Sunday, January 25, 2015



By Cash Michaels

2015 AFRICAN-AMERICAN CULTURAL CELEBRATION  - On Saturday, Jan. 31st, the NC Museum of History presents its annual African-American Cultural Celebration, featuring music, art, dance, poetry and other performances.
            One of the special features will take place in the Longleaf Room in the SECU Education Center at the museum. I’ll be there from 12 noon to 12:30 showing a 26 minute condensed version of my 2014 film, “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten.” Admission is free, so come on by and join us.
WLLE REMEMBERED – On Thursday, Feb. 12th, 7p.m. at the Hunt Library on the Centennial Campus of NCSU, there will be a special panel discussion remembering the golden days of 570WLLE-AM, which is more affectionately known as “WILLIE”.
            WLLE was THE radio station for the black community of Raleigh back in the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s before it was sold to a Lexington, Kentucky company in 1997. The station produced some of the greats, including Dr. Jocko, Daddy-O, Sweet Bob Rogers, Chuck Harris, Chester “CD” Davis, and of course, the legendary gospel king himself, Brother James Thomas.
            I worked at the station during the 1990s, and I’ll be sharing some memories during the panel discussion, so make it on your calendar, and we’ll see you there.
            LARRY STOGNER – It was a shock last week when longtime WTVD-TV anchor Larry Stogner announced that he was retiring, effective immediately, because he had been diagnosed with ALS disease. It is a shame that such a long and distinguished career has to end so suddenly on such a note. Stogner had been at WTVD since 1976, and has covered virtually every major story to hit North Carolina.
            We wish him and his family well in the days and years to come, and thank Mr. Stogner for his professionalism and service.
            OBAMA’S STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS – Talk about hitting it out of the park, that’s what a cool and confidant President Obama did during his seventh State of the Union address before Congress last week.
            Needless to say, the Republicans in Congress didn’t care too much for either the president’s uplifting message to the nation, or his cocky attitude. Indeed, nothing would make the GOP happy than to have Obama grovel to them during the last two years of his presidency, and thus far, it seems like he’s not going to give them what they want.
            The president is freed up now, having lost both houses of Congress but still retaining his mighty veto pen and back pocket executive actions in case Congress doesn’t want to play ball on important matters.
            And the president now has no problem being as black as he wants to be, especially if the GOP doesn’t like it. He tried to be nice and post-racial, tried to go alone to get alone for the good of the nation. He tried bending over backwards to show his willingness to work towards compromise, and each time Obama found himself being royally slapped in the face for the world to see.
            It was the Republicans’ way of telling the first black president who they felt should really be in charge. What they didn’t realize was they were creating a Frankenstein monster, one that had taken all of their blows and seen all of their tricks.
            The new “fourth-quarter” Obama is ready to run for the goal of making America a better place than when he first came into office. The economy is revving up, gas prices are virtually at $2.00 a gallon, the stock market is cool and unemployment is shrinking.
            The president has the GOP right where he wants them. The next two years are going to so much fun, indeed.
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 And read more about my thoughts and opinions exclusively at my blog, ‘The Cash Roc” (
           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.
Until next week, keep a smile on your face, GOD in your heart, and The Carolinian in your life. Bye, bye.


            Longtime WTVD-TV  news anchor Larry Stogner announced last week that he was retiring from the anchor chair immediately after learning from his doctors that he is suffering from incurable ALS. Stogner, considered one of the longest serving television anchormen in the nation, had been at WTVD since 1976, also working at WRAL-TV prior to that. WTVD will air a week of special features on Stogner’s long career starting Feb. 2, followed by his returning for on last appearance in two weeks.

            There is a suspicious man who is allegedly approaching children in Wake Forest, and police officials want area parents to be on the lookout for him. Two white men in a van tried to coax a young girl walking her dog to join them Sunday morning around 10:45 a.m. on the 6300 b lock of Ridgemont Street in the Northhampton subdivision. If you’ve seen these men, call the Wake Forest Police Department at (919) 554-6150.

            The 14th Annual African-American Cultural Festival comes back to the NC Museum of History this Saturday, Jan. 31st from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.. There will be musicians, dancers, storytellers, artists, filmmakers and more. It’s all free and open to the public. Supported by the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission, the City of Raleigh Arts Commission, United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County, and Food Lion.



