Monday, March 16, 2015



HONORING TWO WAKE EDUCATION TRAILBLAZERS - Last week during a special ceremony at Marbles Museum, the Wake County Board of Education honored former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell (second from left)and retired USAF Lt. Col. Joseph Holt (center) as trailblazers in integrating Wake Public Schools. Holt's family fought in the late 1950's to enroll him as the first black student in an all-white middle school, but lost their battle. In 1960, Campbell became the first black student to integrate the Raleigh Public School System. Standing with Campbell and Holt are (left to right) school board members Monika Johnson-Hostler, Christine Kushner and Keith Sutton. [photo courtesy WCPSS]

By Cash Michaels

            HISTORIC – By now you know that the NNPA – CashWorks HD Productions documentary, “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten “ has been selected to screen during the 2015 NC Black Film Festival in Wilmington March 26 – March 29th (though we don’t know exactly what day, time and location the film is scheduled yet).
            Let there be know doubt that we’re very excited about that. This will be the first time that the film will screen in Wilmington since it’s April 5, 2014 premiere at UNC – Wilmington, which saw over 500 people attend, so it’s great that the people of Wilmington who missed it the first time, get a second chance to see it during the festival.
            But we’re also very excited that the film will also be seen that very weekend, on Saturday, March 28th, in the town of Burgaw in Pender County, in the Pender County Courthouse, indeed in the very courtroom where the Wilmington Ten were originally falsely convicted in Oct. 1972.
            The screening is being sponsored by the Pender County Arts Council. Here’s their official announcement:

            The Pender Arts Council will sponsor the historic documentary, “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington 10,” produced by Cash Michaels and the National Newspaper Publishers Association, on Saturday, March 28, 2015, at 6:30 pm, in the Main Courtroom of the Pender County Courthouse, in Burgaw, NC. The admission is free. 
            This comprehensive film traces the Civil Rights Movement, both nationally and locally, from the Supremacist Revolution of 1898, in Wilmington, NC, through the trial, conviction and eventual pardon of the Wilmington 10.
            Film, as all art forms, is a reflection of a culture and a vehicle for change; with the capacity to teach us about our history so that we can understand our present, enabling us a to make a thoughtful plan for our future.
            By understanding the heavy price paid to secure our rights, we are inspired to work for a healthy, positive future. When we understand the struggle of those who have gone before us, it may open our eyes to the responsibility which has been placed on our shoulders to work for the best world we can make.
            The Pender Arts Council is proud to show this Pender County Premiere in the very courtroom where the Civil Rights Activists, know as the Wilmington 10 were tried and convicted for offenses for which they were later pardoned.  It is a story of a troubled time.  It is our history.  If viewed with the spirit of justice and forgiveness, it can be the catalyst for the bright future to which we all aspire.   

            Once again, we’re very excited about this screening, because just as in Wilmington almost a year ago, this is part of Pender County’s history. So there will be a special electricity in the air on that evening.
            Plus the film will feature the last recorded interview with former Burgaw Mayor Clifton Moore Jr., who died in 2012 shortly after he was interviewed for the film.
            So we’re looking forward to an exciting last weekend in this month of March, with screenings in both Wilmington during the NC Black Film Festival, and in Burgaw, Pender County at the courthouse.
            More information to come.
            CREFLO, PLEASE – By now you’ve heard how Atlanta pastor Creflo Dollar went online to urge people to donate their hard earned money to him so that he could purchase a $65 million  luxury Lear jet, and fly around the world in comfort doing the “work of the Lord.”
            The scheme (or scam) was so transparent, even the major news organizations picked up on it, and in no time that webpage was gone faster than you can say, “Can I take your bags?” Dollar has clearly lost his mind. He’s one of those ministers who preaches the “prosperity” gospel, and while I have no problem helping people earn a better life, asking folks to cough up $65 million  just so that you can fly here and there in the lap of luxury is not exactly what GOD intended, I’m sure.
            If Jerry Lewis got on TV and asked for $65 million to help children suffering with muscular dystrophy, no problem. We know the money is going for research to help those in need. If we ever caught wind that Jerry had his hand in the cookie jar, we’d stop giving until someone cleaned the mess up.
            But Creflo wants us to invest in his ministry to the tune of carpeting, jet fuel and vintage wine. Sorry Cref, but no dice. If the members of YOUR church want you to fly like the rich and famous, they’re free to do so.
            But leave the rest of us out of it.
            And one more thing…learn how to fly coach.
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.


