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Winston-Salem chronicle. (Winston-Salem, N.C.) 1974-current, January 29, 2015, Page A2, Image 2

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Heath f(vm pagt AI singing and acting talents in numerous productions such as" "Don't Bother Me Brother, 1 Can't Cope." NCBRC Artistic Director Mabel Robinson said he was more than just a great talent on stage; he was an example and mentor to the young talents around him. She said he took her son, Kierron Robinson, under his wing and would later officiate at his wedding. When he couldn t perform on stage, Heath could be found in the audience of any Black Rep production he was able to go to. Health would also find other talents to sing for the Black Rep, including his daughter, Bethany, who is also an accomplished singer. Robinson said Heath's tremendous talent and posi tive spirit will be missed. "There are certain ele ments in people and energies tnat you expect win oe in your life forever. I couldn't believe it," she said. "So I had to just take a deep breath and pray on it and say, 'OK, it was evidently time for him to go'," she said. Jones said it was while touring with a production that he was moved to start his own church. She said he founded Greater Higher Ground in 1994 in a storefront location off South Main Street with a handful of members. Now the church is located on Moat Drive with about 300 members. Heath struggled with complications from diabetes over the years. He was on dialysis for eight years after his kidneys failed before receiving a kidney from a deacon at his church, DeForest LaGrone. After the surgery, he released a CD, "Get Right Church," and told The Chronicle in 2006 he wanted his music to inspire others. t. "I've been through a lot, but I kept my hand in God's hand" he said. "People need to hear this music so that they can be encouraged. They need to know that they can make it and better days are on the way regardless of their situation." His health greatly improved with the kidney transplant, but later complica tions from diabetes caused him to have a leg ampliation, leading him to use a prosthe sis to walk. Jones said Heath didn't let his health chal lenges keep him from the pul pit or from visiting sick mem bers of his church. She said the family and church have received an out pouring of condolences from the many people whose lives Heath touched. "He was able to make each person feel special," she said. "He had a special gift to make each per son feel worthy no matter who they were or what was going on in their lives. He looked at the good in people and he made them know that they could do bet ter and be better." * On Friday, Jan. 30 from noon-6p.m., Heath will lie in state at Greater Higher Ground, 4175 Moat Drive, followed by a family viewing at 6-7 p.m. and a Celebration of Life Service at 7 pjn. On Saturday Jan. 31, there will be a viewing from 10 a.m.-noon at Union Baptist Church, 1200 N. Trade St., with a Home going service at noon. The intern ment will follow at Piedmont Memorial Gardens. Parmon from page Al Her job would allow her to work out, of the Greensboro office and provide services to not only Forsyth County resi dents, but those in Guilford and Davidson counties as well. She would be working with residents who need help such as getting their bene fits from Veteran's Affairs or those having issues with Medicare. "I will primarily be a liaison between Washington and the dis trict," she said. "I'll defi nitely be a voice and advo cate for the people on behalf of the congress woman." Parmon said that her new job is no different than what she did as a sen ator. "That's one of the rea sons why I see it as a great opportunity. It will allow me to work with more people in the district and community addressing concerns and helping peo ple figure out how to be advocates for themselves," she said. "I'm still a public servant with the concerns of the people as the root of what I'm doing." She would not name who she wanted to replace her, citing it as inappropri ate and she is not endors ing one candidate over the other. However, Parmon did say that she has an idea of the type of person she would like to see replace her, even though it will be up to the executive committee of the Forsyth County Democratic Party.' "The environment in Raleigh is going to be as such that whomever is selected needs to be a strong voice and person that's willing to stand up and be heard," she said. "I want to see the executive committee elect someone who understands the issues and can deal with the kind of unbalanced government that we see in Raleigh at this time." The Forsyth County Democratic Party will hold a meeting today (Jan. 29) to determine who will complete Parmon's term. The meeting will be held at Kennedy High School, 890 E. 11th St., beginning at 6:30 p.m. Each member of the party's county executive committee who lives in Senate District 32 gets a vote. There will be nomi nating speeches and can didate speeches before the voting begins. The person who gets at least 51 per cent of the vote is the nominee. The governor will ultimately appoint