WS Chronicle http://www.wschronicle.com Thu, 26 May 2016 15:35:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.2 Farrakhan, Mendez revel in brotherly love http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/05/farrakhan-mendez-revel-brotherly-love/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/05/farrakhan-mendez-revel-brotherly-love/#respond Thu, 26 May 2016 15:00:44 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=33223 More than 1,000 Christians and Muslims attended the historical morning worship service at Emmanuel Baptist Church on Sunday, May 22, during which the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan brought the morning message.

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Photo provided by DFP Corporate Imaging

BY FELECIA PIGGOTT-LONG 

FOR THE CHRONICLE

More than 1,000 Christians and Muslims attended the historical morning worship service at Emmanuel Baptist Church on Sunday, May 22, during which the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan brought the morning message. The Rev. Dr. John Mendez had invited Farrakhan to his pulpit at Emmanuel.

Farrakhan’s message was on the topic of leadership. The sanctuary was charged with a unique spiritual energy when Mendez invited Christians to stand and greet the Muslims seated next to them.

Farrakhan embraced Mendez and other Emmanuel Church members in brotherly and sisterly love. Christian women praised Muslim women’s head pieces and the Impress garments they wore. Smiles abounded around the room. Muslim women praised the African attire or the colorful hats the Christian women wore. The men greeted one another in unity with handshakes and hugs.

Music provided a dynamic backdrop to this spirited tapes-try. The EBC Hand Bell Choir performed the hymn “Blessed Assurance.” Gloria Swindell led the choir in singing “God Is,” and Director of Music Rochelle Joyner rendered an organ solo of “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.”

Imam Effrianguan Muhammad, representative of Farrakhan for the Winston-Salem Local Organizing Committee, observed the significance of this interfaith gathering.

“I have never witnessed such a gathering before in Winston-Salem. Muslims and Christians were encouraged to get up and embrace each other. I have never experienced that before,” said Muhammad. “I have only experienced this with our great friend and pastor Dr. John Mendez and his friend and brother, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. Because the love was genuine, it literally brought tears to my eyes.”

“This is something we have always desired, that black Muslims and black Christians can come together in genuine love. This was an example of what genuine Christian love and interfaith dialogue should look like,” said Muhammad.

Mendez was elated and overjoyed that this extend-ed family had come together.

“This day is like a miracle to me. Only God could have made this possible. There is a preacher in the house. I am honored to present someone I have known most of my life. Growing up in Harlem and on 116th Street, where the mosque was located, I often passed by, and Minister Farrakhan would always take time to talk to me,” said Mendez.

“When I was student body president at Shaw University, I invited Minister Farrakhan there to speak to the student body. This morning, I bring him again to Emmanuel Baptist Church,” Mendez said. “He has been a voice for the oppressed, a prophet to this land. He taught all of us how to stand for justice, for truth. He taught us how to deal with persecution and rejection and still come out on top. I present one of the greatest orators in America, in the world. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.”

Before Farrakhan took the stand, Willie Johnson, a junior at Carver High School, dedicated an original poem in Farrakhan’s honor. The poem is titled “What is a Leader?” The final lines of the poem are: “And so, Minister Farrakhan, continue to stay strong./ Because God always knew that you were the greatest leader in the world/ Before you were born.”

Farrakhan thanked Johnson for the poem, and extended a charge to him that he become the leader that he wrote about.

“In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. We give Him praise and thanks. … As Salaam Alaikum. Peace be unto you. I want to first apologize to you. You have never been to church and been searched,” said Farrakhan.

“I can imagine the trauma you went through. Martin Luther King’s mother was shot down in church. Pastors have been killed while they preached. They did not search. Eight black people were shot down during Bible Study. We even need to search the preacher,” Farrakhan said.

“I am honored beyond words to be here today.

Muslims and Christians are worshipping together in a time when Muslims, Christians and Jews are killing each other in different parts of the world. There is peace, love, brotherhood among us. Surely, God has made us an example for the entire world,” Farrakhan said.