            [WASHINGTON, D.C] Among the 47 Republican US senators who signed and sent a  open letter to  the Iranian government in hope of crippling Pres. Obama’s negotiations over their nuclear capabilities, were North Carolina senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis. Burr is the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. The letter, spearheaded by Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, warns the Iranian government that any deal reached with the Obama Administration regarding their having a nuclear weapon will be changed once he leaves office in 2017. The 47 have been blasted by the White House for undermining the president’s authority.

            [FAYETTEVILLE] It has been six months since Henry McCollum and bios half-brother Leon Brown were exonerated and freed from prison for a 1983 rape and murder DNA evidence proved that neither had committed. A Superior court judge found them not guilty after a review of their case, but neither man can collect restitution of their over 30 years in prison until Gov. Pat McCrory issues pardon of innocence to each of them. In the meantime, according to a story in The New York Times this week, both men are struggling to rebuild their lives with little income and few prospects until the governor steps in. McCrory's office says reviewing the case is a top priority for him, even though over 180 days have passed since their exoneration.

            [RALEIGH] Gov. Pat McCrory accused state House and Senate leaders of overstepping their constitutional bounds, and a three-judge state appellate panel agreed with him. The Legislature had no right to create three independent environmental commissions to oversee coal ash cleanup, oil and natural gas drilling, and mining in the state. That duty constitutionally belonged to the governor, McCrory, along with former governors Jim Hunt and Jim Martin, claimed in a lawsuit that the appellate court agreed with this week. State Senate President Pro tem Sen. Phil Berger an d House Speaker Tim Moore issued joint statement saying that they were “disappointed” in the ruling, and that they will appeal.

            [GOLDSBORO] What North Carolina citizen do you know of who has selflessly sacrificed to make this a better state for all? From now until April 24th, residents from Murphy to Manteo can go online at, secure a nomination form, and submit that form, a cover letter, at least three letters of support and examples of the nominee’s work, and a bio of their choice for who should receive the North Carolina Award this November from Gov. Pat McCrory. Past honorees include author Maya Angelou, UNC Pres. Bill Friday, musician Branford Marsalis and evangelist Billy Graham.


            Over the strong objections of Wake County Democrats, the Republican-led NC Senate last week passed a measure that redraws the voting districts for the Wake County Commission Board. State Sen. Chad Barefoot [R-Wake] says the redistricting is necessary to assure that small rural areas in the county have a voice on the commission board. But Democrats counter that Republicans are striking back after all four Wake Republicans were swept off the board last November during mid-term elections. The Republican-led state House is expected to take up the measure this week.

            UNC – Chapel Hill has reached a $335,000 settlement with a former academic adviser who blew the whistle that many students athletes there did not meet academic standards. Mary Willingham will now see her legal fees covered, in addition to receiving $40,000 in back pay. Willingham says the school retaliated against her when she spoke out, changing her employment status in July 2013. She will not get her job back under the agreement.

            Even though the actual number of people listed as unemployed in North Carolina has reportedly gone down, the jobless rate statewide remained at 5.4 percent in January, slightly lower that the nation’s 5.7 percent in January. The state jobless rate has dropped 1.4 percent since January 2014.


Special to The Carolinian

A sharp racial/ethnic divide has emerged within the world of low-income working families, posing a critical challenge to North Carolina and the nation, a new study by the Working Poor Families Project concludes.
Unless lawmakers in North Carolina are willing to pursue policies that would improve conditions, African-Americans and Latinos will continue to emerge as a larger – but under-prepared and underpaid – segment of the workforce.  Unless reversed, this disturbing trend will only worsen the potential for overall wage growth and job creation in the state’s economy at large, since African Americans and Latinos form a large and growing share of the state’s population.  

Based on new analysis of the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Project’s study sheds a fresh light on what’s happening inside the world of the working poor, where adults are working hard but find it difficult if not impossible to get ahead. And within this world at the bottom of America’s economic spectrum, a stark divide has emerged between white and Asian families compared to black and Latino families.

“In 2013, working families headed by racial/ethnic minorities were twice as likely to be poor or low-income compared with non-Hispanic whites, a gap that has increased since the onset of the Great Recession in 2007,” the authors write. “The significant differences among racial/ethnic groups present a critical challenge to ensuring economic growth and bringing opportunities to all workers, families and communities across the United States.”

In North Carolina, there are 371,000 low-income working families, meaning their total income fell below 200 percent of the official poverty rate. Of that total, 55 percent are minorities compared to only 26 percent who are white. Some 53 percent of all black working families fall into the low-income category, as do 70 percent of all Hispanic working families. And this comes at a time when other research has shown African American unemployment growing twice as fast as unemployment for whites.

“These disparities impact our economy and harm the fabric of our communities here in North Carolina,” said Allan Freyer, Director of Workers’ Rights Project at the North Carolina Justice Center. “They hurt the state’s overall wage growth and dramatically weaken support for local businesses who need rising incomes to support increased hiring."

