Rest in peace, Rederick C. Henderson.

I know East Wilson because my father knew East Wilson. He was born in a house on Elba Street, was raised on Queen and Reid Streets, and was educated at Samuel H. Vick Elementary and Charles H. Darden High School. He played basketball at the Community Center, spent whole Saturdays watching movies at the Ritz Theatre, and knocked on the back door of Hines Barbershop to get spending money from his father. Long before Black Wide-Awake, my father introduced me to so many of the people and places that have made their way into this blog’s 4000 posts. Even as his final illness progressed, he loved to ride through the streets of East Wilson, pointing and narrating, peeling back layers of time to expose the pentimenti of our shared birthplace.

My father transitioned Friday night, surrounded by the four women who loved him most — his wife of 61 years, his two daughters, and his granddaughter. We are heartbroken, but blessed that we could comfort and care for him as he has done for us always. I honor his life and legacy here. Rest in power, Daddy.


  1. I am so very sorry for your loss. It sounds like you had a very special and loving relationship. What a wonderful man.

  2. A beautiful and eloquent tribute to a fine man. Having recently lost my own dear Daddy, I feel your sense of loss and pray for you and your family as you move through the days and months to come!

  3. I am sorry for your profound loss. It is so hard to lose your father. What a wonderful tribute you’ve brought him through this entire blog.

  4. My deepest prayers go out to you and your family. The passion and commitment to your blog is a testament to your experiences with your dad. Peace to you and yours.

  5. Lisa, your father’s soul is with His Lord, but thank God his spirit shall last forever.

  6. I’m so sorry for your loss a great man he was prayers and deepest condolences to the family

  7. Lisa, Your father was truly a gift to us all truly a mentor and a “Coach” RIP.

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