Farrakhan attended Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) in 1955. At that time, his name was Louis Eugene Walcott. He had mastered the violin as his instrument of choice, and in 1993, he returned to Winston-Salem to perform the Mendolsson Concerto in the Gateways Music Festival held at Reynolds Auditorium

“I am honored to be here in Winston-Salem. I came South on a scholarship to Winston-Salem Teachers’ College. It was at that College that the profound love of black people was planted in my being,” said Farrakhan. “I remember climbing all of those steps to go see a movie at the Carolina Theatre. We were treated as second-classed citizens just to see a movie. Don’t tell me about the Confederate flag. All the hell we are catching –we are catching it under the American flag.

“How can they have a preacher except they be sent? The Doctrine of Liberation. Is it taught in these theological cemeteries of Great America? They do not degree you to come out and free your people from their grip,” Farrakhan said. “God has to intervene. God has to raise up men and women who know God is. When you know God is the strength and the joy of your life, how can you walk away like a coward suffering inhumanities and not speak up about it?” he said.

Farrakhan spoke out about the homicides that occur when black males kill each other. Some of these murders are associated with gangsta rap.

“When brothers kill one another, the root of this crisis is the lack of knowledge of self, lack of love for self. Out of this roots comes lying, slander, murder, backbiting, betrayal of our people.”

We need to replace that root with a new paradigm. We can tell we have passed from death to life because “Hip-hop is a part of a cultural evolution of the revolution that brought gospel, jazz, blues, music that brought us to where we are. Gangsta rap begins to use music to glorify and honor a life of drugs, crime, the B-word, violence. Hip-Hop, when it started, was a way to put wisdom in a rap with a beat. David said praise God with the psaltery and the harp. Praise Him on the loud cymbals. Praise Him with the dance. All things are to be done in praise to God. If hip-hop moves toward that direction, it can lift us rather than degrade us,” said Farrakhan.

“I was most impressed with my university, WSSU. It is wonderful the things they have done to evolve WSSU. I am pleased with the direction the chancellor and staff are taking. I would say there is hope.

“I hope our young people will get self-determined to do something for themselves so that they will not have to lie down at the foot of white men begging to be blessed. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be invited by my friend and brother Rev. Mendez,” Farrakhan said.

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Salem grads told to bet on themselves http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/05/33220/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/05/33220/#respond Thu, 26 May 2016 14:45:38 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=33220 Erika James, Dean of Goizueta Business School at Emory University, told the Salem College Class of 2016 last Saturday morning to always bet on themselves.

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Photo by Tevin Stinson

BY TEVIN STINSON

THE CHRONICLE 

Erika James, Dean of Goizueta Business School at Emory University, told the Salem College Class of 2016 last Saturday morning to always bet on themselves.

As she stood before the 220 graduates, James, the first woman to lead a top 25 business school, said, “Choose wisely and always bet on yourself.”

“You should dream big and follow your passions,” she said. “If you’re not happy with your life, you have the power to change it.”

Prior to joining Emory in 2014, James served as the Senior Associate Dean for Executive Education at the Darden Graduate School of Business. She also served as an assistant professor at Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business, and a visiting professor at Harvard Business School. Her academic career includes involvement in diversity initiatives and membership on multiple university councils and committees.

During her 15-minute dissertation-style speech entitled “Choose Wisely,” James told the students that every experience they encounter after graduation will be further preparation for the future. She also told the graduates to choose friends and peers.

“Every decision you make and every action you take is designing the life you deserve,” she continued. “So choose wisely, for tomorrow is only as good as you make it today.”

City native Brittany Smith is one of those students who is preparing for tomorrow today. While working toward her master’s of arts in teaching degree, Smith also worked as a teacher at Southwest Elementary School. Smith said she will continue to teach until she finds something else.

Smith said what she will cherish most about her time spent at Salem is the family atmosphere.

“Everybody here is really friendly and the professors are always willing to help,” she said. “That family atmosphere is something you can’t get anywhere else.”

Education major from Lexington Danielle Beck said she plans to use her degree to become a teacher as well. Beck said she always dreamed of becoming a teacher and walking across the stage is something she has worked long and hard for.

“Today marks the end of a long journey,” Beck said with a smile.