            [WHITEVILLE] A man authorities now say was convicted of two murders there was no evidence he committed, was released from prison last week after 37 years. Joseph Sledge, 70, walked out of prison a free man after the  three-judge panel determined he had nothing to do with the 1976 stabbing deaths of  a mother and her daughter in Bladen County. The NC Innocence Commission re-investigated Sledge’s conviction, determining that a hair found on one of the victims did not belong to him, and there was no physical evidence linking Sledge to the crime. Bladen County District Attorney Jon David, who did not prosecute Sledge, apologized to him before he was released.

            [CHAPEL HILL] Two former UNC – Chapel Hill athletes have filed a 100-page class action lawsuit against their alma mater, alleging that they did not get a proper education. The suit seeks reforms to ensure that future student athletes indeed receive appropriate instruction, and compensation.  The suit was filed by Rashanda McCants, a former women’s basketball player for the Lady Tar Heels, and former Tar Heel football player Devon Ramsay. The plaintiffs also seek an independent NCAA committee to govern educational reforms. The lawsuit is based on recent disclosures of academic fraud at UNC, where student athletes signed up for no-show classes, for which they received grades.

            [WILMINGTON] Thanks to the NC General Assembly ending the popular tax credit program that attracted numerous film and television productions to the New Hanover County area, including “Iron Man 3” and the television program “Sleepy Hollow,” there are no major motion pictures currently filming in the state, and scant few television productions, according to Gay Gaster, executive director of the NC Film Office. Indeed many of the restaurants, retail stores and hotels are already feeling the hit as productions are taking their business elsewhere, and area production workers are moving to other states to find employment. Productions brought $316 million to the state last year before the state tax credit program dried up.

By Cash Michaels

            With this year’s theme, “ The Love and Justice Movement Agenda,” the NC NAACP and its coalition partners in the Forward Together Movement are gearing up once again to take to the downtown streets of Raleigh,. This time for the Ninth Annual Mass Moral March on Raleigh and Historic Thousands on Jones Street People’s Assembly on Saturday, Feb. 14th, beginning at 9 a.m.
            Led, as always, by NC NAACP Pres. Rev. Dr. William Barber, and march and assembly this year is being held on what traditionally in Valentine’s Day. Thousands of demonstrators from across the state, including students, workers, educators, medical personnel and civil rights activists of all ages, race and genders, will take part to push the Forward Together Movement’s agenda for the recent session of the NC General Assembly.
            That agenda includes the expansion and protection of voting rights for all; raising the minimum wage and economic justice; funding for quality public schools and supporting historically black colleges and universities in the state; the expansion of Medicaid, improvements in women’s health and environmental justice; and equal protection under the law without regard to race, creed, class, gender, sexual orientation, or immigration status.
            Last year, over 10,000 demonstrators took part in the event, and just as many, if not more, are expected this year.
            NC NAACP Pres. Rev. Barber says, as always, the Mass Moral March and HK on J Assembly will convene in front of the state Capitol on Fayetteville Strett to call upon state lawmakers to “…pursue a moral agenda in the 2015 legislative agenda.”
            Last Saturday in Raleigh, the NC NAACP honored fast food workers, who have been protesting demanding  a livable wage beyond the current minimum wage level, with the Charles A. McLean Award during the 31st Annual Humanitarian Awards Banquet. The state chapter also honored Shaw University in Raleigh for all of its historic contributions to the community and state of North Carolina.
            The Ninth Annual Mass Moral March and HK on J People’s Assembly is scheduled for Saturday, February 14th. The pre-rally begins at 9 a.m. at the corner of Wilmington and South streets in front of Shaw University in downtown Raleigh. The march through downtown to the state Capitol on Fayetteville Street begins at 10 a.m.
            For more information, contact the state NAACP office at 919-682-4700, ext. 130, or go online to, or

