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Thursday, June 17, 2021

The Douglass-Riverview Museum: Do You Like the Idea?

Greetings, fellow Douglass Alumni and Riverview friends and neighbors!

The city of Kingsport is considering the establishment of a Douglass School-Riverview Community museum that highlights important people, dates, activities, families and items that have contributed to the history of the city's African-American neighborhood.   Museums of this type are all around Tennessee, the nearest to Kingsport is at the Nathaniel Greene Museum in Greeneville, where an entire room is devoted to African-American history in Greeneville and Greene County.  Another museum of this type highlighting Black community would be novel in East Tennessee.

The location for a Douglass-Riverview museum is under consideration, but the establishement of the museum is dependent upon three things.

1)  The enthusiasm of the Black community and its alumni for such a museum.

2)  The support in said community for a Douglass-Riverview Museum.

3)  The willingness of Douglass Alumni and Riverview residents to donate needed items to be on permanent display in a museum.

The last condition, #3 is the most important one.  All museums consist of donated items that have historical interest.  A committee consisting of members of the Douglass-Riverview community and the city would be established to determine which donated items are worthy of display and exhibit.  The amount of donated items will determine where a museum would be located.

What could be donated?  Pictures, household items, you-name-it, for example.. dig into the back of the closet where Granny so-and-so kept all of her pictures and letters.. go into the attic where Granddaddy kept all of his World War 2 stuff... go down in the basement where Aunt Tessie's old sewing machine is that she made choir robes for church... go in the garage and get Uncle Joe's old plow that he plowed up that empty lot on Dunbar Street with to make a garden... go find those hair curler and hair dressing things that Miss Tillie used to use, that Miss Ethel  Walton Daniels used to use in their salons, things like that.

If you like the idea of a Douglass-Riverview mueum, drop a line to and let us know if you'd like to participate by donating items.

The success of a museum of this type will depend on the enthusiam of the community.  If you have spirit for a Douglas-Riverview museum, let us know so that the city can hear from the Black community about it.