the nominee. Parmon said that she is excited to help elect some one to take her seat and that she is glad to have a voice in the selection. She also vows to help that per son as a mentor. "I'm going to be here to help whomever because this is going to be some thing new (most candi dates do not have legisla tive experience). Whatever 1 can do to help, I'm going to do." ?J Photo by Ariana Daniels Contenders for Parmon's seat (from left) Rev. Dr. Paul Lowe, Joycelyn Johnson and Wilbert Banks take part in a public forum Monday. Bishop Heath WSSU Photo by Garrett Garms Dick Gregory sits and talks with students, Martreze Meachum (center) and. Christopher Johnson. Gregory from page AT the joint WSSU and Wake Forest University's annual Dt. Martin Luther King Day event on Jan. 20. The event, which was free and open to the public, included songs from WSSU's Burke Singers and the Wake Forest University's Gospel Choir. Following those selec tions, attendees settled in their seats to listen to Gregory explain everything from his thoughts on the Bible, his reflection on Martin Luther King Jr. and what the youth can do to ? change the world. His lec ture lasted just under an hour. A viral video has been Circulating around Facebook that shows Gregory lecturing and showing a minister claim ing that he had to remem ber to "move out of the way so that he (the shooter) can get a good shot," indicating that he knew King was going to be shot on April 4, 1968. ' Three weeks before he died, we were in Chicago. He said 'They're going to kill me. Aren't they?' and I said 'Doc, they're gonna kill us all. Come on, we've got a show to do,'" he said. He went on to thank King for his service and said that he was grateful he "bumped into the move ment." He also urged those res idents who were students at WFU and WSSU during the Civil Rights Movement to make sure their efforts were acknowledged. "Ya'll need to organize and let the world know what you did here," Gregory said. Gregory oftefi broke up the seriousness of his lec ture with jokes, like saying his worst enemy was his mother lying to him. "My mother told me that Santa Claus bought me these toys. A white man," he said, pausing. "Everybody know ain't no white man coming in the ghetto after midnight." Even through his humor the seriousness of the message hit home for J WSSU student Rodie Lamb Jr. He had never seen Gregory perform, but had heard that he was great. The junior said that he didn't always know how to take Gregory's mixture of jokes with substantive material. "I didn't know if I should laugh or be serious," he said. "He was definitely straightforwaSftl and cap tured the audience's atten tion immediately." He said that the part that caught his attention was when Gregory spoke about King. "One of the portions that stood out for me the most was when he said that Dr. King knew he was going to die. I put myself in Dr. King's shoes, asking myself would I be willing to die for what I believed in," Lamb said. 'To know that you're about to die, that's a very hard feeling to put into words." Gregory, being the social activist that he is, encouraged African Americans to stand up for their rights. "You ain't never turned on the radio or read the newspaper where a white mother or father crying 'cause some black cop has shot their white son in the back of the head 40 times. Is that because we are more spiritual? No. You know white folks aren't going to tolerate it. It's happening because we tolerate it," he said. He said that the best way for African-Americans to liberate themselves is to stop playing the economic game and boycott. He feels that cutting off America's funds will cause the nation to step in and protect African-Americans. "You know what we have to do to shut this down? All you have to do is call for a boycott on - Thanksgiving and Christmas, but you not going to do that because you want your little chil dren to have some toys, but those are the ones they're killing," he said. "Between 70 and 80 percent of retail in America happens between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We have the power to do it but we won't because we've never been liberated." Lamb said that he was in awe to be in the room with someone who marched with King and that Gregory taught him to question the information given to him, especially when it came to King's death. "Not only did he chal lenge me to look at life beyond myself and what 1 think I know, he also chal lenged me to make sure those around me are good (taken care of)," Lamb said. ^ 1 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, N.C. 27101. Periodicals postage paid at Winston-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 Xirelto, a blood tllaioi |ifii ' clots sod strokos, has booa 11 episodes, strokes aad death. If a serloas bleediag ereit, atr Xarelto, call aa at 1-tOO-THK-K until your eaae is settled or 1 Ariaoaa, bat associate with 1 at . . GOLDBERG * OSI Jk Ml V. Caaol 1 " 800- THE ? " ( 1 - 8 0 0 - 8 4 Marriott Romance Package ? A beautifully appointed deluxe guest room for two in the Marriott Motel . ? 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