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Sunday, April 21, 2024

NAACP Meeting in Kingsport


There will be an NAACP meeting in Kingsport on Monday, April 22, 2024.

The meeting will be held in the Riverview Community Room, beside the pickle ball courts on Wheatley Street.

The time will be 6 PM.

Come with your concerns and get answers.  Everybody welcome!

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Rescheduled Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 2024 Events in Kingsport

(click the play button above)

             (Courtesy the Kingsport Times-News)

KINGSPORT— Kingsport hosted its annual Martin Luther King Jr. parade Saturday afternoon. After two months of rescheduling due to inclement weather and other scheduling issues, the parade proceeded on its new route down Sullivan Street.

Bishop Ronnie Collins, parade organizer, said changes to the route were put in place to protect participants and keep them safe. “One reason that we're on this road is because throughout the country, over the last few years, there have been people who are driving into parades and killing people and hurting people,” said Collins. “What we've done, now because our parade is small, is that we’re coming down one street so they can block the whole thing off on both sides so that there's no room for that.”

The theme of this year’s parade was “The Answer to Racism is the Love of Christ and Show Love More in 2024.” Members of the community walked in the parade, alongside other city officials and representatives. Vice Mayor Colette George and Alderman Darrell Duncan carried the banner at this year’s parade.

“I've been here almost every single year because I think this is what our city's about,” said George. “Like they said, unity is part of the community, and it's always a nice parade. They do a wonderful job with it.” Duncan said the parade has served as a way to form lasting connections with the community. “Some of the friendships that I've made here over the years from this I’ve had forever,” Duncan said. “This is how I met Bishop Collins. It is [about] unity, but to me, it's [about] bonding and friendship." 

The parade concluded in the parking lot of City Hall, where Mayor Pat Shull presented a proclamation making Jan. 15 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the city of Kingsport. The proclamation marks Kingsport’s 24th year of observance of the federal holiday. “I know that everybody knows that Martin Luther King Day was in January, but I suspect that Dr. King would be more concerned with the fact that you're dedicated to his vision,” said Shull. “That's what I think he would appreciate. And what a great vision it was, about peace and unity and love for fellow Americans.” 

Collins said that King’s assassination left a lasting impact on him. He said it felt like the loss of a family member. “It's almost like he was part of the family,” Collins said. "For you all who don't understand, the day I heard and our family heard, we started crying like it was a brother, a sister, a daddy or grandma." Collins said King’s legacy and impact has always stuck with him, as a reminder that the community can make a difference. “It's all about loving instead of hating,” said Collins. “Trying to bring us all together, trying to treat people the way you want to be treated, but most importantly letting the love of Christ come through you so people can see that it does not have to be the bad, it can be good.”


New Vision Youth hosted its annual MLK Day Luncheon in the Riverview Community Room at the V.O. Dobbins Community Center later that afternoon.   Appreciation awards were also given out at the luncheon to the Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Eastman Connect, Van Dobbins and Calvin Sneed.

A Candlelight Vigil was held later in the evening at the Shiloh Baptist Church.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

NEW SCHEDULE: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Events

 This is the schedule of events for Saturday, April 6, 2024:


Time and Location - Saturday, April 6th, 12 Noondowntown Kingsport. 
(NEW PARADE ROUTE--- parade starts at East Sullivan Street at East Center Street-- route will now go up Sullivan Street, through the Cherokee Street traffic light, and then left into new City Hall Parking lot)

At 11:15 AM, because of limited parking space this particular year, marchers will park in the two parking lots of the Kingsport City Hall, then walk down Sullivan to the Center Street intersection, which is the beginning of the parade route.  The parade along Sullivan Street will then begin at 12 Noon at Sullivan and Center, back along the same route of Sullivan Street (the new route), back up to the City Hall Parking Lots.

The new route on Sullivan Street was designated by parade organizers and the city of Kingsport, to better protect marchers from continuous traffic on Center Street and the adjoining streets.  The new route is about 5 blocks long, easier for police to patrol and block off, and also shortens the march time considerably, allowing for more marchers to take part.

This year's theme is "The Answer to Racism is the Love of Christ and Show Love More in 2024."
(See attachment below).
CONTACT:  Pastor Ronnie Collins, parade organizer, 423-956-0675



Time and Location - Saturday, April 6th, 1 PM, Riverview Community Room, V.O. Dobbins Community Center, Kingsport, Wheatley Street side, beside the pickle ball courts.

Lunch catered by Phil's Dream Pit, meal sponsored by the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce and served by the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.  New Vision Youth member, 7-year old Journey Glauer, Lincoln Elementary School student will be singing her original composition that she wrote, "A Beautiful Song."  Community Unity Awards will be given out, also a Trivia Door prize will also be given away.  
Contact:  Johnnie Mae Swagerty, 423-429-7553.



Time and Location - Saturday, April 6th, 6 PM, Shiloh Baptist Church, 712 East Sevier Avenue, Kingsport.  The guest speaker is student activist 16-year old Tybre Faw of Johnson City, named last year as National Student Ambassador for the '400 Years of African-American History' Commission.  Faw was a mentor of the late civil rights pioneer and Georgia congressman John Lewis, who was severely beaten along with dozens of civil rights marchers as he led them across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama in 1965.  Faw is the National Youth Advisor for the John Lewis Legacy Institute.  He was also recently appointed the National Chairman of the "Let Me Read You Your Rights" campaign.

To honor Kingsport civic and municipal organizations including first responders and government leaders, candles of Peace, Love and Unity will be lit by representatives of those groups to further pledge their commitment every day to serve the Kingsport community.
Contact:  Johnnie Mae Swagerty, 423-429-7553.