KINGSPORT -- Freedom is still ringing in upper East Tennessee, and it's about to sound off loud and clear in Kingsport."She was the nanny to Johnson's daughter Margaret," Swagerty said. "To me, it was difficult to think she was a slave because it's come down through the generations that the Johnson family treated her extremely well. She stayed with the Johnson family even though she no longer had to.
"Years later, we always celebrated August 8th with the Greeneville folks, and that's why we want to make Kingsport's Juneteenth successful," she says.
The Juneteenth Parade on Main Street to MLK Drive on Friday, June 18th will remind you of the Douglass Alumni Reunion Parades like this one from June, 2007At 11 AM, Juneteenth turns sport-oriented with a free double dual Wrestling camp, hosted by DB Coach Wesley Idlette, two-year region standout Clint Morrisette and his twin brother Tre Morrisette, the Super 14 TSSAA Wrestler of the Year, 160-pound class (pre-registration requested).
A football camp hosted by former DB Coach Graham Clark and current DB Coach Joey Christian kicks off at 1 p.m. It features former DB and NFL player Teddy Gaines and former DB and UT player Malik Foreman teaching the basics to aspiring players.Take a break also at 1 p.m. to get your taste buds on with food tasting in the nearby Douglass Community Room. Everything from soul food and southern food, to Hispanic, Puerto Rican and South African dishes will tempt the palate.At 2 p.m., the sports competition continues with a DB basketball skills and drills demonstration by former DB stars Travis Sensabaugh and DiMingo Hale. It involves skills and competition for basketball players of the future.At 4 p.m., one of the Tri-Cities' favorite sons takes the stage in the ballfield. Singer Aaron Cole of Bristol, Virginia is a Dove Award winning artist, whose Christian rap has been bringing young people to Christ for years.
As Kingsport gets ready to join the chorus of communities commemorating the end of slavery in America, comes a nationwide effort to make June 19th-Juneteenth a federal holiday. Ron Carson, the co-founder of the Appalachian African-American Culture Center in Pennington Gap, VA welcomes the idea.
Ron Carson of the Appalachian African-American Culture Center relaying Black History to the New Vision Youth in March, 2020