The Carolina Times (Durham, … /
Feb. 21, 1976, edition 1 /
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? THE CAROLINA TIMES Sr, FEBRUARY 21. 1976
Rofcsca, FcrcraKcr b Gril Rights '
v i it r r-i it ar Arint ATr?sT LMtk.i Ak.i i Km it mi i i i
Uric ur I he vi ivno iwei i pd npr, mviviwnu
WHOSE TIME ON EARTH HAS BEEN SPENT IN THE PER
SUIT OF JUSTICE FOR ALL HUMAN BEINGS AND TOWARD
THE ENL lOHThENTOF MEN AND WOMEN THE WORLD OVER'.'
Economic Situation For Blacks In America Not Good
In order $ Jbecome viable
community-extricating ourselves from the beggar
and welfare class-it seems to me we u black folks
will have to begin to exhibit more of the kind of
disciplined determination that characterized the A.
P. Giannini family in California.
In my address to the National Newspaper
Publishers Association Mid-Winter Workshop in St.
Thomas, recently, I alluded to this Italian
immigrant family who founded a bank of its own .
after the dominant culture refused to lend money
with which to operate, their grape farms. This bank
has become the largest in the world, The Bank of
Certainly, a set of favorable circumstances had
to be operative in order for that bank to have
succeeded so phenomenally - California banking
laws which permits "the establishment of several
branch banks (taking the banks to the people);
other grape growers and farmers throwing their
support to this bank which seemed concerned with
their needs whle most established banks did not,
But the most important element here, I believe,
was the family's disciplined determination to make
the bank a success. This kind of determined
discipline is not foreign to the black community.
Blacks have established some towering financial
empires such al The North Carolina Mutual Life
Insurance Co.of Durham; Supreme Life in
Chicago; Atlanta Life in Atlanta; and Golden State
in California, Universal Life in Memphis, to name a
And other huge fortunes have been and are
being made in publishing, newspapers and
magazines; and in cosmetics, etc. But it is a shame
E3 Q2g2I2Z ii
'- as Dr. Berkeley Burrell, inestimable president of
the National Business League, tells us, that if we
combined the total assets of our leading
businesses, it is doubtful that this combined but
hybrid entity could make the bottom rung of
Fortune Magazine's top 500 U. S. business list.
We are truly hurting, economically. The
economic situation in America is not good; for
Black America it is disastrous. Whites fleeing our
large cities have left behind the poorest citizens,
the majority of which is black. And with their
flight has gone much of the economic tax base
that goes a long way toward making a city
financially viable. Yet, as one observer says, as
cities become black and black administrations take
over the financially decaying municipalities, this is
no indication that black political stewardship is
faulty. More likely it means that blacks are taking
over moribund cities resulting from more than 100
years of white mismanagement.
In February issue of Ebony, Chicago millionaire
realtor Dempsey Travis tells how to get rich in real
estate and is optimistic about decaying inner cities.
He sincerely believes that new and exciting ways
of renovating buildings and utilizing real estate will
be the wave of the future, and that black
businessmen; can and will be at the helm of this
future change. ; ' V ;: " ''
I love this kind of optimism. For it depresses
me to visit city after city and find there is not one
black bank with capital assets of $100 million. I
am even more depressed to discover that the small
businesses blacks used to own seem to be
disappearing and the goods and services black folks
used to find in their communities must be sought
outside their areas or in the white suburbs.
Washington, D. C, with a population of more
than 700,000 that is 71 per cent black, has one of
the highest ' literacy rates in the world among
blacks, yet it is a depressing example in respect to
blacks not utilizing their enormous majority to
effect economic change.
