THE TRUE STORY OF THE
WILMINGTON TEN STROUD FILES
By Cash Michaels
Editor’s Note – On April 5, the National Newspaper Publishers Association – CashWorks HD Productions documentary, “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten,” will premiere at UNC – Wilmington’s Kenan Auditorium, commemorating the April 4th, 1968 46th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. The event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 9 a.m., screening begins at 9:30 a.m.
In honor of that event, The Carolinian and The Wilmington Journal newspapesr will publish stories leading up to the premiere dealing with important aspects of the Wilmington Ten story not dealt with in the film.
When ten separate petitions for pardons of innocence for the Wilmington Ten came before Gov. Beverly Perdue in 2012, some of her closest advisors, in addition to many of North Carolina’s most prominent members of the state’s legal and political communities, strongly urged her not to grant them.
The civil rights activists, led by the fiery black activist Rev. Benjamin Chavis, were tried, convicted and sentenced in 1972 for the firebombing of Mike’s Grocery Store and accompanying sniper fire on police and fire fighters the year prior. All of them spent time in prison, and all of them had been denied pardons in 1978 by then-Gov. Jim Hunt.
But even though the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the convictions in December 1980, based on findings of prosecutorial misconduct, the state refused to either retry the Ten, or drop the charges. So all of them, though out of prison, languished in a legal quagmire for over 30 years that destroyed their lives.
None of the governors during that span of time dared to touch the case, believing that in the minds of most North Carolinians, the Wilmington Ten would remain guilty.
But Gov. Perdue was different. Even though she was a tough law-and-order liberal who had only granted one pardon out of hundreds submitted to her each year of her four-year tenure, she considered the Wilmington Ten case special, because at its core was a microcosm of North Carolina’s racial and political history.
It was already known, thanks to the 1980 US Fourth Circuit ruling, that Wilmington Ten prosecutor Jay Stroud had not only paid state witnesses to commit perjury, and had hidden damning information about his chief witness’ questionable mental capacity from the defense, but that all of the state’s witnesses years later admitted in court that they were induced to lie during the 1972 trial.
But that wasn’t enough, apparently, to declare the Wilmington Ten innocent.
It would take more to permanently shut the door of any doubt, and convince Gov. Perdue, who had her legacy in office to consider after announcing that she would not run for re-election in 2012, to grant pardons of innocence to the Wilmington Ten.
Little did Perdue, or anyone else realize, that the “more” she needed had been waiting in a closet at the New Hanover County District Attorney’s Office for the past 40 years.
It was 2008 when NHC D.A. Ben David’s staff found a box labeled “Wilmington Ten – Do not open” in a storage area. Intrigued, David checked to see if there was any pending or active proceedings involving any of the defendants. When nothing turned up, David says he decided to turn custody of the box over to Duke University historian Prof. Tim Tyson.
Tyson, the son of civil rights minister Rev. Vernon Tyson, had grown up in Wilmington, and had written extensively on North Carolina black history. He was planning to write a book on the Wilmington Ten, and had worked in concert with Ben David on special black history classes at Williston Junior High School.
David gave the box to Tyson for research, but Tyson didn’t immediately examine it. However, when an aide did, and reported back what the contents were, Tyson was astounded.
Among the standard legal documents common to any criminal case, were notes written by NHC prosecutor James “Jay” Stroud, notes that suggested not only that he tried desperately to impanel a jury for the first June 1972 trial that consisted of “KKK” whites and “Uncle Tom” blacks, but also worked hard to prevent black men from becoming jurors, and any blacks who read The Wilmington Journal, the black newspaper which had advocated for the Wilmington Ten.
Stroud’s notes of “KKK…good” next to certain names, and warning at the top of one legal pad jury selection page to “Stay away from black men” betrayed a clear intent to racially gerrymander the jury.
But when the final jury impaneled consisted of ten blacks and two whites, it was Stroud’s notes on that back of that legal pad, considering the “disadvantages” and “advantages” of causing a mistrial, that left no doubt that Stroud then plotted to obstruct justice by stopping the June 1972 trial, and start over again.
