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Thousands Expected to join Moral March in Raleigh Feb. 8

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Thousands Expected to Protest in  Moral March

By Debora E. Timms

JOMC Journal Contributor

 

The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president of the North Carolina State Chapter NAACP, continues to raise awareness and issue a call to action for North Carolinian to oppose legislation and policies he says are not only morally wrong, but also unconstitutional and economically unjust.

Barber recently brought his message to Greensboro’s Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, asking attendees to join in a Moral March on Raleigh on Feb 8. Organizers expect the march and “People’s Assembly” that follows to be the largest and most diverse mass protest in the South since the Alabama march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965.

The Rev. Joe Barber of the N.C. NAACP (center) speaks at Bethel A.M.E. Church.

Local activists hope to organize a Greensboro contingent of 1,000 protestors to travel to Raleigh. The march is the first in a series of protests planned for 2014 that will continue the Moral Mondays protests of the past year which resulted in nearly 1,000 arrests and garnered national media attention. Several people who attended Barber’s meeting at Bethel had been arrested at earlier protests. Bethel’s Rev. Alphonso E. McGlen greeted an audience of men and women of diverse ages, ethnicities and faiths.

McGlen noted the group had come together with “intentional purpose” to reflect on past accomplishments while also focusing on the future. A video package of past protests helped to highlight the issues -  quality education for our children; affordable healthcare; economic justice; fair elections; insurance for the unemployed; access to women’s healthcare; environmental justice; equality for all – which are at the heart of the Moral Monday/Forward Together movement. Other goals were clarified when several explained why they planned to attend the march.

Among those who spoke was Rabbi Fred Guttman of Temple Emanuel. He addressed the issue of education and the erosion that has occurred, and continues to occur because of budget cuts and poor teacher pay. He cited statistics which rank North Carolina 46th in the nation for teacher compensation, 48th in per student expenditure, and 50th for teacher salary increases. Guttman also noted that a lack of teacher remuneration was a disincentive to teacher’s pursuing higher degrees and is leading talented teachers to take jobs outside North Carolina.

Barber defined those organizing the Moral March as “an anti-racist, anti-poverty, pro-labor, deeply moral, deeply constitutional, agenda-based fusion coalition” of more than 160 organizations coordinated by the NAACP. He challenged those who question the legitimacy of the movement or assert that it targets only the GOP by reminding listeners that the Moral Monday/Forward Together movement had its beginning in 2006 under a Democratic governor. Barber says the movement cannot be defined in terms of Republican vs. Democrat or liberal vs. conservative because there is “no limiting a discussion of morality.”

Barber sees himself and others as standing up for the constitutional rights of all. He notes the words of the North Carolina State Constitution in Article 1, Section 2 which address the sovereignty of the people:

        All political power is vested in and derived from the people; all government of  right originates from the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted  solely for the good of the whole.

The Feb. 8 Moral March on Raleigh will take place at Shaw University in Raleigh, at 8:30 a.m.  For more information, visit www.hkonj.org, or contact Yvonne Hunt-Perry at (336) 254-1501, or Joyce Hobson Johnson at (336) 230-0001.

A Legacy of Courage

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An image of Dr. Franklin Eugene McCain Sr. was shown during the late civil rights activists' Jan. 16, 2014 memorial service. Photo by Bonnie Newman Davis.

Hundreds attended a Jan. 16, 2014 memorial service in NCA&T’s Harrison Auditorium for the late Franklin Eugene McCain, Sr., who made history in 1960 when he and three of his A&T college classmates helped integrate a Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C. Click the photo for NCA&T student journalist Jordynn Carlisles’s photos of Dr. McCain’s memorial service in Harrison Auditorium, Jan. 16, 2014, along with a slideshow of photos taken and assembled by Bonnie Newman Davis, an endowed professor of journalism and a 1979 graduate of NCA&T.

More images of Dr. McCain’s memorial service.

A lightning rod for change

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Franklin McCain at the Woolworth's lunch counter in 1960

Pioneer Civil Rights Leader Is Mourned

By Kimberly Fields

Editor

The JOMC Journal

 

Franklin Eugene McCain, a pioneer in civil rights, died Thursday night at Moses Cone Hospital after a brief illness, the Greensboro News and Record reports. He was 73.