“It was hard at times, but it was well worth it. I am proud to say I am officially a graduate of Salem College.”

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Women and girls cross generations to bond at event http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/05/women-girls-cross-generations-bond-event/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/05/women-girls-cross-generations-bond-event/#respond Thu, 26 May 2016 14:30:07 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=33217 “Liquid sunshine” ruled the day outside as about 100 women and girls gathered inside the Forsyth County Cooperative Extension Building on Saturday, May 21. The fellowship inside made the day bright.

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Photo by Donna Rogers

BY DONNA ROGERS 

THE CHRONICLE

“Liquid sunshine” ruled the day outside as about 100 women and girls gathered inside the Forsyth County Cooperative Extension Building on Saturday, May 21. The fellowship inside made the day bright.

The goal was to foster communication across generations to understand and learn about each other. The daylong event was called “Generational Conversations: A Day of Facilitated Fruitful & Positive Dialogue.” The ACEY group, part of the Winston Salem Foundation’s Women’s Fund; Forsyth County LINKS Program; and SaySo (Strong Able Youth Speaking Out) Inc. sponsored the event. This is the first event of its kind for the ACEY group. The group has held one-day conferences for girls transitioning out of foster care. This event expanded beyond foster children.

Topics covered were Religion/Spirituality,Work/Education/Finances/Career, Community/Civil Rights Engagement/Philanthropy, Relationships/Family and Health/Wellness/Mental Health. A panel of women with various backgrounds was assembled for each range of topics.

Eighteen panelists spoke about the topics as girls from ages 11 to 20 asked questions and provided their own insights on the topics. Some of the girls are in foster care or had recently been released from foster care.

Carmelita Coleman, a member of the ACEY group who helped organize the event and works with foster children, said foster children don’t have the relationships they need in life and that the ACEY group is providing some of the relationships in the “Generational Conversations” event. She spoke of bonding and empowerment.

“Today, this is our safe place where we will share dialogue,” she said.

“I don’t think girls spend enough time together,” said Judge Denise Hartsfield, the facilitator for the event. Her job was to “engage the panel and audience in how women can come together and build intergenerational relationships that will create opportunities for each woman to share their own HERstory!” according to publicity material. The judge did just that.

She said that she doesn’t see a lot of girls in the juvenile criminal justice system, in which she works, “but I see enough.” Hartsfield said she hopes events such as Generational Conversations will help girls understand that “power comes from within,” not emulating the hip-hop image or other images that are not positive for girls.

The Rev. Dr. Felecia Piggott-Long told about how a tradition in Africa is for the older generation of women to fellowship and impart wisdom to the younger generation while all worked on tasks. She mentioned how she and her mother, who died last year, went through rites of pas-sage together in the African tradition and made a quilt using parts of memorable clothing. She said fellowshipping with her mother helped strengthen her spiritual being.

“You listen to the other women talking while quilting” and capture the wisdom they impart, she said.

Piggott-Long brought the quilt to show the audience and pointed to various pieces of memorable clothing.

Although only one panel had the task to deal with spirituality, references to God were made throughout other conversations as panelists mentioned how they are being led by God to make decisions in their lives. For instance, a girl asked the question “Have you reached your goal?” to the Work/Education/Finances/Career panel. Hartsfield; Donna Taylor, an attorney; and Tamara Turner, an administrator with Quality Education Academy, spoke about being led by God as they navigate through their careers.

And in one case, when the topic was Health/Wellness/Mental Health, Jesus entered into the conversation when a girl questioned a panelist about what she said in answering the question “Where do you get strength and motivation from?” The conversation, which appeared to be a misunderstanding, ended with the girl and the panelist professing their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

At least two panelists brought their daughters, who participated. One panelist, Shenell Thompson, and her daughter Kymberly Michael Thompson, 16, were on the panel addressing family and relationships.

They both talked about how important structure is in family life. Shenell Thompson has been married more than two decades and Kymberly spoke highly of her father. “My daddy is the best man I know,” she said.

Kymberly said girls should know themselves. “You can’t search for yourself in someone else because you don’t know who you are,” she said.

