Monday, June 1, 2015



By Cash Michaels

            BLACK MUSIC MONTH – Clearly this annual month-long celebration is about the past, because the “black” music that is being produced today is the pits.
            I came up in the music business, becoming a mobile disc jockey in New York as a teenager at the very beginning of the disco craze in the 1970's, becoming a radio DJ, interviewing music legends and hosting shows. So I know black music extremely well, and have loved it with all of my heart and soul since I've had ears.
And that's why, to me, now that Black Music Month is here, I am saddened, because the so-called "black music" today is pure CRAP and noise! NO artistry, NO beauty, NO romance, NO creativity, NO social consciousness, NO harmony, NO class, NO magic...NO ANYTHING that made Black Music one of the most powerful forces in the world! When I hear some old Motown now, or James Brown or old Philly International stuff with the O'Jays or MFSB, it's like a sugar high. When I hear Stevie Wonder, or Aretha or Anita Baker, I tell my 12 year-old, "Now that's REAL music!"
 This whole month will NOT be a celebration of a vibrant art form that continues to grow and evolve, bringing the world together in song like no other music can. Instead, it will, sadly, be a month-long funeral for what once was the greatest music the world has ever known, real music that has been replaced by some of the most unimaginative BS, the best of which is only a poor copy and rip-off of greats like Marvin Gaye (hint-hint). The only way I can survive this month of June is to indulge myself with the classic gold and soul, because the "black music" of today is NOT worthy of human consumption!
I don't doubt that there is good music out there, and I agree that there are many groups and soloists we’ve never heard of that are producing stuff that would make a difference. But they aren't dominating the industry, they aren't setting the standard. Indeed, there is no darn standard! Thus, we have entire generations who are not being trained to express their inner selves in ways that build on the great foundations set forth by Stevie, and Luther and Ella and Diana, and so, so many others. Back in the day, even the no-talent groups had something to offer, and we knew we were getting junk, but it was fun junk that fit right in. Today...Lord have mercy!
There, I said it!
CONGRATULATIONS  GRADUATES – The month of May was when most college seniors walked the stage to graduate and enter the “real” world, and to them we say “congratulations.”
But this month we see our high school seniors getting their diplomas, signaling that they’ve completed their basic education, and are ready to enter the college ranks. So congratulations to you and your family for all of the hard work that went into your successful elementary, middle and high school career. We know that you will do just as well in college, and beyond.
CAITLYN JENNER – Though when I grew up, I used to hear of men claiming that they were really women, but you didn’t see a lot of it. Once in a while something would be in the news or popular culture (Myra Breckinridge comes to mind), but nothing really big. I think when Chastity Bono, the cute little daughter of singers Sonny and Cher, grew up and decided she wanted to be a man, eyebrows were raised.
Otherwise, we just took it all in stride.
Then came Bruce Jenner, the US Olympic champion who announced to the world recently that he, in fact, was a woman, and planned to have a sex change operation.
This week, courtesy of Vanity Fair Magazine, we saw the results of that operation, and the pictures literally rocked the world. Yes, all of us have many, many questions, and some of us can’t fathom such a thing. But it is what it is.
Truth be told, none of us "knows" a darn thing about this, despite the protestations of a lot of religious people. Yes, we'd all like to believe that if GOD made you a certain way, that's the end of that. But in fact, there are people born everyday who are somehow different from their outward appearance. If what religious folk said was totally true, then all births would be flawless. There would be no birth defects (and for the record, I am NOT likening Jenner’s situation to a birth defect) and everything would be easy to understand. But it isn't, hasn't been for a long time.
Now unless Bruce aka Caitlyn is lying (and all of the documented evidence shows that he had told his ex-wives this many, many years ago), then the only reason this is of interest to anyone is because this former US Olympic champion is the most high profile person ever to make this change. Now, what does this have to do with you and YOUR life? Absolutely nothing if you don't know Caitlyn Jenner. But if you're concerned that now a whole bunch of people are going to line up for sex change operations, well you're too late. Rich folks like Chastity did it years ago, and it never stopped you from worshipping or believing as you do. If you want the world to conform to what YOU will allow it to conform to, better run for office and get some laws passed (good luck with that). Otherwise, this whole thing is classified as this is Caitlyn Jenner's business, we're talking about it because we're free to, among other subjects.
Is this a sign of the world going crazy? If so, the world has been crazy for a long, long time. Indeed things were crazy even before the Bible was written. We’re just seeing it more because the world has gotten smaller, thanks to television.
Is this a good or bad thing?
It’s Caitlyn Jenner’s thing. Enough said.
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.

