Sunday, October 11, 2015



By Cash Michaels

            MAHALIA JACKSON CONCERT RETURNS – Two years ago I told you that one of the most exciting singers I’ve ever heard would be doing a free church concert of some of gospel singer Mahalia Jackson’s greatest songs, and asked you to take the time to attend in support.
            Well, many of you did, and you were not sorry. That opportunity is back again at Lincoln Park Holiness Church on Sunday, Oct. 25th at 4 p.m., and the same singer, vocalist Lynnette Barber, returns to give another great performance for the community.
            I’ve known Lynnette since she was a student at St. Augustine’s College (now known as St. Augustine’s University). She is a member of the Lincoln Park Holiness Church family in Raleigh, and as strong a Christian as Lynnette is, she is just as powerful a singer, which is why we asked her to sing the theme song for our award-winning  documentary, “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten.”
            If you want to both see and hear just how great Lynnette is, mark down Sunday, Oct. 25th, 4 p.m. at Lincoln Park Holiness Church. She will once again don a costume, and perform as gospel legend Mahalia Jackson, in concert. I’ve seen Lynnette’s performance as Mahalia, and I’m here to tell you, it is more than a treat.
           For more information call 919-673-6392 or contact Lynnette at
            Trust me, you won’t regret it.
            THAT’S SO RAVEN – Well, she’s done it again, and this time it took her father to help her clean it up. Actress, and now talk show hostess Raven Symone is once again licking her rhetorical wounds after running her smug, arrogant mouth about stuff she thinks she knows something about. After renouncing being called “African-American”, and then agreeing with someone that Michelle Obama looks like a monkey, Raven has now resorted again to attacking her own people.
             Last week on ABC’s “The View”, the latest job Raven is apparently trying desperately to lose, saying that she would discriminate and never hire someone with a “ghetto” name to work for her.
            Needless to say, her online critics had a field day ripping poor Raven a new one for judging someone’s capabilities only by their name alone. That wasn’t surprising. Folks have become real tired on her tired nonsense.
            But what was surprising was when Raven’s own father chimed in, saying that his daughter had definitely crossed a line, and needed to grow up and realize that. He said he and his wife will always love Raven and support her, but there are times when she says some real “dumb s---.”
            Wow! When your pops goes public telling the world that you need to check yourself, that’s deep. It’s also embarrassing, so much that on Sunday, Raven took to her Facebook page, and issued a pseudo-apology. We say “pseudo” because  while the statement had the feel of being contrite, nowhere could be found the words “I’m sorry.”
            Let’s be real here. ABC television hired Raven for “The View” because they wanted to add enough spice to the program so that viewers would come back. So they actually want Raven to say dumb stuff. Just as long as she doesn’t cross the line too many times.
            I’d say homegirl is  has actually been living on the other side of that line for some time now. The question is…home much longer can she do it?
            UNCLE BEN – Speaking of saying “dumb s---“, Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson seems to enjoy doing exactly that, and getting away with it. That’s because the dumb stuff he’s saying is for the benefit of the rock-ribbed conservatives who love his “I came up from the Detroit ghetto and be came a world famous neurosurgeon” story.
            Make no mistake, Ben Carson is a brilliant man a long as a scalpel is in his hand and he’s in the operating room. But when he’s telling the victims of the Oregon shooting massacre that they should have all rushed the gunmen, or tell folks that he once told a stickup man with a gun to go rob a Popeye’s Restaurant instead, or tell folks that single mothers raise criminals, then one has to question just how sophisticated his knowledge base of the world really is, and if he has any business vying for the presidency.
            But there is one thing I will say in defense…folks have been making fun about Dr. Carson’s wife, Candy, and specifically her appearance. Mrs. Carson dresses in very plain attire, wears little makeup, and is as unexciting in every way as you can get. That’s not a putdown on my part. That’s her right, especially as a woman of faith.
            But it troubles me that there are those who feel that because her husband is running for president, that makes her fair game for criticism about her appearance.
            Well where I come from, if you have a problem with somebody, then feel free to go after them with all the zeal you can. Thus, my criticisms of Ben Carson. But his wife, who is not running for president, or anything else, should be left alone.  Never attack a man’s family, and especially his wife. It is cowardly, men and small-minded. It displays a lack of class and integrity. I don’t care if you’re a night club comedian, attacking a man’s wife rhetorically is wrong.
DR. JOCKO – Earlier this year I got the unique chance not only to meet, but to conduct the last interview with radio disc jockey legend Ray Henderson, better known as “Dr. Jocko” of the old 570 WLLE-AM. There’s no question that Ray was a man of history, given that WLLE (also known as “WiLLiE”} was Raleigh’s first black-formatted radio station, and he was one of the first personalities on their.
            Well as you may know by now, Ray Henderson died in Detroit in March. He had a graveside burial in Oakwood Cemetery, but his gravesite, right next to the legendary J. D. Lewis of WRAL (Ray’s mentor) has no headstone. So a fundraising effort, headed up by Thad Woodard, the former head of the NC Banking Association, and Jimmy “JJ’ Johnson, former air personality at WLLE-AM, has begun to raise $2,000.00 to get Uncle Jocko is proper headstone by Thanksgiving.
            So for any amount you can spare, please make your donation out to “Oakwood Cemetery,” and in the memo line at the bottom left of your check, please write “Ray Henderson Memorial.” Kindly send your donation to Thad Woodard, 616 Lakestone Drive, Raleigh, NC 27609.
            Honoring Ray “Dr. Jocko” Henderson is honoring part of our proud history here in Raleigh’s African-American community. Let’s all do our part.
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.


