than 10 years ago, produced 27 tons of trash. This year, it's down to about two or three tons, a vast improvement.

"The cleanup comes as a necessary element to redevelopment of the community," says the Reverend Kenneth Calvert, pastor of the Shiloh Baptist Church and a board member of South Central. "The cleanup started out with the 'Catch the Vision' project years ago, which included not only streets in Riverview, but Maple, Dale, Oak, Brooks, Myrtle and East Sevier. It was part of the mushroom effect that grew out of the process of revitilization."

"The real growth," he says, "are the partnerships that began and grew with the process. First Broad Street United Methodist Church joined the cleanup effort this year, after partnering with us on a number of other projects. We also partner with the Kingsport Fire Department, the Kingsport Police Department, Parks and Recreation, the Kingsport Rotary Club, the United Way, and a lot of other agencies/ They help us with projects that are vital to the improvement of the area."

"We are definitely seeing, as Jeannie said, that people are buying into the process of keeping the community up," he says. "It's important to have the neighbors and residents involved."

One of the partnerships, the one with the Kingsport Fire Department, involved giving away free working smoke detectors for the seniors in Riverview and South Central Kingsport. That task was assigned to the New Vision Youth Kids.

"We delivered smoke detectors to Mrs. Lillie Smith on Dunbar Street. She really appreciated getting them for her protection," says Johnnie Mae Swagerty, director of New Vision. "We also delivered to Sister Bradford on Dunbar. They gave the kids hugs and were so glad to see them and get the smoke detectors. We also delivered to Mrs. Pearl Henry, Mrs. Sherry Kinchloe, Mrs. Patti Hoard, Mr. Linnell Bristol, and Mrs. Ollie Perry."

"We gave them to the seniors living at home who really needed them," she says. "We've still got 24 more families we have to deliver to. This is going to be a community project for the DEFY kids and the New Vision Youth Kids together. The kids got a kick out of helping some of our seniors living at home, and it teaches them responsibility and compasssion. It's part of what we do for the community."

Back on the home front, folks volunteered their time to walk the streets and alleys collecting litter. There were community volunteers, the New Vision Kids, folks from the Hay House, and volunteers from the Board of Pardons and Parole working off their community service requirements.

"The Borden community joined us this year, and part of the cleanup and trash pickup was in the Borden Park area," Mrs. Hodges said. "We'd love to have other neighborhoods join us, too. We can show them how to organize, how to involve the residents, and where to concentrate their efforts. We'd be glad to partner with them because what helps them, helps everybody."

Kingsport Public Works sent a garbage truck over to load up all the bags of trash, and after the event was over, refreshments including pizza, cookies, snacks and drinks were served to the volunteers, capping off a morning of sprucing up the community and keeping it neat.

Note from our Friends at Lyons Chapel, New Canton


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Douglass Alumni Working & Executive Board Meeting Minutes, October 16, 2010

Attendance: Douglas Releford, Lillian Leeper, Lee Vaughn (Travel Authority), Sandra Wilmer, Virginia Hankins, Ozine Bly, Ruth Russell, Thelma Watterson, Andra Watterson, Calvin Sneed, Lonnie Cox. Quorum met.

Meeting was brought to order by President Douglas Releford, prayer by Ruth Russell.

Lee Vaughn of The Travel Authority was present to hand out pamphlets about the upcoming Douglass Cruise Reunion, and to answer any questions that those interested may ask.

Minutes of the last meeting was read, motion to accept the reading of the minutes with the necessary corrections was made by Lillian Leeper, second by Andra Watterson. Motion carried.

Sandra Wilmer gave a report of the finances and scholarship. Motion to accept the reports were made by Andra Watterson, second by Calvin Sneed. Motion carried.

Old Business:

Ozine Bly asked if the alumni were paying Charter Communications annually. It was stated that we pay monthly. Calvin Sneed inquired if there was an advantage, sales tax wise, to pay annually. It was stated that there is probably not a tax break for paying annually.

Virginia Hankins read a letter that she had drafted to the City of Kingsport from the association; she said that she could revise the letter and thank the city for the room we have at the present. She said that just because you disagree does not mean that you are ungrateful.

Calvin Sneed stated that we no longer have access to the Douglass Community Room because we have changed rooms and our keys have been turned in. We may reserve the Community Room or Conference Rooms through Parks & Recreation (Kitty Camp).

Virginia Hankins read the minutes of the Planning Committee held in Knoxville (10/02/2010).

New Business:

Douglas Releford told of the obstacles he encountered while trying to apply for a State Treasury Grant. He was trying to use Douglass Alumni and Douglass Alumni of Memphis is already registered under that name. Calvin made a motion that we change our name to apply for incorporation to Sons and Daughters, Inc. We will still use Douglass Alumni to conduct business locally. Motion was second by Sandra Wilmer. Motion carried.


Andra Watterson told the alumni that we need to clean out our storage, and Calvin Sneed echoed that we need to get rid of our schoolbooks.

Douglas Releford said that we need to emphasize on our web site the importance of paying our dues now and not waiting until they are due.