                                        SHAW PRESIDENT DR. TASHNI DUBROY

Shaw University Introduces Dr. Tashni Dubroy as President
Raleigh, NC - Shaw University’s Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Joseph N. Bell introduced at a press conference Monday, Dr. Tashni (TASH-KNEE) Dubroy (DO-BROY) as Shaw’s 17th president. Dubroy, a Shaw graduate, is the third alumnus, third female and the second youngest person to serve as Shaw’s president. Her appointment is effective August 1, 2015.
“We wanted a proven leader, a seasoned academic, but most importantly, we sought an individual with business acumen who could merge the qualities of excellence in higher education with the professionalism of the board room,” said Shaw University Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Joseph N. Bell, Jr. “These qualities were more than evident in Dr. Dubroy, and we are delighted and excited to witness what Dr. Dubroy will not only do for our University, but for our students, faculty, staff, alumni and community.”
Dubroy, 34, began her career as a research scientist at BASF, the world’s leading chemical company. She quickly ascended the ranks, receiving two promotions in two years. She served as a global technology analyst and procurement manager at the company, where she managed a strategic sourcing budget of $35 million. Following her tenure at BASF, Dubroy was hired by her alma mater in 2011, where she served as an associate professor of chemistry and later the department chair of Shaw’s department of natural sciences and mathematics. As a professor and department chair, Dubroy managed the department’s $1.2 million budget, supervised 25 faculty members and mentored 22 undergraduate students as part of the Shaw in Jamaica international research project funded by the National Institutes of Health. In 2014, Dubroy was promoted and became a member of Shaw’s administrative team as the special assistant to the president for process optimization. In this role, she was responsible for increasing efficiency and reducing cost through a detailed analysis of the University’s operations to achieve quantifiable improvement and growth across all campus departments.
Desiring to pursue her dream as a business owner, Dubroy co-founded Tea and Honey Blends in 2009, a hair care company that manufactures and retails natural hair care products. She later opened the Element Beauty Bar, a hair salon located in downtown Raleigh. Passionate about the community, science and education, Dubroy founded the Brilliant and Beautiful Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to mentoring women in science. Each summer, the foundation hosts a SMART Scholars workshop at North Carolina State University’s Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, where middle school girls make personal care products and market them to a team of judges.
“I have built my reputation on my ability to do, to listen, to lead and to create diverse and inclusive teams,” said Dr. Dubroy.  “Our strategy will be non-traditional, innovative and dynamic and I look forward to leading my alma mater in the next phase of our journey.”
Dubroy is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades. In 2012, the United Negro College Fund’s (UNCF) National Alumni Council presented her with an “Outstanding Young Alumni” award for her service to Shaw. In 2014, she was awarded the “Distinguished Alumni in Science Diversity” Award by North Carolina State University. Last year, The National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers honored Dubroy and her business partner for their work in science and Entrepreneurship, calling them “21st century visionary, entrepreneurial leaders, who are the New Chemists on the Block.” Dubroy has received fellowship awards from the United Negro College Fund, National Science Foundation and the National Organization for Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers, and is published in various scientific journals including the Journal of Physical Organic Chemistry. Cosmopolitan magazine recognized her as a “fun, fearless female,” and she has been featured in both Money magazine and Bloomberg’s BusinessWeek.
Dubroy graduated summa cum laude from Shaw University in 2002, and earned a Bachelor of Science in chemistry. She earned a Ph.D. in physical organic chemistry from North Carolina State University in 2007 and in 2010 she graduated with an MBA in marketing from Rutgers University in New Jersey. Dubroy is a member of the American Chemical Society and was nominated for membership in Sigma Xi, the Distinguished Chemical Society.
A native of Jamaica, Dubroy is the daughter of Emerson and Greta Coote (Coot, long O) and is one of six siblings. She is married to Dale Dubroy and they have one child, daughter Marli-Jolie (MARLEY-JO-LEE), age 6.


            According to published reports, extensive damage was done to Gethsemane Seventh-Day Adventist Church on Sanderford Road in Southeast Raleigh when fire broke there early Wednesday morning. Several classrooms and parts of the sanctuary suffered significant damage, fire officials say. Reportedly, renovations have been taken place at the church in recent days.

            A string of legal complaints alleging job discrimination at North Carolina Central University in Durham continued this week when attorneys for a white business school assistant dean filed documents with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claiming that she was the target of racial discrimination, and told that she should work at a majority white institution. The UNC Board of Governors was also named in the EEOC complaint. Last week, the former chief of staff to NCCU Chancellor Debra Saunders-White filed suit in Durham Superior Court, while two other former members of the business school filed federal lawsuits, all claiming to be victims of racial discrimination at NCCU. Two of the plaintiffs are white, one is Cuban. An NCCU spokesperson said the complaints are “unfounded allegations,” and that the school would “vigorously and aggressively” defend itself in court.

            The 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a federal judge erred when he threw out a lawsuit challenging redrawn Wake School Board voting districts. The appellate court ordered that the suit go on to trial in federal court. The Republican-led NC General Assembly redrew the district lines after Democrats swept five seats on the board in 2011. The new lines were drawn to assure that Republicans could reclaim the majority on the board. A federal judge threw out a lawsuit claiming that the new lines were a violation of the constitutional one man-one vote principal. The appeals court ruled that the argument had merit, and should proceed to trial.



