Tuesday, January 28, 2014





CASH IN THE APPLE – 1-30-2014
By Cash Michaels

PREMIERE FOR “PARDONS OF INNOCENCE” - Saturday morning, Feb. 15, 2014, at the Burney Center on the campus of UNC – Wilmington, tentatively scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Admission free to the public. That’s what you need to know to attend the world premiere of the NNPA – CashWorks HD Productions documentary presentation of “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten.”
More information as it comes.
SAN JUAN – I must say that if the people I met last week during my trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico are any indication, that is a lovely place to live and work. I flew there, at the invitation of the National Newspaper Publishers Association to screen a preview first draft of “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten.”
The screening was scheduled for 8:30 p.m. on the evening of January 23rd, which concerned me because it was the last event at the end of long day. And yet, despite the fact that the draft ran two hours, not a person left during the screening.
In fact, when it was over, the dinner audience of black publishers from around the country stood and gave the film a hearty, prolonged round of applause.
George Curry, the executive editor-in-chief of the NNPA, was the first to come over and congratulate me. That meant a lot coming from a veteran journalist like him.
So see for yourself on Feb. 15th in Wilmington.
SHARK TANK – It’s weird what they show you for an in-cabin movie or show on a flight. But one of the shows they displayed on way back from San Juan is the ABC-TV reality program, “Shark Tank,” where entrepreneurs go before a power panel of successful businesspeople, and pitch their ideas for a great business, in return for anywhere from $50,000 to $200,000 in investment money, which buys the investor a certain percentage of the business, and profits.
The show is produced by Mark Burnett of “Survivor” fame, and from what I saw of it, it’s pretty good. Indeed, the show is shown all over the world, and reruns on CNBC cable to high ratings.
Gee, for once, television does something right. Imagine that.
GOVERNOR PULLS FOR BRONCOS – I understand that Gov. Pat McCrory is pulling for the Denver Broncos, primarily because their coach John Fox spent nine years as coach of the Carolina Panthers when McCrory was mayor of Charlotte.
So I got that.
But the quarterback of the opposing Seattle Seahawks is Russell Wilson, a former NC State quarterback who was forced to leave for Wisconsin because the Wolfpack football coach then (he’s a former now) decided Wilson was either going to play for him, or play college baseball, but not both.
Wilson decided he was the master of his own universe, not Coach what’s-his-name.
And that’s why, despite the fact the Bronco QB Peyton Manning is perhaps one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to lace up for a game, I’m pulling for Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks. If a young, talented QB like Wilson were to beat Manning and the Broncos, THAT would be news, indeed.
So I’m pulling for the underdog…Russ and the Seahawks, against Gov. McCrory and the Broncos.
Let’s see who’s lucky Sunday night.
GRAMMY MESS – Looks like when it comes to the last frontier of traditional respect, black music artists have lost significant ground.
The Grammy Awards last Sunday weren’t very inspiring as to where tomorrow’s next generation of black music phenoms are coming from. No less than one of our finest singers, India Arie, had something to say about this on her blog:
Though it’s called “Music industries biggest night” the #Grammys are NOT about the music, it’s a popularity contest. The voting process allows people, to vote on name recognition alone - the music industry politics is a whole NUTHER conversation.  Too much to go into here.
If the hip hop community voted on hip hop - r&b COMMUNITY the same - same for each category - we’d see winners that reflect the MUSIC ITSELF. We all know that’s just not the way it goes. 
NOW the BIGGER losers, are ALL of black music. Where was the black music community represented in last nights #Grammy show? Performers and Winners (or not) … Where were the black artists?
And this isn’t the first time the #Grammy’s has had a show all but excluding young black America and black artists in general, although we set the worlds musical trends. Why NOT televise the lifetime achievement awards of the Isley Brothers? SURELY they deserved to be on televised stage LAST NIGHT! While other artists were on stage TWICE?
The truth is in a perfect world diversity would matter, and respect would be rampant, but the TRUTH is, The #Grammys is a television show, and in THAT world ratings reign supreme.  So, in general, bigger names take the stage, and sadly the biggest names often times ARE BIGGER drawn along racial lines from the release of an album. i.e. marketing dollars, and just general support.  It’s unfortunate.
 Yes it is.
Given the mess with Robin Thicke allegedly stealing parts of legend Marvin Gaye’s music to make super hits for himself, black music today is in bad shape, and in deep trouble.
Make sure you tune in every Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. for my talk radio show, ''Make It Happen'' on Power 750 WAUG-AM, or online at www.myWAUG.com. And read more about my thoughts and opinions exclusively at my blog, ‘The Cash Roc” (http://thecashroc.blogspot.com/2011/01/cash-roc-begins.html). I promise it will be interesting.
Cash in the Apple - honored as the Best Column Writing of 2006 by the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Columnist Cash Michaels was also honored by the NNPA for Best Feature Story Journalist of 2009, and was the recipient of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP’s President’s Award for Media Excellence in Sept. 2011.
And coming on February 15, 2014, the NNPA-CashWorks HD Productions documentary presentation of, “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten.”
Until next week, keep a smile on your face, GOD in your heart, and The Carolinian in your life. Bye, bye.