Of course, we are just a little more than 100
years removed from chattel slavery; certainly
white racism is a cruel and oppressive albatross
around our necks. But there is also the matter of
I remember hearing this story when 1 was
growing up in Memphis, Tenn. A mother dressed
her young son in a fancy new brown suit and sent
him to play with a warning, "don't fall in the
mud." A short time later she looked out the
window and saw that not only had he faflcn in a
mud puddle but he was flopping around it it. She
brought him into the house and whaled the
daylights out of him declaring: "This whippin'
ain't for falling in the mud, but for wallowing in
We blacks should take a cue: nobody in our
community is to blame for our past misery; but it
is nobody's fault Jbut our own if we allow this past
to shackle effortsto improve our lives.(NNPA)
Sabotaging Unemployed Homeowners
Roberson--A Man Before His Time
Paul Robeson was a man before his time.
When he died last month in Philadelphia, the
country and the world lost a great citizen.
Robeson was great primarily because of his
undeviating integrity and wide range of talents.
Admitted to Rutgers University at a time when
black men on a major campus were a rarity, he
excelled in every area, earning a Phi Beta Kappa
Key in addition to becoming an all-American
grid player, and a star baseball and track as
well. ' '
Recognizing the evil of racism, this sensitive,
creative leader began early to speak out against
Jim Crow and racial oppression even during his
recitals. He saw facism for what it was when
other Americans were enchanted by Hitler and
Mussolinit3,Aiid .when. he. visited . Socialist
countries, h&flasprssewijtb whigun4
there and had the courage to say so. He is
revered and honored in the Soviet Union and
other Socialist countries where schools and
other buildings are named in his honor,
When Robeson urged coexistance or detente
a quarter of a centruy ago, he was, criticized and
ostracized. But when arch conservative and
Red-baiter Richard Nixon did the same thing in
the 1970's it was hailed as a cornerstone of
Americ's foreign policy.
Yes, during the Joseph McCarthy cold-war
era, Robeson became a victim of the
thoughtless hysteria. Denied the concert state
in America, he was forced to decline
opportunities to appear abroad by his
government which seized his passport. He never
overcame the vicious smear and lived out the
remainder of his life in obscurity.
However bloodied his statuesque head, it
remained unbowedtqrhe end, while most
hands of him like modern-day Pontius Pilates.
It's an old story that goes back 1,976 years.
The continuing shame of it is that we still
permit such tragedies to happen.
The Faces of the Unemployed Change
One of the many tragedies in this Depression is
that of unemployed homeowners who can no
longer afford to meet payments on their houses
and as a result, are in danger of losing their homes.
It's a serious problem and became more so as
unemployment figures mushroomed. It has been
estimated that about 750,000 heads of families
living in mortgaged homes have been unemployed
for IS weeks or more.
At that point, savings have usually been spent
and unemployment compensation just about
covers basic living costs, excluding the mortgage
payments. But if a homeowner can't make his
monthly payment, the lender - or the government
if it's a federally insured mortgage - will take over
That situation moved Congress last year to pass
the Emergency Homeowners' Relief Act
authorizing the Department of Housing and Urban
Development to step in and put up ' emergency
loans and advances and emergency relief
payments" to s?ve the homes of the unemployed.
A good ideaBut the way HUD has written the
rules governing this program frustrates Congress'
Jatea.tj.Qijs and may sabotage the purpose of the
UndI the law, an unemployed homeowner has
two options. He can ask, HUD to make his
mortgage payments for him (or part of it), paying
the money back when he returns to work. Or he
can have HUD insure advances made by the
mortgagee, that is, the fender will cover the
paymentf due with federal guarantees of
TO BE EQUAL
The many calls for public service jobs
or employment to help in the declining
economy is beginning to take on a new
and changing face in the labor force as
the increasing and large number of
applicants seeking jobs are women and
youth, both black and white.
Many people are beginning to feel
that it is not only the slow stop-gap
approach of the Ford Administration, by
his incentives to big business and the
private sector, or the policies favored by
the Democratic majority in its clamor
for public service jobs.
Since 1547 the increase in the
number of women has grown
enormously. From 16.6 million women
in the immediate postwar years holding
jobs, the number has now doubled to
more than 37.1 million as of last year.