She said girls should keep their priorities straight and resist following the crowd – and boys. She says girls should say to boys: “You should have to work for me.”

“This has been some really good conversation,” Shenell Thompson said.

“Networking and telling your story is the most effective way to keep change happening,” Hartsfield said.

ACEY is an acronym that represents goals of the group: Achievement in the education of women and girls about the power of philanthropy; Commitment to connect with women and girls in the community; Encourage self-esteem and empowerment of women and girls; and Yield women and leaders and philanthropists.

Dr. Betty Alexander, a retired educator who is president of the group, said, “This has been a wonderful day, a tremendous day, a day of learning, a day of sharing and a day of loving.”

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Businessman Joe L.Dudley celebrates birthday and raises funds for museum http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/05/businessman-joe-l-dudley-celebrates-birthday-raises-funds-museum/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/05/businessman-joe-l-dudley-celebrates-birthday-raises-funds-museum/#respond Thu, 26 May 2016 14:15:50 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=33214 A black tie gala was held in honor of the legendary founder of Dudley products, Joe L. Dudley Sr., and late Chicago-based business tycoon and civic leader, S.B. Fuller, on Sunday May, 22.

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BY TIMOTHY RAMSEY 

FOR THE CHRONICLE

A black tie gala was held in honor of the legendary founder of Dudley products, Joe L. Dudley Sr., and late Chicago-based business tycoon and civic leader, S.B. Fuller, on Sunday May, 22.  The gala was an effort to raise funds for the construction of the Fuller-Dudley Entrepreneurship Museum and to celebrate Dudley’s 79th birthday.

Dudley started his company with “$10 and a dream” and is the best-selling author of “Walking by Faith.”  His company is the only third-generation black-owned business in the country.

“It’s all about entrepreneurship, helping our people become job makers and not job takers,” said John Raye, publicist for Dudley.  “The whole idea is to empower black people to go into business for themselves. So the point of the Fuller-Dudley Institute of Entrepreneurship is designed to encourage people to become business-minded individuals.”

Raye stated that they plan to not use loans or grants from the government, but to raise the funds themselves to build the museum.  He also stated that there are plans to have the museums all across the country in an effort to teach entrepreneurship.

“I am very honored to be in the presence of Mr. Dudley,” said Dr. Jackie Mayfield, owner of Comprotax and long-time friend of Dudley.  “It’s all about what we do for the community and not for ourselves. It’s gonna take us being self determined as a people to get out of the quagmire that we are in.  And it’s gonna take people who have done it before to show the younger professionals how it is done.  With the enthusiasm of the younger individuals, mixed with the wisdom of the older folk, I think we can do quite well.”

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan was also in attendance as a keynote speaker in an effort to raise funds and close out the historic event.

According to Raye, this is just step one in the plans to be able to reach people from coast to coast.

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Annual Black and White Gala held to raise funds for travel abroad program http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/05/annual-black-white-gala-held-raise-funds-travel-abroad-program/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/05/annual-black-white-gala-held-raise-funds-travel-abroad-program/#respond Thu, 26 May 2016 14:00:20 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=33211 The gymnasium of Carter G. Woodson School (CGWS) was filled with fun and excitement last Friday night as dozens came out to celebrate the school’s 19th anniversary.

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Photo by Tevin Stinson

BY TEVIN STINSON 

THE CHRONICLE

The gymnasium of Carter G. Woodson School (CGWS) was filled with fun and excitement last Friday night as dozens came out to celebrate the school’s 19th anniversary.

Donning their best evening attire, elected officials, community leaders, and other supporters of the school came together for a night of dancing, dining, and entertainment. The memorable event known as the Black and White Gala is designed to  raise funds for the school’s study/travel abroad program.

Every summer CGWS sends students to the continent of Africa to learn and connect with those native to the second largest continent on the planet.

On past trips to the “motherland,” students visited Tanzania, Kenya, Arusha, Dar es Salam, and Zanzibar. While on their visit, students have the opportunity to create different types of art such as paintings, drawings, and even poems, while interacting with students from Africa.

