Clara Lucille Berry Gaines: The Virtuous Woman
Alex Haley, after listening to the decorous accolades used to introduce
him. would always say, ". . .when you see a little frog up on a pedestal,
somebody picked it up and put it there "
Kudos to Wake Forest University for the laurels and^distinction it
accorded Clarence E. "Bighouse" Gaines ? and the institution itself ?
LIFT EVERY VOICE
By WILLIAM H. TURNER
with the first honorary doctorate degree bestown upon him. It is raFe to tye
honored in one's own backyard. This quasi-sacred parchment will compete
for wall space with the mass and throng of awards in the Bighouse Home,
where a virtuous woman has held sway for 44 years.
Thus, at the risk of violating the dictums of political correctness, 1 shall
go on record' proclaiming that Clara Berry Gaines is chiefly responsible for
making "Bighouse" what he is today.
. j This brazen declaration is in keeping with the proverbial statements
about the daily aspects of Clara Gaines' relationships with God. with her
self. her family and her fellow human beings.
King Solomon must have tiari Clara Berry Gainys in mind~when he
asked, "Who can find a virtuous woman?" Clara's best friend, Virginia
Wiseman, commented without delay that Clara ? a minister's daughter ?
is "a very religious woman!"
The Original African Heritage Study Bible speaks of the relationship
between Clara and Clarence when it notes that "the first accomplishment of
the virtuous woman, in partnership with her husband, was the creation of a
First, accordingf to "Big)iouse". "Clara laid the foundation for the orga
nization of our lives together." (Her husband. . .praiseth her.) Can one imag
ine what ungodly hours she had to rTse to "giveth meat to her household "
This just to feed you-know-who, not to mention the hordes of students he
brought to the table from WSSU? / .
Only God knows the myriad of things she cjlid to garner" wool and flax.
. .working willingly with her hands" for their children. Clarence Jr. and
Lisa, who "riseth up. . .and call her blessed." "Mom awakened us banging
out the Songs of Zion on the piano." ("The virtuous woman riseth also
while it is vet night"). Clara stiltplays a mean hand in the Saint Paul UMC
Hand Bell Choir. "It was Mother who really pushed us," says Lisa. "She
was the disciplinarian." Clarence Jr., like Lisa, holds an MBA from UNC.
The "Chip off the Big Block," a Morehead scholar, also studied at William
& Mary before arriving in the front office of the Chicago Bulls. "She
looketh well to the ways of her househqld and eatheth not the bread of idle
Clara and her sister. Lennie Berry Williams, have taken turns caring for
95-vear-old Mother Lucille Berry for most of the past two decades. "Many
daughters have done virtuously. . . .
" Neither did a mild apoplexy a few years back stop this praise-worthy
three-time grandmothe^. who had already "girdeth her loins with strength
and st re n gthene"d her arms" throu gh her practiced study of yoga and tr^n
Gaines, with degrees
from Pitt and Colum
bia, "openeth her
mouth with wisdom"
for 26 years as the I
Latin and English liter
ature teacher at Atkins
High School. Make
that virtuous and clas
Yes, Clarence E.
"Bighouse" Gaines, "is
known in the ?'gates,
when he sitteth among
the elders of the land."
; but. make no mistake
Clara Berry Gaines
about it, Clara Bern' Gaines did "him good and not evil all the days of her
life.".. ' '
God bless you richly, jClara Berry Gaines, archetype of King
Solomon's Virtuous Woman, one steeped in high honor: intellectual, spiri
tual. and domestic. We proudly acknowledge "the fruit of your hands; and
let your works praise you in the gates."
Virtuous and Classical and Honorable. *
Enjoy the pedestal with Bighouse. God picked up both of you and put
you there. Moke that; Dr. Clara Berry Gaines! Amen! ) ~T '
( William Turner is a regular freelance columnist for the Chronicle.)
'We Rob Working-Poor Peter to Pay Welfare-Reform Paul'
In earlier articles, I stated that our national and state welfare-reform
efforts should reflect our basic values and protect vulrierable children and
families. Our welfare policies should attack poverty, not those who are
trapped in poverty. Genuine welfare reform will cost money. But the long
term pay offs of preventive investments in areas such as educational train
ing, job creation and high-quality child care make it worth the effort. .
Where will we find this money? There's no easy answer at a time when
federal budgets are tight and public sentiment against tax increase runs
high. Current budget rules require the Congress to "pay for" new welfare
reform investments either by raising tax revenues or by cutting spending in
"Other areas. 1 he question now is whether welfare reform will be financed Fn
an equitable manner, with the igreatest share of budget cuts or tax hikes
borne by those individuals and groups who can most afford to pay, or
whether the money will come from cuts in programs that help poor families
and provide for children's most basic needs?
As the welfare reform debate heats up, I fear that .poor children and
families are becoming increasingly frequent targets of budget-cut proposals.
One flawed plan purposes to pay for welfare reforms by denying welfare
benefits to poor children in instances where they have been taken in by
grandparents or other relatives. Other misguided proposals suggesi eliminat
ing virtually all forms of aid to legal immigrants who have not yet become
citizens (even though many have lived in the U.S. and paid taxes for years)
and restricting emergency assistance to families who are about to become
homeless or lose their children to foster Care.
