I High Point choir prepares for special King Day celebration
By DAMON FORD
HIGH POINT - Despite lin
gering snow and ice, cars rolled
into the parking lot of Temple
Memorial Baptist Church
One by one, people hurried
through the brisk night to a side
entrance into the sanctuary. ?'
Their mission was simple -
they had a choir to form.
After 10 minutes of mingling -
interrupted by much laughter and
occasional hugs - it was time for
the Ministers Conference Mass
Choir of High Point to begin
The 35-member choir - made
up of members of 12 different
African American congregations
- is preparing for the Ministers
Conferences annual Martin
Luther King Jr. celebration.
The program will be held Jan.
18 at Grater First United Baptist,,
Church at 7 p.m. -
This marks the first year that a
mass choir will sing. The group is
the brainchild of Ila Massey,
MLK. celebration committee
member and mass choir member
who convinced director Patricia
Randleman to help run the choir.
"We hope we can do it from
now on," Massey said before prac
tice. "We wanted to get all the
black churches involved. I hope
that next year it will be bigger and
better. I would realty like to have a
200-member choir. ; They say it
can't be done but if we put our
minds to it we can do it."
After welcoming everybody
out to the rehearsal organist
Maria Ingram began to teach a
new song to the sopranos.
"How many of you know the
song The Vision,"' Ingram asked.
All nodded yes or raised hands
their hands and the withift sec
onds Ingram started to work her
magic on the organ, playing a
medley of cords while leading
them'through the verses.
With the help of Randleman,
Ingram did the same with the
altos and tenors.
By 8:45, the choir was putting
the finishing touches on the song.
They sang with such crispness and
energy that no one would have
guessed it was only the choir's sec
ond time practicing together.
"That's a.popular song, so
everybody knows it," Ingram said.
"I wanted to teach something real
simple but nice. Since Dr. King
had a vision I thought it was
With 15 minutes left in the
practice .there was one more song
Ingram wanted the choir to go
"How many of you remember
'I'm Holding On to My Faith,'"
See Chair on A9
73 iaarta Winston-Salem Greensboro High Point 5 Vol. xxv No. 19
N c room car-r. -sor; * *C0.2 The Choice for African American News and Information e-mail address: wschron@netunlimiIed.net
W 7 M 5% TOM QA; ru xt r* *% -? - /-* ^ ^ _ - * *
message to street
NAACP discusses plan for
lawsuit against schools
B* T. KEVIN WALKER
tHE CHRONICLE _
?. Months of planning came to fruition Tuesday night as the NAACP
Education Caucus convened at Dellabrook Presbyterian Church lor the
?I The Caucus - which is a different entity from the NAACP's Educa
tion Committee - will work on a variety of issues to improve the educa
tional experiences of African Americans ip the city-county school sys
% "This is not another whining, complaining group of black folks,"
Caucus moderator the Rev. Carlton Eversley said.
* Eversley says the group will stay focused on achieving a number of
Short and long-term goals, which will include everything from suing the
sdhool system to abolish the redistricting plan to requiring mandatory
mcial sensitivity training to every system employee who works with stu
E vers ley carefully laid out each goal to a capacity crowd of more than
200, including many religious and city leaders. But it was the plan to sue
the school system that perked the interest of many in attendance.
Eversley and NAACP officials have said that the controversial plan
has been a detriment to many African Americans, hampering both the
financial and physical resources that black students receive.
"The redistricting (plan) has been a problem for a long time in this
community," local NAACP President Bill Tatum said. "It is important
that everyone understands what we are trying to do."
? But Caucus officials say that while the suit is being hashed out, they
will lobby the community and businesses for support for schools that
have student bodies that are overwhelmingly African American.
Between $250,000 and $330,000 must be collected in order to pro
ceed with the suit, which Eversley said could drag on for five to 10 years.
' Eversley would not reveal all the sources from which the organiza
tion hopes to pull funds, but he said donations for the legal effort would
" - ? ? i n I -A
"The school system only respects a law suit, tney aon i care wnai
(African Americans) think. (They) think that we are not serious enough
to do what we have to do...They are wrong," Eversley said, as "Amen"
corners began to form in the church.
-1 Eversley added that (he redistricting plan is already standing in the
way of the Caucus' goal to increase the number of African American
teachers in the system to 37 percent, which is the percentage of black stu
- dents currently in the system.
; According to Eversley, redistricting has turned off many out-of
county teachers who considered coming to the system.
The group will also work for a more African American-friendly cur
riculum. Eversley said, the current curriculum breeds falsities because it's
one-sided- ... " ? ? 4
"If you think that Columbus discovered America then you are not
educated...That is not education," he said,
?I On Dec. 19," Winston-Salem/ Forsyth County Schools Superinten
dent Don Martin said that he would attend the Caucus' initial meeting.
Martin was a no-show, but that didn't stop Eversley from faulting
him on issues regarding African American students.