Where most of the women workers
were approximately 45 years of age and
older,, after World War II, the high
increase of employed women now
include younger women with children of
school and pre-school age. Three times as
many women as men entered the labor
market last year.
Of even greater concern has been the
lack of jobs for teen-agers, especially
black teenagers, with the current high
rate of unemployment which has tripled
that of white youth.
The Civil Rights movement has made
all persons more aware of job rights,
women and minorities as well.
Further, white women as well as
black women, now account for the high
increase in women's participation in the
A permanent public service jobs
program would help many of the now
unemployed. It would help the millions
of poor who are ill-housed, ill-fed, and
ill-clothed, who often face a lack of
medical care sorely needed.
For the changing faces of our labor
force, and especially the teenage group
without skills, a permanent Federal
program in public agencies such as
health, education and welfare, along
with community-based organizations
would render a basic service and provide
It is now a fact that women of all
groups are in the labor market to stay
and some planning should be advanced
for this continuing trend.
The Lesson of Leadbelly
"Leadbelly," 'actually lived in this
century. His music became legend. When
he left his humble home, he carried all
that he owned on his back. This included
his guitar. Leadbelly hoped to sing his
way into the hearts of the habitues of
Shreveport's Fannin Street. He did just
that with his; ' back country blues'
ringing out from brothel and bar until
hard hick caught up with him and the
singer ended up on a chain gang.
From here on, the story is one of
If one didn't know it already, one
look at the opening scenes of
"Leadbelly,' the new Paramount
Pictures film, tells you that the director
must be someone special. That "special"
person is Gordon Parks, the celebrated
and talented artist who has contributed
so much to photography, literature, and
film making. Because of this, reports
surrounding this film about the Louisana
farm boy, who journeyed to Shreveport
at the turn of the century, are
disturbing. These reports are that
Paramount is exhibiting something less
than enthusiasm for the promotion and
exploitation of the Parks film
prejudice, hatred and hostility. The
various circumstances surrounding
Lead belly's life are well woven into a
sensitive film. Park's work demonstrates
his own sensitivity. It has violence, but
not that of the black eploitation films
now glutting the market. Dope and sex
are not glamourized in "Leadbelly, The
film portrays the frustration of a black
man attempting to buck a system that
slowly tends to wear him down.
That is much of what could happen
By VERNON I JORDAN
ExKofira Director Notional
The obvious choice would be to take HUD oan.
Mortgagees have little incentive to advance money;
they could probably make more by foreclosing. In
the case of mortgages already insured by HUD, a
lender could get back almost all the money due by
foreclosing since HUD will pay him. Again, no
incentive not to foreclose.
What this means is that for the program to
work, HUD would have to put out the money to
keep unemployed homeowners afloat. In the case
of homes already insured by HUD, the government
would have; Id pay anyway if 'thellmortgageeiVi
forecloses. For such homes, it makes even more
sense for HUD to lend the homeowner his
monthly payments. Even if it saves only a small
percentage of such homes, HUD will wind up way
ahead in costs since it would have to pay out much
more in the case of foreclosure.
Despite this, HUD officials have written
regulations that make it unlikely fof the
emergency loan program to work.
For one thing, the loans would be triggered
only if the overalll delinquency rate goes to 1.20
percent, a level never reached in our history.. Even
then, the Secretary has the option not to'vstart the
Another regulation says that the direct loans to
the homeowners will be made only when the
mortgagee can't make an emergency loan. That
effectively strips homeowners of the option
Congress carefully gave them. These and other
regulations suggest that HUD will never implement
an emergency law Congress passed in the best
interests of the nation to save the homes of people
who have lost their jobs in this Depression.
HUD has moved to strengthen its monitoring of
the way federally insured mortgages service
homeowners and that's a step forward.
But it is no substitute for immediate
implementation of the Emergency Homeowners'
All too often Congress passes a law,
apropriate.raaney, and then has i(s intentions ,
frustrated, by , the way thcjla.Wf is interpreted or
enforced bjfljthm rjJfpfttmfVXhrKjlo
good case in point.