The pattern of taking aid away from one needy family to help another
already is visible in state child-care programs. The demand for child care
among families receiving welfare, has increased dramatically in response to
education, training and other work-related requirements contained in the
Family Support Act of 1988. In an effort to meet this demand, many, states
have reduced child-care assistance to working poor families struggling to
4 s. ' ' ? ' x V
By MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN
remain off the welfare rolls. A rccent CDF study documented that low
income working families face long waiting lists for child-care help in many
states and thai states now tend to rely on low-cost child-care options that are
often of poorer quality. Few efforts to more parents off welfare and into the
work force no doubt will place added strains on overburdened child care
v We raust be honest with ourselves and the American people about what
we pan afford. Welfare reform cannot succeed if it asks struggling parents
to choose between housing -assistance food stamps and child care. We will
accomplish nothing if we move some families off welfare while at the same
time generating more poverty, neglect, homelessness and hopelessness for
I hope we will never forget that two-thirds of welfare recipients are
children. Protecting their health and safety is a critical step if we seek to get
parents working and keeping them on the job. It must be a key goal when
parents, for whatever reason, are unable to work. Welfare provides an
essential safety net for families in crisis and times of need, one that we can
not afford to lose. I
. Welfare-reform efforts can bring us closer to ending poverty in Amer
ica. To realize this potential, however, we must begin to tackle the root
causes of child and family poverty. As our economy changes, and particu
larly as the earnings of young parents plummet, it may become harder and
harder for the next generation to escape poverty and support their children
through work. That's a problem that certainly won't be solved if we rob
working-poor Peter to fund welfare-reform Paul.
(Marian Wright Edelman is president of the Children 's Defense
F und, a national voice of children , and a leader of the Black Community
Crusade for Children.) .
'Getting a Job only Makes Us Dependent on Whomever Gives us the Job'
s \ V.
"Get a job'" is a song that a long-forgotten black singing group of the
sixties used to sing, as well as the song that almost every black father and
mother demand that vye be treated as equals in American's capitalistic soci
ety, we also continue to illustrate that we do not equally understand the
nature of economic production in this country.
Although we are surrounded by the wealth of the world's richest coun
try, we oi lv understand one part of the economic equation that made the
U.S. and its free-market system so great.
? ? ? *
By WILLIAM REED
"Capitalism 101" tells us that "land, labor, capital and entrepreneur
ship" make up the four parts of the economic equation. But, starting with
slavery, the bulk of blacks have only participated in the American busi
nesses, business opportunities and how to "get ahead" around their dinner
tables, black moms and pops talk about "getting a job" to their kids. It is no
secret that if African Americans want equality in America we will have to"
"hand out" our monetary needs to us. Getting a job only makes us depen
dent on whomever gives ~u<rthe-j?b. but ^tafting_businesses is down-right
American and offers grand opportunity for the best kind of equality.
Investing in a business is risky, but it offers a lucrative reward. When
you are inVoTVed in a business, you benefit directly. Business ownership is
the ultimate income producer. Blacks who live in urban areas should look at
Area students attend workshop on how to become owners of their own business.
individual, or collectiv<^jn vestments right where they live. Basic products
and services are consumed in enough qualities by urban blacks that hun
dreds of thousands of us can gain wealth by sup
plying these daily needs of our people. Supermar
kets for groceries; minimarkets for limited food
stuffs needs: retail stores for clothes, shoes and
cars; dry-cleaning establishments for clothes; ,gas
stations; auto repair and body shops; and a host of
other "needed" things represent opportunities for
blacks to sell to and service other blacks for prof
The last time that blacks had no trouble "get
ting a job" was before the Emancipation Proclama
tion. But the great Emancipation Proclamation of?
, 1864 did not emancipate the minds of former
~sT aves and th eir ottsprTngs. In today's environ^
ment, we need to note that we are the only persons
who can demand and make our own economic -
freedom happen. We are the only ones who can
emancipate our own minds. We are the only ones
who can divest ourselves of the notiorr that the
only thing we can do in life is "get a job." We are
the only ones to assure that we take our rightful
place in American marketplace.
For a listing of 25 franchise opportunities,
companies seeking minorities for dealership and
business opportunities and inner-citv investment
possibilities, send S2.50 to the IriferrrationaT
Exchange Network. 2054 National Press Building,
Washington. D.C.. 20045. Or call (202) 547-4125.
(William Reed is a national syndicated columnist.)
The Choice For Africah-Ameriicah News
- USPS 06791 O
617 N liberty Street
Winston-Salem. N.C 27102
The Winston Salem Chronicle is pub
lished every Thursday by the Winston-Salem
Chronrcte Rub fishing Co. trie ?*
The Winston Salem Chronicle was estab
lished by Ernest Pitt and Ndubisi Egemonye
The Chronicle is a proud mtmb?r of:
? Audit Bureau of Circulation ? National News
papers Publishers Association ? North Car
olina Press Association ? North Carolina Black
National Advertising Representative
Amalgamated Publishers, Inc. ?
45 West 45th St ? New York, NY 10036
How to R
Walter MicklV ? Vanell Robinson
Todd Fulton ? Patrick Edmunds
(Call to start or stop delivery or
to report a delivery problem)
Judie Holcomb-Pack ? Carol Daniel
~ Willie Wilson
LEXiE Johnson ? Tamah Gray
Tamka Hicks ? Cheryl Brown
ach us. - .
Kathy lee Superv sop ? Charlotte Newman
Scarlett Summons ? Crystal Wood
To subscribe. . .
Call for new subscription information or any
questions about your current subscription.
Single Copy 75 cents
2 years $40.95
1 year 30 72
6 mos 20 48
3 mos 10 24
Out of County /Stoto
2 years . $45 95
"i year 35 72
6 mos 25 48
3 mos 15 24
HOME DELIVERY SUBSCRIPTION ORDER
? YES, Please send me the Winston-Salem Chronicle
? 2 Year-$40.95 ? ? 1 Year - $30.72 ? ? 6 mos. - S20.48
City State Zip
? check enclosed ? ? please bill me
Mail to: Subscription Department
P.O. Box 1636
Winston-Salem, NC 27102
Add $5 if delivered outside Forysth County