I Nobel Laureate Wole Sovinka speaks at local university I
T. KEVIN WALKER
In his i960 poem "Telephone
Conversation" j Nigerian-born
poet/author Wole Soymka exam
ines bow stereotypes and a lack of
cultural understanding can cloud
even the most routine aspects of
The poem - which is about a
"well bred" landlady who is more
than a little flustered while inter
viewing a potential African tenant
over the telephone - is typical
Soyinka: keenly written, relevant
and brutally honest
Forty years and a Nobel Prize
later; Soyinka is still pushing for
tolerance and understanding.
During Wake Forest Universi
ty^ Founders' Day Convocation
Tuesday, Soyinka urged the hun
dreds of students and faculty
assembled in Wait Chapel to
embrace cultural and religious
"Even with seemingly settled
democracies, what we observe is a
contagious fear of being swal
lowed up, of losing one's identity
to another..." Soyinka said.
When such fears are allowed to
breed, Soyinka says, they manifest
into cultural squabbles, turf wdrs
or; worst of all, ethnic cleansing.
And Third-World nations do
not hold a patent on regional bick
ering, according to Soyinka
To underscore his point, Soyin
ka cited recent dashes between the
British government and Irish fac
tions and to less caustic battles
between American sports teams.
"It would be wonderful if cul
' " " r
tural diversity took no greater toll
than such occasionally bruised
partisan pride..." he said.
Soyinka's visit came during
Wake Forest's Year of Globaliza
tion and Diversity, a yearlong cele
bration of worldwide cultural
As the world stands on the
brink on a new millennium, Soyin
ka said now is the time for cultures
to look beyond differences, petty
or otherwise, and embrace one
"Let us prepare to celebrate the
Chinese or Tibetan New Year, the
Buddhist millennium ..and indeed
any other watershed of the cultur
al and religious calendars of the
world that serve to remind us that,
no matter what routes we take
towards the structuring of our
spiritual intuitions, the goal is ulti
mately towards the oneness of our
humanity," Soyinka said.
Soyinka also told the crowd
that it was "refreshing" for him to
read in a WFU publication that
the Christian university is making
a conscientious effort "to tackle
the ignorance and suspicion of it* j
own society with regards to other '
Islam. Soyinka said, is the reli
gion most often singled out for
criticism and more apt to misinter
Soyinka pointed out that Mus
lim sects do not have a monopoly
on religious-based acts of violence:
"Who is the most notorious
fugitive on the landscape of the
United States of America right at
this moment?" Soyinka asked,
Soyinka on All
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? m. Photo by Damon Ford
Franklin McCain, at thm Green tboro Four takmt time to autograph picture*, a? hit grand daughter Taylor McCain, center, and Noell
Mattenburg, far left, loekt on. 1
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could lead to mi
By JERI YOUNG ,
Sources within the State House
Black Caucus say last week's stealth
maneuver to elect African Ameri
can Dan Blue, D-Wake, speaker of
the House has left its members frag
Last Wednesday, Rep. Jim
Black, D-Meck. was elected speak
er by the narrowest of margins, 60
to 59, edging out Blue, who was
supported by an ' unprecedented
alliance between House Republi
cans and a portion of the Black
. Fifty-one of the House's 54
Republicans voted with six of the
house's 16 black Democrats in an ^
effort to overthrow Black. Two
white Democrats also voted for
The 17th, Rep. Larry Womble,
D-Forsyth, was at home ill.
Until the vote, most members
thought Black's election was a done
deal. He was the House Democrats'
unanimous choice for speaker in
their November caucus
Black said there were no hard
feelings and he doesn't plan to pun
ish any members including Blue or
members who plotted his nomina
According to members of the
Black Caucus the maneuver had
been in the" works for weeks Mem
bers of the Caucus met at least twice
in Fayetteville, before last week's
vote in an effort to pressure House
- Democrats to name Blue speaker.
"1 was in on the ground floor
when it was known that th? Democ
rats had regained control of the
House," said Warren "Pete" Old
ham, D-Forsyth. "We of course
had discussions on who would be
nominated speaker of the House,
Members of the House were split.
Some supported Black, \others
including myself supported Blue."
According to Oldham, during a
meeting in Fayetteville, Blue admit
ted he didn't have enough votes to
secure a nomination, and encour
aged members of the Caucus to
r i ^ i ,
r fails, but
pect for blacks
support the candidate of their
Most, including Oldham, threw
their support to Black, but 3 few
continued to try to build a coalition
to elect Blue.
According to sources, a second
meeting of the Caucus was held in
Fayetteville the week before mem
bers were sworn in to discuss a strat
egy to elect
said he knew Ij^F
of the meeting
not to go.
them at that
time that I was I
involved, I Oldham
ing Black," he said. "I made my
position clear long before last
Since last Wednesday, the
atmosphere among black legislators
has been tense. In a strongly worded
press release issued last week, Rep.
