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Friday, June 28, 2024

Patricia Lollar Wood remembrance


Patricia Lollar Wood was born on April 12, 1953.   She was the  10th child of Fred and Grace Lollar.


She departed this world on June 23, 2024 after a lengthy illness.


She lived the last 35 years in Clinton, Md where she was a retired analyst for the Post Office Inspector General in Washington, DC.


She is survived by her husband George Wood of Gate City, VA and 3 children:  Katrina, Douglas and Ebony.  She is also survived by 3 siblings: Shirley Lollar Patterson, Margaret Lollar Crutchfield, and Vanessa Lollar Overton.


Her obituary and memorial arrangements will posted at a later date.

Friday, June 21, 2024

Riding the Streets of a Snowy Riverview

Snow Day, January 16th, 2024 - East Center Street at East Sevier Avenue, Kingsport

Here at the beginning of summer with temps in the 90's, let's go back 5 months.


I rode the streets of Riverview back on MLK Day, January 15th and 16th, 2024 on the eve of one of the biggest and coldest snowstorms to hit back home.  It brings back memories of when bad weather at home would band the neighbors together to check on one another, some of them bringing soup, crackers and cornbread to each other, checking on medicines for our seniors, cranking the heat up just a tad and giving a watchful, protective eye out the window on the kids playing in the snow (leave them galoshers at the back door).

This video was taken at 3 PM on January 15th and over the next 12 hours, it snowed about 8 inches to 12 inches of snow in Kingsport on down to Knoxville and almost stranded me in Kingsport (I did run off U.S. 11-E between Jefferson City and Knoxville; not hurt, no car damage thank God, but a scary, one-lane, 7-hour trip from Kingsport to Chattanooga that normally would haven taken three).

It's been my experience that most Black people don't like watching videos, so if you're looking for still pictures, the internet has plenty of them.

This visit starts on Wheatley Street and goes around to canvass the neighborhood.  Click the "play" arrow below and enjoy the snowy video trip around our Riverview!

Friday, June 14, 2024

Descendants of Rotherwood slaves: Special Reunion planned




















And possibly others.

The names above have been identified as possibly being descendants of families who were enslaved at the Rotherwood Plantation back during slavery.  There are also other family names from the Ross, Phipps, Netherland side as well.  Other family names will be added once they are discovered.

There is a special reunion being planned in mid September at the Rotherwood Mansion in Kingsport, for those families who have connections to Rotherwood Heights.  Please contact Tacia Green at for more information about this special reunion.

Why the Reunion? 

This reunion is one of healing. Although, we will never forget our history or the many contributions that were provided not only to Rotherwood by to Kingsport. We need to come together, families of the oppressed and the oppressor, and heal the land of Rotherwood Mansion. Healing the land through Christian love, sharing our history to descendants and others and acknowledging wrongdoings. 

Why the Reconciliation?

Because it is past time. Down through generations, our ancestors endured pain, suffering and belittlement. We, as the descendants of Rotherwood, should want to end that pain and renew our ancestors by healing the people of Rotherwood. In 2024, when we look over at Rotherwood Mansion or when we drive by Netherland Inn, we don't have to think about our ancestors as slaves, instead we can have memories of our " Rotherwood reunion."

It's time for us to reconcile with our past... it's time for the Rotherwood Mansion to be healed and forgiven from its past, and us as well.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Ralph E. Hale remembrance


Ralph E. Hale passed away on June 7, 2024, at the age of 70, at the James Quillen Veterans Affair Medical Center in Johnson City, TN, after a brief, terminal illness. 

Mr. Hale was born in Dante, VA, on August 7, 1953. Part of his early life was spent in Kingsport, TN, but he returned to Virginia to complete his high school years. He played varsity football and graduated from Castlewood High School in 1971. After high school, he attended Clinton Junior College (now Clinton College) in South Carolina, a Historically Black College (HBCU), earning an associate degree. After college, he joined the United States Army, serving at Fort Leonard Wood, MO with the 2nd Platoon.

After the army, Mr. Hale returned to Kingsport, TN, where he lived in an off-and-on pattern for the remainder of his life. He loved to dress in matching outfits and had a great collection of baseball caps. If you saw Ralph not dressed, you knew he wasn't feeling his best. He was an avid, die-hard sports fan. His favorite sports teams were the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves in baseball, the Cleveland Cavaliers in basketball, and the Cleveland Browns in football.

