North Carolina Newspapers

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Vbluiuc 47 Issue 4
More Than 200 Attend MLK Community Celebration
From: Staff Reports
“Dr. King asked us to protect the poor,”
said Julius L. Chambers, renowned North
Carolina attorney and civil rights activist, “Can
we count upon you for that effort? Dr King’s
efforts were successful, but he told us that we
have just begun the fight.”
Chambers’ comments came during the
annual celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.
sponsored Monday by St. Andrews Presbyterian
Coliege. More than 200 people attended the
“Dr. King pleaded for all Americans to
join vrtth him in the fight for equal opportunity,”
said Chambers. “It seemed ‘right’ for a lot of us.
One thing Dr. King asked us to remember was
that those who were relegated to second class,
we had the right to protest.”
Chambers reminisced about his times
with King including litigation in Danville, Va.
“I was thinking about my experience in
civil rights legislation. I was sent to Danville to
defend King and demonstrators. More than
7,000 demonstrators had been charged,” re
membered Chambers. Over time. Chambers
said that all of the cases were eventually dis
During the Danville cases and after
ward, Chambers said he and others argued in
the court system for equal protection, equal
opportunity and due process under the law. He
described this fight as ongoing today.
Chambers was joined by Jacqueline
Dove-Miiler, a St. Andrews graduate, who gave
a special poetry reading. Both the St. Andrews
Concert Choir and the MLK Community
Celebration Choir performed during the event
Samuel Hemingway IIT, a senior at St. An
drews, emceed the event. The celebration was
coordinated by the Special Events Committee at
St. Andrews.
Rep. Garland Pierce presented Paul Bal-
dasare, St. Andrews president, with a resolution
adopted by the State Legislature recognizing the
college’s efforts for the celebration of Martin
Luther King Jr Day.
Dove-Miller talked about the inspiration
behind her spoken-word piece
“In the first half, it describes how I felt
here at St. Andrews,” she said. “The second half
describes how I felt after leaving St. Andrews
with the impact of Dr King.”
Her poem begins:
I want to matter
Despite what I look like.
Or where I live
How poor I am, how fat I am
or my skin tone...
Despite my kinky hair or my balding head,
How stooped my shoulders.
Or if I’m well read.
Even though I may not speak with eloquence
Or possess 10 extraordinary talents
I want my presence on this earth to matter
To at least one other human being.
“The Martin Luther King celebration
is a special event not only for St. Andrews but
also for our community,” said Rona Leach, as
sistant professor of education at St, Andrews.
“1 think it’s an opportunity where the commu
nity can come together and we can fellowship
together while remembering Dr King’s legacy.
His legacy has an impact on each of us.”
The national holiday marks the birthdate of
King on the third Monday of every January.
King’s actual birthdate was Jan. 15. President
Ronald Reagan signed the bill creating the holi
day on Nov. 2, 1983, in a special ceremony in
the White House Rose Garden
Jacqueline Dove-Miller. Photo courtesy of
Rooney Coffman
Julius L. Chambers speaks to the community.
Photo courtesy of Rooney ('offman
The legacy of Sam Ragan, the late
ardent supporter of the North Carolina arts, con
tinued Thursday night with the 28th rendition of
the Sam Ragan Fine Arts Awards given by St.
Andrews Presbyterian College.
Three artists were recognized ~ writer
Charles Blackburn Jr., musician Barbara Geer
and sculptor/designer Thomas Sayre.
Throughout die evening, references
were made to Ragan, the former publisher
of The Pilot newspaper St. Andrews seniors
Mason Tate and Ian Burkett read their personal
favorites from Ragan’s poetry.
Ron Bayes, writer-in-residence and
distinguished professor of creative writing
emeritus, remembered first learning about
Ragan iri the early 1970’s through an article in
The Charlotte Observer where Ragan described
renown American poet Ezra Pound as one of
his favorites. This resulted in a fan letter from
Bayes to Ragan in Southern Pines.
A strong friendship developed from
there. The friendship spread to include St.
Andrews and its students, staff, and faculty. The
advent of the Sam Ragan Awards came soon
afterward with the support of A.P. Perkinson Jr.,
then the president of St, Andrews.
Thursday night’s award for Blackburn
came with a special meaning,
“I feel like Sam and I have come full
circle,” said Blackburn, “The last time I spoke
here was as part of the Sam Ragan bust cam
paign.” The efforts of Blackburn and others
resulted in the commissioning of a bust of Sam
Ragan that now presides over the North Caro
lina Literary Hall of Famed at the Weymouth
Center in Southern Pines,
“It was really because of Sam that I
served on several boards and writing groups,”
said Blackburn.
Sayre agreed with Blackburn on Ragan’s
impact with writers and artists in North
“As a member of the State Arts Council,
I’ve come to know how incredible the support
is in this state for the arts,” he said.
Ragan served as the first N.C. Secretary of Cul
tural Resources, first chairman of the N.C.
Arts Council and a member of the founding
commission and original board of trustees of the
From: Staff Reports
N.C. School of the Arts.
The support for the arts in North Caro
lina has enabled Sayre to make a career out of
creating artwork out of concrete His works
of art typically weigh up to several thousand
pounds and can be seen in interior and exterior
Bill McConnell, assistant professor of
music at St. Andrews, introduced one of the
three recipients, Barbara Geer - a St. Andrews
“Her work as an educator and as a
leader in arts education positions her on the
vanguard of arts advocacy for all of our citi
zens,” said McConnell “Our honoree is do
ing what she was taught to do at St. Andrews
Presbyterian College. Through her work she has
changed the lives of children and adults through
the power of music. Through her leadership, she
has brought attention to the vital role of music
in our society and in our civilization. She is
changing the world, and she is making her alma
mater proud.”
Upon realizing that many people did not
know the words to the National Anthem, Geer
and others from the MENC - National Associa
tion for Music Education provided leadership to
a project to teach people the words. This effort
culminated in a gathering of 5,000 students on
the steps of the U.S. Capitol, singing the Na
tional Anthem. Geer also asked those attending
the Thursday awards to stand and sing the Na
tional Anthem with her. Geer is the president
elect for the MENC.
The evening also featured a short film
interview with the late newsman David Brin
kley who reminisced about Sam Ragan shortly
after the latter’s death Ragan gave Brinkley his
first newspaper job at The Wilmington News-
The evening ended with Ron Bayes at
the microphone, smiling and saying quietly and
simply, “Well, Sam’s still with us. Come back
Sam Ragan Award recipients: Barbara Greer, Thomas
Sayre, and Charles Blackburn Jr, with President Paul
Baldasare, and Prof Ron Bayes. Photo courtesy of
Rooney Coffman.
Barbara Greer accepting her award from President Paul
Balsasare. Photo courtesy of Rooney Coffman.
SAPC NEWS.... 2-3
SPORTS ............5

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