CGWS founder Hazel Mack said the main goal of the trip is to get students thinking about their purpose in life and where they fit in the world. She mentioned it also allows students to connect with their roots and learn more about their heritage.

More than 59 percent of students at CGWS are African-American.

“Traveling to Africa teaches the students more than they could ever get in a classroom,” said Mack. “Most importantly, after the trip students understand how much God has blessed them.”

Junior Tiara Logan who traveled to Tanzania last summer said since the trip, she values the life she has here in America a lot more.

She said the things she experienced while in Africa are something she will remember for the rest of her life. She noted what really opened her eyes was the lack of assistance people in Africa receive from the government.

“I value life a lot more since the trip,” she continued. “In Africa, government assistance is not an option people really don’t have in some places and it’s really sad.”

“Since visiting Africa, I now give 100 percent effort in everything I do in the classroom and at home.”

Junior Christopher Price echoed Logan’s statements. He said, “Unlike America where we have corruption and corrupt people, on the continent of Africa everyone is working towards the common goal of becoming better people.

“Everybody is just trying to better themselves,” he said, “That’s what I enjoyed most about the trip, that peaceful atmosphere and connecting with the people.”

According to school officials, this year students will travel to Kenya and Tanzania.

For more information on Carter G. Woodson School or the travel abroad program, visit the school’s official website at www.carterg-woodsonschool.org. 

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Experts say build trust, prepare for worst with mental illness http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/05/experts-say-build-trust-prepare-worst-mental-illness/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/05/experts-say-build-trust-prepare-worst-mental-illness/#respond Thu, 26 May 2016 13:45:43 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=33208 Many people in the community are affected by mental health issues in some way. A friend, loved one, or colleague probably has struggled with a disorder at some point in time.

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BY TEVIN STINSON 

THE CHRONICLE

Many people in the community are affected by mental health issues in some way. A friend, loved one, or colleague probably has struggled with a disorder at some point in time.

Statistics show in 2014, one in five American adults experienced a mental health issue. At the same point in time, one in 25 lived with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.

With that said, mental health is still a topic that people rarely discuss openly which has led to a number of misconcep-tions and myths.

Last Thursday, the Winston-Salem Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the Phi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and the Psi Phi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity joined forces to dispel some of those myths when they hosted “Let’s Talk About It,” a community mental health forum and panel discussion.

During the forum held inside R.J. Reynolds Auditorium on the campus of Winston-Salem State University, a panel of healthcare professionals and caretakers, scholars, and other community stakeholders sat down to discuss mental illness and treatment options.

The panel also featured those who have been directly affected by a mental illness.

Moderator for the event, assistant professor of sociology and criminal studies at Salem College Dr. Kimya Dennis, started the conversation by asking panelists to define mental illness in their own words. President of the Northwest Piedmont Chapter of National Alliance of Mental Illness Louise Whealton said, “When it comes to mental health, I try to take a holistic approach to what needs to occur.” “Sometimes that means education and other times that means treatment.”

When asked about the short-term and long-term effects of mental illness, Kathy Cunningham said when diagnosed with a mental illness, you are treated with little respect.

Cunningham noted when she was diagnosed with serve depression and bipolar disorder in 1996, her life changed for-ever. Not only did she lose her job shortly after being diagnosed, Cunningham mentioned when people find out that she has been diagnosed with a mental illness, that’s all they see.

“You are treated with so little respect,” she said. “When they look at your medical records, bi-polar is what they see first. Not my heart attack or my diabetes, but bi-polar, and that’s the way they treated me.”

Cunningham mentioned the disrespect is something she has to deal with every day.

According to experts on the topic, Cunningham’s treatment from peers, family members and even doctors is nothing new for those dealing with a mental illness. Founder of Our Brother Legion, an interfaith organization which seeks to educate the community to help reduce stigma on behalf of people living with mental illness, trauma and addiction, Reverend Beth Cantrell said the people she knows with a mental illness has the worst medical stories.

While she admits at times it’s not easy, Cantrell encouraged those who need help to go to the doctor.

“If you are sick or need help, go to the doctor,” she continued. “You will find ways to cope, but be prepared because it can be worse than you ever imagined.”