That’s exactly what happened when Stroud claimed to have become sick, causing the judge to declare a mistrial. When the second trial commenced in September 1972, Stroud got his wish – ten whites and two blacks were impaneled, and the Wilmington Ten were all convicted based on false testimony, and no evidence.
Tyson knew what he had was explosive, and had begun to continue his research for a book that was sure to be impactful. But in 2011, the National Newspaper Publishers Association, at the urging of Wilmington Journal publisher Mary Alice Thatch, voted to pursue pardons of innocence for the Wilmington Ten.
Many people had assumed that the overturning of the convictions by the federal appeals court in 1980 ended the matter, not realizing that the Wilmington Ten, even forty years after the fact, were still subject to arrest and trial because the charges were never dropped.
They were all still felons in the eyes of North Carolina law, and only one person on the face of the Earth, Gov. Beverly Perdue, could clear their names forever.
Only after the Wilmington Ten Pardons Project was formed in 2012, and Prof. Tyson was called on just to help with general research into the case, did he unexpectedly reveal the existence of the Stroud files box, and their explosive contents to the project.
After a quick review of sample pages, it was decided by project attorney Irving Joyner, who was part of the original Wilmington Ten defense team
40 years prior, to recruit the Ten’s lead defense attorney Jim Ferguson, and thoroughly research the entire contents of the Stroud files box, cross referencing them with the criminal files at the Pender County Courthouse, where the trails had taken place in 1972.
After the pardons petition was filed in May 2012, Joyner and Ferguson continued their research through that summer, finally releasing their findings of confirmation that September.
NNPA newspapers, led by the Wilmington Journal, broke the story of the Stroud files then, but it wouldn’t be until November, with the leadership of the NC NAACP and its president, Rev. William Barber, that the statewide and national press picked up on the importance of the Stroud files.
The resulting publicity from even the New York Times created an avalanche of support for the Wilmington Ten to be pardoned, and on Dec. 31st, 2012, Gov. Perdue, citing the Stroud files as evidence of “naked racism” in North Carolina’s criminal justice system that should never happen again, granted pardons of innocence to Wayne Moore, Reginald Epps, Ann Sheppard, Willie Earl Vereen, William Joe Wright, Jerry Jacobs, Connie Tindall, James “Bun” McKoy, Marvin “Chili” Patrick and Rev. Benjamin Chavis.
“Contrary to what I saw as the right thing, I had a group of advisers; close friends; jurists that I brought in from across the state; lawyers, because I’m not a lawyer; and other professionals, who told me absolutely not to do this. That I couldn’t prove that the Wilmington Ten were innocent. I couldn’t prove that,” Gov. Perdue says during an exclusive in the film, “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten.”
“[But] I could prove that the DA [Stroud] had lied. I could prove that there was racial profiling in how they selected the jury. I could prove that three of the witnesses recanted their testimony. I could prove all of that, so I just thought to myself, what do I believe is right.”
There can be no question now, over a year later, that if not for the discovery of the Stroud files, and the wisdom of both NHC DA Ben David and Duke Prof. Tim Tyson in preserving them, the Wilmington Ten might never have seen justice.
CASH IN THE APPLE 3-27-14
By Cash Michaels
‘THE GOOD WIFE” SHOCKER – I must hand it to the folks who produce the CBS drama ‘The Good Wife” on Sunday nights. Week after week, the writers of this great program come up with legal and personal plotlines that both fascinate and intrigue. If you’re into television production, there is a lot you can learn from how ‘The Good Wife” is put together.
But Sunday night’s episode is something folks are still talking about and watching online – the tragic death of lead character Will Gardner.
I honestly don’t feel like going through what “The Good Wife” is about here, but fans who watch the show know what I’m talking about. Gardner’s death was a shocker, so now the question is, how are the writers going to handle the aftermath? There are seven more episodes left in this season, setting up the sixth season in the fall.
The producers promise change. Let’s see if they can deliver.
