Roger C. Anderson

Roger C. Anderson
1926 – 1999

Behind the scenes of the Alexandria Gazette Packet’s article on, “He Loved His People and His Community”– dated July 4 – 10, 2019.

Mr. Roger C. Anderson was one of several people who helped spark my interest in African American History. I remembered somewhere around 1985 I took a tour of Alexandria African-American sites with Mr. Anderson and others. I was shocked in learning about the Alexandria’s Slave Pen. I was in my late twenties just finding out for the first time about the Alexandria Slave Pen; that part of history was not taught to me in the Alexandria School System.

Our busy lives sometimes make us forget to thank individuals who have impacted our lives in a positive way. Mr. Anderson was one of those people who impacted so many African American children growing up in Alexandria during segregation and the early years of desegregation. The article in the Alexandria Gazette is to publicly tell the story of the contributions that Mr. Anderson made to his people and to his community.

Read more about “Mr. Roger C. Anderson”– dated June 4-10, 2019 in the Alexandria Gazette Packet on page 9 at

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Remembering “Roro” Scott

Roland and his sister, Barbara Scott

Behind the scenes of the Alexandria Gazette Packet’s article on, “Remembering ‘Roro’ Scott”– dated June 20-26, 2019.

Parker-Gray School (PG) opened in the school year of 1920 and closed as a high school 45-years later in 1965. During those 45-years, many African Americans in Alexandria, Fairfax (Gum Springs) and other areas came to PG for an education. PG was the only public African American School in Alexandria in 1920 that provided an education from first to seventh grade. In the 1930s, PG added classes to the 11th grade and by the 1950s included the 12th grade. From 1920 through 1965, PG was a segregated school for African Americans. After 1965 school year, the school opened up as a desegregated middle school including white and black children.

Roland “Roro” Scott was one of those students who went to Parker-Gray in the 1950s and excelled in his classes and in sports. He was the son of, Bernard Scott and Iona Marcellus. Roland’s sister was Barbara Jane Scott.

Although Roland’s nickname at Parker-Gray was “Roro,” family members also stated his nickname was “Big Scott.” Roro’s father was also called “Big Scott” until he died 1956.

Today, Roland’s widow, Bettie Garrett Scott, his daughter, Randy Scott and his grandchildren remember “Roro” Scott and all his achievements.

Read more about “Remembering Roro Scott”– dated June 20-26, 2019 in the Alexandria Gazette Packet on page 9 at

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“Thank You Dad for a Great Childhood”

Behind the scenes of the Alexandria Gazette Packet’s article on, “Thank You Dad for a Great Childhood”– dated June 6, 2019.

Mr. John L. Taylor’s at the Elks Lodge

Mrs. John Leonard Taylor’s maternal family has been in Alexandria, Virginia since the Civil War. This side of his family is connected to the Alexandria Freedmen Cemetery. On Mr. Taylor’s paternal side of the family, his great-grandparents where from Loudoun, Virginia.

Mr. Taylor is the youngest of four children, Donald, Charlene and Alvin. He was born in 1936 and he lived a great deal of his life in segregated Alexandria. Segregation was a way of life for many African Americans prior to 1965, but Mr. Taylor did not let the condition of segregation stop him from carving out a better life for his family. He was able to have a career at the Washington Metropolitan Transit and retired as a supervisor. Mr. Taylor was able to give his two girls an enjoyable life and he was able to purchase his own house.

Looking back, Mr. Taylor had a good life with his wife Beatrice Cross-Taylor, his daughters, parents and siblings. He was able to carve out a little bit of the American dream.

Check out the article “Thank You Dad for a Great Childhood”– dated June 6, 2019 in the Alexandria Gazette Packet on page 10 at

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Two Unlikely Activists Made History

Behind the scenes of the Alexandria Gazette Packet’s article on, “Two Unlikely Activists Made History”– dated May 30-June 5, 2019.

Can you a lone make a difference? Yes you can. Two women from two different backgrounds brought national attention to an unknown cemetery. Their community activism impacted thousands of descendants of the Alexandria’s Freedmen’s Cemetery.

Left to Right: Lillie Finkle, former, Mayor Euille and Louise Massoud

Without these ladies efforts, I would not have known about the Freedmen’s Cemetery. And, I would not have been able to make my contribution to the Freedmen’s project in locating the descendants. So I am indebted to Lillian Finkle and Louise Massoud for all their dedicated work for the Friends of the Freedmen Cemetery.

Check out the article on “Two Unlikely Activists Made History” – dated May 30 – June 5, 2019 in the Alexandria Gazette Packet on page 12 at Also you can read behind the scene of this article on my blog at

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