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Winston-Salem chronicle. (Winston-Salem, N.C.) 1974-current, August 01, 2002, Page A2, Image 2

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Sen. Bill Nelson pushing for expanded pensions for Negro League players TAMPA, Fla. - U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson reported progress last week in efforts to persuade major league baseball to include more players from the old Negro Leagues in a pension plan established five years ago. Nelson has been assisting the players for months in hopes of resolving their complaint about being denied benefits because they didn't play before 1947. "I am very encouraged," the Florida Democrat said. "For the first time, I have seen an indication by major league baseball that ? they are going to recognize the valid claims for the players of the old Negro Leagues to t receive a pension." Bob Mitchell, a Tampa resident who pitched for the Kansas City Monarchs in the 1950s, estimates there are about 145 men who were denied benefits in 1997 when baseball agreed to a $10,000-a-year pension for some former Negro League players. To be eligible, a player had to have played Nelson fout years on a Negro or major league team, or a combination of both, andhad to have played in the Negro Leagues before 1947 when Jack <> ie Robinson broke the color barrier in the majors. Nelson met with Mitchell and others eight months ago, promising to take their case to baseball officials. One option could be lump-sum payments to the players, a move Mitchell said would cost baseball less than $9 million. Others include quarterly payments (which eligible players currently receive) or monthly benefits. Nelson said baseball is looking at ways to resolve the dispute biit has not made any proposals. Nor is there a timetable for coming up with a plan. ' Parma, Ohio, and NAACP agree to settle discrimination case CLEVELAND - Lawyers for a predominantly white Cleveland suburb and the NAACP have agreed to settle a hiring discrimination case. Parma Law Director Tint Dobeck said a tentative settlement has been reached in a 12-year-old lawsuit. A 27-year court case involving the city was settled with the U.S. Justice Department in 1999 over alleged housing discrimination. "Hopefully this settlement and the prior settlement will dispel the notion that Parma is a racist community," said Council President Chuck Germana. He said the label is unfair because Parma has done as much as, if not more than, other predominantly white communities to recruit black residents and job applicants. The Plain Dealer reported Wednesday that Parma will not have to admit it has been guilty of exclusionary hiring practices. But the ; newspaper's sources said settlement terms would last six or fewer years and require the city to pay NAACP lawyers $295,000 in legal fees, appoint an equal opportunity officer and spend up to $10,000 a year to advertise job openings in minority publications. The 550-person city payroll includes two blacks, a police officer and a clerical worker. The agreement to be complete must be approved by the Parma City Council and the NAACP. U.S. District Judge Kate O'Malley dismissed the case in 1998. O'Malley expressed belief that the city had corrected discriminatory practices. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati last August overturned O'Malley's ruling, setting the stage for a new trial. The settlement came during pre-trial negotiations. : Poll: Powell popular among blacks | WASHINGTON - In a national poll of African-American regis tered voters commissioned by Black America's Political Action Com mittee (BAMPAC), Secretary of State Colin Powell received an 80 percent favorable rating. This gave him the highest favorability rating among a list of African-American leaders that included: Rev. Jesse Jackson (80 percent). Activist A1 Sharpton (51 percent), and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice (41 percent). Rice experienced the largest surge in name recognition and favor able rating in this most recent poll. Her name recognition has risen from 38 percent in 2001 to 59 percent in 2002. The top issues of concern among African Americans are national security (33 percent) and the economy (24 percent), according to the poll. O'Neal to take over reins at renowned brokerage firm Merrill Lynch Wall Street will be looking a little more in the black with the stepped-up appointment of E. Stanley O'Neal as the chief execu tive of Merrill Lynch & Co. O'Neal. 50. who has been president and jl chief operating officer, will assume his new I duties on Dec. 2. a year earlier than origi I nally announced. He becomes the first African-American to head a prominent Wall Street investment company. Merrill Lynch also is the nation's largest brokerage fnm. On April 28, 2003. O'Neal will add chairman to his title. He replaces David ? Komansky, who had planned to retire in * 2004. and recently settled a legal problem with the New York attorney general and O'Neal decided to retire earlier. Born in Alabama. O'Neal worked on an assembly line at Gen eral Motors, while taking college classes, to pay his way through school. A Harvard business school graduate, he joined Merrill Lynch in 1986. O'Neal recently was ranked No. I in Fortune's list of top black corporate executives. Fn>m AP and NNPA wire reports The Chronicle (USPS 067-910) was established by Ernest H. Pitt and Ndubisi Egemonye in 1974 and is published every Thursday by Winston-Salem Chronicle Publishing Co. Inc., 617 N. Liberty Street, Winston Salem, NC 27101. Periodicals postage paid at Win ston-Salem, N.C. Annual subscription price is $30.72. