James Fair worked at Community Shoe Shop for
many years, following his father's footsteps.
A Gathering of Good Men
A J antes Willie Fair: Master of Shoe Shine
By FELECIA P. MCMILLAN
Special to the Chronicle
For many years, the city of Winston-Salem
has had the privilege of being home for a number
of fine craftsmen. Here the Winston-Salem
Chronicle pauses to recognize a few who have
offered their services for more than 30 years.
The late James Willie Fair started shining
shoes at the age of 7 in downtown Winston
Salem during the 1930s. He followed the foot
steps of his father, Bennie Fair, who was a shoe
shiner in Buffalo, N.Y. His mother, Mrs. Willie
Fair, encouraged his craft when he was a child.
She allowed him to go downtown on Liberty
Street and Main Street to the Hollow Wood State
Theater along with other young African-Ameri
can boys to shine shoes for 5 and 10 cents.
His uncle, Charlie Fair, remembers the area
well. He said that many white people frequented
this area near the Woolworth block before the
large parking lot was built there. James Fair took
his shine box out on tfte sidewalk and would
shine shoes on his knees. He would also go to
Kxess's Department Store and on Trade Street.
Other shine boys Charlie Fair remembers
were Milton Scales, Charlie Scales and Baby
Scales, who are also now deceased.
Most of the black businesses were on Church
Street. Charlie Fair recalls the Lincoln Theater,
the Lafayette Theater and the Ritz Theater that
blacks attended. The Red Campbell Pool Room,
Please see page II
n c room ' f
660S?thNs? #Uq lib Choice for African-American News and Information ,s l,brary
winstok-salem nc 27101-2755 THURSDAY, January23,1997 ^
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1500 join in MLK celebration
A Speakers urge better black America
By FELEC1A P MCMILLAN
Special to the Chronicle \
Mre than 1500 people joined in the 17th
mnual Noon Hour Commemoration
f Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Jan. 20.
Jeven years agb, Jan. 20, 1986, the
ation began to observe a national holi
ay in honof of a civil rights leader
/ho helped promote social change in
te United States. The Winston-Salem
CP and the Winston-Salem Human
Relations Commission co-sponsored the event. The theme
for King's 68th birthday celebration was, "What is your reso
lution for the New Year?"
In keeping with the theme, four local leaders uiged the
community to join together to make resolves for the future.
The leaders were William H. Tatum, president of the Win
ston-Salem Branch of the NAACP; Geneva Brown from the
WS/FC School Board; Robert Brown, President of B&C
Associates in High Point; and Eugene Williams from Win
ston Salem Human Relations.
Tatum discussed a resolve for "Less Crime, More
Peace." He reminded the audience that one of the major
issues facing youth in 1997 is that 13- and 14-year-olds will
now be tried as adults. He said that the criminal justice sys
tem is not just a revolving door. He said many young people
do not realize that a great deal of their .time can be wasted as
they serve a sentence for committing a crime.
Geneva Brown called for a resolve for "Better Educa
tion." "We don't nepd Ebonics, we need phonics# she said.
She encouraged parents and young people to develop sound
communication skills that will enable them to compete in the
marketplace. She also called for a closer look at the educa
tional system, in which many minority students lag behind.
Please see page II
The speakers on the dais came together around the candle lit in memory of Mazie Woodruff.
Left to right, in front are the Rev. Samuel Cornelius, Geneva Brown, Mutter Evans, Renee
Vaughn; Back, William Tatum, the Rev. Donald Jenkins, Eugene Williams, and Robert Brown.
Items From an Eevpial Oddess\
host Nubian Americans
By BILL TURNER
Special to the Chronicle
Someone once wrote that with all
its sham, drudgery and broken
dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Much of the modern world's dreams
come-true and beauty had its origin
in Egypt. Recently, we had a most
unusual share of it, that which is so
special as to reaffirm the beauty and
happiness that comes in this world
and its peoples.
Imagine the feeling of standing in
the warm January sun-drenched
courtyard of the Egyptian Museum
in Cairo. All that one has read and
seen about the best of Egypt ? the
cradle bf civilization ? about to
unfold, even a personal viewing of
the priceless treasures from the tomb
of King Tutankhamen ? a young
Imagine further how you feel
when the stillness of your anticipa
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nun i? iinciiupicu oy me aimosi snriu
sounds of a mahogany-hued young
man, the maitre'd of the Museum's
restaurant. "Nubian American!" he
Pleasantly perplexed, but not
puzzled; we had been called Nubian
Americans all week, from one end of
Egypt to the other, but especially
while in the South ? in Nubia, near
the Aswan High Dam ? near Sudan,
Arabic for "land of the blacks."
