Mr. Harold Bell has been involved in sports for all of his teenage and adult life. He got his start as a host of sport talk show from legendary Petey Greene and Bobby Bennett. By 1972, Station WOOK-AM a black oriented station hired him as a talk show host, allowing him to express his strong opinions with no filer. The show was christened “Inside Sports,” the tag given to him by his wife, Hattie. Harold’s “Inside Sports,” ran from 1972 through the 1990s.
Dr. Michael D. Casey grew up in the Seminary Community in the 1950s. Throughout his life, he had the support of several women. One particular woman, who enlightened Michael was the former Mayor of Alexandria, Allison Silberberg.
Allison and Michael worked together on the Alexandria Economic Opportunities Commission. This was a city and state advisory platform from which they advocated for low income families on myriad issues, including employment, health care and affordable housing.
Dr. Casey expressed his work experience with Ms. Silberberg by saying, “it was a rewarding experience, and it was a pivotal life experience, as her indefatigable can-do spirit inspired me to become even more involved in community service, including with the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria (SFA). I continue to serve on the SFA Board of Trustees, alongside strong women movers and shakers who make a huge difference in Alexandria each day.
Ms. Silberberg’s persevering sprit, community caring and activism made an indelible impression on me, and compelled me to continue to advocate for our Alexandria residents and student communities to this day.
I credit Ms. Silberberg — directly and indirectly — with innumerable critical improvements in Alexandria, Virginia.”
Dr. Casey had other women who made a profound positive impact on his career.
You can read the rest of the story about Dr. Casey titled, “The Women Who Sparked His Career – Dr. Michael D. Casey in the Alexandria Gazette at
Alexandria, Virginia is a unique place that is rich in history. The history in Alexandria goes back beyond the birth of George Washington who frequently visited Alexandria during his lifetime. Many African Americans in Alexandria have made many contributions to Alexandria through their labor, artisans, religion, educators, businesspersons, government employees and politicians.
Some of these African Americans in Alexandria have history that go back to the Colonial Period, and a great deal of the African Americans have family members who came to Alexandria during the Civil War. One of those African American families that came to Alexandria prior to the Civil War was the Diggs’ Family.
You can read the article on Lois Diggs Davis titled, “Passing The History On” in the Alexandria Gazette at this link:
When I received an e-mail from Alvah Beander that Sonny Duke had died, I did not know anything about Sonny until Alvah told me. I started inquiring about Sonny from my Elderly Advisors. After talking to my advisors, I knew I had to write about Sonny. I contacted his cousin, William “Bill” Gordon and Sonny’s daughter, Wanda Duke Kyler.
As I was researching and writing the article on Sonny, I thought to myself how many African Americans in Alexandria did not know Sonny. Sonny’s life as a businessperson was exceptional and an inspiration to individuals who want to embark on their own business, especially for African Americans.
Through the research and interviews with his cousin and daughter, I was able to reveal Sonny’s passion for being the best businessperson he could be. He valued his customers and he strived to deliver his customers’ clothes within 24 hours. He dressed for success and he rolled up his sleeves to do their clothes even when he had a staff to do the work.
Sonny worked long hours even when his health was failing. He was truly dedicated to making his customers satisfied, which result in his business being successful. His customers were in Alexandria and in Fairfax, Virginia. Sonny’s success really came from his parents that groomed him to be a businessperson. He worked beside his parents in their business starting at the age of thirteen. By the time he was eighteen, his parents made him a manager at their drycleaners.
The life of Sonny is an example of the young learning from their elders. Sonny was good in listening and learning from his elders because his life was a testimony to what he accomplished by learning from them.