            Makeup days for the inclement weather day  Tuesday, January 28 are:
            - Traditional and Modified – calendar schools – Monday, February 17
              - Leadership Academies/Early Colleges – Thursday, May 29
            - Multi-Track Year-Round (Tracks 1, 2 & 4) – Saturday, February 1
            - Single – Track Year-Round Schools – Saturday, February 1
            Please note: The make-up day for year-round schools is this Saturday. For make-up days scheduled on Saturdays, bus pick-up times will follow the regular weekday schedule. The instructional day will be 3.5 hours. Breakfast and lunch will NOT be served, but students may bring snacks to school. There will be no recess or clubs—all time will be used on core instruction. For more information, please go to http://www.wcpss.net.

            Apparently the alleged suicide of Jesus Huerta is not closed. After saying that there will be no criminal charges in the shooting death of the 17-year-old teenager, who allegedly shot himself in the head while handcuffed in the backseat of a Durham police vehicle Nov. 19th, the Durham District Attorney’s Office has now decided to follow-up on a tip about the case, and has reopened the investigation. Huerta’s family, who has also called for a civil rights investigation into the matter, provided the tip. "We have agreed to look into the material to the extent that it is reasonable and productive and has a probability of relating to a crime," the Durham D.A.’s office said in a statement. Officials say the arresting officer apparently missed the gun on Huerta during a routine frisk before he was handcuffed.

            The board of the Raleigh Housing Authority has ratified a new contract for director Steve Beam which does away with compensatory time for prolonged work days. Published reports revealed that Beam was taking eleven weeks paid leave annually, much of which he used to pursue his love of magic. Instead, Beam will get days off for “administrative time” taken traveling on business trips, approved by the board, during the weekend. Board members are appointed by Raleigh’s mayor. The RHA is a federally-funded agency.



            [RALEIGH]  With employers adding 10,600 new jobs in December, North Carolina’s jobless rate continued to drop in December to 6.9 percent, according to the NC Dept. of Commerce, from 7.4 in November. Though Gov. McCrory issued a statement called the dip “great news,” analysts at the NC Justice Center say, “this is due almost entirely to a historic collapse in the state’s labor force, not to genuine gains in employment.” With the labor force shrinking by 110,930 workers over the past year – 2.5 percent – the Justice Center says, whenever the labor force goes down, so will the unemployment rate, meaning that thousands have just dropped out of looking for jobs.

            [CHARLOTTE] Over the protests of attorneys for Charlotte Police Officer Randall Kerrick, a second grand jury has indicted Kerrick on a charge of voluntary manslaughter in the September 2013 slaying of 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell, an unarmed former Florida A&M University football player who had wrecked his car in the early morning hours, and was seeking help. The first grand jury, with just 12 of 18 members, refused to indict the officer. A judge had to rule to allow the second grand jury to again hear the case, saying there was nothing in state law that prevented it. The charge carries a prison sentence up to 11 years. Ferrell’s family has also filed a lawsuit against the Charlotte Police Dept. and Officer Kerrick.