APRIL 5TH – Mark your calendars if you haven’t already. The World Premiere of the NNPA – CashWorks HD Productions documentary “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten,” is scheduled for the morning of Saturday, April 5th, at UNC – Wilmington, 9:30 a.m. in Kenan Auditorium.
It will be free and open to the public, but seating will be limited.
Following the film, there will be a panel discussion on the current state of civil rights, and the continuing need for the Black Press.
Later that evening, there will be a gala banquet the Hilton Riverside honoring former Gov. Beverly Perdue, and NCNAACP Pres. Rev. Dr. William Barber. Tickets and tables are available.
For more information about tickets, tables and advertising, call Shawn Thatch at the Wilmington Journal at 910-762-5502.
GOD willing and the creek don’t rise, you’ll finally get a chance to see what I believe will be an important historical film. More details to come.
MORE DIVERSITY ON TV – I don’t think there’s much doubt that we’re seeing more and more diversity on television of late, with shows like “Sleepy Hollow” and “The Walking Dead” leading the way with black, Hispanic and Asian-American cast members in nontraditional roles.
And the ratings for these shows are bad at all either.
We hope that success of these shows spawn more similar programs in the coming years. One of the reasons why we’re seeing so many now is because many of the producers attended diverse schools, so portraying diversity of the screen – complete with interracial dating, is something that isn’t foreign to them at all.
That means the tremendous civil rights efforts of the 1960’s and 70’s are paying off in at least some of our media.
Here’s hoping that we indeed see more of it, and that these programs are as good, if not better than what we’re seeing today.
NEW SHOWS COMING – With the 2013-14 TV season winding down with season finales in April and May, the networks are ready to release their new fall scheduled in a few weeks. Many of those shows have diverse casts.
But are these shows any good, and who’s starring in them?
Comic star Craig Robinson and actor Larenz Tate star in “Mr. Robinson,” an NBC comedy about a musician who becomes a middle school teacher.
Tim Meadows, formerly of “Saturday Night Live,” costars in “Marry Me,” an NBC comedy pilot about an engaged couple. Meadows plays one of the gay dads.
Over at Fox, there’s buzz about the new crime show “Gotham,” about Gotham City before Batman arrived. Jada Pinkett Smith reportedly portrays a gangster in the show.
Singer/actress Jennifer Lopez is producing and starring in her own NBC dramatic series in 2015 titled “Shades of Blue.” Haven’t got the faintest idea what it’s about, but NBC is obviously banking on Lopez bringing her “American Idol” audience with her. We’ll see.
Courtney B. Vance, who played NY prosecutor Carver on the old “Law and Order: Criminal Intent,” now gets to portray a military doctor in an ABC pilot, “Warriors.”
Now here’s a real black show, the title of which is “Black-ish.” It stars Anthony Anderson of “Law and Order” fame, Tracee Ellis Ross from the old sitcom “Girlfriends,” and actor Lawrence Fishburne. The show is about a middle-class black family who tries to raise their children with a sense of black cultural awareness. It’s a pilot for ABC, and Fishburne is producing, so lets see where it goes.
Even after winning an Academy Award for her great performance in “The Help,” apparently other movie roles are few and far between for actress Octavia Spencer, so she’s looking towards television. Enter “Red Band Society,” a medical drama on Fox about a pediatrics nurse who watches over a group of teenagers living in a hospital.
Dennis Haysbert is still doing those Allstate commercials, but he also has time to costar in a Fox pilot titled “Backstrom” about a Serious Crimes investigative unit, which Haysbert portraying a detective.
Another pilot for Fox has talented actress Megan Good teaming up with Skeet Ulrich in “Babylon Fields” about the dead returning to their lives. Good plays a doctor, while Ulrich portrays a priest, and his twin brother.
Earlier this week, we saw a preview of the latest incarnation of the popular NCIS franchise on CBS in “NCIS: New Orleans.” The show stars Scott Bakula, actress CCH Pounder, and Lucas Black.
Probably the most interesting TV pilot is for Fox reteaming “Hustle and Flow” actors Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson (“Person of Interest”). The show, called “Empire,” is about a music impresario who leads a hip-hop music record label, whose drug -dealing ex-wife gets out of prison, and makes life hard for him. This I’ve got to see.
