THURSDAY, DECEMBER 3, 1992
? SEE CELEBRATION: AN AFRICAN ODYSSEY, SEE PAGE B9 ?
28 PAGES THIS WEEK
A Changed Life
Gangster gives up life
of crime and hits the books.
Cline of North Forsyth shoots a
jumper over two Reynolds defenders.
'The Twin City's Award-Winning Weekly"
VOL. XIX, No. 14
Homeowners May Be Forced
Off Old Homestead Property
A A black family has owned a deed
since 1910: the other appeared in 1952
and was passed through white hands.
By SHERIDAN HILL
? Chrome/# Assistant Editor
. The heirs of William Conrad are struggling to
hold onto the Bethania property he purchased in 1910.
His daughter, 71 -year-old Betty Conrad Byers, holds a
1910 deed that cites her ownership at "2 acres, more or
Byers said her family has lived on and farmed the
two acres since 1885.
Winifred Z. Speaks holds title to most of the same
\ tract. Speajb said she wants the Conrad heirs (Byers
and her son, Ali Shabazz) off the land so she can sell
Speaks maintains the Conrad heirs only own
! about a half-acre.
Byers' 1992 Forsyth County tax form credits her
; with .67 acre. But the county tax records are suspect.
; In 1972, the county credited Byers with 1.35 acres for
the same tract.
A deed in legal limbo
Herman Brunson, county assistant tax collector,
; said it's "not that unusual" for two different parties to a
own the same land. He speculated that when a large
tract is sold, the seller often copies his original deed.
AV.VM i GARDE
J IW1I ? I
BY TANG NIVRi
folks is running, too.
We are all running, running from the percep
tion of the black male ? real or imagined ? run
ning from dark shadows, images synonymous with
that of a predator, running from a modern-day
menace to the general society, running from the
apocalyptic beast in the Book of Revelation let
loose out of the pit of hell, terrorizing the poor
souls who still inhabit the earth during the latter
UpH of the 20th ceatwy. We are all ninning scared.
Something is wrong.
If you're white, chances are you are afraid
purely on the basis of differential calculus ? a
statistical measurement of the fluctuating level
frustration and anger manifested by a people who
were done wrong for centuries.
You've observed his association with vio
lence and his extraordinarily high participation in
the criminal justice system. Thus you are acutely
afraid for what might, of what could happen. Mind
you, not what has happened from a purely mathe
' matical basis, it really has not happened to you ?
yet! ?'?>>. J
But statistics and the lessons of history con- 4
vince you that he is bound to get you. And if you
ever give him half the chance, he will try to even
But if you're black, your fear of the image of
the black male is much different It is much more
?\|risceral. ; ?
You are afraid for your Jife and for the life of
those like you. For indeed the shadow of the black
male HAS fell upon your home. You, your wife,
your children, family, mother, father are all his
prime target., as well as heart disease, colon can
cer, high Mood pressure, stroke, diabetes... and as
if that were noc enough, you carry the extra burden ?
of bearing the sins of the WHOLE race ? not just
yourself. Thus, whenever one black male fails,
then regardless of how fine and upstanding your
life may have been, you too are considered to have .
failed, to be tainted... yes, your fear is far greater.
You are afraid to watch the news, cringe as you 1
listen to the radio, waiting, hoping against all hope
that is not YOU again, fearfW of hearing YOUR
nam# ftTTMmftd Ollt ACMlin frflrillff th Skt Vfi flnftfhif
brother has failed.
You are afraid of what the future holds for'
your own race of people. You are .afraid in the
same way that children see their parents when they
A..IU. ?i ? a. ,i a. ^ ?
* - *?V ?V .svy y?y \-Jr vs, \k*. ? ? *
Ali Shabazz and his mother , fielty Conrad Byers, 71, stand before the house her father built
On National AIDS Quilt
By M.C. DAVIS
Chronicle Staff Writer
Julie Davis nearly changed her mind about going
to the Greensboro Coliseum Exhibition Hall on Mon
She had talked a friend, Jerome Dickens, into
accompanying her for the opening night ceremonies for
the AIDS Memorial Quilt, publicized as an interna
tional remembrance to those who died of AIDS.