            On Tuesday, November 3rd at 7 p.m., the Raleigh City Council will hold a public hearing on the redevelopment of the College Park community near St. Augustine’s University. Community activists are concerned that this means the gentrification of the historically black neighborhood, with traditional residents being moved out in favor of upper middle-class newcomers who could afford newer housing. City officials say the redevelopment has been planned since the late 1990s.

            The Raleigh City Council elections are not finished yet. Thanks to an extremely close District A race among three candidates, there will be a Nov. 3rd runoff to determine who the ultimate winner will be. The top two votegetters in the Oct. 6th contest – Dickie Thompson and Eddie Woodhouse – will faceoff next month. The third runnerup, J. B. Buxton conceded the race this week after the votes were certified by the Wake Board of elections. Only 47 votes separated Thompson and Woodhouse.

            Eric Fitts, principal of Brentwood Elementary School in Raleigh, has been honored as Wake County Public School System’s “Principal of the Year.” The South Carolina native is known for walking the halls, talking with students, and looking out especially for those pupils who may be in need, knowing that such burdens can be barriers to a good education. There has been academic improvement during Principal Fitts’ tenure, and he’s determined for Brentwood and its students to be the very best that they can be.



            [GREENSBORO] North Carolina’s infant mortality rate inched up last year, according to statistics released by the state Department of Health and Human Service’s public health division this week. In 2014, the state’s infant mortality rate was 7.1 deaths per 1,000 live births, 0.1 higher than 2013’s 7.0 per 1,000 live births rate. Deputy DHHS Secretary Dr. Randall Williams says the department is working in collaboration with outside partners to address the increase.

            [RALEIGH] One day after NC Treasurer Janet Cowell announced that she will not seek re-election nor any other public office, former Wake state Representative Deborah Ross announced Wednesday that she will join the Democratic race to unseat Republican US Senator Richard Burr in the 2016 elections. Ross served in the state House from 2003 to 2013. She left to work as general counsel for GoTriangle, a mass transportation group.  She has resigned to pursue her senate bid. Ross must first compete against Spring Lake Mayor Chris Rey in the Democratic primary to face Burr in November 2016.

            [CHAPEL HILL] A statue honoring “Silent Sam,”a Confederate hero was once again the target of student protest on the UNC – Chapel Hill campus Monday, as two dozen protesters stood up during the start University Day ceremonies demanding the statue is a monument to racism and should be torn down. UNC Chancellor Carol Folt  actually told those gathered that the students be heard in their demands, and that they had a “…a very important message.”