            [RALEIGH] If North Carolina doesn’t clear its food stamp waiting list in the next two weeks, the US Dept. of Agriculture will cut off $88 million federal funding by March 12th, warned the federal agency in a Jan. 23rd letter to the NC Dept. of Health and Human Services. Feb. 10th is the deadline date for NCDHHS to show improvement. In its letter, USDA stated that it is, “…alarmed by the persistent problems despite our extensive technical assistance and repeated communications concerning the severity of the situation. Citizens of North Carolina that need help putting food on the table are not receiving the basic level of responsiveness and quality of service that they deserve from their government.” DHHS says it is working to clear up the matter.


Special to The Carolinian Newspaper

Editor’s Note – The NCNAACP and the Forward Together Movement present the “Moral March on Raleigh – Historic Thousands on Jones Street Rally and People’s Assembly” Saturday, Feb. 8th. Participants are to meet that morning at 9:30 a.m. on South Street in front of Shaw University, to march through downtown Raleigh to the Legislative Building on Jones Street at 10:30 a.m. for the rally.

RALEIGH - Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II opened the NC NAACP's annual winter conference on Jan. 25 by declaring that its members were prepared to oppose any attempt by government officials to deny an equal voice and fair representation to the people of North Carolina - whether that involves tens of thousands of feet marching in protest through Raleigh on Feb. 8 or legal challenges in the courts.

"We are continuously witnessing last-ditch efforts by those who are in power to block the will of the people," Dr. Barber said. "The North Carolina NAACP, the people of North Carolina, say today that we will never stand by as justice is delayed. Because justice delayed is justice denied."

In the weeks ahead, the NC NAACP will push for expedient and meaningful action to fill the open U.S. district court judgeship in Eastern North Carolina, to move forward the special election to select a new representative for the 12th Congressional district, and to stop the state from delaying the NC NAACP's legal challenge to the voter suppression law passed last summer. On Jan. 24, the state conference's Executive Committee overwhelmingly voted to prioritize these issues.

On Jan. 25, at a press conference held at the Abundant Life Church of God in Christ & Life Center in Raleigh, NC, Dr. Barber publicly announced five critical initiatives aimed at combating the denial of justice in North Carolina:

1. Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) has continuously denied attempts to hold a vote on the candidacy of judicial nominee Ms. Jennifer May-Parker for the open U.S. District Court seat in Eastern North Carolina.

President Barack Obama nominated Ms. May-Parker, a well-respected U.S. attorney and an African American, in June for the longest-running judicial opening; the seat has now been vacant for seven years. If approved by Congress, Ms. May-Parker would be the first African American to hold the position in state history.

"The federal court in the eastern district looks like the Civil Rights Movement never happened," Dr. Barber said. "The courts are needed more and more as legislators push continually to violate our constitutional rights. Sen. Burr...stop denying the people of eastern North Carolina their right to have [Ms. May-Parker's candidacy] voted on and their right to integrate the courts, something that should have been done 200 years ago."

The NC NAACP is not demanding that Sen. Burr vote for Ms. May-Parker, merely that he stop his silent veto and allow her candidacy to move forward for a full Congressional vote.

2. The 12th congressional district seat is also vacant and will have remained vacant for over 300 days if Gov. Pat McCrory is able to delay the special election until Nov. 4, 2014.

The average length of time that congressional seats go unfilled nationwide is 127 days. If Gov. McCrory gets his way, residents of the 12th congressional district will not have a voice in the U.S. Congress for more than 300 days. That is nearly a year without democratic representation for 700,000 North Carolinians, for Democrats and Republicans and independents alike.

"We are in the middle of some of the most critical [pieces of legislation like] the farm bill and the Voting Rights Act, and the 12th district will not have a representative at the debate," Dr. Barber said. "This is a travesty of justice."

Last night, the Executive Committee voted to instruct the NC NAACP attorneys to begin drawing together a legal challenge if Gov. McCrory does not change his position.  

3. And statewide, the NC NAACP is pushing forward with its challenge to the voter suppression bill passed by the Far-Right extremists in the General Assembly in 2013-a law that has been described as the worst in the nation and stands as the most significant rollback of voter protections since Jim Crow.

The state continues to delay the court proceedings by denying the release of crucial evidence to NC NAACP lawyers during the discovery proceedings, but Dr. Barber stressed that the organization's resolve would not be shaken. Yesterday, the NC NAACP's lawyers filed a motion to compel the state to provide documents, many of which are readily available, from the General Assembly's consideration of the voter suppression law.

