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75 cents WlNSTON-SALEM GREENSBORO HlGII POINT Vol. XXVIII No. 16
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SM'SS 27101-2755 S\. X 1 l\^y X- n0t 10 t,e taKen
_ The Choice for African-American Alews from
Laws used to strip blacks of land
This is the final part of "Torn From
the Land," a three-part series docu
menting how black Americans lost
their family land over the last 160
BY TODD LEWAN
AND DOLORES B ARCLAY
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Lawyers and real estate traders are
stripping Americans of their ancestral
land today, simply by following the
It is done through a court procedure
that is intended to resolve land disputes
but is being used to pry land from peo
ple who do not want to sell.
Black families are especially vul
nerable to it. The Becketts. for exam
ple, lost a 335-acre farm in Jasper
County, S.C., that had been in their,
family since 1873. And the Sanders
clan recently lost 300 acres in Pickens
County, Ala., that had been in their
family since 1919.
The procedure is called partition
ing, and this is how it works:
Whenever a landowner dies with
out a will, the heirs inherit the estate in
common, with no one person owning a
specific part of it. If more family mem
bers die without wills, things can get
messy within a couple of gene.ations.
with dozens of relatives owning the
land in common.
Anyone can buy an interest in one
of these family estates; all it takes is a
single heir willing to sell. And anyone
who owns a share, no matter how
small, can go to a judge and request
that the entire property be sold at auc
Sct- Land on A4
AP Photo/Rogelio Soils
Alvie Marsh of Choudrant, La., tours what remains of his family's
land in Jackson Parish. His family lost 80 acres in the 1950s when a
white oil man acquired the property in a questionable partition sale.
BY PAUL COLLINS
FHE CHRON1CI E
Downtown Health Plaza of
Baptist Hospital celebrated its
first anniversary Friday. Dec.
14. In an
Clements a c c.(> m -
p I i s h -
merits in the first year include
improved efficiency in provid
ing service for patients: creat
ing a "culture" in which
patients are treated with dignity
and respect: and collaborating
with other agencies to improve
patients' health or quality of
The $9.8 million. 47.6(XI
square-foot health-care facility
opened Dec. II. 2(XX). at I2IX)
Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
Clements recalled. "One of
the first things we wanted to do
was create ... an environment
where people were ... proud to
be there. So a lot of time went
into the aesthetics so that when
people walked in the door they
did not feel they were going to
a place for poor people....His
torically. Reynolds Health Cen
ter was considered a place for
people who had no resources at
all. and for years, county gov
ernment supported it toward
that end; people who had no
resources, no insurance, no
other source of health care,
that's where they went. We did
n't want to cretitt that kind of
environment. So. again, the
first thing we did was to try to
make a very attractive place
where people felt good."
Thirty to 35 percent or
Downtown Health Plata's
patients are on Medicaid. 8-11
percent are on Medicare, up to
5 percent or a little more are on
commercial insurance and 30 to
40 percent are on personal pay.
Personal pay means you don't
have insurance becau? of
income, you're self-employed,
you choose not to buy insur
ance or some other reason.
Clements said that Down
town Health Plaza has offered
more efficient health care by
reducing patient wait times
(with the help of a new com
puterized system) and has taken
measures so that more patients
make and' keep appointments
.Si r Facility tin A3
Moles create a Wonderland
during Madhatters' Ball
BY FELLC1A P. MCMILLAN
COMMl NTH CORRESPOND! \ i
"I'm late. I'm late for a very
important date!" said the Rabbit
as he and so many of the other
animals made their way toward
the Madhatters" Ball in Lewis
Carroll's classic "Alice in Won
derland" (18654. Boy, what a
party that was! Having attended
Rugby School and lectured at
Oxford University (1855-1881),
Carroll explores his own imagi
native powers as he creates an
extraordinary dream world of
wit and absurdity for children
and adults who work hard but
also love having a good time.