According to a report released by the Budget & Tax Center last year, if all racial and ethnic groups earned the same median wages as non-Latino whites, total annual income would have increased by 8 percent and Gross Domestic Product would have been $1.2 trillion higher.

Disparities cannot be erased overnight, but policymakers can start to reduce the gaps with a two-pronged approach that simultaneously increases access to education and training while enacting policies that “make work pay,” the researchers assert. State governments have demonstrated success with policy initiatives including:
   Raising the minimum wage.
   Increasing need-based financial aid for postsecondary education and expanding child care assistance and other supports for students with children.
   Supporting programs that link education to career opportunities and helping English language learners.
   Extending Medicaid benefits to all who are eligible. 
   Encouraging employers to provide paid sick leave for all workers.
“Providing all low-income families with the tools they need to succeed is critical to the long-term health of North Carolina and our nation,” said Freyer. “North Carolina’s leaders must take action to ensure the American Dream is once again accessible to all.”

Special to The Carolinian

   Seven years after the Great Recession began, recovery still eludes much of North Carolina, according to a new report from the Budget & Tax Center, a project of the NC Justice Center.
The unemployment rate for black North Carolina residents jumped more dramatically over the last seven years than for white North Carolinians. Both groups still have unemployment rates that surpass pre-recession levels, but black North Carolinians struggle more, on average, to find jobs in the post-recession economy.
   “There are not enough jobs for everyone who wants to work, wages are not keeping up with inflation, and the recovery has completely bypassed huge parts of the state,” said Patrick McHugh, economic analyst with the BTC and author of the report. “Simply put, North Carolina’s economy is not working for everyone.”
   The worst of the recession is behind us, but the lingering damage continues to weigh down communities and families across the state, the report said. When you look at how the recovery in North Carolina stacks up to the nation, there is more cause for alarm than celebration. North Carolina job creation has generally followed the national trend over the course of the recession and recovery. However, most of the improvement in North Carolina’s economy in the last few years is the result of the U.S. economy returning from the brink of depression. 

   While economic output has rebounded, there are still many ways in which the comeback in North Carolina has been decidedly wanting. The state has failed to create enough jobs to keep pace with its growing population. The percentage of employed North Carolinians is still well below pre-recession levels, and the state has also fallen below the national average for employment, where it had been consistently ahead of the nation prior to the recession.
   Wages and salaries have also been remarkably flat for the last seven years. Paychecks are failing to keep pace with inflation and have fallen behind the national average since 2007.
   "North Carolina workers are still doing their part to support economic growth, but they are increasingly left out of the prosperity that their toils create," McHugh said.
   Employment has declined in industries that have served as the foundation for middle-class North   Carolina families while many of the new jobs being created are in low-wage industries. The average income in industries that have increased employment over the last seven years is almost $10,000 lower than the average income in industries that have seen employment decline. The bulk of the job growth has been at the bottom of the wage scale in industries such as Waste Services, Health Care Assistance, and Food Services, all of which pay less than the state average.
   Recovery has also been wildly inconsistent across the state. The recovery has largely been limited to urban and suburban areas, with almost all of the counties that posted employment gains located in or near a major metropolitan area, with a handful of others benefiting from tourism or military installations. Ethnic disparities also persist.
   “The last seven years have seen North Carolina partially recover from the worst economic shock in generations, but the state remains on an uneven footing,” McHugh said. “While it’s welcome news that the worst of the recession is past, there is no time for complacency given the work that still needs to be done.”