According to the state's lawyers, they can't produce anything before the law was passed, anything from the debates on the passage of the law, or anything after the bill was signed.

"We say to the Governor, the people deserve to see why the legislature made this decision to roll back voting rights in our state-many rights that our citizens have already used," Dr. Barber said. "What was done in the darkness will be brought to light."

4. As a lead up to the Moral Mass March in Raleigh on Feb. 8, the Forward Together Movement will host the Moral Mondays' Costs and Loss Policy Briefing where scholars, economists, business people and policy experts will explain how the laws and regulations pushed by Gov. McCrory and the General Assembly leadership have cost the average North Carolinian morally, economically, socially, politically, physically.

This briefing will challenge the governor's and his allies' framing of the past year as a "Carolina comeback" by pointing out empirically the costs and losses of these extremist policies that have instead fostered a "Carolina set-back and catastrophe." It will be held at 3 pm at the Martin St. Baptist Church, located at 1001 E Martin St. in Raleigh, NC.

5. In preparation for Historic Thousands on J Street march, churches, synagogues, and mosques around the state will be hosting their own Moral March services on Sunday, Feb. 2 to rally their congregations and their communities.
"We know justice must be fought for on many fronts, in the court room, at the ballot box, and also in the streets," Dr. Barber said. "The Moral March on Raleigh is only two weeks away and we will mobilize like never before!"

Fifty of these services will be open to members of the media. More information about the location and timing of these Moral March services will be forthcoming.

The Moral March on Raleigh will bring thousands of people of conscience together to stand against the constitutionally unsound, morally reprehensible, and economically insane policies of the Gov. McCrory, Speaker Tillis, Senate Leader Berger, Budget Director Art Pope and other extremists in the NC General Assembly.

