Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Special Honor for the Former Swift High School and College

The former Swift High School and College, Rogersville, TN is being honored in a special way.

Please click here to read about the honor for our neighbors and friends in Rogersville!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy Birthday!

The Douglass website published its very first post on December 29, 2006.

That means, today, the Tri-Cities' African-American community's information source is now officially 8 years old.

Considering the modern-day internet (the one we all use today), is only 20 years old, it means we have been around for half the life of the internet.

Not a bad recognition.

Thanks for supporting us!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Deacon Lorenzo Wyatt passing

BRISTOL — Deacon Lorenzo Wyatt passed from this life on Tuesday (Sept. 30, 2014) at the age of 91, following an extended battle with Parkinson’s disease.

A devout Christian and believer in God, he now lives in heaven with his parents, Arthur and Pearl Wyatt; along with his brothers, Arthur, William, Leon, Haywood and Richard; and his sisters, Georgia and Hazel.

He is survived by Louise, his loving wife of 65 years; and their five children, Lorenzo (Brenda), Keith (Karleen), Mark (Jennifer), Lorna (Rick) and Kevin (Susan). Lorenzo’s brother, Arnold; and sisters, Eugenia and Gwendolyn, also survive his passing. Lorenzo and Louise were blessed with 13 grandchildren, Lorenzo (Tamami), Sheri, Kristen, Benjamin, Zack, Will, Jasmine (Richard), Jaelen, Demeatrious, Nichelle, Logan, Louisa and Grace. God also gave them seven great-grandchildren, Milei, Hiro, Leina, Olayinka, Amaya, Gabriella and Sophia.

Deacon Wyatt left Alabama A&M during his sophomore year to serve his country during World War II. He became a decorated World War II veteran, serving in the Philippine Islands and New Guinea. As First Sergeant, he supervised and directed the efforts of 221 men. Upon his honorable discharge, he returned to Alabama A&M where he majored in secondary education and was elected student body president. He joined Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and remained an active member throughout his life. Also while attending A&M, Lorenzo met the love of his life, Louise, and immediately decided that she was the woman with whom he planned to spend the rest of his life.

Both Lorenzo and Louise were passionate about educating children, believing it to be the key to escaping poverty and achieving the American dream. Lorenzo’s academic achievements enabled his selection as principal of Colony School, located in Cullman, Ala. In June of 1958, he became principal of Slater School in Bristol, Tenn. During his tenure at Slater, which was also a 1-12 school, he touched many lives and raised the academic performance to achieve state accreditation.

During their summers, both he and Louise worked toward achieving advanced degrees. Lorenzo earned a Master’s in guidance and counseling at Michigan State University. At Slater, he recruited and mentored dozens of educators who have also achieved distinguished careers. He joined the Tennessee State Department of Education as a guidance and counseling consultant and subsequently served as curriculum coordinator and regional supervisor. He then returned to his first love, school administration, to become the principal of Northside Elementary School where he served with distinction for 14 years until his retirement in 1989.

Nothing in Lorenzo’s professional life was ever as important as his relationship with his Lord Jesus Christ. His faith in Christ drove him to join Lee Street Baptist Church where he would serve as a deacon for over 50 years. He served his fellow congregation members as Sunday school teacher and superintendent. He served his community in a number of roles including delivering “Meals on Wheels,” president of the local American Red Cross, volunteer instructor and chairman of the board for the Jacob’s Creek Job Corps. He believed that the best way to lead people to Christ was to set a good example in the way he lived his life.

Deacon Lorenzo Wyatt will long be remembered as a faithful husband, wonderful father, and outstanding leader. The scholarship at Science Hill High School for Northside Elementary School graduates and the auditorium at the Slater Community Center that bear his name, reflect the impact he had on so many young lives. He will be missed, but his legacy will long endure.

Funeral services will be conducted Saturday at 1 p.m. from Lee Street Baptist Church with Pastor Dr. W.A. Johnson officiating.

The family will receive friends from noon until the hour of service.

Entombment services will follow at Glenwood Cemetery, Bristol, Tenn.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at raclark 

Professional services and care of Deacon Lorenzo Wyatt and family are entrusted to R.A. Clark Funeral Service Inc., Bristol, Tenn., (423) 764-8584.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fred Douglas Delaney Passing

Fred D. Delaney passed away Saturday, September 20, 2014, at Wellmont Bristol Regional Medical Center.

Fred was a loving, caring and devoted husband, father, brother-in-law, mentor and friend, who was known as "Uncle Fred" to many throughout the years.

He was born on November 20, 1936 in Bristol, Virginia, to Loruma and Fred Delaney Sr.

After graduation from Knoxville College in 1958, he began four years of duty with the U.S. Army.

 During his service he was stationed at Fort Lee, Virginia and West Point Academy, Highland Falls, New York.

 In 1962, Fred moved on to launch a 30-year career with IBM that began in Denver, Colorado and included positions in New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Georgia. While at IBM, he earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Pace University in New York. Fred was the tech company's Manager of Corporate Administration Education in Atlanta when he retired and returned to his roots in Bristol.