Actress Rosie Perez stars in an ABC comedy called “An American Education,” about a British teacher teaching in San Diego.
And finally, Academy Award nominated actress Viola Davis is starring in a Shonda “Scandal”, “Grey’s Anatomy” show titled “How to Get Away with Murder. Davis plays a criminal defense professor.
So these are some of the shows under consideration. Let’s see how many actually make it to air.
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 in April 5, 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.
NC IN TOP TEN FOR
By Cash Michaels
The good news is when it comes to workplace harassment and racial, sexual or religious discrimination, North Carolina is improving.
But the bad news is the Tar Heel state ranks sixth in the United States for the number of total workplace complaints (Texas, Florida, California, Georgia and Illinois are the top five), which means it still has a long way to go.
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – the federal agency tasked to both monitor complaints and enforce anti-discrimination laws – in 2013, the last year that data was gathered, North Carolina had 4,453 total harassment/discrimination charges (4.8 percent of the total national number), down six percent from 2012.
In the past five years since 2009, 2010 logged in the highest number of statewide EEOC complaints at 5,219, while the 2013 numbers are the lowest.
Still, broken down by race, sex, national origin and other categories, North Carolina’s EEOC complaints paint a troubling picture of workplace bias.
There were 1,748 harassment/discrimination complaints based on race in North Carolina in 2013, or 39.3 percent of total state charges, .1 percent more than in 2012, even though the actual number of complaints in 2012 was higher at 1,874.
There were also 80 EEOC charges on discrimination based on color in 2013 (down .5 percent); 1,278 based on sex (down .3 percent); 355 per national origin (down .6 percent); 190 discrimination charges based on religion (up .5 percent); 1252 per disability (up a whopping 3 percent); 37 alleged violations of the Equal Pay Act (down .2 percent), and 849 based on age discrimination (up .1 percent).
Because federal law does not protect sexual orientation, there is no record of gay employees filing EEOC complaints based on any harassment or discrimination, though experts says it certainly happens.
In many cases, aggrieved employees are punished for filing EEOC charges. In fact, employer retaliation for filing an EEOC complaint in North Carolina is 42.4 percent, the highest it’s been since 2009, when it was 33.3 percent.
According to Jimmy Lin, vice president of Product Management and Corporate Development at The Network, a Georgia-based research company specializing in integrated governance, risk and compliance solutions, retaliation isn’t always easy to prove.
“Retaliation occurs when an employer punishes an employee for engaging in legally protected activity,” Lin says. “Retaliation can include any negative job action, such as demotion, discipline, firing, salary reduction, or job or shift reassignment, but retaliation can also be more subtle.”
“Sometimes it's clear that an employer's action is negative -- for instance, when an employee is fired. But sometimes it's not. In those cases, according to the U.S. Supreme Court, you must consider the circumstances of the situation. For example, a change in job shift may not be objectionable to a lot of employees, but it could be very detrimental to a parent with young children and a less flexible schedule.”
EEOC also accepts harassment/discrimination complaints based on genetic information. In North Carolina in 2013, there were 17 complaints based on Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA).
“Under Title II of GINA, it is illegal to discriminate against employees or applicants because of genetic information,” Lin says. “The law forbids discrimination on the basis of genetic information when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, training, fringe benefits, or any other term or condition of employment. An employer may never use genetic information to make an employment decision because genetic information is not relevant to an individual's current ability to work.”
Lin continued, “Genetic information includes information about an individual’s genetic tests and the genetic tests of an individual’s family members, as well as information about the manifestation of a disease or disorder in an individual’s family members (i.e. family medical history). Family medical history is included in the definition of genetic information because it is often used to determine whether someone has an increased risk of getting a disease, disorder, or condition in the future.”
“Genetic information also includes an individual's request for, or receipt of, genetic services, or the participation in clinical research that includes genetic services by the individual or a family member of the individual, and the genetic information of a fetus carried by an individual or by a pregnant woman who is a family member of the individual and the genetic information of any embryo legally held by the individual or family member using an assisted reproductive technology,” Lin says.