According to North Carolina A&T State University, McCain was born 1941  in Union County, N.C., but grew up in Washington, D.C. Upon graduation from high school, McCain began his studies at A&T where he met Jibreel Khazan (Ezell Blair), David Richmond, and Joseph McNeil. In 1960, these four students led sit-ins at the Woolworth lunch counter located in downtown Greensboro, then

Franklin E. McCain

a lunch counter for whites only. The four students, who eventually became known as the Greensboro Four, were steadfast in their refusal to budge from the lunch counter. Eventually they were joined by others, until Woolworth’s management decided to allow blacks to be served.

Although they were not the first student activists to take a stand, with various demonstrations having occurred as early as 1954, the Greensboro Four’s actions sparked the most widespread support throughout the nation. Four years later, The Civil Rights Act of 1964  was signed into law, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

McCain earned a bachelor’s degree  in chemistry and biology in 1964, and later earned a master’s degree, also at A&T.  He served in leadership positions in numerous organizations, including the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., the National Conference of Christians and Jews, Board of Visitors at Bennett College for Women, Board of Trustees at North Carolina Central University, and A&T’s Board of Trustees.  McCain also served on the UNC Board of Governors and the A&T Alumni Association. He received an honorary doctorate of philosophy in humanities from A&T in 1991 for his role in civil rights.

In a statement, the McCain family said, “To the world, he was a civil rights pioneer who, along with his three classmates, dared to make a difference by starting the sit-in movement at the F.W. Woolworth Store here in Greensboro,” said the McCain family. “To us, he was “Daddy” – a man who deeply loved his family and cherished his friends.”

N.C. A&T Chancellor Harold Martin also issued a statement, saying “The Aggie family mourns the loss of Dr. Franklin McCain. His contributions to this university, the city of Greensboro and the nation as a civil rights leader are without measure. His legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of Aggies and friends throughout the world.”

McCain was the second of the Greensboro Four to die. David Richmond died in 1990.

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The New York Times

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Civil Rights Icon Franklin McCain Dies

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The Greensboro Four, lightning rods of the civil rights movement, during Delta Sigma Theta's Greensboro Centennial Torch Celebration last June @ The Empire Room in Greensboro, across the street from the International Civil Rights Center & Museum, formerly Woolworth's. Franklin McCain, who died yesterday, is shown far left. Photo by Bonnie Newman Davis.

 

Franklin McCain in Dig Triad

Remembering Nelson Mandela

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Continuing  racial tensions fail to overshadow

the Mandela legacy 

By Khalil Lewis

JOMC Journal Contributor

When my North Carolina A&T journalism professor told my class about an opportunity to travel to South Africa, I raced to sign up with little expectation of actually being selected. When I received the call, I was more than excited. Before this trip, I did know a little about the Republic of South Africa but not much beyond films such as “Sarafina” and “Shaka Zulu.” And my only interactions with anyone from the nation were two teachers at my middle school who happened to be Afrikaners, or white South Africans.

Khalil Lewis

One of the most notable aspects of the county’s history was that of apartheid, or the racial segregation of the black majority. Although the reason for the trip to South Africa was to take part in a conference discussing the energy and economic future of the continent of Africa, I was eager to see the lingering effects of apartheid on the population and the culture. Almost immediately upon arriving in South Africa, I was made aware that racial tensions were still lingering. A painting of the current president, Jacob Zuma, by a white artist had been sparking the blacks to protest. On the day we arrived, the painting was vandalized by a white farmer hoping to quell the racial tensions, and then later by a young black man who felt offended by the controversial portrait.

The conference took place at University of Witwatersrand, near the heart of Johannesburg. However, our hotel was located more or less in a suburban area that benefited from post-apartheid “white flight” where the population of whites is about 50 percent compared to the 79 percent national black population. The shopping center across from us, Sandton City, had all the western stores and fashions in which we are accustomed to in America, including high-end brands like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Cartier. The striking thing about these stores was  they were all run by black employees (many them bused in from the low-income townships such as Soweto), which is ironic given the current state of racial profiling alleged in high-end stores here in America. Many of the white workers I encountered were in managerial positions. This was not a surprise to me because even though blacks had gained political power, they had yet to gain the wealth long held by the Afrikaner minority. While this served as a reminder that the nation is still growing with respect to racial integration, more visible signs were the residences that had fences.

Click here for more images

To me, this signified that neighbors were still afraid of their neighbors.

I took in a lot from that trip. It was a wonderful experience. I met a lot of interesting people who were dedicated to helping the nation, not only in its post-apartheid era, but also in counteracting the effects of the HIV-epidemic and the inequalities of wealth distribution. I was able to dine and converse former African presidents, who undoubtedly were influenced by the struggles of Nelson Mandela.