In retirement Fred was a committed citizen of his community. He served on the board of several organizations, including the John Wesley UMC Trustee Board; Celebrate Bristol; The Crisis Center; Kiwanis of Bristol; Boys and Girls Clubs; Board of Zoning Appeals of Bristol, Tenn.; Better Property Board of Bristol, Tenn.; and Retirement and Health Care Centers of Marysville, Tenn.

A 1954 graduate of Douglass High School in Bristol, Virginia, he also served on the Executive Committee of the school's alumni association. He was a member of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity.

Fred is survived by his wife of 54 years, the former Dawn Gloria Henderson of Bristol, Tenn. He was the proud father of two sons, Roger Delaney of Atlanta and Trevor Delaney of Brooklyn, New York.

The family will receive friends at 12 p.m. Saturday, September 27, 2014, at John Wesley United Methodist Church, 311 Lee Street, Bristol, Virginia.

Funeral services will begin at 1 p.m. Pastor Robert Kariuki officiating. Entombment will follow at Mt. View Cemetery Mausoleum Bristol, Va.

Professional Services and care of Fred Douglas Delaney and family are entrusted to R.A.Clark Funeral Service Inc.(423) 764-8584.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Pictures from the 2014 Douglass-Slater Banquet


Pictures from the 2014 Douglass-Slater Alumni Picnic


2014 Douglass-Slater Reunion: Loving Memories, Forging Tomorrows

Friends, family and loved ones gathered to enjoy each other's company, at the 2014 edition of the Douglass-Slater Reunion.

The get-together every two years, reunites students from Bristol's two former African-American high schools, Douglass High School in Bristol, Virginia and Slater High School in Bristol, Tennessee.

The two schools held separate reunions for a while.. Douglass' started around 1976, and Slater's began around 1978.

Margo White is the president of the Douglass Alumni association for 2014.. Tommy McDaniel is Slater's alumni president.

"These reunions are special, because they bring back and emphasize our roots and our heritage," McDaniel says. "Friends and families get to come together and have fun, just like we did when we were in school. Those loving memories are important."

Both Douglass and Slater began joint reunions in 2000, and the histories of the two schools are very similar. Though less than a mile apart, the only thing that physically separates them is the Tennessee-Virginia state line. Other than that, students and families from both schools all know each other, and did, back when.

"Times were hard back in the 1940's, 50's and 60's," says McDaniel, himself a 10-year veteran of Slater, starting school there in 1956. "We didn't have much. Some of the students who came to the schools did have food to eat. The biggest meals they had, were at school. That meant a lot to them and it makes their return to these school reunions even more special. Everybody formed a special bond that was never broken."

"Family" was the key word back then, even though McDaniel says, it was never emphasized. It was just always present.

"Teachers at both schools took care of their students, and in many cases, students took care of students," he remembers. "Even past that, parents took care of their kids and then they took care of other parents' kids, too. All we had were families that knew each other and loved each other."

"We are a close-knit group, and that togetherness has lasted for generations."

At the 2014 Reunion picnic held at Steele Creek Park, those former students and families enjoyed bingo, card games, bean toss, and of course, good food. There was plenty of reminiscing and kidding around, but it was with a guarded optimism.

"Our school reunions are not like Dobyns-Bennett or Science Hill or Tennessee High (where McDaniel graduated in '67)," he says. "Unlike them, we, as African-American high school alumni have a finite number of alumni. Every year, those schools get to add to their alumni base with new seniors graduating. We don't have that luxury. Our numbers have been dropping ever since integration in 1965. Every year, we have dozens of black alumni who will not see the next school reunion, and there are no graduating seniors to replenish the alumni numbers."

Therefore, these reunions have a two-fold purpose.

"First and foremost," McDaniel says, "we have to get our descendants, the younger people involved in remembering the heritage of the schools. It's vitally important to pass along the schools' histories to the younger generation. We absolutely have to bring them on board and stress the importance of remembering where they came from. Our history is their history. The sad fact is, we don't have people here today, that were here laughing and joking around back in 2012. It's a challenge to involve young people in something most of them have no interest in, but our challenge is clear.

The Douglass-Slater Banquet is where the next part of the reunion's purpose becomes clear.

"The next thing we have to do is enjoy the time that we as former students have together," says McDaniel. "Nobody knows but if this is the last time we see each other. At the banquet, we get to dress up in theme clothing and have a good time, appreciating each other's company. We want our folks to have a good time at the banquet because we get to honor our alumni members, celebrate those who have achieved above and beyond the goals we set for ourselves, and award our scholarships to the young descendants who we hope, will carry on the banner.

Acknowledging that everybody looks a little different now, McDaniel says the way they were all raised, shaped backgrounds that will never change.

"Although we may live apart, we are still together as alumni," he says. "We still love each other like we did when we went through those school doors for the last time. "That's what binds us together.. keeps us as one."