Because the percentage of EEOC charges in North Carolina has dropped since 2009, Lin maintains, the message of equal treatment in the workplace is getting through to employers.
“Businesses are putting more time and thought into their employee training programs to ensure employees understand what harassment and discrimination is and what they should do if an incident occurs. Instilling strong ethics in employees from day one is crucial in establishing an ethical workplace that’s free of harassment and discrimination,” Lin says.
“Preventing harassment and discrimination in the workplace needs to start with a solid code of conduct and anti-harassment policy that includes step-by-step instructions on what to do if an employee learns of violations to that policy,” The Network’s Jimmy Lin continued. “Employees should be educated as to what counts as discrimination and/or harassment and how to appropriately respond to these situations should they arise in the workplace. Managers also need to know how to deal with these issues and when to escalate them.”
“Incidents are often buried by middle managers who do not respond properly or by the time issues escalate, are afraid to get additional help from above. Training methods also need to be brought up-to-date. A comprehensive workplace harassment training program needs to include periodic education as well as follow-up awareness learning and ongoing awareness communications – it can’t be viewed as a “once and done” exercise.”
HEARINGS ON NC’S VOTING
RIGHTS IN ROCKY MT. FRIDAY
Special to The Carolinian
ROCKY MOUNT - To further understand and document instances of voter suppression and inequities in electoral administration, the North Carolina NAACP, the UNC Center for Civil Rights, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and other coalition partners will organize a National Commission on Voting Rights fact-finding hearing on Friday, March 28 in Rocky Mount, NC. Advocates for simplified, unfettered voting, community leaders, voters, scholars and NAACP members from across the state will testify about voter discrimination and election administration issues in North Carolina.
"There is no better to time to take a serious look at North Carolina's voting rights record - nine months after the Supreme Court gutted Section V of the Voting Rights Act and seven months after extremists in North Carolina passed the worst voter suppression bill we have seen since Jim Crow," said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, president of the NC NAACP and the National Legislative and Political Action Chair of the NAACP. "Here in North Carolina, we are the canaries in the coal mine of a nationwide rollback of voting rights. This voter suppression law hurts African Americans and all people of color. It makes it more difficult for the elderly, the disabled, poor white people, young people and working women to vote. This week's hearing will make a powerful case for restoring full voting rights and protections in North Carolina."
The Advancement Project, which has successfully represented the NAACP and other community groups in Pennsylvania to strike down an unconstitutional voter ID law similar to the one extremists pushed through the legislature here last year, will participate. The ACLU of North Carolina, the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, Blueprint North Carolina and Democracy North Carolina are also co-organizers. Attorney Kim Keenan, the general counsel for the National NAACP, was instrumental in organizing this partnership between the NC NAACP and the Lawyers' Committee.
The hearing is slated to run from 9 am to 5:30 pm on Friday, March 28 at the Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) at 402 East Virginia St., Rocky Mount, NC. At 9 am, Dr. Barber will open the hearing by officially welcoming the former legislators and legal experts from North Carolina and around the country who will serve as commissioners. Barbara Arnwine, the president and executive director of the Lawyers' Committee and a renowned civil rights advocate, will travel to Rocky Mount to act as a commissioner on Friday.
This week's hearing is the 10th held as a part of the National Commission on Voting Rights. The Lawyers' Committee, which is coordinating the national hearings, plans to use the testimony submitted both orally and in writing to produce two reports, one on the state of voter discrimination in the U.S. and a second on electoral administration.
The National Commission on the Voting Rights Act conducted similar hearings around the country in 2005, and the Commission's final report and record were requested by Congressional leaders to inform the debate on the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act. Ultimately, Congress found the Commission's record of voter discrimination convincing, and the bill to reauthorize passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.
"The evidence that the National Commission compiled nine years ago convinced 490 members of Congress that the Voting Rights Act was a necessary guard against voter suppression at the state and local levels," Dr. Barber said. "Yet five people on the Supreme Court seem to think that racial discrimination in our electoral processes is a relic and that our people no longer need to worry about having our hard-won voting rights snatched from us. We will never go back. That is why this hearing is so crucial: to give voice to all those people here in this state who have had their right to vote undermined and who have not been fairly and justly represented by their government."