BLASTING SEN. BURR - [WINSTON-SALEM] Flanked by NCNAACP Pres. Rev. William Barber and members of WIN (Women in the NAACP), NCNAACP Executive Director Rev. Michelle Laws (center) tells reporters that Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) has failed the women of North Carolina on important issues. Remarks were made during the 72nd Annual NCNAACP Convention. [Cash Michaels Photo]

By Cash Michaels

            [WINSTON-SALEM] Female members of NAACP chapters from across North Carolina expressed concerns about the legislative record of Sen. Richard Burr last week, charging that the North Carolina Republican, who is up for reelection in 2016, has a record that shows “…a disregard and disrespect for the value of women in North Carolina.”
            Flanked by NC NAACP President Rev. William Barber, members of the organization WIN (Women In the NAACP) and other members attending the three-day state convention in Winston – Salem Oct. 9th, Executive Director Rev. Michelle Laws charged that Sen. Burr has repeatedly stood in the way of women’s issues.
           “You’ve got a hard head, Sen. Burr,” Rev. Laws exclaimed, as the women around her cheered.
           She warned that Burr could face the wrath of the female ballot next year, saying that, “When women vote, the politics and the policies look differently.”
           Rev. Laws recounted how in 2009, Burr first recommended federal prosecutor Jennifer May – Parker, chief of the Appellate Division of the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District in North Carolina, to fill one of over eighty open US District Court seats in the federal judiciary.
If confirmed, May-Parker would have become the first black female federal judge in the history of the Eastern District.
          But once Pres. Obama nominated her in 2013, Burr then inexplicably flipped, taking steps to block May –Parker’s nomination, denying her a committee hearing, and ultimately forcing it to die after approximately 300 days.
Newspapers across the state blasted Sen. Burr for not only blocking the nomination, but also never explaining why he did it.
          “As a result, the vast majority of African-Americans who reside in the Eastern District of North Carolina will not have the opportunity to be represented by the highly qualified, and more than capable attorney Jennifer May-Parker,” Rev. Laws said.
          Laws recalled that Sen. Burr also joined other Senate Republicans earlier this year in actively opposing the Senate confirmation of US Attorney Gen. Loretta Lynch, stalling it for over five months.  Burr opposed the immensely qualified home state nominee last February, saying that if confirmed, Lynch, then a US attorney in New York, would challenge North Carolina’s restrictive voter ID law.
          “I’m in the right on this one,” Burr told a Raleigh television station.
But after mounting national and statewide pressure, Lynch was finally confirmed as the first black woman ever to become US attorney general in history, in April.
          Still, the conservative senator’s opposition proved that he had “a head as hard as a rock,” Rev. Laws said.
        “We are concerned not only about the judicial appointments, the pattern of simple disregard and disrespect for the value of women, for the quality of life and well-being of the women in North Carolina,” the NCNAACP executive director continued. “Simply put, [Sen. Burr’s] record speaks volumes, and we know that women in North Carolina make up over 53 percent of registered voters.”
         Rev. Laws noted that during Sen. Burr’s first term in Congress; he has voted against funding for abortion services; federal health plan contraceptive coverage; the reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIPS) and an amendment requiring health care providers to offer at minimum costs specific preventive services.
         “And for three consecutive years, [Sen. Burr] was rated at zero percent by Planned Parenthood, and he is on the attack, along with some others, to defund Planned Parenthood. [Plus], three times he has voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would hold employers more accountable for wage discriminations against women,” Rev. Laws said.
        “So on one hand, he’s dealing with our bodies and our health, but then on the other hand, he’s not giving us the resources or allowing us to make enough money to rely on some of these services and programs.”
        “Women demand equal pay and fairer wages; health care and health insurance that covers our entire family; and a way up and out of poverty for those who are poor,” Laws continued, warning North Carolina women, and especially “…poor white and rural women,” not to “believe the lies, and chicanery and poli-trickery” about the NAACP fighting only for “black issues.”
       “We fight for all women. We’re concerned with the poor, the sick, and those who don’t have the affluence and the resources to make sure that they have the best quality of life,” Rev. Laws said.
      Wanda Woodby, president of the Yancey and Mitchell counties chapter of the NAACP, identified herself as “from one of those districts that is poor and white… and we’re without medical care. We are suffering.” Woodby challenged Sen. Burr to come to her district, “…and see the people that your votes are hurting.”
      Ms. Woodby then added, “Sen. Burr, you have blood on your hands,” saying that there are people dying of cancer because of lack of screening; children without parents because of lack of medical care; people going to prison because of a lack of mental health care.”
      “Sen. Burr, we are your constituents. You’re supposed to protect us. Why don’t you?” Woodby rhetorically asked.
      Noting that the men of the NCNAACP stand strongly by the women and their demands for justice and equality, state Pres. Rev. Barber echoed concerns about Sen. Burr, saying that just like arch-conservative Sen. Jesse Helms, Burr’s voting record on women’s issues, civil rights and voting rights “has been atrocious.”
      “The NAACP has given him an F,” Rev. Barber added. “A on smiling; F on policy. A for dressing right; F for voting wrong.”
       On Wednesday, former Wake County State Representative Deborah Ross, a Democrat, announced that she will vie for Sen. Burr's seat in the 2016 election.