Mr. Hale had several accomplishments in life, but his most precious was the birth of his children: his son, Jermeil Tarter, and his daughter, Alexis Tarter Essuman. Another precious accomplishment that was the highlight of his time on earth was Ralph accepting Jesus Christ as his personal Savior about a week before his death. After accepting Christ, he requested to be baptized because he could not remember if he had been baptized earlier in life. The VA medical and support staff worked together on this life-changing event, and Ralph was baptized on May 29, 2024, with the medical team and family members in attendance. He was baptized, which was an outward manifestation of the inward decision he had made earlier in the week.

Although we were all praying for physical healing, the Lord provided spiritual healing and gave Ralph time to accept Him and make Heaven his home. In the short time Ralph had left, he prayed and requested prayer and to have the Bible read to him. God is good, and His mercies are everlasting.

Ralph was preceded in death by the mother of his children, Venita Tarter; his parents, James Hale and Violet Davis; brother, William Hale; niece, Georgette Hale; and nephew, Edward "Sweetman" Long.

Mr. Hale leaves to cherish his memory and mourn his passing, his son and daughter, Jermeil Tarter and Alexis Tarter Essuman; grandchildren, Aleryia Venita Robinson, Anajah Venice Neiba, and Jabari Jordan Tarter; siblings, Virginia Dianne Long, James Hale, Elder Sharon Comage, Deborah Hale, Caron Hale, Vickie (Theodore) Hale-Brown, Robert (Sharon) Hale, Terry (Tonya) Hale, and Timula (Charles) Hale, who was his niece but was raised as a sister; and many aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, cousins, and friends.

Clark Funeral Chapel and Cremation Service is serving the family of Ralph Hale.   The visitation will be held on Friday, June 14, 2024 at the funeral chapel at 802-806 East Sevier Avenue, Kingssport from 11 AM to 12 PM.  The Celebration of Life will be held from 12 PM to 1 PM also in the funeral chapel.

The cortege will depart the Clark Funeral Chapel on Monday, June 17, 2024, bound for the Mountain Home National Cemetery, 215 Heroes Drive, Mountain Home, TN 37684.

Burial will be on Monday, June 17, 2024 from 11 AM to 12 PM at the Mountain Home National Cemetery.


Friday, June 7, 2024

Lunch registration closed for "History of African-Americans in Kingsport" presentation, Monday June 10th


According to the new post, registrations for lunch at the "History of African-Americans in Kingsport" presentation are no longer being accepted.

You are free, however, to bring your own lunch.

Hope to see you there on Monday, June 10th at 11:30.  Please try to come early to get a good seat.

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Speech: The History of African-Americans in Kingsport New Edition: June 10, 2024


If you were born or raised in Riverview, it's a presentation you don't want to miss.

As always happens with ongoing research, the History of African-Americans in Kingsport has been updated.  Months of discovering new aspects that shaped the Black community in Kingsport have now been added to the history.

During the presentation, we'll go from slavery (yes, there was slavery in Kingsport), through the early 20th century, to the beginnings of our namesake Douglass School and Riverview (the neighborhood that was built on a dumpsite), and then enduring the trials and tribulations of ultimately making our community a place to be proud of.  We'll also talk about the one single thing that is standing in the way of our community's future, and it's not what you think.


The original presentation several years ago was the result of almost a year of going through papers, reading articles, talking with our neighbors who experienced the community's growing pains, and visiting the landmarks that live in our memories.  We have now expanded that and I've added some previously unseen video clips to help tell our story.  Everything you see and hear is not opinion... it's fact and it comes from someone in the community, who experienced it enough to remember it.

In honor of our 2024 Juneteenth celebration, the presentation "History of African-Americans in Kingsport" will be on Monday, June 10th beginning promptly at 11:30 AM in the Douglass Room of the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Complex, 301 Louis Street, Kingsport.

You need to register for the lite refreshments (scan with your phone's camera the QR code in the ad at the bottom,  or by going to this link to register for lunch

There will also be a SHORT 10-15 minute midbreak.  Come one, come all, come early to get a good seat and bring someone with you.


The event is free of charge and is sponsored by the United Way of Greater Kingsport.

Monday, June 3, 2024

One Juneteenth Event Rescheduled


Rescheduling for one Juneteenth event...

The Riverview Juneteenth Community Unity Bingo event has been moved to Saturday, June 22, 2024 at 6:30 PM.  It will be held in the Riverview Community Room beside the pickleball courts on Wheatley Street in Kingsport.

Please bring a door prize.

The Bingo event had to be moved from the original June 8th date because of other things going on in the community on that day.

Bring a friend for fun, food and Unity.  Everybody welcome!