Virginia Hankins said that we still have time to add to the existing list of themes and voting on them.

Our new address:

Douglass Alumni Association - Kingsport
301 Louis St., Suite 104
Kingsport, TN 37660

Our next meeting is scheduled for Saturday 11/14/2010 at 1:00pm in the Dobbins Complex.

Adjournment was made by Lillian Leeper, second by Calvin Sneed.

Respectfully Submitted,

Thelma Watterson, Recording Secretary

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Douglass Alumni Association Event Planning Committee Meeting Minutes of October 2, 2010

The planning committee met on October 2nd at the home of Frank and Dee Dee Horton. Others present at the meeting were Douglass and Vivian Releford, Donald Hickman, Calvin Sneed and Virginia Hankins.

The meeting was opened with an inspirational reading by Frank Horton. Virginia Hankins read the minutes of the last meeting. They were voted on and accepted by the committee.
The first order of business was the reunion. Calvin Sneed reported that the owner of the inflatable which are giant blow-up toys for children carries his own liability insurance. Therefore the only expense the Alumni would be concerned with is rental fees.

Donald Hickman and Frank Horton are putting together plans for a golf outing to be held on Saturday morning of the reunion. They are working hard to recruit some “celebrity players” for the event to generate more money for the scholarship fund.

The planning committee wants all events to be held at the V.O. Dobbins Complex. We feel that this will lower our expenses considerably and will also give everyone a chance to visit the new facility. Doug said that the Douglass community room would hold about 200 people so that would be adequate room for all events.

Frank Horton reminded the group that we should also get started on the souvenir ad booklet. He said that this was a great fund raiser for our scholarship fund and he will talk to Linda Bly about spearheading that project since she was responsible for the last ad booklet. The committee wants all Douglass Alumni to get involved by taking out a personal ad or a business ad. This is not limited to the Alumni in Kingsport. We hope that those of you who live out of town will also submit personal ads, ads from your church, business or place of employment.

Another name was suggested for the Alumni theme by Dee Dee Horton, Putting on the Ritz. She suggested that members dress as former teachers of Douglass and other notable people in the community during the reunion. We now have three suggestions for a theme that the committee wants the board to vote on. They are:

Putting on the Ritz
A revival of Riverview
A renewal of Riverview

The next order of business discussed at the meeting was ways to generate revenue for operating expenses for the new office and to also help finance the scholarship fund. Calvin Sneed has some seats from the Douglass auditorium that will be placed throughout the Dobbins complex. He would like to sell those seats for a fee. Calvin explained that whoever bought a seat could dedicate that seat to someone as a memorial or to honor a loved one.

A silent auction was also mentioned as a fund raiser. The planning committee also suggested applying for grants. Doug said that he has already started that process but ran into a small obstacle because of the Douglass Alumni Association name. It seems that there is an alumni association with the same name in Memphis. Doug said that we need to discuss the matter in more detail at the next working board meeting.

The next order of business discussed was a marketing committee. Donald Hickman suggested that this committee would make us more visible to a wider range of people and could sponsor events that we plan. It was also mentioned that we could use people other than alumni members to be on that committee. It would be beneficial for us to have people who are experienced in those areas. So if you are an alumnus or interested person with marketing expertise we might be calling on you for some input.

The meeting was adjourned and the date and time for the next planning committee will be announced later by Frank Horton.

Respectfully Submitted By,
Virginia Hankins

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wild wheelin’


Adonis Phillips of Kingsport rides his bike around the Splash Pad in the Riverview community on Wednesday. Also with Adonis were his sister Ta’niyha, and their older brother Cortez Rutherford was keeping the pair under his watchful eye.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Douglass Alumni Board Meeting

Please, do not forget the Douglass Alumni Association meeting this Saturday, Oct. 16, 2010, at 1:00 p.m. You will need to enter through the neighbor Hood Service Center door At V.O. Dobbins. The meeting will be on the second floor in the conference room.

Douglas S. Releford

Please remember Mrs. Juanita McGue in your Prayers

I would like to ask everyone to lift Momma, Juanita McGue when you pray. She has been hospitalized due to breathing complications. She also had a couple of mishaps while driving because of her low oxygen caused her to become very disoriented. May God receive glory for being with mom and no one being injured, in Jesus name I praise Him.

423-384-1296 is where I can be reached and mom is in room 53-H at Holston Valley Hospital. She is not very coherent at this time. Thank You in advance for praying with and for us in spirit and in truth.


Sandra McGue.

Monday, October 11, 2010

"Miss Beulah Comes Home:" The Beginning of a New Riverview

"I see Riverview getting back to the way it used to be. It'll just take us people to get together and make it that way."

"I'm just so glad to be home... didn't know I'd be the first."

Beulah Banner is back. One of the moms of the Riverview Neighborhood has come back home, as one of the first residents of the new HOPE VI homes in the community.

""I always thought one day I would come back," she said this past Saturday, a warm day, just before the noon hour. She'd only moved in this past Wednesday. "If the Lord would let me, I figured I'd come back one day. I always thought about it, wondered."