Others who participated in the panel discussion included executive director of the Mental Health Association of Forsyth County (MHAFC) Andy Hagler, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools (WSFCS) program manager Kathy Jordan, licensed professional counselor Mary Jane McGill, WSFCS director of psychological services Corliss Thompson-Drew, and qualified healthcare professional Yolanda McArthur.

Hagler, who has been with MHAFC since 1997, mentioned a number of programs offered in Forsyth County that offer help for those dealing with mental illness and their families. According to Hagler, MHAFC offers support groups, crisis intervention team (CIT) training, and mental health awareness campaigns,  just to name a few.

Hagler noted while seeking help may not work every time with every situation, it is important to try to see if it works. He said it all begins with trust.

“Mental illness is real and very common, but it can be treated,” he said. “We have to build that trust.”

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Malloy/Jordan library branch celebrated with historic marker http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/05/malloyjordan-library-branch-celebrated-historic-marker/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/05/malloyjordan-library-branch-celebrated-historic-marker/#respond Thu, 26 May 2016 13:30:47 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=33202 Last weekend elected officials and other community leaders unveiled a historic marker honoring a library branch that was built to serve the East Winston community more than 60 years ago.

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Photo by Tevin Stinson

BY TEVIN STINSON 

THE CHRONICLE

Last weekend elected officials and other community leaders unveiled a historic marker honoring a library branch that was built to serve the East Winston community more than 60 years ago.

Since the early 1950s, the Malloy/Jordan East Winston Heritage Center, formerly known as the East Winston Branch Library, has provided a place for residents to go and get resources from the African-American perspective.

During the unveiling ceremony, Carl E. Leak, a member of the Forsyth County Historic Resources Commission, said the maker placed outside the branch on East Seventh Street will help residents remember history and build excitement for the future.

Leak mentioned the marker not only celebrates the library, but the people who made it possible.

The land the 5,800-square foot build-ing stands on, was donated by Dr. H.D. Malloy, Sr., his son Dr. H. Rembert Malloy, and Dr. J.C. Jordan, African-American doctors who saw the need to bring a library to the heart of the East Winston area. The branch faces Kate B. Reynolds Memorial Hospital where the doctors worked. Better known as “Katie B,” the hospital was the first publicly operated facility to treat African-Americans in the city.

“This marker not only tells a story of a building but of people as well,” said Leak.

“I stand in awe here today recognizing the importance of a library in this community and the people who made it possible.”

Council member Derwin Montgomery said when he thinks about the M/JEWHC, what stands out to him is the heritage and history it represents. He said the branch tells a story that continues to be told today.

“As we continue to move forward, this isn’t something we will look back and celebrate, but something we celebrate in the past, present and future,” he said.

Montgomery noted, although we have a lot to be grateful for and celebrate, we must look toward the future and recognize the opportunity that still exists for the library in East Winston.

“The future is embodied by the past we celebrate here today,” he continued. “We have to continue to ask ourselves what is next to ensure that this heritage lives on.”

Today, M/JEWHC has nearly 5,000 registered borrowers and offers a number of programs including the Red Stiletto Book Club, Shades of Forsyth oral history program, and story time training for pre-school educators. The branch is also home of the Children’s Outreach Department of the Library System.

Forsyth County Public Library Director Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin said over the years M/JEWHC has gone through many challenges, but thanks to the community and dedicated staff, the branch is still standing.

“This is our place, “ she continued. “This is where our history is and we need to make sure it stays here.”

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Happy Hill Cemetery cleanup continues after storm wreaks havoc http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/05/happy-hill-cemetery-cleanup-continues-storm-wreaks-havoc/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/05/happy-hill-cemetery-cleanup-continues-storm-wreaks-havoc/#respond Thu, 26 May 2016 13:15:40 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=33205 Cleanup efforts continue at the historic Happy Hill Cemetery after a recent storm hit the area hard.

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Photo by Todd Luck

BY TODD LUCK 

THE CHRONICLE

Cleanup efforts continue at the historic Happy Hill Cemetery after a recent storm hit the area hard.

