Bernie Inspires At Bennett College

Bernie Sanders held a rally at Bennett College yesterday. But he didn’t come alone. Sanders brought “National Campaign Co-Chairs Sen. Nina Turner and Ben Cohen (of Ben & Jerry’s), and national surrogates rapper Killer Mike, activist Phillip Agnew, actor Danny Glover, and professors Dr. Cornel West and Dr. Adolph Reed.” The 800 seat capacity Annie Merner Pfeiffer Chapel was full beyond capacity. I stood with many others in the back of the chapel.

Climate Strike! Young And Old Gather At Five Points To Demand Climate Action

If the future of the planet depends on Richard Burr, we are all in trouble. North Carolina’s senior senator has been in D.C. for 25 years, first as a Congressman, then-Senator. In two and a half decades, Burr has done practically nothing to protect the people of North Carolina from rapacious corporate interests. Despite the long odds of getting Richard Burr to stand-up to the likes of Exxon, over 100 protestors (by the Journal’s count) gathered at Five Points Friday. We were part of a global Climate Strike, inspired by Greta Thunberg.

Breaking Crystal: HAWS Has Assets, Move HAWS And Save Crystal Towers!

“The Housing Authority of Winston-Salem is not your traditional housing authority. It’s the only one in the state that’s also a certified real estate firm. It’s a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers…” -Owen Covington, Triad Business Journal, Feb 18, 2011

Last August the Winston-Salem Housing Authority announced that it was putting Crystal  Towers on the market. Our local housing authority loves the market; HAWS hates public housing, they’re ‘innovative’ like that.

Radical Innovation: Using Churches In Winston To Fund Food Co-ops?

Greater Cleveland Avenue Christian Church lost its campus on Lansing Drive over a month ago. You may or not believe in God. But no one can doubt the power of compound interest. Greater Cleveland was in a hell of a lot of debt, and the miracle that their bishop was waiting for never materialized. I’ve been thinking about the significance of a Black congregation having to hand over keys to a bank and walk away from a property that they put millions into.

Universal African American History At WSFC Schools And The City Council’s African American Heritage Action Initiative Is A Step Forward

After several months of sustained activism (passing out flyers, hosting public events and attending long school board meetings) Hate Out of Winston, a local activist group that came together during Winston’s Confederate statue controversy has succeeded in getting WSFC Schools to consider universal African American history classes in the fall. (Mandatory sounds so negative, learning African American history is a positive for WS/FCS students regardless of the color of their skin. That’s why I’m using the term universal instead of mandatory.)

Earlier today, Triad City Beat reported that “that the curriculum committee of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Board will consider adding a mandatory African-American studies class to the high school curriculum at its October meeting.” Jordan Green’s article noted that several local Black politicians are publicly supporting universal African American history classes. Student Minister Effrainguan Muhammad told Green that the “Winston-Salem Local Organizing Committee has been asking for a mandatory African-American studies course for the past three years” only to get the runaround from the WSFC School Board.

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, attorney for the UDC’s North Carolina Division, told City Attorney Angela Carmon in a letter dated Jan. 25 that there are questions about the ownership of the statue and whether allegations that the statue is a public or private nuisance are legally valid. -Confederate statue backers (who may or may not own it) ask city to hold off on forcing a move for the memorial, Wesley Young Winston-Salem Journal
 

If the UDC succeeds in delaying Mayor Joines’ plan to move the Confederate statue from Downtown Winston to Salem Cemetary, it’s time for Joines to implement his backup plan. On January 1, Joines made headlines by stating the City’s intention to move the rebel statue at Fourth and Liberty to Salem Cemetary.

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 taken from African Americans, the many decades’ long process of the gentrifying Downtown Winston. An excerpt from Winston-Salem’s African-American Neighborhoods, 1870-1950:

The Pond was a former African American neighborhood razed decades ago. That area of North Trade Street is now referred to as “Industry Hill” for marketing purposes.

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 Elle.com. But, Harris-Perry seldom speaks in Winston, outside of the campus of Wake Forest University.

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 crowd gathered to denounce the racially and historically challenged supporters of the Confederacy. A social media post two weeks ago alerted the Left in Winston that some unsavory, Confederate-loving rabble were coming to Winston.