COOPER ANNOUNCES FOR GOVERNOR - Monday night, State Atty. General Roy Cooper (seen here attending the NCNAACP State Convention last week) finally made it official that he's running for governor to unseat Republican incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory.  Cooper, will first be challenged in the Democratic primary next March 15th by former state Representative Ken Spaulding of Durham. [Cash Michaels Photo]

By Cash Michaels

            [WINSTON-SALEM] Saying that the 2016 elections are extremely important to North Carolina and the country, NCNAACP Pres. Rev. William Barber laid out an aggressive agenda Saturday for organizing and mobilizing voters statewide under the banner, “This is no time for foolishness.”
            “At this convention…we know what is needed in this state and this nation. We know what’s needed for liberty and justice for all to be realized,” Rev. Barber told hundreds of NCNAACP chapter members attending the 72nd Annual State Convention in Winston-Salem during his annual President's Address.
            “Number one, we ‘ve got to secure pro-labor anti-poverty policies that ensure
economic sustainability by fighting for full employment, living wages, the alleviation of disparate unemployment, a green economy, labor rights, affordable housing, targeted empowerment zones, [and] strong safety net services for the poor. We have to stop extreme militarism that destroys innocent lives and undermines our ability to wage a real war on poverty at home.”
            “We’ve got to make sure we have fair policies for immigrants, infrastructure development, and fair tax reform that benefits the poor and working poor, and not the greedy,” Barber continued.
            The NCNAACP leader also called for “educational equality” by ensuring that every child have, “… a high quality, well-funded, constitutional, diverse public education,” in addition to proper funding for historically-black colleges and universities.
            Also important “…to pursue liberty,” Rev. Barber called for health care for all by ensuring access to the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid expansion, Medicare, and protecting Social Security. Protecting the environment was also key, as well as correcting injustices in the criminal justice system that negatively impact people of color and poor whites.
            On citizen rights, Barber maintained the importance of preserving and protecting voting, women’s, LGBT and civil rights.
            “And always, I don’t are what Donald Trump says…we must demand that nobody touch the 14th Amendment that guarantees equal protection under the law,” Rev. Barber exclaimed to applause.
            The progressive agenda Rev. Barber presented is viewed by many in the conservative ranks as “socialist” or “communist,” he said, but that’s because “ a regressive and extremist [NC] Legislature…” has chosen to ignore the needs of the poor, and the common people.
            Indeed, especially in the South, “…the poorest districts in the country are the [politically] reddest districts,” Barber noted, adding that conservative politicians who are working to hurt the poor, are also hurting the very people who support them.
            “And somehow in the South, they’re so blinded by the Southern Strategy and the old tricks of racism, that many Southern whites don’t realize that they’re in the same boat as black people,” the NCNAACP leader said.
            After railing off a full list of other injustices perpetrated against communities of color and poor whites by the Tea Party and conservative Republicans, and saying now that , “…it’s easier to get a gun than to register to vote,” Rev. Barber proclaimed, “Somebody, some organization, has got to sound the alarm that this is no time [for foolishness]!”
            Reminding convention gatherers that they were not there for fellowship, but rather were in a “war room,” Rev. Barber said in 2016, the focus of all NAACP  branches will be to maximize memberships, further mobilize the Moral Monday movement across the state in various counties, especially in home districts of conservative state legislators who oppose the progressive agenda; and move and march massive votes to the polls.
            “We’re going to put together the most massive get-out-to-vote effort ever seen since the ‘60’s,” Rev. Barber promised, adding that the NCNAACP and Forward Together Movement will continue to build coalitions for progress. “This foolishness has gone on too long.”
            “It’s our time now!”

