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'Worse than Jena'
Photo by Kevin
G o I e r
is his father,
NAACP sounding alarm over 21 -year-old facing murder charges
BYT. KEVIN WALKER
Claims that an overzealous, racial
ly-Diaseu Louisiana prusccuior was
hell-bent on destroying the lives of six
black teenagers created an international
uproar earlier this year.
The Rev. William Barber hopes that
there is still some indignation left in the
world after the massive hubbub sparked
by the Jena 6 case.
The fiery Baptist preacher has
become a Civil Rights missionary since
he was elected president of the N.C.
NAACP in 2005. He came to town
aunaay to win over nearts ana minas
for his latest battle - an attempt. Barber says, to
keep 21 -year-old James Johnson from becoming
another Darryl Hunt.
"This could have been any one of our children,"
Barber, speaking about Johnson's circumstances,
told congregants Sunday at Goler Memorial AME
Zion Church as James Johnson, his parents, Arthur
and Beverly, and several of his supporters
sat on a pew near the tront 01 the church.
Winston-Salem resident Darryl Hunt
became a poster child for the injustice of
the criminal justice system when he was
freed from prison in 2003, after serving
nearly two decades for a murder and rape
he did not commit. Hunt, whose harrow
ing experiences are told in the critically
acclaimed HBO documentary, "The Trials
of Darryl Hunt, was finally freed by DNA
evidence, although doubts about his guilt
were apparent from the very beginning.
Johnson s circumstances are eerily
similar to the ones that a then 19-year-old Hunt
found himself in in 1984. Johnson was 18-years
old in 2004, when he was jailed in his native
See Johnson on A4
Students' roads to
BY LAYLA FARMER
The excitement was palpable in the
corridors of Lawrence Joel Veterans
Memorial Coliseum Friday afternoon as
the soon-to-be Winston-Salem State
University alumni gathered for the 4 p.m.
i an com
first chords of
rose from the
sea of black
robes, and the
a medley of determined souls, each with
their own story, their own struggle, and
now, their own triumph.
Among them was Garrett Garms, a
magna cum laude graduate who traveled
the world during his time at the universi
"I went to West Africa on a trip with
the school - got the trip paid for by taking
pictures," explained Garms. "Almost a
year later, I got to go to Fiji ... and 1 got to
go there for a whole semester."
A Winston-Salem native and a gradu
ate of Reynolds High School, Garms says
he achieved things he never thought pos
sible while at WSSU.
"It's a great institution. It (has) diver
sity ... small classroom sizes, great pro
fessors great staff, 1 mean, class-A profes
sors," he said. "I don't think you could go
anywhere else in the world and find better
John Corbett went through a war -
quite literally - to walk across the stage
that day. Corbett, 30, a gerontology
major, was attending school on the GI
"I started off in 2003 and then the first
semester, the fall semester, got called to
Iraq because I was ... with the National
Guard," he said. "I was over there for a
year, 2004-2005, and I came back and I
started the program again."
Remarkably, he finished on time and
with a 3.89 GPA. Though his time with
the Guard is almost up, Corbett says his
unit is not out of the woods yet.
"We have an alert saying that we
might go back over there the beginning of
2009," he commented. "It's nothing offi
cial but it's out there."
Tuajuana Smoot-Hairston was fight
ing her own battles on the home front.
"I'm a mother of two with one on the
way in January, hopefully I can make it
across the stage before it comes," she
See Graduates on All
Ph<*o? by Lee Adanu/WSSU
Garrett Garms celebrates after receiving his degree last week.
BY LAYLA FARMER
THE CHRONICLE .
Someday soon, Christmas
will be over.
The countless versions of
"White Christmas" and "Silent
Night" will disappear from the
airwaves. Gifts will be given,
perhaps returned to the store
and pre-Christmas bustle will
finally begin to subside.
But the holidays will be
events beginning Dec. 26.
Observed Dec 26 - Jan. 1
each year, Kwanzaa is a seven
day-long celebration of
African ancestry and tradition .
Seven principles govern the
observance of the holidays,
and celebrants gather to
observe and recognize one
each day. Not to be confused
with religious ceremonies,
Kwanzaa is a cultural celebra
tion founded around the her
itage of African Americans
specifically and all people in
Renee Andrews has been a
librarian in the Winston-Salem
community for 27 years. She
remembers when the obser
vance of Kwanzaa began with
the wishes of a handful of peo
ple t)iat gathered at the East
Winston branch of the library.
The group observed the sixth
day of Kwanzaa, "kuumba,"
which means "creativity."
"Our children were young
and we wanted to introduce
them to the African American
culture and for them to have a
sense of pride about who they
were," Andrews said.
See Kwanzaa on All
Downtown's first grocery store open for business
A crowd of more than 50
people gathered last Friday for
the much anticipated opening
of downtown's first full
fledged grocery store.
Kingz In Town Grocery
Store officially opened its
doors after a brief ribbon cut
ting ceremony attended by city
heavyweights like Jason Thiel,
president of the Downtown
and Mayor Allen Joines.
"I want to say from a down
town perspective, I get asked
almost everyday about a gro
cery store downtown and so
here it is," said Thiel to a cheer
Keith King, the owner of
the store, greeted the crowd
and then welcomed them in to
look and shop.
"I told a few (people) who
asked me why I wanted to put a
Photo try Todd
D e n is e
J oine s ,
grocery store downtown, I said
what I'm going to try to do is
two things some businesses
don't do, and that's give the
customers what they want and
give them what they need." said
King. "And I believe if I do that
I'll be very, very successful
Joines said residents asked
him at least twice a day about
when a grocery store would
open downtown, which has
See Klngz on A13
Santa Claus is Coming
Photo hy Anthony Hill
Last week, kids at Reynolds Park Recreation Center
shared their Christmas wish lists with Santa, who will soon
be making his list - and checking it twice. Coach Buddy
Hayes, a longtime advocate for kids, dressed the part.
In Grateful Memory of Our
Florrie S. Russell and
Carl H.Russell, Sr.
"Growing and Still Dedicated to Serve You Better"
Russell ffiimiral ffiome
Wishes to Thank Everyone For Their Support
822 Carl Russell Ave.
(at Martin Luther King Dr.)
Winston-Salem , NC 27101
Fax (336) 631-8268
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