Pride Winston-Salem 2018

The weather couldn’t have been better Saturday. It was a gorgeous afternoon to be in Downtown Winston for Pride Winston-Salem 2018. Pride Winston-Salem is an affirmation of individuality. It’s a time when the LGBTQ community takes to the streets of Downtown Winston, joined by straight allies.

I’m a big fan of Pride Winston-Salem, but I hate to see the festival get more commercial and corporate each year. The message seems to be, “come out and spend money,” as if being … Read the rest

Zesto: Building Community Or Developing A Fast Food Franchise?

“I’m always glad when we can have public-private partnerships.”                  -D.D. Adams, 8/14/2017

 

Back in May, a new Zesto restaurant opened at 2600 New Walkertown Road. The community excitement that I witnessed over Zesto’s opening made this blogger feel a little sheepish for harshly criticizing the project. So I shelved this article for a few months.

Now, after Zesto has been open for a while, and the excitement has faded, it’s time to take a critical look at Zesto.… Read the rest

The Liberty Street Market Is An Unqualified Failure

Four years ago today, October 11, 2014, the Liberty Street Market opened with the typical fanfare. Mayor Joines, Mayor Pro Tempore Burke, Derwin Montgomery, and other officials spoke at the ribbon cutting.

The plan was to build a vendor’s market in the middle of a food desert. First and foremost, the Liberty Street Market was supposed to bring fresh produce to an underserved community, to provide healthy options that the convenience stores across from the Liberty Street Market don’t offer.… Read the rest

Seeking Advantage In A Time Of Inequity

Tuesday night’s WS/FCS Board meeting was another spirited affair. Supporters of R.J. Reynolds’ Home Field Advantage probably got more pushback from Save Hanes Park activists than they expected. But in the end, the school board voted unanimously to approve HFA’s plans for a new football stadium at Wiley Middle School.

Save Hanes Park supporters are definitely on the right side of history. Reynolds’ proposed new football stadium* is the wrong project, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

The … Read the rest

Avoiding Eviction Shouldn’t Be A Game Of Chance

“I’m one step away from being the person on the street.”  -Cleveland Avenue Resident

Lots of folks enjoy games of chance, even though they know that the odds are stacked against them. Such games are a mainstay of the Dixie Classic Fair. Beating the odds, taking home a silly prize, that’s the game. And that’s great if you’re fifteen and want to impress your girlfriend to such an extent, that you’re willing to leave the fair with empty pockets.

But, … Read the rest

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