TRIANGLE NEWS BRIEFS 3-27-14
RWCA HOSTS LIVING LEGENDS AWARDS SATURDAY
On Saturday, March 29, 2014, the Raleigh-Wake Citizens Association will host the Living Legends Award Ceremony at the Martin Street Family Life Center, 1001 E. Martin Street, Raleigh, NC 27601 at 5:00 p.m. This prestigious event bestows awards upon extraordinary individuals who have made significant contributions and impact in the lives of other persons in Raleigh and Wake County. Award recipients will be recognized in the areas of Health, Education, Politics, Social Justice, Community Service, Economic Development, Religion and Public Administration. 2014 Living Legend Award recipients include Dr. Leroy Darkes; William (Bill) R. McNeal, The Honorable Daniel T. Blue, Jr., Reverend Marion Robinson; Mary Perry; Wallace Greene; Reverend Dr. J. Vincent Terry; and Dr. Everett B. Ward.
WAKE SCHOOL BOARD WANTS STATE LAWMAKERS TO RETHINK TEACHER CONTRACTS
Members of the Wake School Board’s new Government Relations Committee say the new state law eliminating tenure for teachers and requiring four-year contracts will do more harm than good. The committee, chaired by former Wake School Board Chairman Keith Sutton, is developing an alternative to the teacher contracts that members say is fair, and doesn’t threaten the morale of veteran educators. State lawmakers say offering teachers bonuses for them to voluntarily give up their tenure allows the system to ultimately eliminate ineffective educators. The NC Association of Educators is suing the state over the elimination of tenure under the new law. Sutton’s committee hopes to convince lawmakers to adopt their new plan for teacher pay, which they say they’ll unveil a version of when the state Legislature reconvenes in May for the short session.
STATE NEWS BRIEFS FOR 3-27-14
STATE ELECTIONS BOARD APPROVES RELOCATION OF CAMPUS VOTING PRECINCTS
[CHAPEL HILL] Students used to the convenience of casting their one-stop ballots at the campus voting precinct at two North Carolina colleges got bad news this week. The Republican-led NC Board of Elections on Monday approved moving those sites off-campus at UNC-Chapel Hill and Appalachian State University for the 2014 primary. The ASU site in Boone has been there since 2008. In Chapel Hill, the Rams Head Dining Hall was the one-stop voting site as well for many UNC students. Republicans say relocating the sites in the two Democrat-controlled areas is “better” for the entire community. Democrats on the state board counter that the GOP is just trying to make voting harder.
DUKE ENERGY COAL ASH SCANDAL GROWS
[RALEIGH] The controversy over the Duke Energy coal ash pond spill into the Dan River, and the NC Dept. of Energy and Natural Resources (DENR) questionable response to it initially continues to grow. As a federal grand jury continues to probe whether there was any criminality involved in the Feb. 2nd spill which polluted nearly 70 miles of the Dan River, Duke Energy President Lynn Good took out full-page ads in newspapers across the state Sunday to assure “the People of North Carolina” that the company is doing all it can to “ensure the safety of our ash basins and develop a plan for long-term management, including closure.” There have been leaks at the 14 Duke Energy power plants across the state, all of which have been cited for polluted groundwater. DENR is now working with the US Environmental Protection Agency investigating whether there were violations of the federal Clean Air Act.
RALEIGH’S CHIEF PLANNER TAKES JOB IN NYC
[RALEIGH] The New York City Parks and Recreation Dept. is getting one of Raleigh city government’s best. Mitchell Silver, director of Raleigh’s Planning Dept., is leaving to become the new head of the Big Apple’s 1900 parks system. Silver, an African-American, came to Raleigh in 2005, and by all accounts, is considered to have done an excellent job changing the Capital City into a destination city for tourists and new residents. The revitalization of Raleigh’s downtown area is also credited to Silver.