The Happy Hill Cemetery Friends has been working for the last seven years to clean up the cemetery that had been in disrepair for decades. The old cemetery is located at the corner of Willow and Pitts Street, with a lower section that’s now covered in forest off Free Street. Weeds that at times were taller than the people clearing them, have been cut out of the upper portion of it, revealing many graves that now bear flowers from loved ones and flags honoring veterans. But a recent storm has left large parts of trees littering the cemetery.

On Saturday, it was just Maurice Pitts Johnson, who started the clean-up efforts, and volunteer David Gall clearing the debris. Gall picked up smaller branches and used a hack saw to cut some of the larger ones into pieces he could carry. Neither owns a chainsaw that was needed to cut the largest branches. Since it’s private property, the city can’t clean it up, but can pick up branches left on the side of the road, which formed a large five-foot tall pile at the cemetery’s edge.

Johnson said the amount of help varies during the cleanups held twice a month. Sometimes it’s just her and Gall who come out.

“We’ve had some groups to come out and help us from time to time, but it’s not a steady flow of volunteers,” said Johnson.

Gall, a member of Preserve Historic Forsyth, said Johnson came to one of the group’s meetings seven years ago looking for volunteers to help with the cleanup. He said he’s been volunteering ever since.

“I just felt like it was a worthy project,” said Gall, who is an architect whose projects often involve historic preservation. “I came out here the first time and saw how much work there was to do and we’ve been persistent ever since, clearing the cemetery and making it presentable.”

Over the years, they’ve had many volunteers and groups to help, including Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Clemmons, the Winston-Salem Jaycees, the Liberian Organization of the Piedmont, and Wake Forest University history students. The nearby Rising Ebenezer Baptist Church has been active in the cleanup and one of its members regularly mows the cemetery. Johnson is currently working with the Wake Forest Community and Business Law Clinic to change ownership of the land to Rising Ebenizer, which has entailed a long legal process since the churches that originally owned the property no longer exist.

Johnson’s grandparents, Columbus and Alice Pitts, and great-grandmother, Matilda Simmons, are buried there. Columbus Pitts was an early land owner in Happy Hill, who the nearby Pitts Street is named after. She said she was inspired to begin cleaning up the cemetery when she tried to take her grandson to the cemetery, but found the weeds hid her grandparent’s grave marker.

“I wanted to show my grandson where it was and it was so overgrown I couldn’t find it,” she said.

The oldest grave in the cemetery found so far is that of Jerry Swepson who was buried in 1901. The cemetery is believed to have more than 113 people buried there. There were more than that before 1965, when construction of U.S. 52 cut through the cemetery, causing graves to be moved to a cemetery in Walkertown near Oak Grove Baptist Church.

The next cleanup is this Saturday, May 28, at 9:30 a.m. Regular cleanups are the second and fourth Saturday of each month at 9:30 a.m. Volunteers are encouraged to bring gloves, chainsaws and other yard tools.

For more information, contact Maurice Pitts Johnson at 336- 815-8417.

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Political Cartoon: Blame Game http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/05/political-cartoon-blame-game/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/05/political-cartoon-blame-game/#respond Thu, 26 May 2016 13:00:02 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=33199 Illustration by Ron Rogers for The Chronicle

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Illustration by Ron Rogers for The Chronicle

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Short ballot, big races http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/05/short-ballot-big-races/ http://www.wschronicle.com/2016/05/short-ballot-big-races/#respond Thu, 26 May 2016 12:45:44 +0000 http://www.wschronicle.com/?p=33196 A short ballot with important votes awaits voters during the June 7 primary. The race for the fifth district, N.C. Supreme Court, and a re-do of the extremely close South Ward City Council race are on the ballot for the second primary.

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BY TODD LUCK 

THE CHRONICLE

A short ballot with important votes awaits voters during the June 7 primary.

The race for the fifth district, N.C. Supreme Court, and a re-do of the extremely close South Ward City Council race are on the ballot for the second primary.

Fifth District U.S. House of Representatives  

Incumbent: Republican Virginia Foxx 

Democrats

Josh Brannon is a software developer from Watauga County who lost to Foxx in 2014 by 22 percent. He says he’ll champion education, economic equality and getting big money out of politics. One of his campaign themes is taking the country back from the richest one percent, who according to Brannon, have too much control over its politics.

