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

New Hope Manor Revitalization Moves Forward

The Winston-Salem City Council’s Finance Committee recently gave their reluctant approval to HAWS’ plan to revamp the troubled New Hope Manor apartment complex. After months of debate and examination, the matter will now go before the entire city council.

Apparently, the finance committee feels like its time for the city to act. After all, the city council isn’t a debating society. Nearly every council member has expressed misgivings about the Housing Authority’s plans. They don’t trust HAWS’ plan entirely. But … Read the rest

Still No Easy Solutions For New Hope Manor

This month’s meeting of the Winston-Salem City Council’s Finance Committee once again addressed substandard living conditions at the New Hope Manor Apartments. See Jordan Green’s article at Triad City Beat for a good write-up of this issue. The last several months has seen a considerable amount of the city council’s time being spent on two troubled low-income apartment complexes; Rolling Hills and New Hope Manor. Rolling Hills and New Hope Manor were both allowed to deteriorate into disrepair by … Read the rest

West Salem Marketplace Plaza Fails To Get Planning Board Approval

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Residence on West Fourth Street that would have been razed if the West End Marketplace Plaza was approved.

 

Proposed development would displace working-class neighborhood,” reads Jordan Green’s October 5th headline in Triad City Beat. That’s a theme that is unfortunately all too familiar in Winston. A working-class African American neighborhood is torn down. Affluent housing/office/retail development is erected and people of color are displaced. Over the years Winston has consistently grown and developed at the expense of … Read the rest

Though Happy Hill Has Been Marginalized, It Remains Historically Important

Last Saturday Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf visited Winston-Salem. According to the Winston-Salem Journal this was the first time in Mayor Joines fifteen years in office that a foreign head of state visited Winston. In recent years presidents Bush and Obama have made frequent trips to Winston.

Presidents have visited our modest sized city fairly consistently since George Washington visited Salem during his southern tour. But I don’t remember any of them visiting any of Winston’s black neighborhoods. … Read the rest