Monday, January 20, 2014

THE CASH STUFF for 01-23-14




By Cash Michaels

            IN PUERTO RICO – If you’re reading this between Thursday, January 23rd, and Saturday, January 25th, then, hoping I got there safely (and will get back the same way), I’m in San Juan, Puerto Rico at the National Newspaper Publishers’ Association Mid-Winter Conference.
            No, I’m certainly NOT a black newspaper publisher. Just a lowly old reporter. But I am also a documentary filmmaker, and the reason I’m here is to preview my latest film, “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten.
            The project is one of the hardest endeavors I’ve ever undertaken, personally or professionally. And yet, it is one of the most rewarding, even if I’m the only one ever to like it.
            It is the story of the Wilmington Ten -  ten North Carolinians who stood up for educational equality in New Hanover Public School during the early 1970’s in the midst of turbulent school desegregation. It is also the story of how a dynamic, young civil rights activist, Rev. Benjamin Chavis, led a movement for freedom, justice and equality against a long ingrained system of racism.
            The film actually tracks the history of racial injustice in Wilmington, beginning with the 1898 race massacre, leading through school desegregation in the South, and bringing us to Wilmington, where the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. sets off a chain reaction of events, including the closing of the reknowned all-black Williston Senior High School, that lead to a violent week of racial upheaval in the port city in February 1971, and ultimately, the unjust trial and conviction of ten innocent freedom fighters.
            It would take forty years from the false convictions of the Wilmington Ten, for the state of North Carolina, thanks to Gov. Beverly Perdue, to realize the error in its deed, and grant pardons of innocence to each of the Ten.
            Beyond the Rev. Ben Chavis, members of the Wilmington Ten and their families, others who appear in the film exclusively include Joseph McNeil, one of the legendary Greensboro Four who integrated the F.W. Woolworth store in Greensboro over half-century ago; Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who was one of the pastors from the United Church of Christ who lobbied former Gov. Jim Hunt in 1977 to pardon the Wilmington; and former Gov. Beverly Perdue, who says in the film that she considered the Wilmington Ten “patriots” for standing up for what they believed against a repressive system of “naked racism.”
            This is obviously being written before anyone as seen it, so I won’t be able to give you reaction until I get back next week. My hope is that I’ve done my job as a journalist in telling this extraordinary story, and important part of American history, black or otherwise.
            So when do you see it?
            The official world premiere of “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten” is scheduled to take place Saturday, Feb. 15th, at UNC – Wilmington in the morning (I’ll nail down the time for you by next week). Afterwards there will be a Q & A session, followed by a panel discussion on the state of the modern civil rights movement, and the continued need for a vibrant Black Press.
            Later that evening, a black tie gala at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, honoring former Gov. Beverly Perdue, NCNAACP Pres. William Barber, and others who took part in the Wilmington Ten Pardons of Innocence Project. Please contact Shawn Thatch at the Journal for ticket info and more information at 910-762-5502, or wilmjournads@aol.com.
            “THE BUTLER” DENIED – I m still scratching my head at least week’s bombshell Academy Award nominations for the best films and film performances for 2013.
            The shocker (for me at least), absolutely NOT one nomination of any sort for “Lee Daniels The Butler,” the star-studded historic drama about a White House servant who lives through several years of US presidents.
            By now you know that the film starred Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey. All of the smart money when the film came out last August said that Whitaker and Winfrey would be leading the pack come Oscar awards time.
            Well, boy, were we wrong.
            Mind you, Oprah was good in her role as the unhinged wife of the White House butler, but Forest Whitaker was beyond tremendous. He actually aged in front of us, handling the various nuances of an aging black man, dealing with the changing world around him from the seat of power with skill and grace.
            There was nothing small about Whitaker’s performance. He was indeed the linchpin that held the entire film together.
            Apparently the audiences agreed, giving “The Butler” a solid $100 million-plus box office. Critics were in raves, as well.
            So there was no question that Whitaker, Oprah, and director Lee Daniels would be seeing Oscar night from the Kodak Theater audience…and perhaps, even, from the stage accepting something.
            Instead, the film is incredibly and completely overlooked by the Oscar voters.
            This is worse than what happened in 1985 when Steven Spielberg’s heralded, “The Color Purple” was nominated for eleven Academy Awards, and won nothing.
            “The Butler” didn’t even get nominated for one – not makeup, sound…NOTHING!
            Heck… even “Star Trek: Into Darkness” and “The Lone Ranger” got technical nominations.
            And even a film called “Jackass: Bad Grandpa” got a Best Makeup nomination.
            So why was “The Butler”coldcocked so horribly?
            Apparently because of politics.
            Those Oscar voters, who tend to skew a little bit whiter and a little bit older (actually, make that  lot on both counts), decided they’d rather give the “colored slot” to “12 Years a Slave,” a greatly heralded film by black British director Steve McQueen, and produced by actor Brad Pitt’s company.
            Now I have nothing bad to say about “12 Years…” at all, primarily because I haven’t seen it yet. I hear it is excellent. But what this whole scenario with “The Butler” tells me is that Oscar hasn’t quite grown up yet. Apparently, even with the categories expanded to ten to include more nominees, the Oscar folks feel have two great black films in competition is too much, so we can only get one nominated.
            What sense that makes is beyond me, but that’s apparently what we got.
            So we wish “12 Years a Slave,” which is up for Best Picture, among other categories, good luck. It seems that the media is trying to steer folks towards other nominated films that they like.
            Fine. But from this point on, if ever there was a film that was legitimately robbed of a chance to even be in the running, it’s, sadly, “Lee Daniels The Butler.” 
Make sure you tune in every Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. for my talk radio show, ''Make It Happen'' on Power 750 WAUG-AM, or online at www.myWAUG.com. And read more about my thoughts and opinions exclusively at my blog, ‘The Cash Roc” (http://thecashroc.blogspot.com/2011/01/cash-roc-begins.html). I promise it will be interesting.
Cash in the Apple - honored as the Best Column Writing of 2006 by the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Columnist Cash Michaels was also honored by the NNPA for Best Feature Story Journalist of 2009, and was the recipient of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP’s President’s Award for Media Excellence in Sept. 2011.
And coming on February 15, 2014, the NNPA-CashWorks HD Productions documentary presentation of, “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten.”
Until next week, keep a smile on your face, GOD in your heart, and The Carolinian in your life. Bye, bye.


