Winston-Salem Greensboro High Point v?i. xxv no. 21
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Atkins High alums take umbrage with official's comments
\BfT. KEVIN WALKER
?; THE cmqwp* ;
Three well-known Atkins
C High School alumni want to let
:everyone know that their alma
mater was not substandard in any
They want you to know that
> during its 40-year reign as the
[; city's premiere black high school,
;? Atkins produced countless num
? here of Wnvyers, doctors, teachers
; and politicians,
; They also want you to know
v that even though the city-county
school board virtually annihilated
the possibility of Atkins Middle
School returning to a high school,
the fight for a high school in East
Winston is far from over.
The events of last week have
left Victor Johnson (class of '53) a
little frustrated. The week started
out (natty good for the school
After fellow board member
Rick Bagley said last month that
there was little support for the
Atkins High School proposal.
Johnson quashed the notion by
producing a legion of enthusias
tic supports at a public forum on
the issue last Monday.
But less 'than 24 hours later,
Johnson found out that the place
where the proposal truly lacked
support was on the board which
he sits. The board rejected the
proposal at a meeting last Tues
But even more disheartening,
Johnson says, were the comments
County Commissioner Walter
Marshall made about his alma
"What was he thinking
about?..That was kind of low,"
While expressing his opposi
tion to the proposal to convert
Atkins back into a high school,
Marshall told the board that
Atkins - like all Mack schools in
the segregated South - was never
as good as white schools.
"Atkins has always been a sub
standard school. It was never as
good as the schools on society
hill," Marshall said.
Marshall went on to say that
many of those who spoke in sup
port of the proposal the night
before, had rejected Atkins for a
private Catholic school and later
for Reynolds High School.
Both charges, Johnson says,
are "unfounded" and "off base."
Johnson said he has been inundat
ed with telephone calls from
angry Atkins High alumni since
Atkins High School was an
exception to the rule, Johnson
said, producing some of the best
educated students, black or white,
, i v "
in the stale. He says Atkins had
the best principals and the most
devoted teachers in the city.
"I had a very good educa
tion...Those kinds of remarks are
no different from -things whites
used to say," Johnson sard.
Johnson added that while
some blacks did go to Saint
Anne's Catholic school, the vast
majority of blacks proudly went
Johnson's and Marshall's
friendship stretches nearly IS
Sff Alirins mi All
t , ^ ? . . _ ? ' . I
- 'Grave concern'
?s 01 \ ? 1 ? . r~
. ?*- ? . ' - -
Photo by ftytfmda S. Nickeraon
Oary Grant, pntidtm of tho Black faimon and Agriadknkk Association, ttmick in front of m noting combine at hk ItKmy/MX. farm. Grant cays a
ptopttmd USDA MOttionmiO with black faimmt k inodmquat*. "Thore* grow concmm about ?what* on tho tablm," ho taid.
I Black farmers cast wary eye on settlement |
By DAMON FORD
Though U.S. Department of
. Agriculture secretary Dan Glick
* man says the settlement with
black farmers is a good deal,
leaders from the agriculturalist
camp say it's not.
"We would say progress has
been made," said National Black
Farmers and Agriculturist presi
dent Gary Grant. "However, I
find the settlement neither hon
orable, moral or just. There's
' grave concern about what's on
Farmers alleged in a class
action suit filed two years ago
that the government entity prac
ticed discriminatory policies
against black farmers between
With the decent decree settle
ment, which was given two weeks
ago black farmers have only two
One entails'a $50,000 payoff
plus some right-offs of debts if
evidence of discrimination is
found. The other option gives a
farmer the chance to get more
money if they are able to prove
substantial discriminatory prac
tices by tjie USDA.
But attorney Stephon
Bowens says in many instances
black farmers are not able to get
this information together.
"In some instances when
farmers are discouraged at the
door and they're told 'We're not
making any loans today' there is
no paperwork to follow up on,"
he said. "So how do you prove
(discrimination)' other than the
farmer's assertions by looking
back at the years where there
were droughts - where there was
some sort of disaster and looking
and seeing whc ther or not farm
ers received assistance in taking
his' or her word for the fact that
they were denied that opportuni
Besides the problem of bur
den of proof Bowens, who also
serves as executive director of the
Land Loss Prevention Project
says there are three other issues
of concerns fanners have with
the decent decree. One is equity.
Will all tfae black fanners in the
suit be treated the same?
Number two is future bene
fits. Black farmers want some
assurance that the discriminatory
practices that took place in the
early 1980s and 90s won't happen
Last) but not least, is the tax
issue. Right now the government
is only looking to pay a quarter
of the taxes on any money the
farmers may receive in payments.
x ? >
That is not acceptable accord
ing to Bowens."
"TVventy five percent of any
settlement doesn't necessarily
pay all the taxes that are
involved," he said. "So some
farmers may in fact have to pay
other taxes as a result of this set
Outside of the decent decree
options, farmers can choose to
get out of the class action suit
and fight the USDA on their
But Bowens ?iys farmers
should continue to nang on.
"We believe the case is still
alive," he said.