Before we knew it, Khaled (pro
nounced CAL-LED) Osman
Mohammed, 2^? had captivated us.
While en route to a rabbit warren-like
array of shops ("Here, with me, my
Nubian brother and sister, you will
not pay the high tourist prices."), we
talked of his ancestral "home" ?
Aswan ? known as Nubia. Nubia, he
informed us, was once a powerful
empire, now called Sudan. Khaled's
people inhabited the ancient land of
Mrs. Fahima, Khaled's grandmother,
greeted the Turners with a traditional
Cush. Cush and the Nubian land now
lies beneath Lake Nassar, a watery
grave resulting from the building of
the High Dam at Aswan. The Sun
Temple of Abu Simel, flanked by the
four well-known pr it-card views of
stone statues of Ramses II, had to
moved in order to tame the Nile. He
spoke of it rather painfully.
This devout Moslem knew
enough about Christianity to link his
people to us. "You do know of us in
your Bible, don't you? Read our his
Khaled Osman Mohammed, maitre'd of
the Egyptian Museum's restaurant,
befriended the Turners on their recent trip.
tory as recorded in the Holy Scrip
tures: 2 Kings 20:12, Isaiah 18:1, 2
Chronicles 14:9," he said. OK. "And
tomorrow, you must come and meet
my family and to eat with us." Just
Imagine being met by the mater
nal elder of Khaled's family, Mrs.
Fahima. Khaled said, "We think she
may be near 90, but the midwives did
not write down birth dates ? it was
enough to get born!" As we were
scheduled to be fed by Khaled's
mother, Karima, ..Mrs. Fahima
insisted we "have a mouth of sugar"
from her cupboard, as "a way to
know the sweetness of being in her
Up six flights, past the apart
ments of Khaled's extended clan, we
entered to meet sisters Menal, Doaa,
Marwa, and Aida, and the father,
Khaled Osman Mohammed. Aunt
Moma was there, as was cousin Mah
moud and at least 30 others, all scur
Please see page II
Black Caucus knows how to use
small numbers for big influence
RALEIGH (AP) ? Whpn House
Democrats met to pick a candidate for
speaker, the 17 black members called a
recess to decide which candidate to sup
1 When they returned, their unanimous
vote for Rep. Jim Black, D-Mecklenbuig,
gave him the margin he needed for the
They also gave fellow Democrats a
pointed message: Don't count us out.
"Do you think they got it? We
couldn't have made it much plainer," said
Rep. Howard Hunter, D-Northampton, the
chairman of the Joint Legislative Black
Black members have never been a
large fraction of the House or the Senate,
but they have lots of experience at using
their small numbers to influence legisla
The influence grew when one of their
own, Rep. Dan Blue, D-Wake. was
elected speaker in 1990 and 1992.
But when Republicans took over the
House in 1994, they found themselves
fighting harder to keep funds for programs
aimed at minorities and the poor. And
when key decisions were made, they had
no place at the table to argue their posi
The problem, black members say, was
more than just Republican. Minorities had
problems rallying some of their fellow
Democrats to their causes.
Please see page I I
Police hope Ennis Cosby's killer will |
make a trail and seal his own doom
By DENNIS SCHATZMAN
Los Angeles Police detectives may
be closer to knowing who the prime
suspect is in the brutal Jan. 17, 1997,
slaying of Ennis Cosby, son of come
dian Bill Cosby, according to sources
high up in the police hierarchy.
After checking over 200 leads gar
nered through telephone calls to LAPD
headquarters located in Parker Center,
they are hoping the gunman, a white
male in his mid-to-late 20s, will tell
other people of his deed. If that occurs,
prosecutors will then have more than
enough sources to seal the criminal fate
of the killer.
Cosby was gunned down on a
lonely stretch of road off 1-405, 1$
miles north of Los Angeles at or about;
2 a.m. The 27-year-old New York City
school teacher, Morehouse graduate
and doctoral candidate, was left alone
to face a lone gunman after Stephanie
Crane, a 47-year-old friend of Cosby's,
noticed the man approaching Cosby
with gun drawn and sped off only to;
later return to see her "friend" lying in j
a pool of blood.
An LAPD spokesman would not
speculate as to why Crane, the daugh- - j
ter of the creator of the 1950s sitcom,
"The Honeymooners," left Cosby to; k
fend for himself when she had a cellu-; I
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