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April 28, 1983
Pastor says church
best hope for blacks
by Evelyn Jean Faison
Special to the Ink
In a town with a population of
32,421, an established institution
thrives. It was here 115 years ago.
And it still is.
Most residents of the university
village have heard of First Baptist
Church of Chapel Hill and its fifth
pastor. Dr. John R. Manley.
Under Manley's 36-year tutorage
the church moved from a one
room, shotgun structure to an
elaborate house of worship.
Labeled as a level-headed civil
rights advocate, Manley was born
and raised on a farm in northern
North Carolina in Murfreesboro.
When Manley was young he and
his brother came across a tomb
stone of the farm. The two did a
"Rodd Runner zip" from the site
because, as Manley said with a hip
popotamus grin, "Ghosts and
tombstones went together." The
tombstone, however, was actually
the boundary marker between Vir
ginia and North Carolina. The
Manley farm was situated in two
Manley was described by a peer
in the early civil rights period of
the 1960s as a man who favored sit
ting down and working out racial
problems when they arose.
"One shouid flnove^nto-a situat.
tion with organization and
preparation. Politics are strange —
it is easy to make a mistake," said
"One must appreciate the fact
you have to move into the political
arena, and 'to be rather than to
seem to be/"
Sitting on the edge of a brown
easy chair in the recently com
pleted addition to First Baptist,
Manley said the black church
should be heavily involved in
politics. "It is a standard, recogniz
ed institution that relates to the
Manley was past president of
North Carolina'is General Baptist
State Convention. The Convention
is comprised of black churches
from across the state, and accor
ding to Manley, has very active
political committees. The black
church has the means for exercis
ing influence, said Manley.
When asked about the direction
of the black church, Manley
thought silently for a short time.
In the background the noise of two
men of the church completing a
doorway in the Educational
Building — the new addition —
could be heard.
Economically, jobs are the
number one concern, he said. And
considering the technological
development of the state and
country, education is important.
Booker T. Washington had the
right idea. He was interested in
economic development, and that is
what blacks should be concerned
with today, he said.
Black people are economically
sensitive, they are consumers more
than producers, and are wasteful.
The church can be influential by
developing people, based on
humanity, and by leading them in
to the larger society economically
and educationally, Manley said.
Manley, who is quick on the dr
aw with a smile or laughter, said he
believes there is an upsurge in
religious interest among blacks
and whites, but didn't know
whether this interest would
develop into an organized form.
A woman came up to me and
said when she asked questions of
her church, they could not satis
factorily answer them. So instead
of going to church, she stays home,
and reads her Bible. This is not the
way, he said.
I don't know if I could have
answered her questions either, he
said. So I am not sure if people will
be going to established churches,
"but the black church is a^*»^or in
stitution for blacks. As it "1^'ell
"People used to have love, com
passion, and fellowship and they
can get this from the black church.
It'a a cruel world and this is what
the church should do if nothing
The man describes himself as a
realist, with a master's degree in
theology from Duke University and
a doctorate degree in Divinity from
Shaw University. He said the black
church is the best hope black peo
ple — and maybe the nation —
The white church once operated
on a corrupt sense of love, he said.
"How can you love me and make a
slave out of me? How can you love
me and then tell me I have no soul?
This was done to justify slavery."
"What we have today came oot
of that. The black church is not
perfect, but it has and does em
phasize justice because of the
past. Similar to the Bible, the Old
Testament deals with justice and
the New Testament is based on the
Old. The white church has a lot to
repent of," he said.
With a look of reflection, Dr.
Manley added quickly, "It's a
miracle how blacks have taken
that which was forced on them and
have it used their way. They
(whites) are trying to put the black
church out of business. But God
has been in existence to help us
Black scholars out there
By Adneatria Parker
As another semester comes to an end, most of us as students start feeling a lit
tle anxious about the future, and also a bit unresolved about our past. Regar
ding the future, we wonder whether or not we'll have jobs for the summer (or
for survival after graduation). Regarding the past, we remember problems dur
ing the semester that we never got around to solving, some habits we never got
around to solving, some habits we never got around to stopping, and of course,
some assignments we never got around to finishing.