And it is scheduled to go to
court on Feb. 1 in Washington
D.C. Black farmers are being
advised to look toward this date.
"Across the south where
other states are involved, (farm
Set- Mack Farmars on At 1
Hundreds join march for King
By T. KEVIN WALKER
THE CHRONICLE .
The weather conditions for this
year's Martin Luther King Jr. hol
iday were less than harmonious.
But hundreds of local people
refused to let the threatening
clouds overhead rain on their
The young, the old, the black
and the white gathered at Mount
Zion Baptist Church for a flurry of
King Day services that began with
an early morning fellowship break
fast and culminated with a dramat
ic march through downtown for a
noontime ceremony at the M.C.
Benton Convention Center.
Less than a half houT before
the march's 10:45 a.m. ksckoff
time, violent thunderstorms reeked
havoc on the city and much of the
South. But like Dr. King had done
on many occasions, the crowd -
donned in colorful slickers and
umbrellas - vowed to march, rain
"The struggle for justice con
tinues through rain, sleet or snow,"
Alderwoman Joycelyn Johnson
said as she prepared to make the
For many, the march has
become a yearly ritual and one of
the most visible ways to pay
homage to the slain civil rights
Doretha Shannon brought her
four grandchildren to the march.
The children, ranging from ages
five to nine, caused quite the sensa
tion among their fellow marchers,
due in large part to the miniature
cardboard signs they each carried.
"Happy Birthday Martin
Luther King," read one sign.
The others proclaimed: "I Have
a Dream," "Free at Last," and "We
"They came up with their own
slogans," a proud Shannon said.
Many local groups and organi
zations also took part in the
march, from American Legion
posts to Boy Scout chapters.
Decked in white t-shirts with
their logo sewn on the right side, 18
members of the Prodigals Com
munity participated in the event.
The Prodigals C/wnmunity is a
nonprofit recovery ministry for
See March on A10
Clinton lays out
During 77-minute speech, Clinton
draws icy response from GOP, raves
from members of Democratic party
By ALAN FRAM
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON - President
Clinton is making dramatic con
cessions to Republicans on
revamping Social Security, but the
spotty GOP response to his State
of the Union address shows that
lie ahead on
the Senate Clinton
er day in Clinton's impeachment
trial, the president strode into the
House chamber and confidently
delivered a 77-minute speech laden
with proposals ranging from more
defense spending to helping com
munities fight pollution.
Clinton also announced the
Justice Department would sue the
tobacco industry, and that he
would again seek a tax increase on
cigarettes, this time 55 cents a
pack. It drew an icy response from
Republicans, as it did last year.
Nonetheless, many Republi
cans said they sensed chances for
accommodation this year on
Social Security, defense, education
and patient's rights.
Still, GOP leaders emphasized
the differences that remained -
including Clinton's omission of
tax cuts as a way to use federal sur
pluses projected to total an enor
mous $4.4 trillion over the next 15
"A $4 trillion surplus, and not a
penny for tax cuts?" House Major
ity Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas,
"I didn't work this hard to get a
balanced budget to ,.. spend it all
on new programs," said the Senate
Budget Committee chairman. Sen.
Pete Domenici, R-N.M.
House Minority Leader Dick
Gephardt, D-Mo., said today that
Clinton "his stepped out smartly
with a very, very creative, and I
think, a sound, plan" to safeguard
.Social Security. Interviewed on
ABC's "Good Morning America,"
Gephardt said he expects the pres
ident to flesh out his proposal in
the next few weeks and called on
House and Republican leaders to
schedule hearings as soon as possi
ble so the problem can be resolved
Clinton's audience on the,
House floor - Democrats sitting to
his right. Republicans to his left -
reacted throughout as if listening
to two different speeches. Democ
rats lustily cheered his entrance,
and led the way in interrupting his
address 95 times with applause.
Republicans were unusually
?quiet, with many -often 'not
responding to what might normal
ly be GOP applause lines, like
Clinton's prediction of budget sur
pluses for the next 25 years. Small
numbers of them didn't attend,
and many who did conceded that it
felt eerie listening to a president
whom their party has pushed to
the brink of removal from office.
AOf course it was awkward,"
Sen. John Ashcroft, R-Mo., said.
"But does that mean it shouldn't r
have happened? Not necessarily."
As Senate Majority Leader,,
Trent Lott left the chamber, pho
tographers overheard him asking a
companion whether Clinton had
Clinton made no mention of
the sex and cover-up case that led
to his impeachment and imperils
Armey and House Majority *
Whip Tom DeLay, R-Texas, sat
side by side looking pained and
bored, applauding only for specta
tors whom Clinton introduced,
such as civil rights figure Rosa
Parks and Chicago Qubs slugger
"1 didn't mean to look grim,"
Armey said later. "Obviously, we
were all concerned about how we
were going to respond to the pres
ident, and I had made up my mind
ahead of time I would applaud
'Whatcha say now'
Oaspal artis I Kirk Franklin lit up Qraonsbaro ColiMum during a
eoneart Friday. Far Ml story im paga A4.
' t '? "
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