                                               US ATTORNEY LORETTA LYNCH

By Cash Michaels

            Unless the Republican US Senate majority decides differently, the next attorney general of the United States should be an accomplished African-American woman from Durham, NC.
            Loretta Lynch, presently the US Attorney for the Eastern District in Brooklyn, NY, began two days of hearings Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. By all accounts, Pres. Obama’s nomination of Lynch to succeed US Attorney General Eric Holder should be secure, even though some Republican committee members, including committee chairman Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, have expressed interest in how Lynch sees the use of the president’s power of executive action, specifically as it relates to immigration.
            If confirmed by the full Senate, Ms. Lynch would be the first black woman ever to hold the post of US attorney general.
            Lynch needs at least three Republicans on the committee to support her nomination, and thus far, senators Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, Orrin Hatch of Utah and Jeff Flake of Arizona have all indicated that they are impressed with Lynch’s credentials and qualifications for the post.
            Full Senate confirmation is not expected until sometime in March.
            Ms. Lynch has sailed through Senate confirmation before when she was being considered twice for her current post as US Attorney for the Eastern District in Brooklyn, NY. So there shouldn’t be any surprises this time out. And it is quite clear from her prepared remarks, that unlike the outgoing Eric Holder, Ms. Lynch will not be as confrontational with Republican lawmakers if they take her to task.
            “I look forward to fostering a new and improved relationship with this Committee, the United States Senate, and the entire United States Congress – a relationship based on mutual respect and Constitutional balance,” Lynch said in prepared remarks before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday. “Ultimately, I know we all share the same goal and commitment: to protect and serve the American people.”
            Lynch also vowed to work harder to bring law enforcement and communities of color closer together amid ongoing tensions in the wake of several recent high profile police killing of young black males.
            “Few things have pained me more than the recent reports of tension and division between law enforcement and the communities we serve. If confirmed as Attorney General, one of my key priorities would be to work to strengthen the vital relationships between our courageous law enforcement personnel and all the communities we serve. In my career, I have seen this relationship flourish – I have seen law enforcement forge unbreakable bonds with community residents and have seen violence-ravaged communities come together to honor officers who risked all to protect them. As Attorney General, I will draw all voices into this important discussion,” Lynch said.
            Adherence to the US Constitution is how a US Attorney Gen. Loretta Lynch will protect the nation, the president’s nominee said.
            “Senators, if confirmed as Attorney General I pledge to you and to the American people that the Constitution, the bedrock of our system of justice, will be my lodestar as I exercise the power and responsibility of that position.”
            Ms. Lynch met with more than fifty senators to drum up support since Pres. Obama nominated her last November. Senate Democrats, like Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the committee’s ranking member, have given Lynch an unqualified seal of approval.
            “Ms. Lynch is a dedicated public servant with a strong commitment to justice and to keeping our communities safe. Ms. Lynch deserves to be judged on her own record,” Sen. Leahy said in a statement. “I am confident that if we stay focused on Ms. Lynch’s impeccable qualifications and her reputation for fairness, she will be quickly confirmed by the Senate.”
            Some Republican senators, though, seem so intent on blocking Pres. Obama’s choice for attorney general, that some, like Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, have vowed to vote against her.
            “I met with Ms. Lynch earlier this month and didn’t get any straight answers from her,” Vitter said in a statement. “She needs to be completely forthright with the Committee about her support for some of President Obama’s most dangerous policies – including executive amnesty.”
            Indeed, Chairman Grassley opened the Judiciary Committee hearings Wednesday by blasting current US Attorney General Eric Holder for “politicizing” the US Justice Dept. and being Pres. Obama’s “wingman.”
            “I hope Ms. Lynch can fix these problems,” Sen. Grassley said, adding later that her "duty" was not to defend the president, but the US Constitution.  
            Indeed, many of the witnesses the GOP bought in to testify at the Lynch hearing literally had nothing to do with her, and didn’t even know her. Instead, they spent their time criticizing the president.
            “We are here to confirm Loretta Lynch,” said Se. Charles Schumer, “not the president’s immigration policies.”
            Loretta Lynch is daughter to Rev. Lorenzo Lynch Sr., “the source of my inspiration,” she said at the hearing Wednesday, a retired fourth generation Durham Baptist pastor.  He attended the hearings in Washington with his daughter.
            She graduated Durham High School, Harvard University and Harvard Law School.
            As US Attorney, Lynch has successfully prosecuted organized crime and terrorists over the past 15 years.  In fact, since the Sept. 11th, 2001 terrorists’ attacks, Lynch’s office has prosecuted more terrorist than any other in the nation.
In 1999, she prosecuted NY police officers who violently sodomized Haitian immigrant Abner Louima with a broomstick in a police station bathroom.
Lynch is also considered an expert in prosecuting cybercrime. 
            She is known to be tough, strong yet diplomatic, independent and understated.
            “I have lived the promise of America,” Ms. Lynch said during her opening statement at the committee hearing on Wednesday.
If confirmed, Loretta Lynch would become the nation’s 83rd US attorney general.