Community input sought

Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) Superintendent James Merrill is inviting WCPSS employees, parents, and the public to share their thoughts, concerns, and priorities for WCPSS in a series of community input events entitled Superintendent's Direct Line.   The first session is slated for Thursday, January 23, at East Wake High.
"This is especially important at this time of year," said Dr. Merrill, "as we work on the budget and plans of action for the 2014-2015 school year."
Dr. Merrill has reserved the first hour-and-a-half of each event specifically for teachers and other WCPSS employees.  The last hour-and-a-half is open to parents and the public.  Interested speakers may begin signing up on-site at 4:00 p.m. each day in the lobby of the school auditorium.   Each speaker is allotted three minutes and one appearance at the Superintendent's Direct Line events.
Speakers are reminded that the Superintendent's Direct Line is a public event; therefore, personnel issues should not be voiced during this time.  Caution should be exercised before sharing private student matters.
Dr. Merrill welcomes the opportunity to hear what's on the minds of Wake's citizens.  "I encourage everyone who cares about Wake schools to join us. This is a time to listen and let our community do the talking."
Superintendent's Direct Line Schedule
All events will be held in the school auditorium.
•   January 23  -  East Wake High
•   January 27  -  Broughton High
•   January 29  - Panther Creek High
•   February 3  -  Southeast Raleigh High
•   February 17 - Wakefield High
Afternoon and evening schedule at each site:
4:00 p.m.            Speakers for Employee and Parents & Public events may begin signing up in the lobby of the auditorium
4:30 - 6:00 p.m.  Superintendent's Direct Line for Employees
6:00 - 6:30 p.m.  (Break)  Speaker signup continues until all slots are full or 6:45 p.m.
6:30 - 8:00 p.m.  Superintendent's Direct Line for Parents and the Public


            [CHARLOTTE] He was remembered as a man of history who forever changed the world with a simple act of defiance. Dr. Franklin McCain, one of the Greensboro Four who gallantly integrated a Woolworth “white’s only” lunch counter in Feb. 1, 1960, was laid to rest last Friday during a funeral service in Charlotte. He was 73. Dr. McCain, who went on to become a research chemist, and later chairman of the trustee board at his alma mater, NC A&T University, was heralded by his classmate, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sen. Kay Hagan, and even Pres. Obama sent a message saying that McCain taught the world that “..we are the change we seek.”

            [CHARLOTTE] The family of a young black man fatally shot last Sept. 14th by a Charlotte police officer, has filed a lawsuit against the Charlotte Police Dept. and others. The mother and brother of Jonathan Ferrell, the former Florida A&M University football player whose car broke down in a Charlotte suburb, only to be shot by officers when they arrived, say they want to expose the police force’s policy on the use of lethal force.   

            You have until Feb. 1 to make your online purchases from Amazon.com tax-free. After that, the online retailer will begin collecting state sales taxes in 19 states, including North Carolina. Amazon.com has fought not to collect taxes for years from states where it does not have offices or warehouses. But a pending federal law in Congress, once passed, will soon mandate it.



             A 27-year-old white man who is apparently an Aryan nation sympathizer is accused of threatening Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane. Alec Dane Redner of Brass Kettle Road in Raleigh, is charged with communicating threats and threatening an executive, legal or court officer. Redner allegedly posted his threat telling McFarlane to “watch out” on her website, adding that soon, “...you will be on the other end of the barrel.” He has a criminal record which includes assault.  When his car was searched in May 2010, Wake deputies found an AR-15 rifle, and white supremacist – anti-government literature. He is being held in the Wake County jail.

            Even though the family of a 17-year-old teenager who reported shot himself in a Durham police cruiser has called for peace and justice during their vigils, some who take part still use the occasion to create havoc with police. The family of Jesus Huerta held a prayer vigil last weekend at a local Catholic church to one again remember the teen, as investigations continue into how he could fatally shoot himself while handcuffed in a police car. But marchers after the vigil apparently wouldn’t take the family’s plea for peace seriously, causing damage to a Durham Police substation and several police vehicles with rocks and spray paint. Six people, including two juveniles, were arrested.

