Thursday, January 08, 2009

Douglass School - The Early Years

Before it was Douglass, it was almost named for school board president William Bennett. This clip is from 1923. Three years later the new "white" high school would be named for Bennett and Mayor Dobyns: Dobyns-Bennett. Another newspaper story said the new "colored" school would be named for Booker T. Washington. In the end when the school was finally built, in 1929, it was named for Frederick Douglass.

The first time the newspaper referred to the school as Douglass (without the second "s").

First graduating class from "Douglass" which in 1927 was located in an old building in the Y-intersection of East Market and East Sullivan.

World famous bluesman Brownie McGhee - part of Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee - was known as Walter in 1935 when he performed as part of Douglass's men's quartet.


At 8:13 AM, Blogger GSK+ said...

When I had my Folk show on WKPT Back When, I recall playing an album of Brownie & Sonny live at a club in Vancouver (which has always been a big jazz/blues town). When I eventually visited Vancouver, and answered a "Where you from?" with Kingsport, more than one Vancouverite responded with something like "Wow, Cool, That's where Brownie's from", etc.

On a world scale, he might just be K'port's #1 City-zen. There oughtta be a statue or at least a placque or something...


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