Milton "Toby" Fitch, D-Wilson,
who spearheaded the effort, labeled
caucus members, including Old
ham, who didn't vote for Blue,
"Renegade," and "Trojan Horses"
"Necessity is the mother of
invention," Fitch said in the release.
"It is clear black voters in this state
are being taken for granted. Blacks 1
and Democrats cannot continue in
this present relationship without
some major adjustments in the phi
losophy of party leadership."
According to sources, members
of the caucus and Republicans
reached a deal, guaranteed Republi
cans half the committee chairman
ships, including a GOP-dominated
local government committee. A
Republican would also be elected as
the speaker pro tern.
Oldham said he had "strong
concerns" about the deal.
"Even if Rep. Blue was elected
Speaker, we'd have a Republican
Speaker pro tern," he said. "That's
See Caucus on A10
Sit-in leaders return for ceremony
r ? V . t *
By DAMON FORD
I Franklin McCain, Jibreel
Khazan (formerly Ezell Blair Jr.),
? ' Joseph McNeil and the late David
" Richmond weren't looking to
become heroes when they sat
, I down at the lunch counter of F.W.
? Woolworths in Greensboro on a
? chilly winter day in 1960.
They had no idea that their
?. fight to be served at the segregat
ed lunch counter would be a shot
? heard around the world.
The four returned to the cam
pus of N.C. Agricultural and
Technical State University Mon
day to commerate their historic
trip to the lunch counter.
It was a simple plan, born just
a month before the foursome sat
down on that cold Feburary day.
Dressed in their best, the four
would sit down at the counter and
"* "We were going to try out the
Bill of Rights, the Bible and the
Constitution to see if what was
written was true or not," Khazan
Oblivious to what would hap
pen, the four best friends ,set out
for the downtown store on South
Elm Street and were prepared for
the worst: either being beaten by
angry white patrons or spending
some days - possibly years in jail.
"No I was not afraid,"
McCain said. "I was too damn
mad to be afraid. I had too much
practice at being angry and what I
went there in anger (about) was a
quest for a little human dignity
arid little bit of pride and a little
bit of ntanhood."
McCain, who now lives in
Charlotte says the employees of
the store were clearly uncomfort
able when they sat down to order.
"The workers really didn't
know how to respond to us
because it was something that
never happened to them before,"
he said. "They weren't used to
black people coming up to the
counter asking for service."
As expected, the four were not
served but that didn't deter them.
They pulled out receipts to prove
that they had purchased items
throughout the store.
"Our argument was 'you've
been serving us at ip counters in
the store and we come to counter' -
number 11 and you iiehy us ser
vice - why'" McCain said.
By^the second day word of
what j}?e four were doing had not
only traveled around A&T's cam
pus but had spread to other local
historically black colleges.
Women from the Bennett College
joined in support at this time
along with other A&T students.
On the third day three white
females from Woman's College
(now UNC-Greensboro) joined in
Set? Sit-In on A10
Local woman cheers at Super Bowl
By JERI YOUNG
Last weekend was hectic for
First, there was the long trek
from her home in Atlanta to
Miami last Thursday. Then,
there were appearances - more
than she can count. She per
formed for millionaires and
danced with party goers during
a "Dirty Bird Bash." And on
Sunday, while the rest the world
was stretched out in Lazy Boy
recliners watching the biggest
football game of the season.
Cain was hard at work.
A co-captain of the Atlanta
Falcons Cheerleading Squad.
Cain, 28, spent Sunday in haze.
She met superstar Cher and the
glam rock band Kiss. She
watched as legendary R&B
crooner Stevie Wonder sang his
biggest hits before a live crowd
that numbered almost 80,000.
For almqst four hours, Cain
smiled, danced, cheered and per
formed routines that dazzled the
Super Bowl throng. And when
the game was over and the Fal
cons lost 34-19 to defending
Super Bowl champions the Den
ver Broncos, the squad was too
excited to admit defeat. Cain
and the 33 other members of the
cheering team stayed on the field
and danced with the Broncos
"Not a tear was shed," she
said. "We were just so happy to
be there nothing could dampen
our spirits. We went back in the
tunnel and cheered for our play
ers. They were pretty upbeat,
too.. No one expected us to go
this far. We really were just glad
to be there."
And after a week with little
or no sleep - the Falcons arrived
in Atlanta on Monday and spent
the bulk of the day as stars of
the city's biggest ticker tape
parade - Cain is still pretty
upbeat. And was surprisingly
wide awake on Tuesday.
"1 guess its just the excite
ment of the game," she said.
When she began with the Fal
cons, almost three years ago,
being a cheerleader wasn't that
big of^a deal. Fans arrived at
games with bags over their heads
Set? Coin on A10
Angel Cain, center, it a co-captain for the Atlanta Fokoat Cheer
leading Squad. The Winiton-Salem native hat been on the tquad far
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