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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Song to Celebrate Black History Month

This Black History Month, we are honoring many seniors in the Riverview community, who have walked the long walk, fought the tough fight, and have endured the trials and tribulations of the neighborhood. They have also rejoiced with their neighbors, helped raise their neighbors' children, and given hope and inspiration that Douglass and Riverview descendants carry to this day, and are passing on to future generations.  We can always find them lifting their voices to sing the Praises of the Lord.

We call them our "Riverview Senior Songbirds."

Mrs. Mamie Gillenwater was one of the first residents of Riverview, her family moving into the Riverview Apartments back in 1940.   She says, one of the first things she did, was join the church.

71 years later, the now 86-year old is one of the newest residents of Riverview Place, the new HOPE VI homes in the neighborhood.

She attends the Ebenezer Baptist Church (Reverend James Whiteside, pastor) and sings in the choir, but has been recuperating at the Brookhaven Nursing Home recently from, what she calls, various "getting-around" problems.

"Miss Mamie," also loving known as "Miss Tootsie" told us, she did not want Black History Month to get gone, before she got to celebrate it with her friends, family and loved ones in the community.

As a result, she sang to us, a couple of her favorite spiritual songs in only the wonderful way she can.  She says, she wants to dedicate the songs to the Riverview Community, and all of her friends in Kingsport.

Just click the "play" button in the lower left corner to play the video and hear the song.  Click the square in the lower left corner for full-screen.

In commemoration of Black History Month, we'll publish "Miss Tootsie's" second song in a couple of weeks.