This semester, I am left feeling a little better about the outcome of the spring
term than usual. For I can say that ON E problem that had been disturbing many
students, faculty and other concerned persons has a very good chance of being
Let's take a quick review on this Spring term. The semester opened with a
good portion of the university community disappointed by the low ratio of
black and women faculty employed at the University of North Carolina. As the
semester progressed, marches were launched, rallies were organized, letters
were written, and overall, the "clouds of discontent" rained; on the sunny, com
placent consciences of the UNC administration. "We need more women and
blacks," clapped the thunderbolts of injustice. "There just aren't many qualified
women and blacks OUT THERE," replied the administration. Well, with an
unresolved problem before them, four UNC afro-american studies majors went
out to question and disprove the university's contentions... and they went all the
way out to California to do so! Wende Watson, John Robinson, Chuck Hen-
nessee and 1 went to Berkeley, California to attend one of the most renown
"meetings of black minds" in the country — The National Council for Black
Studies Conference — to recruit black and female faculty and return to the
university with the question, "Well, ...what's your excuse NOW?"
The National Council for Black Studies, founded by North Carolina's own
Bertha Maxwell at UNC-Charlotte and supported by UNC's own AFAM pro
fessor Dr. Sonja H. Stone who sits on its executive board, held its seventh an
nual conference at the University of California at Berkeley from April 6-9, IF
THERE.IS ONE PLACE WHERE A UNIVERSITY THAT IS NEEDY OF BLACK
SCHOLARS COULD GO TO FIND AN ABUNDANT POOL OF BLACK
WRITERS, PROFESSORS, DOCTORAL CANDIDATES AND EXPERTS IN
ANY FIELD IMAGINABLE, THEN A NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR BLACK
STUDIES CONFERENCE IS ONE HECKUVA PLACE TO GO.
So, Wende, John, Chuck and I went,... and scoped,... and talked,., and bar
gained, ...and successfully found an impressive number of women and black
scholars who would love to come to Chapel Hill and join the "Southern Part of
1) Contrary to negative belief, we found that black studies IS NOT DYING
We met representatives from colleges (that are predominately white at that) that
have viable departments in black studies and offer over 60 and sometimes 75
courses in their curriculum!
2) Contrary to popular belief, we found there are plenty of women and black
scholars "OUT THERE" who have doctorates. In almost all of the panel discus
sions that Wende, John, Chuck and I attended, there were AT LEAST two
panelists there who presented dissertations from their doctorate or post
doctorate works. That is concrete evidence that there ARE available women and
black scholars who are well-qualified to share with UNC what impressive
education and expertise they have acquired.
3) Contrary to excuses that suggest the South is seen as an undesirable loca
tion for most job-seeking professors, many of the guests we met at the con
ference expressed great interest in North Carolina. Many of them have been to
Chapel Hill before, have had enjoyable experiences while visiting, and were op
timistic about returning.
So, with mission accomplished, we return to the University with the question,
"Well,... what's your excuse NOW?" Wende, John, Chuck, and I are experienc
ing the anxiety about the future that many other students are feeling about this
time. We're anxious to see what the University is going to do with its challenge.
We're hoping the outcome of our trip will be a positive resolution to the "Spring
problem" (and for that matter, all the preceding terms, too).
We hope we have given the university community something about which to
think and towards which to work during the summer. Return this fall looking
for some improvements in thediversity AND QUALITY of UNC's faculty. And
if our mission did not turn out to be acted upon by the administration, we're
also eager to add more of your names to the list for helping recruit more women
and black faculty.
(Next year's eighth annual conference of the National Council for Black
Studies will beheld in CHARLOTTE, N.C. Let's hope a closer recruitment site
will result in a better, more expanded UNC faculty.)