From Martin Luther King, To Market-Based Solutions

Martin Luther King Day is a curious holiday in the United States. We give Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. a day, yet ignore Dr. King the other 364 days of the year. What if we celebrated Christmas the same way that we celebrate Martin Luther King Day?

Only a fool would unwrap their gifts, enjoy them for one short day, then box them up until next Christmas. But that is how we celebrate Martin Luther King Day.

We need Dr. … Read the rest

Stay Strong Boston-Thurmond, Keep Fighting Against Gentrification!

On Tuesday, the Winston-Salem Journal showered praise on local government leaders for their development of the Enclave apartments off Shattalon Drive. The Chronicle ran a similar article on the Enclave apartments days earlier.

The implication of these articles is obvious. (But admittedly, I didn’t realize it until a friend on facebook pointed it out to me.) The article isn’t just about the Enclave, it’s a message to the Boston-Thurmond community.

The Journal and Chronicle would like the residents of Boston-Thurmond … Read the rest

Boston-Thurmond Development Can’t Proceed Without A Non-Displacement Guarantee

It’s Thanksgiving, a uniquely American holiday. For all the reasons to hate Thanksgiving, I still love it. I know that our nation’s genocide of Native Americans is nothing to celebrate.

But Thanksgiving with all its baggage is a time to gather with family and friends. It’s a time to be thankful for the things that we have, even as we actively covet Christmas gifts that we don’t need.

This Thanksgiving I’m thankful that Boston-Thurmond residents are resisting Wake Forest’s new Read the rest

Cheap Rents Are Needed For Artists And Workers To Thrive

Saturday night at the Garage, the Vagabond Saints’ Society played two hours worth of the Velvet Underground’s greatest hits. As usual, the Vagabond Saints’ Society put on a great show, which will surely be memorialized in the Garage’s hallway of posters.

The Velvet Underground were a very influential rock band, ahead of their time. They were only fully appreciated years after the band broke up.

But the Velvet Underground and other New York bands of the late 1960s and 1970s … Read the rest

Winston-Salem Honors Another Historical Site That It Failed To Preserve

This afternoon a local historic marker commemorating the 14th Street School was unveiled at 1215 N. Cameron Ave. It’s a warm September day, perfect weather for such a happy occasion.

The 14th Street School produced many proud graduates that went on to do many fine things in the community and beyond. Honoring the 14th School is in the same tradition as honoring the African School at Happy Hill, which was honored in May of this year.

Both former schools … Read the rest

Fourth Street Neighborhood Development Is Rejected Again-But Threat Of Gentrification Remains

Monday night’s meeting of the City Council wasn’t too contentious. The two issues that drew the most debate were rules and regulations on accessory dwellings and the rezoning of a property on Fourth Street, near Peters Creek Parkway.Winston’s tiny house policies. I personally am more concerned with issues of development and gentrification.

Winston’s accessory dwelling/tiny house policies have received the most coverage from local media. I think Councilmember Clark’s comments on accessory dwellings/tiny houses were insightful. Clark said, “I think … Read the rest

East Winston Vs. Forsyth County Tax Assessor, Round II

The most recent county-wide tax reappraisal was relatively non-controversial. Compared to the uproar that occurred in 2013, the 2017 reappraisal has been well received. Overall, the county’s home values increased. About 70 percent of homes in Forsyth County increased in value and 30 percent of homes decreased in value. But the 2017 tax reappraisal was more bad news for East Winston.

Winston’s majority-minority section of town, once again saw home values decline. East Winston residents are once again asking why Read the rest

Happy Hill, A Historic Gem That Wasn’t Preserved

Saturday, Mayor Allen Joines, members of the city council, various other local officials and community members gathered in Happy Hill for a historical marker unveiling, but the dirty truth about Winston’s oldest African American neighborhood was not mentioned.

The marker honored both the Brothers’ Spring and the African School, which were adjacent to each other, near where the Alder’s Point Apartments are currently located. Both were lost to development years ago.

I came out to honor and remember the African … Read the rest

Is Growing Up Poor In Winston A Form Of Russian Roulette?

Recently The Winston-Salem Journal reported that an 18-year-old young man took his life Monday night. The young man, identified by The Journal as Diante Blackburn, was playing Russian Roulette and predictably, he lost. This is tragedy for the young man’s family and the community. I can only imagine the shock that friends and family are experiencing. I don’t want to exploit Blackburn’s death. But there needs to be something said when such a shocking event occurs.

Five days have passed … Read the rest

City-Wide Poverty Solutions Can’t Be Implemented By The Dozen

It’s been a week now since Mayor Joines’ anti-poverty Thought Force released their final report. I hope local activists and concerned citizens have by now taken the time to read it. The 56-page report contains some excellent information. I found the first two sections to be especially valuable. They provide a helpful overview and analysis of poverty in Winston-Salem. But I found the conclusions, recommendations and suggested next steps of the anti-poverty Thought Force a little disappointing. Instead of … Read the rest