Winston-Salem City Council Merry-Go-Round: February 18, 2019, Robert Clark Is Right!

Monday night’s meeting of the Winston-Salem City Council started out as expected. A moment of silence was observed, then the pledge of allegiance was recited, members of the community were honored before the council addressed the business of the city.

A recently announced, city wide hiring freeze due to a projected budget shortfall was not mentioned, neither was the loss of another corporate headquarters, as BB&T’s bigwigs make their way to Charlotte.

But City Hall certainly heated up 11 … Read the rest

The Journal Gets Kernersville’s Library Wrong

It rained the day that the new Kernersville Library opened less than a week before Christmas. That might have been mother nature’s way of tempering expectations. But the Journal didn’t take the hint.

The Kernersville library pales in comparison to the Central Library, but a recent Winston-Salem Journal editorial offers nothing but uncritical praise for a boring building that it took eight years to build, and is still missing some finishing pieces.*

Before I launch into the many deficiencies of … Read the rest

Undemocratic Alliances And Backroom Deals: Winston We Have A Problem

There is little question which local Winston-Salem/Forsyth County political body is currently home to the most compelling political debates. It’s not the Winston-Salem City Council, though the Confederate statue controversy has heated things up at City Hall recently.

It’s certainly not the rather dull mid-afternoon Forsyth County Commissioners’ meetings. The epicenter of political debate and activism right now in our community is the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Board.

In 2018, the WS/FC School Board was home to contentious debates regarding the … Read the rest

Winston-Salem’s Rebel Statue Wranglings; Time To Move The Statue Or Put A Plaque Up Denouncing Jim Crow

The Winston-Salem Journal has reported that an attorney for the United Daughters of the Confederacy has asked the City of Winston-Salem to delay its plans to move the Confederate statue that stands at Fourth and Liberty:

The United Daughters of the Confederacy is asking Winston-Salem for a 60-day delay in filing any legal action to force removal of the Confederate statue at the corner of Fourth and Liberty streets on the grounds of the former Forsyth County Courthouse.

James Davis,

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MLK Day And Urban Renewal In Winston

Last Monday the Ministers’ Conference and local NAACP led a procession of supporters from the convention center, through Downtown Winston, through the former Pond neighborhood, concluding at Union Baptist Church.

The presence of majority African American marchers going through downtown reminded me of how African Americans have been systematically pushed out of Downtown Winston over several decades. As the rhythms of Carver’s Marching Band reverberated through Trade Street, I couldn’t help thinking about all the property that was … Read the rest

Local Residents Continue To Condemn Winston’s Confederate Statue And Call For A More Just City

There wasn’t a lot on Tuesday night’s City Council agenda. It was mostly the boring business of the City. The bond package passed last fall took one step closer to reality, Phase 2 of the Quarry Park’s development was approved.

Local activists speaking truth to power during the public comment period energized a dull meeting. They implored the City Council to make justice their business.

Read the Journal’s Wesley Young’s article in today’s paper for a good summary of Winston’ … Read the rest

Melissa Harris-Perry At Union Baptist

Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry delivered Winston’s 39th Annual MLK Noon Hour Commemoration address on Monday. The Maya Angelou Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University didn’t disappoint the packed audience at Union Baptist (including Mayor Joines and three rows of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County politicians, seated front and center).

Harris-Perry is something of a public intellectual, widely known to the general public due to the popularity of The Melissa Harris-Perry Show on MSNBC (2012-2016). MHP is an author, an editor at the Nation, and … Read the rest

New Census Data Puts Winston In The Top 20 Worst Cities For Child Poverty

Updated 1/21/19, 373 Words

The Triad Business Journal reported earlier this week that new census data identifies Winston-Salem as the 20th worst city, among major cities in the nation when it comes to child poverty. According to the Triad Business Journal, “more than one-third of the city’s children live in poverty.”  Spectrum News posted a solid follow-up to TBJ’s reporting, giving some context to these latest census numbers.

Read the rest

East Greensboro Has Much To Teach East Winston Regarding Community Development

Last week, Renaissance Community Co-op announced that it would be closing its doors later this month. The announcement came as a shock to the residents of East Greensboro who assembled Monday night at Phillips Avenue for a community meeting. It took years of work for activists to make the Renaissance Community Co-op a reality.

While the closing of Renaissance is a setback for East Greensboro, community members are hopeful that a new grocery store, possibly a new co-op will … Read the rest

Protesters Greatly Outnumber Confederate Supporters On Fourth Street

On a cold, wet winter’s day opponents and proponents of the Confederate statue at 50 West Fourth Street gathered on opposite sides of Fourth Street in dueling protests. At the base of the Confederate statue, a modest, all-white group of approximately 20 gathered. They came to Winston to oppose Winston-Salem Alliance President and W-S Mayor, Allen Joines’ plan to move Winston’s Confederate statue to Salem Cemetery.

Across the street, at One West Fourth Street, a much more substantial and diverse … Read the rest

Neighborhood Park On Second Street Was Originally Planned Site For Innovative Affordable Housing

“The unfortunate reality is that most affordable housing looks exactly like what it is and adds to boundaries that quietly separate race, culture, and class.” 

 -David J. Brown, The Home House Project

 

In 2003, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Arts (SECCA) launched an ambitious undertaking, with the goal of nothing less than re-imagining affordable housing. SECCA invited architects from around the world to submit housing designs that were inexpensive and easy to build, but also artistically compelling and environmentally … Read the rest

The Confederate Statue Controversy Must Lead To A Wider Conversation About Racism In Winston-Salem

Updated 10:35, 1/05/2019, 433 words

 

Troublemakers force politicians to act. When a brave, anonymous activist added some commentary to Downtown Winston’s Confederate monument on Christmas Eve, it was an early Christmas gift for anti-racist activists in Winston and throughout the state. What was a one or two-day story, became the story in Winston-Salem that everyone is talking about when Mayor Allen Joines announced on January 1, a new plan to relocate Winston’s Confederate statue.

Chapel Hill is still the … Read the rest

Mayor Joines Unveils A New Plan To Remove Johnny Rebel From Downtown Winston

I made my way to Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church on New Year’s Day for service honoring former City Alderman and State Representative, Larry Womble.

I was unaware that Winston-Salem Alliance President and Mayor, Allen Joines would be speaking at the event. Not only did he speak, but Winston’s longest-serving mayor revealed a new plan to rid Downtown Winston of a Confederate statue that has long outlasted its welcome.

Here are the words of Allen Joines, transcribed from audio to … Read the rest

The Manufacturer’s Apologist: Looking Back At Gary Green’s Time At Forsyth Tech

It’s that time of year: time to look back on 2018 and reflect on the events and the people who shaped our community for better or worse. Dr. Gary Green has led Forsyth Technical since July 2001. He will officially leave FTCC on December 31. 

Dr. Green is the longest-serving president of Forsyth Tech. Many have praised Dr. Green‘s leadership, his shepherding of our local community college during a time of sustained enrollment growth, expanded programs, and new … Read the rest

Merry Prankster Defaces Downtown Statue That Should Have Been Removed Long Ago

Christmas came a day early for everyone in Winston that resents the presence of a Confederate statue in front of the old courthouse. Yesterday, some merry prankster with a purpose wrote the words “COWARDS & TRAITORS” on the Confederate statue that has stood tall at Liberty and Fourth for many years, projecting hate.

Earlier in the week I was bemoaning Winston’s inaction, our nonchalance toward Johnny Rebel* when activists in Durham and Chapel Hill (two other college towns) took down … Read the rest