            [CHAPEL HILL] The name of Ku Klux Klan leader William Lawrence Saunders will no longer grace a building on the UNC – Chapel Hill campus. The school’s Board of Trustees, in a 10-3 vote last week, changed the name of Saunders Hall to Carolina Hall after growing student protests forced the board to act. Saunders was an 1854 graduate of UNC, a colonel in the Civil War, a North Carolina Secretary of State, and the leader of the KKK in the state. His name was placed on a UNC campus building in 1922. There was no indication as to when the name change will take place.

            [RALEIGH] For the first time in almost a year, the jobless rate in North Carolina is actually higher than the unemployment rate across the nation. According to state Commerce Dept. officials, the jobless rate in North Carolina rose .1 percent from March to April to 5.5 percent, while the national average, which actually dropped,  was 5.4 percent. Experts say a large number of people are coming back into the labor market after being unemployed for a while, causing the slight uptick between March and April.

            [RALEIGH] When the Republican-led NC General Assembly passed a law in 2013 effectively ending teachers’ tenure, that was unconstitutional, ruled the NC Court of Appeals this week. The three-judge panel said that the law “illegally” repealed the contract and property rights of educators who had passed up more lucrative positions. They joined teaching on the promise of tenure if earned, and to retroactively take that from them was a violation of their constitutional rights.


By Cash Michaels

            With the 2016 presidential and gubernatorial elections literally knocking on the door, legal wrangling over the status of North Carolina’s voting laws and districts will be front in center over the next few months, in hopes that if there are changes, they can come in time for the upcoming election year.
            On June 1, a pre-litigation letter was sent to the NC Board of Elections, NC Dept. of Transportation Secretary Tony Tata, and Kelly Thomas, the commissioner the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), “…alleging that the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles is failing to meet its voter registration obligations…” under the federal National Voter Registration Act of 1993, otherwise known as the “Motor Voter” law.
            That letter -  sent by attorneys for Action NC, Democracy North Carolina, the NC A. Phillip Randolph Institute and several state residents – cited “…clear evidence that the DMV is violating its legal requirement to provide voter registration services
and transmit registration information to election officials.”
            As a result, since 2013 when Gov. Pat McCrory took office, thousands of people across the state who thought they had been properly registered to vote at their local DMV office, as required by law, were not.
            “[I]n the 2014 General Election, numerous individuals who thought they had registered to vote at the DMV were forced to cast provisional ballots because their names were not on the voter registration rolls,” the letter maintained. “For instance, in Mecklenburg County, out of nearly 880 provisional ballots cast, 157 (nearly 18%) were cast by individuals who said they had registered at the DMV.”
            Democracy North Carolina, a non-partisan, nonprofit advocacy group, alleges that many of those provisional ballots were then not counted. According to a report from the progressive website Daily Kos, which broke the story several weeks ago, not only has the problem surfaced at the DMV, but there has been“…a substantial drop in voter registrations submitted from public assistance agencies [across the North Carolina] since the beginning of 2013. According to the State Board of Elections, in 2012, 41,162 registration applications were submitted from pubic assistance agencies. In 2013, this number dropped to 18,758 and in 2014, it dropped even further to 13,340.”
            NC NAACP Pres. Rev. William Barber held a press conference shortly after the report, challenging Gov. McCrory to address the allegations, or face a lawsuit in 90 days.
Lawyers for Demos, Project Vote and the Southern Coalition For Social justice, reiterated the legal threat.
            Meanwhile twenty-seven North Carolina voters filed suit in federal court last week, challenging nine Senate and 19 House voting districts drawn by the Republican-led NC General Assembly. This new litigation, which claims that the 2011 maps are unconstitutional because black voters were “stacked and packed” into several majority-minority districts” requests a three-judge federal panel to review the redistricting maps, and then the federal court to order the state Legislature to redraw the lines in time for the 2016 elections.
            This new lawsuit comes after the US Supreme Court last March ordered the NC Supreme Court to review the 2011 redistricting maps, suggesting that just like Alabama, race was the driving factor in determining new voting districts. The state High Court is scheduled to take another look at those maps in August.
            In July in Winston-Salem, a federal court judge will hear arguments at trial regarding the 2013 voter ID restrictions passed by the Republican-led Legislature and signed by Gov. McCrory. The US Justice Dept., now under North Carolina native US Attorney General Loretta Lynch, is a co-plaintiff along with the NC NAACP and others in the suit against the Legislature, hoping to overturn what many say is the most restrictive voting law in the nation, before the 2016 elections.
            Again in August, a state court will consider another challenge to the voter ID law, which alleges that requiring photo identification to cast a ballot is “a new qualification” that discriminates against black voters and is a violation of the North Carolina Constitution, which does not require photo ID.
            In October, two more cases challenging redistricting are scheduled to be heard. The first, scheduled for October 13th, is a lawsuit against the state’s congressional districts. The second takes on North Carolina’s legislative districts.

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