At one point, Eversley criticized Martin for his proposal last summer
to cut the coordinator's position for the African American Infusion Pro
ject, which was designed to provide a more multicultural education in
/ The proposal was eventually killed, but only after a school board
See Milting on A?
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Photo by Damon Ford
A wmIc aftmr a wfntar ?term dumped icm and freezing rain on the Triad, ley patches and mounds of snows are still visible on
the city's streets and sidewalks. Patches, like the one pictured above on Fourth street, are a nightmare for pedestrians.
Cold snap leads to shakes (and slides)
By DAMON FORD
Old Man Winter coated the New Year
with freezing rain, sleet and frigid tempera
tures that dropped into the teens.
Almost a week after the storm hit, ice
and the graying remains of snow still coat
the ground and temperatures are still low
enough to make even the most hardy shiver.
The frigid temperatures are forcing
Triad residents to look for ways to stay
warm. Experts say staying warm during the
cold snap, wjjich is expected to end this
weekend is a'matter of "layering."
"What I say is bundle up warmly (and)
layer on clothing," said Maurene Minton of
the Cooperative Extension Service. "Be sure
to cover the head."
When possible Minton says that citizens
should periodically come in from the cold
"Once the body gets too chilled it takes
a long time for the body to get warm," she
Caps, scarfs and mittens are the order of
day says Minton. If possible people should
use all cotton materials, which help insulate
and keep one dry.
"Keeping the hands and feet dry is
important no matter what you use," Minton
But in spite of the warnings, for the past
week no matter what the clothing - it was
. just plan cold. Except for a few fender ben
ders on the highways most Winston-Salem
residents handled the storm the best way
"It was kind of rough but basically I
just had to stay home over the weekend, I
didn't go anywhere," said Hassan Simmons,
who was bundled ^up at a downtown bus
stop. "I was kind of upset but it was the
weather - it's always going to change and I
just had to wait for it to get better."
Simmons, who works at Wendys says
he's just happy the weather cleared up by
Monday so he coilld get back to work. At
least three'days a week he catches the 10-A
bus from the downtown bus station to bis
job on Akron Drive.
On Saturday the restaurant closed early
but Simmons was unable to take advantage
- of the extra time off because the roads were
bad. Despite the fact he was stuck at home,
he's not complaining.
"It gave me a chance to recuperate," he
Retired school teacher Pauline Benson
echoed that same sentiment as she waited
for her husband at Hanes Mall on Monday
"I kind of took it as a time to relax -
kind of come down from the, holiday and
take life easy," she said. "If gave me the
opportunity to spend some time on the
phone with people I put off calling."
Benson was out at the mall this week
returning some items from the holidays. She
wanted to get it done last weekend but was
stuck in ber home.
"When weather is (bad) like that, it's
too hazardous ... I don't think it's a time to
be out at all," Benson said. "I don't have
anything so pressing that 1 have to risk my
life to be out."
For some people it wasn't an option.
David ^Martin, street supervisor for the
city of Winston-Salem and his 45-member
crew were out all weekend working 12 hour
shifts trying to clear the roads of ice.
"Right now we're cleaning up and emp
tying salt out of the trucks," Martin said.
"We're still answering calls this morning
about patches of ice that are still around the
For a complete look at Triad weather for
the upcoming week, see page CI2.
Work First participants air grievances
. Women say new jobs
don't end problems
By T. KEVIN WALKER
Two years ago, when the first North Carolina
families were weaned off of welfare through Gov.
Jim Hunt's Work First program, many believed
that poor families would be left out in the cold, lit
erally. when their welfare benefits were completely
However, last week, many of those fears were
dispelled. A report showed that only 83 out of
12,724 families asked for an extension after their
welfare benefits expired. The rest had seemingly ?
made a successful transition from welfare to work.
But group of local women say that despite all
the media hype, the high praise and good inten
tions, the Work First program has crippled their
ability to make ends meet.
Community activist Charlene Rickard and
other women in the Cleveland Avenue Homes
public housing community have begun to circulate
a petition among public housing residents who
have had unpleasant experiences with the state's
welfare-to- work program.
So far, 58 women living in Cleveland Avenue
Homes alone have added their names to the peti
The women claim that they are been penalized
with higher rent payments and a loss of food
stamps and Medicaid benefits once they find jobs.
Others say the local Work First Committee - a
group made up of roughly 18 people from local
nonprofit agencies - has been unresponsive to
their ideas and their plight.
"They haven't been fulfilling our needs in the
community," Rickard said. "They don't want to
Work First provides training and assistance to
Sri Work First <m AS
-31 1?II II 111
A local wwiMn, fhyihs Minimm, abov*, citebrptw yoar? ot
sorvico of faitfood giant. For Ml ttory, too pogo A3.
? FOR SUBSCRIPTIONS CALL (336) 723-3624 ? MASTERCARD, VISA AND AMERICAN EXPRESS ACCEPTED ?
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