Just as Mandela’s impact on South Africa has been felt by millions since his death on Dec. 5, his presence was well felt throughout Johannesburg during my visit there last summer. There were many tributes to him, including public squares, statues, bridges, museums, commemorative coins, and murals scattered throughout the city. And this was just in Johannesburg.

Mandela, or Madiba as he was affectionately known by many, was the father of modern South Africa. When he passed, I was not too surprised. It seemed bi-monthly that there were rumors of his death on the fringes of media. My main concern was for the people of South Africa. How will they handle his passing? Can they continue Mandela’s dream of a harmonious Rainbow Nation? Only time will tell. The people; Black, White, Coloured, Indian and all others will have to work hard to accomplish his vision for not only South Africa, but the world. I learned a lot during my visit, not only from the individuals I got to know, but also about the environment in which they inhabit.

One of the more symbolic things I took away was a coin minted in 1987, about two years before Mandela was released from prison, three years before negations started to end apartheid, and six years before the first free and open elections took place. I carry it with me as a reminder that not too long ago, millions of people were treated as second-class citizens in their own homeland. But thanks to countless individuals, organizations, and groups both locally and abroad, including the invaluable service of Mandela, they are free.

 

Khalil Lewis is a 2013 graduate of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications at North Carolina A&T State University

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Khalil Lewis captures South Africa during 2012 visit

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Wanda Starke

One on One with Wanda Starke

By Cayla Webster

JOMC Journal Contributor

Wanda Starke has worked for WXII 12 news station since 1994. Starke is the co-anchor along with Cameron Kent on the weekday 5, 6 and 11 p.m. news. Starke produces “A Place to Call Home” weekly about children who are waiting to be adopted, the segment is important to Starke because she was adopted as a child. Starke has received numerous awards including ThePresident’s Award for Volunteer Service, The Maya Angelou Women Who Lead Excellence Award Honoring Women in Media from UNCF and the Anna Quindlen Award for Excellence in Journalism on Behalf of Children and Families from the Child Welfare League of America.

The JOMC Journal recently caught up with Starke and, through email, she shared parts of her life story and comments about being a journalist.


JOMC Journal: Who has influenced you the most?

Starke: “My mother and father still influence me the most because they taught me at a young age the morals and respect to carry on through live. Even though they are no longer living, I know that they are with me each day and help me live out my dream; I regret that I did not interview them,” Starke said.

JOMC Journal: When did you know that you wanted to be a journalist?

Starke: “When I was in elementary school I loved reading the paper with my father, it was something that we did every Sunday. By the time I was in high school my favorite subject was English and I also worked for the yearbook. When I went to college at The University of Richmond, I worked for just about anything that could help me gain experience. My love for journalism developed at a young age,” Starke said.

JOMC Journal: What do you love most about your job?

Starke: “During my career I have interviewed many great people of all backgrounds. I have interviewed Mike Tyson, President Barack Obama, James Brown, and Phylicia Rashad. The list goes on. I also love being able to cover the news each day with my colleagues,” Starke said.

JOMC Journal: What books influenced your ideas and thoughts the most?

Starke: “I love Maya Angelou, she is one of the wisest women that I know, and her book “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” is one of my favorite books to read. Angelou influence me a lot through her words and thoughts, she is my favorite person to interview,” Starke said.

JOMC Journal: Career advice for aspiring African-American news anchors?
Starke: “Never give up, and never let anyone tell you that you cannot do anything because of the color of your skin. Gain knowledge in everything that pertains journalism; reporting, writing, editing, producing. Do not expect to start at the top right after college, start at the radio or TV station at your college now.” 
 

 

Best Bet for Holiday viewing is Best Man

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The Best Man Holiday Makes for Happy Holidays

By Victoria Eaton

JOMC Content Producer

 

Talk about a breath of fresh air! Year after year, we have seen countless movies depicting a struggling black family that are only in harmony when there’s a grandma figure in the picture. If you are looking for a movie that depicts love, faith, and successful relationships, especially within the black community all at once, then this is the movie for you!

The all-star cast consisting of Monica Calhoun, Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs, Sanaa Lathan, Regina Hall, Harold Perrineau, Melissa De Sousa and Terrence Howard reunited nearly 14 years after filming “The Best Man” only to exceed the box office’s expectations. Earning more than $30 million on its opening weekend, I’d say director, Malcolm D. Lee, outdid himself on this one.