"The Lord worked it out."

In her 82 years, the elegant lady everybody calls "Miss Beulah" has seen plenty happen in Riverview and in Kingsport. She first came to upper East Tennessee from Alabama, and first lived with her sister in number 13 of the Riverview Apartments. When she got a job and got on her feet, she moved to Apartment 85.

She spent the next 40 years there.

"Life back then was all right, it didn't worry me," she recalls. "I was working, paid my rent, sent my son James to school over here at Douglass. There was a lot of family around and neighbors that you met that become family. It wasn't hard to get to know people... you just meet 'em, tell 'em who you are. I just got to lovin' everybody that was living in the apartments.. we all were just neighbors and we just knew each other. It was really fun."

Mrs. Banner says, the family atmosphere kept parents from worrying about their children playing outside.

"Everybody watched every else's child," she remembers. "I'd put my child James out there on the playground... I'd didn't have to be there. If somebody, some person saw him doing something wrong, they'd spank him. They'd come in around later and tell me 'I spanked him.' Well, if he needed it, give it to him. It wasn't a problem."

"That Linda Cox.. she's steady on my son," Mrs. Banner laughs. "She'd say, 'Aunt Beulah, he bad.' I'd say, 'well, straighten him out. I remember she would always tell me, and someone would say, 'did you hit that boy?' She'd say, 'yeah, 'cause he did something bad.' I'd say 'what did he do?' She said, 'he was throwing rocks in the street.' Maybe if he'd kept throwing 'em, she said he probably would have hit some child. I said, 'well, you stopped him and that's all right."

"Miss Beulah" remembers the bad times for Riverview, and says, she understood why the city had to take the steps they did to turn the neighborhood around.

"When they first told me I had to move out of my apartment, it hurt for a little while," she says. "It really did. They said that was tne rule, that's what they had to do. The lady said 'well Beulah, you could move anywhere you want.' I said 'No, I can't move anywhere if I move out. I can only come back."

She says, she always wanted to come back home to Riverview.

"I always felt like I didn't belong over on Dale Street (in the Lee Apartments)," says Mrs. Banner. "It wasn't as close-knit as it was over in Riverview. I felt out of place. Of course, people were nice to you.. neighbors would come and go, 'cause the police stayed down there. They wouldn't bother me, but they'd always be after somebody else."

"I couldn't go up the stairs at Lee," she says. "They told me not to. When I first came out of the hospital and then to the nursing home, when I came back to the apartment, they told me not to try and go up and down the stairs. When people would come by, I just said 'come on in' and I'd be there on the first floor."

As Mrs. Banner starts talking about settling down in her new home, 12 noon strikes. Of course, everybody knows what noon on a Saturday means in Kingsport.

Blow the whistle.

"I could still hear the Eastman whistle while I was at Lee," she remembers. "I'd be sitting in the yard and it'd go off Saturday mornings. It wasn't as loud and I didn't really feel a part of it. We so close to Eastman that we feel like they our neighbors. I don't know them, but they're neighbors to us."

"Just being here back home in Riverview, hearing it so close.. it's comfortable," Mrs. Banner says. "Just like everything else in the neighborhood, you get used to it and if you don't hear it, something's wrong. It's like everything else over here.. it means I'm home."

"Thank you Jesus.. I'm glad He watched over me while I was away, because he did," she says. "He never left me. I left home, but He never left me. Every hour and every second I was gone, my God was with me."

"Miss Beulah" is so proud showing off her new home. She now lives in one of the larger duplexes on Douglass Street at the corner with Carver.

"Oh, it's so beautiful," she says. "When I first walked in, I couldn't believe it. Me and the lady that brought me over, came in the back door, and I couldn't believe my eyes. It is so nice. I did have trouble with the microwave, 'cause I couldn't see the numbers on the front, so they got me another one with a dial on the front that I can turn."

The bedroom space she says, is much larger than she's ever had. Plenty of space for wheeling her wheelchair or walker around, without trying to maneuver in tight spaces.

"I got two bedrooms, I got plenty of room," she says, as she proudly showed it off. I'm just glad I don't have any steps like I used to."

Mrs. Banner says, it makes her feel good that everybody seems to be coming back to Riverview.

"It may not be just like it was before, because my son was living," she says, "but I'll make the best of it and thank God for it."

"I'm extra glad since I go to Central (Baptist Church), I can just walk right over there," says Mrs. Banner. "When I was gone, I rode the bus over here, and then (close friend) Mary would pick all of us up, and bring us over on Sunday. We'd get there early and have to wait for the Sunday school teacher to come it, Reverend Snapp. I'm glad I'm so close.. I wanted to be close, so I could just walk over. It's great to be able to look out the window and see it right there. I joined the church under Reverend Stokely.. he baptized me, and always said, 'come on in to the House of the Lord."

And drug dealers, be warned. The Riverview community just got another set of eyes and ears.

"I don't want to see them drug dealers come back," she says. "I'll just tell 'em to go somewhere else, and then I'll call the police and tell them. People gotta speak up."