Davis and Dickens are both juniors at the Univer
sity of North Carolina at Greensboro. She had consid
ered postponing her viewing of the exhibition.
"Actually, I had to talk her into still coming
tonight," Dickens said.
"I'm a public health education major," Davis said.
"So, we talk a lot about AIDS, and I'm doing volunteer
work here later this week," Davis said. With a little
encouragement from Dickens, she decided it might be
better to view the exhibit before her scheduled volun
Davis, Dickens and nearly 2,000 spectators saw
panels of plain white-on-white designs. Other designs
were elaborate with dolls, recipes, poems, earrings,
fuzzy balls and flowers.
But the panel that most piqued the interest of more
than a few viewers featured newspaper articles that
were electronically transferred onto quilt material. The
news was about a black woman. The quilt panel was of
royal purple material. It was composed and donated to
the memory of Sheila Epps McKellar. The donor
McKellar died in July after being arrested, hand
cuffed and gagged by Winston-Salem police officers
who responded to an apparent domestic dispute. Cir
cumstances of her death have yet to be released.
Sandi Diaz, a Greensboro volunteer co-chair
woman of the local committee for The NAMES Pro
ject, said, "Sheila deserved a panel. It says, 'Where was
her advocate?' Who was there to stick up for Sheila?"
Diaz asked. "Her story is told in that panel."
Please see page A2
Any small tracts that were carved out. and
sold separately might not be listed on the
deed. Deeds like Byers' exist in a legal limbo.
Speaks owns four lots that are part of the
property Byers inherited. Byers lives in a
mobile home that sets on part of Speaks* lot.
And Byers' gravel driveway runs through it
Since 1986, Speaks has tried to get them
off the land.
Said Shabazz, "My grandfather built this
driveway. My people have lived on this land
for 127_years. We're not going anywhere.
We're dugTrTtoltay?4 ?
Forsyth County Register of DeedsXT^
Speas offered no explanation as to how two
deeds could exist simultaneously for 40 years.
"We're not in a position ? ever ? to ques
tion something being a properly drafted docu
ment," he said. "I can make a deed to you to
the courthouse and it wouldn't be worth-any -
A default judgment entered
In 1986, a Forsyth County Sheriff's
deputy delivered a trespassing complaint
against Byers and her son.
Byers and Shabazz said they were unfa
miliar with the legal system, and did not han
Forsyth County Tax
records show Byers
was credited with the
1972 1 .35 acres
11973 1 acre
1992 67 acre
Glenn West, a cartogra
pher with the Forsyth
County Mapping office,
bers may have been
keyed in the computer
wrong. The last two
were because of our re
Gerry Walters, 5, holds a candle memorializing victims of violent crimes at a recent anti-crime rally.
Discrimination Charges Levied Against Lee Company i
By TRAVIS MITCHELL
Chronicle Staff Writer
Two black employees have filed separate griev^ -
ances with the Winston-Salem Human Relations Com
mission against local jean apparel giant Lee Company,
Inc., claiming that the manufacturer favors whites in job
promotions and unfairly reprimands black workers.
"We have an investigation in progress," said Emery
L. Rann ID., commission director. "Several officials in
the company have been scheduled for interviews. We
want to meet the clients' objectives to the best of our
"We don't feel like we have a problem that we
couldn't reach an amicable agreement," said Don Han
cock, Lee human relations manager. "We would prefer
not to have discussions in the newspapers. We have no
comment on any details."
Both women are Winston-Salem residents, but
their addresses were unavailable on Monday. Olivia
Evans filed her complaint based on her termination
from the company. Susan Paris stated that she was
passed over for a promotion when the company favored
a white woman.
Both complaints were filed in November, Rann
Rann said that the commission s powers were lim
ited by state law.
"Workers have very few rights," he said. "Employ
ees can be fired for almost anything. We don't have the
authority to subpoena records. We count on companies
to act in good faith."
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