The beginning of the film shows clips revisits closing scenes from the original “The Best Man.” Fast forward to 2013. This film covers relationship issues (or lack thereof) from the moon and back. Old friends with different personalities all come together for a good time and to take a break from life. As we near the end of 2013 and prepare for the holidays, I’m sure anyone reading this can relate.

The same can be said for this excellently done movie: Anyone can relate. Whether you’re in a relationship or a friendship, this movie has something in it for you and includes generous rounds of laughter to ease the unexpected drama and twists the movie takes us. Hardly any of the actors appear to have aged much in 15 years; in fact, many of them have continued to work steadily, so settling in to see them on the big screen is like spending time with old friends.

Based around the belief that although times change, friendships don’t, the various relationships portrayed give you a sense of hope where there seems to be no hope. All of the actors rise to the occasion in their various roles, particularly Monica Calhoun, who delivers a strong performance with understated grace. The film gives viewers a good dose of reality, but not too much to damper your mood. It gives you a sense of appreciation for your friends and the memories you have made with them. Everyone needs that little reminder from time to time and this movie is just that!

Students question rising tuition

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Will I have to pay more?

By Mija Gary

 

“Where is the money going?”

“Will there be less of a wait time at the health center?”

“Will there be more scholarships available?”

“Who can I talk to about repealing the tuition increase for out-of-state undergraduate students?”

Those were some of the questions and concerns voiced by N.C. A&T students recently at a forum about rising tuition costs.

Out-of-state tuition will have the greatest impact for those students. Tuition will increase by 12.3 percent or $1,765.17 annually for out-of-state undergraduate students, while in-state students will not see a change. Currently, in-state, full-time students pay $6,797.50 in tuition and fees, including health insurance, but excluding housing and meal plans. Out-of-state, full time students pay $17,878.50. That is a $11,081 difference. Required fees will increase $120.67 and health services fee will increase $25. This brings the total for out-of-state students’ tuition and fees, including health insurance, for the 2014-2015 school year to $19,789.34 widening the gap between in-state and out-of-state tuition and fees to $12,991.84

“I just think it’s unfair,” said Jasmine Taylor, a sophomore computer science student from Atlanta. “I understand that we have to pay more than in state students because they pay taxes here, but the rate that our tuition is increasing is ridiculous!”

Taylor has recently received a scholarship that covers less than half of her tuition. Federal financial aid covers the remaining costs.

Several university administrators were present at the program sponsored by the Student Government Association and the Tuition and Fees Committee. Tuition and fee increases will take place in the upcoming 2014-2015 academic school year.

Okua Matherson, associate vice chancellor for enrollment management, presented the information to students and answered questions throughout the forum.

In comparison with other universities in North Carolina such as East Carolina University, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and North Carolina Central University, A&T’s tuition and fees are significantly lower. This comparison provides an incentive for students, especially out-of-state, to remain at N.C. A&T.

Many increased student fees will help improve student life and activities at A&T, according to Matherson. Education, technology, student activities, health services, debt service, housing, food services, and new student orientation fees will be implemented. Such fee increases will provide upgrades to classroom technology, support funding to student activity groups, support medical services, and support the re-engineering of student meal plans.

“We held the program to make sure students are aware of students’ tuition and to hear students’ feedback,” said Kimberly Sowell, assistant vice chancellor for student affairs. “The turnout was more than I expected and I’m happy! SGA did a good job with this!”

 

Where Were You Nov. 22, 1963?

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N. C. A&T State University Journalism Professors Dr. Teresa Styles and Ricky Clemons reflect on Nov. 22, 1963

Bluford Library Unveils New Learning Space

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Bluford Library Unveils New Learning Space

By Anthony Bryant

JOMC Journal Assistant Editor

N.C. A&T’s Bluford Library recently unveiled a new Collaborative Learning Space on the first floor.  A Collaborative Learning Space is a meeting space outside the traditional classroom setting. Outfitted with laptops, a television, comfortable furniture, and inviting colors, the space makes it easier for students to meet and collaborate on projects and activities.  Library staff and officials hope that the space will further enhance and help student research. Funding for the new Collaborative Learning Space was provided by the Bluford Library, Division of Information & Technology, and Student Affairs. For more information, visit http://www.library.ncat.edu/ and search for “Collaborative Learning Space.”