Marshall Bass’s Autobiography Chronicles Workplace Racism And Housing Racism That Has Led To Winston’s Wealth Gap

Decorated Army veteran, corporate manager, and local philanthropist Marshall Bass died in late November. Services for Bass were held this week at Russell Funeral Home and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Marshall Bass’s life might not be well known to the average person in Winston, Black or white. Sadly, our local media are more interested in a new boutique donut shop than remembering a local trailblazer.  Marshall Bass lived a remarkable life that’s worth remembering.

Winston-Salem Makes PBS NewsHour A Week After David Brooks’ Visit

Friday’s edition of the PBS NewsHour featured a piece on Tinariwen’s concert at The Ramkat back in September. It was a nice seven-minute and twenty-second segment that the NewsHour is using as holiday filler. It’s interesting to see our city through the national media’s lense, if only for a brief moment. The NewsHour interviewed a Wake Forest student outside of Camino Bakery on Fourth Street. The Ramkat got some good exposure.

Crystal Towers Resident Who Was Run Over In The Street Is Determined Not To Get Pushed Out Of Downtown Winston

Last month, a resident of Crystal Towers was hit by a car at the intersection of West Fifth and Spruce. When I learned about the accident on Twitter, I had a sneaking suspicion that I knew who the victim was. The Journal’s Allison Lee Isley’s photo of an empty wheelchair in front of an EMS vehicle confirmed my suspicions. The victim was, in fact, D.D. Watkins, a wheelchair-using friend of mine who was trying to get back to Crystal Towers on a Friday afternoon when an SUV ran her over. I spoke to D.D. while she was recovering at Wake Forest Baptist and again after she returned home to Crystal Towers.

Disunion Station

“Union Station is a project without a purpose.” -Robert Clark

Winston’s Union Station closed in 1970. After decades operating as Davis Garage, and years spent acquiring and rehabilitating the property, Union Station is finally open to the public. After spending a mere $20 million on the project, the City of Winston-Salem now owns a marvelous, historic building. But what exactly the City is going to do with Union Station is still anyone’s guess. Sadly, after yesterday’s grand opening, the building closed and won’t be open to the public for a while longer.

One Morning In Court…

Monday I went to court to support a friend who was recently issued a citation for panhandling. It was interesting to see how justice is made in the basement of the Forsyth County Hall of Justice. Once the courtroom doors opened at 9:00 am, defendants flooded in. The gallery was comprised of average looking joes and janes, disproportionately low-income and people of color. I didn’t see anyone in the crowd that looked like they had money.

Coverage Of Julius Sampson’s Murder Raises The Question: When Should The Media Use The Term Racism?

Tuesday’s fatal shooting at BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, outside of Hanes Mall, was a senseless act of violence. Because a young white man pulled a trigger, three children are without their father and a wife without her husband. In the wake of mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas, the shooting on Hanes Mall Circle reinforces what we already knew; gun possession leads to gun violence. No space in our nation is safe until gun control laws are passed. The Journal reported that nearly 150 people gathered in the parking lot of BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse yesterday to remember Julius “Juice” Sampson, a beloved member of the community.

New Out-Of-State Owner Of Greenway Village Apartments Is Evicting Tenants With Records

“Mass evictions are taking place at the Greenway Village Apartments.” That’s what a friend of mine with Housing Justice Now told me on Saturday.* I stopped by Greenway Village Monday afternoon to see if I could verify what I had been told and to encourage anyone facing eviction to fight back. The Greenway Village Apartments are located just behind the former St. Phillips Moravian Church. The one-story frame apartments were built in the late 1940s to address a severe housing shortage after World War II.

Business 40 In Black And White

The Journal recently announced that construction on Business 40/Salem Parkway is over 50 percent completed. That’s welcome news for commuters trying there best to get around Winston. With several bridges now open (the Liberty Street Bridge being the most recent) traveling through Downtown Winston is no problem. Getting into downtown from East Third, Fourth, or Fifth Streets can be a slow process. Getting around Winston, traveling from Greensboro to Clemmons on Interstate 40 is a real challenge.

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.

Being Brown, Black And Or Working Class In Downtown Winston Isn’t A Crime

Last Friday the Winston-Salem Journal published an article that was somewhat of a hit-piece aimed squarely at patrons of the downtown bus station. To be fair, Wesley Young’s piece wasn’t nearly as bad as its print title, “Artist’s vision turns ugly: Decorated downtown wall is scene of problem behaviors; city looks for solutions.” It’s not often that the business class lets the rest of the city know what they really think. Last Friday’s front page article on undesirable behavior supposedly occurring at or near Mr. Imagination’s 55 foot, Memory Wall of Love and Peace was one of those rare moments of transparency. “I get calls about people feeling uncomfortable when they walk by,” Jason Theil of the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership was quoted as saying.