Winston Native Crowned Miss America, But Poverty In Winston Keeps Many From Achieving Their Dreams


Monday, the Winston-Salem City Council honored Nia Franklin, the recently crowned Miss America. Though Franklin’s pageant sash read New York, the 2018 Miss New York was born and raised in Winston, though she attended high school at North Davidson (a stain upon her hometown girl narrative that can be overlooked).

Recently, I asked a classmate of hers at North Davidson what she remembered of Franklin? My African American friend told me, that “being Black at North Davidson” they were … Read the rest

City Council Is Poised To Fund The Peters Creek Initiative

The Winston-Salem City Council has a full agenda tonight, replete with the usual giveaways, including hundreds of thousands of dollars for a development one mile south of BB&T Ballpark. And nearly an equal amount for a parking deck in the Wake Forest University Innovation Quarter.

Those two locations; BB&T Ballpark and the WF Innovation Quarter are already the site of the City of Winston-Salem’s most notorious money pits.

The city shouldn’t continue to subsidize the WFIQ. Let Wake Forest pay … Read the rest

The People’s Business

Monday, 9/17/2018:

Noon – The Public Assembly Facilities Commission will meet at the Benton Convention Center.

3:00 p.m. – The Outstanding Women Leaders Program Committee will hold its monthly meeting in the City Manager’s Conference Room at City Hall.

7:00 p.m. –City Council Meeting, in the Council Chamber, City Hall, Room 230.

Tuesday, 9/18/2018:

4:00 p.m. – The Minority and Women Business Enterprise Citizen Advisory Committee will hold its monthly meeting in the Public Works Conference Room, City

Read the rest

First On Fifth Begins Demolishing Its Unwanted Buildings

I hate to see historic buildings bulldozed. Many excellent buildings have been lost over the years in Winston to make room for roadways and parking lots.

Historically, it’s been East Winston where homes and churches have been destroyed in the name of progress. But a curious thing is occurring in the heart of Downtown Winston. First Baptist Church on Fifth Street just started demolishing two of its three buildings on its own accord.


Last June, one’s of Winston’s most prominent … Read the rest

FLOC Promotes Civil Rights Unionism At The Beloved Community Center

FLOC (Farm Labor Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO) and its allies brought a sizable contingent of supporters down from Toledo, Ohio to North Carolina this week. The purpose of their North Carolina tour was to explore the intersections between Black and Brown struggles for justice. The Black/Brown Unity Coalition’s first stop was Greensboro on Thursday. The Black/Brown Unity Coalition visited the International Civil Rights Center in the morning. Later in the day, they came to the Beloved Community Center for food … Read the rest

The Power Of The People Was On Display At The August 20 Meeting Of The W-S City Council

The August 20th Winston-Salem City Council meeting was one to remember. It was the most democratic city council meeting that I have ever witnessed. It was a rare example of people in the council chamber pushing back against the mayor and city council.

Typically the Winston-Salem City Council doesn’t give much time for citizens to voice their concerns. Public comments are given at the end of council meetings, just before adjournment. They are little more than an afterthought.

But, because … Read the rest

From Factories To Luxury Lofts: A Labor Day Reflection

Recently I spent a little time in Thomasville. I lived just outside of Thomasville until I was 12. I have family that lives in the area, but I don’t call Thomasville home. It’s not that I’m too good for Thomasville. But Thomasville isn’t that kind of town that breeds nostalgia.

Even in its heyday, times were never that good in Thomasville. It was dominated by furniture and textile manufacturing jobs that never paid enough to allow Tville to thrive.

But … Read the rest

The New Central Library Turns One

A year ago, Downtown Winston-Salem’s Central Library reopened after being closed for entirely too long. One year later, it’s fair to mention the Central Library’s shortcoming.

Winston’s Central Library is an amazing redeveloped building. It’s so much better than the old Central Library which was opened in the 1950s and expanded in the 1970s.

Winston’s Central Library is where millionaire’s row meets skid row. The portion of 5th Street where the library now stands was once home to the city’s … Read the rest

The Dot Man Sam McMillan-Dead At 92

East Winston has more than its fair share of colorful characters. Perhaps none of them were more colorful than renowned folk artist Sam McMillian.

McMillian, known as “The Dot Man” because of the ubiquitous dots that filled his colorful artwork, died earlier this week at age 92.

Here’s local historian Fam Brownlee’s remembrance of McMillian:

Sam McMillian was an unlikely artist, the city’s paper of record remembered him fondly. Jenny Drabble wrote a nice piece on McMillian’s life and … Read the rest

Remembering Dr. Tim Monroe

Monday, the Winston-Salem Journal published a front-page story on the retiring director of the Forsyth County Department of Public Health. I’m not familiar with Marlon Hunter. His name was seldom in the paper.

By contrast, Dr. Tim Monroe, Hunter’s predecessor, was a public figure who didn’t shy away from controversy. Wesley Young’s piece introducing Mr. Hunter to the Journal’s readers provides some insight into the differences between Marlon Hunter, and Tim Monroe approaches to running a public health department.… Read the rest

Unpopular Opinion: Summer On Liberty Sucks

Summer on Trade has been on Liberty Street since 2016. It’s time to admit that Summer on Liberty isn’t working. The concert series has been a shot in the arm to Liberty Street. Liberty Street is on its way to developing into Trade Street 2.0 minus the art galleries.

But some changes need to be made to the city’s premier summer concert series; its lost much of the energy that it used to have.

I miss the intimate feeling that … Read the rest

Deconstructing Industry Hill

From the folks that gave us the term “Ramkat” now comes the term “Industry Hill.” Industry Hill-were history meets marketing. Industry Hill-a new name for a place that you probably never knew had a name. Its name is now Industry Hill!

Industry Hill, we are told from the developers who recently created it, stretches from Seventh Street to Northwest Boulevard and from Martin Luther King Drive over to Trade Street.*

The name Industry Hill has many flaws. First, there isn’t … Read the rest

HAWS Is Making Life Difficult For Cleveland Avenue Residents

 

 

 

Monday I sat down and interviewed a resident of the Cleveland Avenue Homes. Tuesday I stumbled upon an old copy of The Black Panther newspaper dated March 1970. It’s the one with the Winston-Salem chapter of the Black Panther Party on the front page.*

The black power newspaper has an image of local Panthers, led by Larry Little assisting Miss Polly Graham. Graham had been unjustly evicted from her home. The Winston-Salem chapter of the Black Panther … Read the rest

Charlottesville: Fascist Thugs Will Assault Black Folks In The Streets, But White Liberals Will Take House And Home

This weekend is the one-year anniversary of Battle of Charlottesville. Everyone reading this article remembers the events of last August in Charlottesville; a college town that will forever be associated with Thomas Jefferson, like Winston-Salem will always be associated with R.J. Reynolds.

Gun-toting nazis and fascist white supremacists of various stripes in the streets of Charlottesville were a reminder of how relatively little progress our country has made combatting racism. America is still a violent and racist nation. God bless … Read the rest

Southeast Gateway Development Moves Forward Long After Happy Hill Was Gentrified

Monday night’s city council meeting was the first meeting of our city’s elected body in over a month. At Monday’s meeting, a bakery/wine shop on Reynolda Road was approved, a property on Northwest Boulevard was rezoned, as were two churches.

The rezoning of the Burger King on MLK Drive was postponed yet again. The BK on MLK will likely stay closed until BK lets the City have it their way.

Speaking of the City of Winston-Salem having it its way, … Read the rest