Homeowners who qualify for aid under the Act
now find the law is meaningless for their needs.
They're asking HUD why they can't get emergency
Perhaps they ought to be asking their
Congressman why the law is not being
Brother, Can You Spare A Dime? ?
Most of us who. talk about the "last
depression," are referring to the big economic
crash in 1929. In that time bankers jumped out of
windows, unemployed apple sellers lined city
streets hoping to sell a few apples, college
professors ran elevators Of they could find an
elevator to run,) World, War I vets looking for a
bonus payment marched on Washington, welfare
(called "relief" then) almost became a way of life.
There were soup kitchens and bread lines. The
country was plagued by empty-handed bums and
hoboes, who roamed the country, desperately
seeking a way to keep their stomachs from
It was a1 bad time for the working American.
And yet, the country's President, Herbert
Hoover, say a chicken in every pot, in some future
time. He therefore said a lot, about the coming
prosperity; but he did nothing to encourage it or
promote it. Nor did it come !
His economic philosophy was that
government's role was to stay out of the way of
business. That business alone had the answers to
the dilemma of no jobs, idle plants, and the
insufficiency of of the money supply.
Well he lost the election in 1932, because the
country needed an aggressive, economic activist;
someone willing to take a chance by pump priming
the economy, and forcing the economy up on its
two feet. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, turned out
to be such a man, and when he was
overwhelmingly elected to the Presidency in 1932,
he sold America on the idea that we had ' nothing
to fear, but fear itself." ?
America rolled up its sleeves and people began
to go to work.
to artists of the calibre of Gordon Parks.
If he is to continue to turn out credible
films then major companies must be
persuaded to move them into the
market. Anything less thaji that kind of
support can only fee viewed as evidence
that major studfoiare not appreciating
stories that reflecrthe true heritage of
some Black Americans.
Parks wants to make more films of
the character of. "Leadbelly." We
certainly hope heroes. But meanwhile,
Paramount Pictured must understand the
groundswell of support Black ' America
has for films and film makers of Gordon
Roosevelt created an economic atmosphere in
which business began to rejuvenate its plants,
borrow money, increase productivity, put people
to work, develop payrolls, and sell its goods.
For those who couldn't find jobs in the private
sector, Roosevelt created jobs in the public sector.
r the' Carolina TDiffis
. Le, austin ;
j Eflitof-Publiihw 1927-1971
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The construction industry boomed. Dams,
hospitals, schools and other public buildings were
Art flourished. Artists produced great works,
writers wrote, musicians created and performed,
Americans looked to their historic past and
recorded it, thus leaving an invaluable legacy of
People began to hope because it was possible
for hope to exist and for dreams to be realized.
There's a lesson in all of this, which so far has
totally escaped President Ford.
He agrees with Herbert Hoover, and therefore
he has developed an iron willed pig-headedness
about what's good for America.
But the Ford plan for America is not good for
what ails America, simply because the Ford plan
means that the hoplessness and despair of the
thirties will continue through the seventies.
America deserves better. I keep saying, we need
a change in the White House - it's truer now than
And I don't mean Ronnie-baby!
Things You Should Know
MOVED TO JNESVIU,WC0NSM.HIS MTHCft
DIED LEAVING A LARGE FAMILY IN POVERTY.
WILLIAMS ENTER (0 MEDICAL SCHOOL KttQESH'
STAYED THERE A8 AN AMTOMY INSTRUCTOR
W H9I HE FOUNDED PROVIDENT HOSPITAL W
CHICAOOLPINOTOOTUP THE FIRST TRAIN
ING SCHOOL POR NEGRO NUR8EUOPJQBt71I
OR OVER CLEVELAND APPOINTED HIM TO HEAD
fREEDMAN HOSPITAL IH VMSHINGTONjO.C.
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