“And we can do it by convincing every-one we know just how much is at stake, and getting them to vote for those who Brannon believe in opportunity for everyone, not just the one percent,” said Brannon on his website. joshforushouse.com.

Jim Roberts, an Army veteran and former pest control entrepreneur from Mount Airy, is running on issues like creating jobs, defending social security, preventing medical errors, and stopping “corporate domination” of public policy. He also rails against trade deals he says have cost jobs, which he promises to oppose or repeal.

“The average American working class family has been under assault for the last forty years and unfortunately their representatives in congress have been passing laws that are against their constituent’s interests while their rhetoric is exactly the opposite,” said Roberts on his website. www.jimrobertsforcongress.com

Charlie Wallin is an assistant food services director at Appalachian State University and has served as Democratic Party chair in the fifth district. His priorities include education funding, capping student loan interest, raising the minimum wage to at least $10 an hour, banking oversight, and environmental issues.

“We have real issues and problems in

this district that need to be addressed,”said Wallin at a debate held at the Forsyth County Democratic Party headquarters earlier in May. “We need somebody who’s serious and who wants to take on Virginia Foxx and wants to send her packing.” www.charliewallinforcongress.com

Republicans

Virginia Foxx of Banner Elk is a conservative Republican first elected in 2004. She is running for her seventh term in the U.S. House of Representatives. Among her priorities are repealing the Affordable Healthcare Act and reducing the deficit. She opposes any action on immigration “before our current laws are effectively enforced and our border is completely secure.” She’s been endorsed by the National Rifle Association, Family Research Council, and National Right to Life. www.virginiafoxx.com

Pattie Curran of Kernersville is an Army veteran and activist who’s been interviewed by FOX News and News Max for her fight to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act. Her other issues include religious liberty, reducing the deficit, gun rights, and enforcing immigration laws.

N.C. Supreme Court Incumbent: Robert H. (Bob) Edmunds

Robert H. (Bob) Edmunds of Greensboro has served on the state Supreme Court since 2001. He’s a Navy veteran with more than 30 years of judicial experience as a United States district attorney, a private attorney, and appeals court judge.

Michael R. (Mike) Morgan of Raleigh has served as Superior Court judge for the last 11 years. He was also a district court judge for five years and a state administrative law judge. He’s a lifetime member of the NAACP and was among the first black students to integrate New Bern school system in 1964. www.judgemichaelmorgan.com

Daniel Robertson of Advance has served as a law clerk, general council of Bank of America and currently at his own private practice. According to a statement he sent to Ballotpedia, he’s running for Supreme Court to ensure the law is applied equally to everyone “regardless of their wealth, power, connections or politics.” ballotpedia.org/Daniel_G._Robertson

Sabra Jean Faires of Wake County is an of counsel attorney at Bailey & Dixon, LLP. She was a plaintiff in the lawsuit that got this year’s first-ever state Supreme Court retention election struck down, resulting in the judicial primaries on the June 7 ballot. sabrajeanfairesforjustice.com

South Ward City Council Winston-Salem City Council South Ward

Incumbent: Molly Leight (who isn’t seeking re-election)

Carolyn Highsmith is president of the Konnoak Hills Community Association. She’s also vice-president of the New South Community Coalition and serves on the board of Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods. She’s been a community advocate for years and helped organize the Ministers’ Conference’s effort to educate property owners on appealing tax reappraisals that devalued their land. She won the March 15 primary by just six votes, before the State Board of Elections ordered a re-election due to election errors. www.facebook.com/carolynforsouthward

John Larson is vice president of restoration at Old Salem Museum and Gardens. Larson, an Army veteran, is a longtime South Ward resident who has spearheaded efforts to preserve city land-marks and worked to protect the Main Street Corridor in the Business 40 improvement negotiations. He is a current Larson member of the Creative Corridors Board and the Old Salem Residents Association. He is endorsed by current South Ward City Council Member Leight. johnlarsonforsouthward.com

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