            The former president/CEO of the national NAACP had choice words the direction North Carolina is going under Gov. Pat McCrory and GOP legislature. Benjamin Jealous, who stepped down from NAACP leadership last year, told those gather at Duke Chapel Sunday for its annual King Holiday commemoration. Jealous accused North Carolina Republicans of  “taking us backwards fast,” and criticized policies like voter ID. Jealous also said that he fully supports the NCNAACP’s “moral Monday” movement.


FILM HONORS HISTORIC WILMINGTON TEN PARDONS - The North Carolina premiere of the documentary, "Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten" is set for Saturday, Feb. 15th at UNC - Wilmington in Wilmington, followed by a special panel discussion and gala banquet honoring former Gov. Beverly Perdue, who granted the pardons on Dec. 31st, 2012 after a strong coalition effort led by the Black Press [photo courtesy of Perdue Administration]

Special to The Carolinian

            The world premiere of the National Newspaper Publishers Association – CashWorks HD Productions documentary, “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten,” has now been officially set for Saturday, Feb. 15th at UNC – Wilmington, in Wilmington, followed by gala banquet honoring former Gov. Beverly Perdue.
            The day of special events is titled, “Black Press: Joining Together for a Better World,” and is presented by The Wilmington Journal, which has served Southeastern North Carolina’s African-American community for 87 years, and the NNPA.
            The film screening is free and open to the public.
            The documentary recounts the history surrounding the troubled desegregation of New Hanover County Public schools during the late 1960s thorough 1971, which evolved into the false prosecution of eight black male students, a white female community organizer, and a fiery civil rights activist, Rev. Benjamin Chavis, for protesting racial injustice.
            Against the backdrop of the Wilmington 1898 race massacre and the forced desegregation of Southern schools in the 1960s, the documentary also traces how the Black Press, led initially by Wilmington Journal publisher Thomas C. Jervay, Sr., and over 40 years later by his daughter, publisher-editor Mary Alice Jervay Thatch through the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), ultimately pushed for, and achieved the official exoneration of the Wilmington Ten.
            The documentary is set to be released on DVD for public schools - grades 9 through 12 (with academic guide); colleges and universities, and the general public.
            The NNPA, also known as “The Black Press of America,” is a 74-year-old federation of more than 200 black community newspapers across the United States. In 2011, led by The Wilmington Journal, the NNPA, and NNPA Foundation led by Dorothy Leavell, publisher of Chicago Crusader, adopted seeking pardons of innocence for the Wilmington Ten as a project.
            The film is written, produced and narrated by Cash Michaels, staff writer for The Wilmington Journal; and editor/chief reporter for The Carolinian Newspaper in Raleigh.
            Following the documentary will be a question and answer session, then a blue ribbon panel discussion, “Civil Rights: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, and the Role of the Black Press, Black Church and the Black Community.”
            Among the confirmed panelists is the Rev. Benjamin Chavis, Jr., leader of the Wilmington Ten. George Curry, executive editor of the NNPA, will moderate.
            Also to be discussed, “A Black Newspaper on Every Coffee Table.”
            There will also be exhibits on display at UNC – Wilmington.
            A special Black Tie Gala will be held later that evening in Daniels Hall at Cape Fear Community College honoring former Gov. Beverly Perdue - who granted pardons of innocence to the ten falsely convicted freedom fighters; NCNAACP Pres. Rev. Dr. William Barber – who helped to lead the public effort to pardon the Wilmington Ten; and others.
            Rev. Chavis is the scheduled keynoter.
            Among the scheduled performers is renowned  spiritual vocalist Lynnette Barber of Lincoln Park Holiness Church in Raleigh, who sings the title song, “That Freedom” in “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten.”  
            Per-person tickets to the gala cost $100.00, with proceeds going to the nonprofit RS and TC Jervay Foundation, a 501 c (3). Donations are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Funds will be used for scholarships and research related to the history of African-Americans in southeastern North Carolina.
            Corporations and community groups are invited to support this historic fundraising event through the purchase of sponsor packages, ranging from $1,500 to $50,000. Sponsor package benefits include hosted tables for your guests and recognition at the event, and in related advertising promotional materials.
            The deadline for ads for the special souvenir program book is Feb. 7th.
For more information contact Shawn Thatch at The Wilmington Journal at wilmjournads@aol.com, or call 910-762-5502.