by Cash Michaels

            WASHINGTON – African-American leaders this week urged the US Senate to move ahead with the long overdue confirmation vote on Loretta Lynch’s nomination for Attorney General.
            Despite being indisputably qualified and already twice-confirmed unanimously for U.S. Attorney by the Senate, Lynch, a North Carolina native and currently US Attorney for New York’s Eastern District, has had to wait longer for a confirmation vote than any nominee for Attorney General in 30 years.  Critics of the Republican-led US Senate say Lynch, who would be the first African-American female Attorney General, is now subject to another “absurd” attempt to block and delay her nomination that has nothing to do with her qualifications or character.
            “The Congressional Black Caucus is disturbed that the confirmation of Loretta Lynch has taken four months to receive an up or down vote and we call on the Senate to swiftly confirm her,” US Rep. G. K. Butterfield [D-1-NC], chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, told reporters during a conference call Tuesday. “Ms. Lynch has had the longest delay of any Attorney General in modern history and this is problematic. The politics that Republicans have played with her nomination are deplorable and opposition to her nomination is nothing more than a political ploy to once again use any means necessary to show their disdain for President Obama.”
            “We need to wake up America, and see this for what it is,” Congressman Butterfield continued.  “This is a travesty.  We should not deny the President of the United States his choice of a qualified candidate. Every American should be interested in ensuring Attorney Lynch is treated fairly.”
            Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell [R-KY] had originally scheduled a vote of Lynch’s nomination this week, but on Sunday announced that he would hold it up until Democrats agreed to support an anti-human trafficking bill that had an anti-abortion provision attached to it. Thus far only four Democrats have joined Republicans in support of the measure, but not enough to pass it.
            Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid vowed that Democrats would filibuster the bill until the Lynch vote is held.
            “Loretta Lynch’s qualifications to serve as Attorney General of the United States have never been in dispute,” said Rep. Marcia Fudge [D-Ohio]. “President Obama and our nation are left waiting for a confirmation vote for no reason other than the petty and mean-spirited political gamesmanship of Senate leadership. I urge the Senate Majority Leader to bring Ms. Lynch’s nomination to the floor for a vote without further delay.  Anything less is an affront to all Americans.”
            Sherillyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund echoed the cry.
            ”When a woman of Loretta Lynch's impeccable qualifications appears before the Senate fully qualified and fully prepared to become the top law enforcement officer of this country and faces the longest delay in confirmation in modern history, all across the country women are watching, African-African American women are watching, and the civil rights community is watching.” 
            Even Lynch’s sorority weighed in.
            “Lynch’s performance in her hearing was flawless,” said Dr. Paulette C. Walker, national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., “…so much so that senators are not opposing her on her record. Instead, her nomination is being held hostage to issues that are not germane to her or how she would run the Department of Justice. Lynch is a member of Delta Sigma Theta, but even if she were not, we would still be calling for her immediate confirmation.”
            The NC NAACP has also been pushing for Lynch’s confirmation. On Tuesday the civil rights organization brought a bus of 40 supporters to Washington, visiting the offices of Republican senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, urging them to support the Greensboro/Durham native.
           Both North Carolina senators reportedly stood their ground against voting for Lynch, saying that she would likely continue the current policies of Attorney Gen. Eric Holder, and be in lockstep with Pres. Obama.  
            "While we remain concerned with Ms. Lynch’s stated desire to lead the Department of Justice in the same manner as Eric Holder and will not be supporting her nomination, we are grateful that the group came to Washington to talk about this issue and exchange ideas,” Burr and Tillis said in a statement.

Read more here: 
             Rev. William Barber, pres. of the Nc NAACP, called the republican senators' rxcuse for nonsupport "weak, bogus and deeply partisan."
             Wade Henderson, president/CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, urged the US Senate to move forward, even though some observers say it’s more likely that the confirmation vote won’t take place until after the Easter break in mid-April.
            “The Senate Republican majority is using every excuse it can find to delay or obstruct Lynch’s confirmation,” Henderson told reporters Tuesday. “And the one thing these excuses all have in common is that none of them have anything to do with the nominee herself. We know that senators can walk and chew gum at the same time and that this is just the latest turn in what has been the most mishandled and manipulated confirmation process in memory.”


Special to The Carolinian Newspaper

            The North Carolina Legislative Caucus met Tuesday evening with the chair, president and other officials for the UNC Board of Governors. The following topics were included in the discussion: closure of Elizabeth City State University, Winston-Salem State University and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); closure of the three centers the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at UNC-Chapel Hill, The Institute for Civic Engagement and Social Change at N.C. Central University and N.C. Center for Biodiversity at East Carolina University; and diversity of the members on the UNC Board of Governors.
“There have been a lot of rumors and information floating around in the media and concerns raised by residents, parents, students and alumni across the state about our HBCUs. These are such important issues, we decided to go straight to the source,” said Rep. Garland E. Pierce, chair, NCLBC.
There was a discussion of short and long term strategies to help these institutions to be successful. Directly after the meeting the members of the LBC voted unanimously to take the following positions: North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus supports the appropriation of at least $3 million each year of the biennial for enrollment growth strategies at Elizabeth City State University, opposes the cap of development expenditures, supports enrollment funding and opposes the closure of any Historically Black College and University in North Carolina.
“We feel it was a constructive meeting,” said Pierce. “We agreed to an ongoing dialogue between the Legislative Black Caucus and leadership of Board of Governors,” he concluded.
The North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus is an association comprised of Senators and Representatives of African American and Native American heritage. The primary purpose of the Caucus is to operate as a vehicle through which African Americans and people of color residing in the State of North Carolina will be able to exercise their political power in a unified manner. The Caucus ensures that the views and concerns of African Americans and people of color are carried out by their elected representatives; and work to develop the political consciousness of all people.


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