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: The Chronicle, P.O. Box 1636 Winston-Salem, NC 27102-1636 INDEX OPINION A6 SPORTS B1 RELIGION B5 CLASSIFIEDS B9 HEALTH C3 ENTERTAINMENT C7 CALENDAR C9 White woman raised black says skin color is just 'a state of mind' Forest City woman did not know she was white until a relative helped her locate f birth certificate BY ELIZABETH LELAND THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER FOREST CITY - Linda Fay McCord was raised in the 1950s as a (tjack child by adpp tive black parents. She rode in the back of the bus. She drank from colored water fountains. When classmates taunted her as 'high yellow" because of her light skin and ha/el eyes, McCord yelled back: "I'm black." c Years later, when a co-work er at her new job confided he was glad the boss hadn't hired a "colored girl." McCord scolded hint: "I'm black." "No. you're not." "Yes. I am." The last time she ever cor rected anybody was four years ago. when a stranger tele phoned. claiming to be her niece. McCord confronted her: "You can't he my niece." she remembers saying. "You sound like you're a white girl." "I am white," the caller said. "And so are you." "Oh. my God." The caller mailed McCord a copy of a faded birth certificate from Surry County, northwest of Winston-Salem. "Linda Fay Alderman," it said in typed let ters. "Place of birth: Toast, N.C. Date of birth: 18 November 1946. Color or race: While." "I don t even know who I am." McCord now says. "I'm caught in the middle of some thing. My mind says I'm black. Then I look at my skin, and it says I'm white. I've come to the conclusion that color is just a state of mind." McCord is 55, a big-boned woman. 5 feet 7 inches tall, with freckles dotting high cheek bones and curly hair turned gray. She talks with pride about raising six children as a single mom without welfare. She cooked, painted, cleaned white people's homes, worked as a nurse s aide in a convalescence center and inspected cloth at a mill. She now cooks at a nursing home. She's been married 6 1/2 years to Mac McCord. a black man and retired engineer who says the first time he met McCord he wondered if his friend had set him up with a white woman. McCord always felt her adoptive parents disliked her because of her light skin. She has a twin sister, Brenda Kay, who has darker skin and seemed to fit in better. McCord said when freckles popped out on her face at age 6, her adoptive mother whipped her and tried to scrub them off with a Brillo pad. She was 12 when she and Brenda found out they were adopted. She said her mother told them that their real parents gave them away. As best as she now can fig ure out, McCord's biological mother was Dutch Irish, a fair skinned woman who worked as a housekeeper in Mount Airy. Her father was half-German. half-Cherokee, an alcoholic who made his money - when he worked - digging wells and painting houses. He disappeared for days on drinking binges. Linda and Brenda were taken from home when they were 3. maybe because of their father's drinking. maybe because he'd left on a binge and their mother couldn't provide for them. Somehow they ended up with a black couple from the town of Ruth in Rutherford County. There are no adoption records, no one who can sort out the truth. A second birth certifi cate is on file in Rutherford County and lists the adoptive couple as birth parents. "Linda Fay Douglas." it says! "Place of birth: Rutherfordton. Date of birth: Nov."l8, 1946. Color or race: Negro." "If you couldn't go in a restaurant and sit down with a white person and eat, if you couldn't sit in the bus with them," McCord wonders, "how in the world could a black per son adopt a white person in 1949?" After Linda and Brehda were taken away, their biologi cal mother gave birth to a son and another daughter, who stayed at home and were raised as white children. Their mother talked about Linda and Brenda. For years, she tried to locate her twins. She ?called for them on her deathbed in 1987. After she died, her grand daughter, Jocalyn Dolani, began looking for the twins. She set out to find two white women After months of digging, she turned up two black women. I. ? When McCord answered the phone, it was as if Dolani was hearing her dead grandmother speak again. She had the same tone of voice, the same infec tious laugh. McCord didn't believe what Dolani told her. But when Dolani described Brenda's crooked toe. McCord knew it was true. How else would this stranger know about Brenda's big toe? "What was my mother's name?" she remembers asking. "Betty." "My father's?" "Clyde." She hesitated before she asked the next question. She had dreamed of meeting her parents for so long. She wanted the Si\ McCord on A5 (AP Photo/The Charlotte Observer. Robert Lahser) Linda McCord was raised in the 1950s as a black child by adoptive black parents. She rode in the back of the bus. She drank from "colored" water fountains. Be Wise! Elect Annette Beattv NC State House District 72 Paid for by the Committee to Elect Aimeltc Beatty I Notice of Availability The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation and the North Carolina Department of Transportation have completed a Tier I Final Environmental Impact Statement for proposed high speed passenger rail service between Washington. DC. and Charlotte. NC. Copies of the Tier I Final Environmental Impact Statement may be reviewed at these locations. Public comments are vital to the project and will be entered into the public record. Comments will be received through August 30. 2002. and should be sent to: David B. Foster. PE Mail Service%Center 1553 Raleigh. NC ^27699-1553 Charlotte, NC NCDOT Division 10. District 2 Office 7605 District Drive Charlotte. NC 28213 Davis Diggs 704-596 6900 Durham, NC NCDOT Division 5 Office 2612 North Duke Street Durham. NC 27704 Jon G. Nance 919-560-6851 Greensboro. NC NCDOT Division 7 Office 1584 Yanceyville Street Greensboro. NC 27415 4996 Mike Mills 336 334 3192 Henderson. NC NCDOT Division 5. District 3 Office 1060 Eastern Boulevard Henderson. NC 27536 Scott Capps 252-492 0111 Raleigh. NC NQDOT Division 5. District 1 vJffice 4009 District Drive Raleigh. NC 27607 Brandon H. Jones 919^733-3213 Roanoke Rapids. NC NCDOT Division 4. District 1 Office PO. Box 98 Halifax. NC 27839 (Location: NC 903. 1.5 miles northwest of Halifax. NC) Andy Mills 252 583 5861 Sanford, NC Lee County Manager's Office 106 Hillcrest Drive Sanford. NC 27330 Gaynell Lee 919-718 4605 Salisbury. NC NCDOT Division 9. District 1 Office 4770 South Main Street Salisbury. NC 2814 7 C.T. Corriher 704 639-7560 Star. NC Star Municipal Building 454 South Main Street ? Star. NC 27356 Robin Hussey ? ~ 910 428 4623 Wilson. NC NCDOT Division 4 Office 509 Ward Boulevard Wilson. NC 27895 Jim Trogdon 252-237 6164 Winston-Salem. NC NCDOT Division 9 Office 2125 Coverdale Avenue Winston Salem. NC 27103 Pat Ivey 336-631 1340 ? r\ Washington, DCjfif Richmond Winston-Salem t ^*3-5" Raleigh ^ Charlotte

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