Friday night was party time
for the Moles and the Mules in
the Wonderland of Winston
Salem. More than 300 Moles.
Mules and their guests attended.
The .12 members of the Win
ston-Salem Chapter of the
Moles made their grand
entranee into the Madhatters'
Ball adorned in metallic gold
top hats with kelly green, white
and gol^l shingles as bands. All
of them had the traditional green
mole on the left eheek. Mole
Wilma Wheeler, the local chap
ter president, introduced all of
the Moles and their Mules to the
audience. The Mules are the
husbands and significant others
of the Moles.
Dr. Velma Gibson Watts, the
national president of the Moles.
See Moles an A10
Photos by ('electa McMillan
Jeannetfe Lewis, left, and Brenda Diggs strike a pose in their one-of-a-kind hats.
Louise Smith's hat "the bird's nest" won a
prize for most elaborate.
Home for the Holidays
Habitat, volunteers help single mother's dream come true
BY T. KEVIN WALKER
Two events last week left Angela
Givens fighting back tears.
First, her two children, both of
whom are in academically gifted pro
grams at their schools, told her that they
both want to be lawyers when they
grow up. A short time later. Givens was
handed the keys to her brand-new house
- a cozy, bright yellow, green and white
place with three bedrooms, two baths
and a deck.
Givens said both of the heart-touch
ing occurrences will assure that this
Christmas will be merrier than most for
"I have always wanted a house. Liv
ing in an apartment is like throwing
away your money because it is some
thing that you will never own. This is
mine," Givens said, surveying the fresh
paint on the walls of her new house.
Givens' new house, located in Neil
Place off University Parkway, is the
137th house completed through Habitat
for Humanity of Forsyth County. More
than $40,000 was raised by the North
west Chapter of Credit Unions of North
Carolina to cover some of the house's
costs. Members of the chapter, who
work at several area credit unions, also
volunteered every weekend for 15
weeks to build Givens' house.
See Habitat on A11
Five area churches boast
computer labs as part of
WSSU pilot program
BY COURTNEY CAILLARD
In an effort to gel
minorities up and running
on the ever-changing infor
mation highway, computer
education is making its way
to the African-American
University has collaborated
with five African-Ameri
can churches for a pilot
program that will bring
computer technology to willioms.Green
minonty communities. The
program is being funded by
a $12,000 grant from the WSSU Foundation and
donations of equipment from local businesses.
United Metropolitan Missionary Baptist
Church. St. James AME Church. Goler Memorial
AME Zion Church. Union Baptist Church and St.
Benedict's Catholic Church are the first churches
selected to create "community knowledge centers"
at their church facilities.
The church sites access the Internet through a
relatively new method of wireless connectivity as
opposed to dial-up modems.
Joyce Williams-Green, associate provost for
information resources at
Cone Americans do not buy as
many computers as other
race?,) which places them on the short end of the
"I saw an opportunity for WSSU to take some
of our strengths into the community meaning our
faculty, students and the technology we are devel
oping." Williams-Green said.
This pilot program, according to Williams
Green. has allowed WSSlr to go into the communi
ty to test new technology and provide an avenue for
local college students to access the technology as
well as train others how to use it
Williams-Green approached her own pastor.
Rev. Mary Peterson of St. James AMP Church on
Patterson Avenue, earlier this year. Peterson opened
her lab just one month ago and is very excited and
s, Computer lobs on A5
Photo by Ke\ in Walker
Angela Givens looks on as her son, Allen, accepts the keys to her new house
from Sam Whitehurst. Beside Givens is her daughter, Jayla.
FOR SUBSCRIPTIONS CALL (336) 732-8624 ? MASTERCARD, VlfiA AND AMERICAN EXPRESS ACCEPTED ?
WSSU, wrote the proposal ?
for the community knowl
edge center grant, which
allows not only church
members hut the members
of the community at large to
utilize the church-based
labs. Williams-Green rec
ognizes the need for tech
nology to he taken into
minority communities. Sta
tistics show that African