REP. ADAMS WITH NCNAACP YOUTH - Congresswoman Alma Adams (left) seen here posing with youth members of the NCNAACP and her close friend, Guilford County Commissioner Carolyn Coleman, encouraged those gathered for the 72nd Annual NCNAACP Convention in Winston-Salem to "get angry" and vote to bring about change. [Cash Michaels photo]

By Cash Michaels

            Saying that, “Our nation has been hijacked by insensitive right-wing radical Tea Party folks at the local, state and federal level, so drunk with power that they’re deliberately making it difficult for our working families, for our elderly and our children to survive,” US Rep. Alma Adams [ D – NC- 12] told the 72nd Annual NCNAACP Convention luncheon Saturday that “…we’ve got to get angry enough to act.”
            Rep. Adams, who began serving in Congress last year after many years as a state lawmaker from Guilford County, also chided her Republican colleagues in the House for their recent turmoil over who will replace outgoing Speaker John Boehner, especially after House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy  (R-CA) bowed out amid controversy last week.
            “If you’ve been keeping up with everything, you know that the House has gone to hell,” Rep. Adams said to laughter. “There are forty Freedom Caucus members in the House…I call them gangsters, who are disrupting everything. This group wants to tie up everything, even the increases in the debt ceiling, cuts in Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid…they even want to get rid of Obamacare, and everything else that’s made a difference.”
            “They want to defund Planned Parenthood, as a matter of fact, they even tried to shut down the government just to shut down one organization. So you know what I’m dealing with in Washington.”
            Adams said she’s “disgusted” by the negative politics she’s seeing in Raleigh with the Republican-led NC General Assembly, and the GOP-led Congress. She said that the hard fought for civil rights gains of the past are now being “stripped away,” requiring the NAACP and others to stay in the fight for justice and equal rights.
            “It’s time to recommit,” she said. “It’s time for us to get reengaged, build some bridges and form some bonds so that we can recapture our losses, and protect our progress.”
            “Looking at what’s going on in state legislatures across the country, including our own, and observing the insensitive actions of US Congress, and its impact on our state and nation, they’re just devastating, with long-term ramifications. And I’m convinced that at the end of the day, we’ve got to get angry enough to act.”
            “In the final analysis, what happens tomorrow will be up to us, and how we prepare today.” Rep. Adams said, adding that “We know why this crowd continues to fight our president.”
            “Our people are pawns in a dangerous game of partisan politics that’s being played in Washington, and we’re paying the price for Washington’s dysfunction.”
            Adams noted that complacency because of prior progress is keeping people from taking back the power that has been gradually syphoned off from them.
            “It’s clear that as a people, we’ve got to pump it up,” Rep. Adams said, reminding all of the importance of investing in all children for empowerment. She also recommended that African-Americans regain that sense of community that helped them succeed during the civil rights movement.
            “Power controls everything,” Adams said, noting that blacks need to get more involved in voting to control the politics and economics that bring about positive change.
            Congresswoman Adams paid tribute to the work of her close friend, Guilford County Commissioner and NAACP Board member Carolyn Coleman, NCNAACP Pres. Rev. William Barber, and the work of the NAACP to bring about justice and equality.
Adams also announced that she has filed a House bill to name a local post office in Winston – Salem after the late author Dr. Maya Angelou, who lived there until her passing last summer. Adams says she has the full support of the 13-member North Carolina congressional delegation.


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