I Bill to establish King Research Center introduced in House I
By HERBERT L. WHITE
CON8QUDATED SCDtA QBOUF
RALJEGH- A bill to establish
the Martin Luther King Race
Relations Research Center has
been introduced in the N.C.
N.C. Rep. Dan Blue, D-Wake,
introduced the bill' last week,
designed to jump start the pro
gram next year. The bill requests
$500,000, which will provide ini
tial funding for research scholars
to start work. Organizers say most
of the $4.5 million needed to build
the center will be sought from the
For almost two years, the
Raleigh-based Martin Luther
King Committee has been laying a
foundation for the building of a
state-of-the-art race relations
research center that would seek
solutions to racial issues facing
"This King group does its
homework," Blue said. "They not
only have a good idea, they have a
plan, and they have collaboration
from a broad cross-section of the
community. I'm very impressed
'at ? ';" k -f ?- - , w- ?#
with their presentation*"
Center proponents say they
like the chances for passage during
this legislative session.
"Most lawmakers seem to
agree that the time has come to get
a handle on racial divisions, per
ceptions and realities. No one has
yet to come out and say that this is
a bad idea, said Lori Ann Harris,
one of the project's chief consul
Organizers have held numer
ous meetings throughout Jhe
Research Triangle with communi
ty groups, faith leaders and educa
tion officials. Jriangle-aiea col
leges such as N.C. State Universi
ty, St Augustine's College, Shaw
University, N.C. Central Universi
ty and Duke University have
helped to organize research work.
Collaboration is also under way
with behavioral scientists at
UCLA, Fisk University, Massa
chusetts Institute of Technology
and the University of Florida.
The center will link electronically
with educational institutions, gov
ernment agencies, media and race
relations groups nationwide.
Many church leaders view the
King Center as a good vehicle to
connect with scholars, law
enforcement and public officials
to address social and economic
The Rev. William Thurston,
pastor of Pleasant Grove Baptist
Church in Raleigh and architect
of the King Center concept, laid:
"There is strength in coming
together. With this new center, we
will now be able to reach across
denominational lines and form
working partnerships with a
broad multiracial coalition of the
See II on A11
tf'c6??--.. Winston-Saiem Greensboro High Point J t___ vol. xxv No. 36
*?? 1IB *''<*** gT+W ff\ ^VK For Reference
i ^ : vJHRON 1 E
1974 - Celebrating 25 Years -1999 j ,rom tNs "brary
One and done
' y > *><r' ' ?
? . . z f.
Photo by Damon Ford
Brian Graham distinguished himself among the thousands of freshmen at N.C. AAT State University this year. The Hickory native
made the dean's list during the fall semester and achieved several other honors and awards while taking part in campus life.
Correct term for women
on board puzzling
By T.KEVIN WALKER
THE CHRONICLE ,
When Winston and Salem became one in 1913, their town councils were
replaced by the Winston-Salem Board of Aldermen.
The term aldermen - which means elder men - accurately described the
board tor tlje better part ot the century. Board mem
bers were older, white and male.
But beginning in 1971 with Ernestine Wilson,
women have continually been elected to the board.
Their charisma and personalities have often outshone
their male counterparts, and they have been at the
forefront of key policies and decisions.
But when terms like policemen (now popularly
referred to as police officers) and firemen (now
referred to as firefighters) fell to the forces of political
correctness and common sense, "aldermen" did not
Although the term "alderwomen" is infrequently
used to describe female members of the board, it doesn't appear in most dic
tionaries and many computer spelling programs do not recognize the word.
The term is also not listed in recent editions of "The Associated Press
Stylebook and Libel Manuel," a reference book used by more than a million
journalists around the nation. Ironically, the stylebook does make reference
to such titles as congresswoman, councilwoman and assemblywoman.
Citing issues of gender equity, the C'arrboro Board of Aldermen voted
last week to change its name to the Carrboro Board of Councilors. The six
member board in the tiny town adjacent to Chapel
Hill had begun the process of changing its name about ?
"\ three years ago. - s
The 4-2 vote last week reflected board members' I
differences on what the new name should be. Two I
members wanted the board renamed Carrboro Town I
Board; however, all board members wanted the term I1
aldermen axed from the title, board member Diana I
McDuffee said Monday.
"For every other occupation and group we have a |
gender neutral name....(Board of aldermen) refers to a M
time when elected bodies were all men, but it didn't fit ?
our reality anymore....We are no longer six old men sit
ting around a table," she said.
McDuffee added that the new name has many benefits. She said friends' ,.
; would often "stumble" when they introduced her. unsure of whether to call
her alderman, alderwoman or alderperson. She also said the gender unspe
cific title will shpw young girls that there is a place for them in Carrboro gov
ernment. . ? |
"Words are important and language really does matter a lot," she said.
The Carrboro board had to get approval from the General Assembly ? !
before changing its name. Currently, state law allows local legislative bodies
to give themselves one of three titles: board of aldermen, town or city coun
cil or board of commissioners.
Local bodies have the leeway to change their names to any one of the
three without the consent of the General Assembly, but any name outside of
those would have to be OK'd, said Chuck Green, an assistant city attorney
Over the years. Carrboro has gained a reputation as one of the most
broad-minded towns in the state. The town has liberal policies and has elect
ed an openly gay mayor ^
But McDuffee said she doesn't feel that Carrboro is alone in its quest to
promote gender equity.
"1 think that Carrboro is very progressive, but so many other towns have
changed their names too," she said.
See Alder whoti? on A10
Graham ends first year at A&T
This is the last in an ongoing
series of articles about Brian
Graham, a freshman at North
Carolina Agricultural and Tech
nical State University. The
Chronicle followed " Graham
*throughout his first-year at the
Greensboro college to see how
he adjusted to life at a large uni
' ? i. s ' "?
By DAMON FORD
? \ GREENSBORO - Final
exams end today for Brian
1 ? . Graham, putting an exclama
tion point on what has been
one of the best and most
daunting years of his life.
Over the past year, Gra
ham, a freshman at North Car
olina Agricultural and State
University, has learned a lot.
tast August^ he was just
another first-year student,
.struggling to figure out how to
get around campus. Now, less
than 10 months later, he's a ris
ing sophomore who managed
to carve out a niche - and find
a girlfriend - on campus.
*' This summer, he begins
another chapter in his life.
Graham, an accounting major,
will be in Memphis, Tenn.
working in the accounting and
finance department of Interna
tional Paper. The 2'lz month
paid internship comes with an
apartment that he will share
with another A&T student.
It's a long way from his
hometown of Hickory, N.C.,
he said excitedly.
" "They'll give me account
based projects, I'll look at their
books and see how they orga
nize their money," Graham
said. "It's big time."
Normally, companies don't
offer internships to freshmen - '
especially freshmen who have
not taken accounting classes.
But Graham was persistent.
"I have to be on top of things
when I go in because I'll be
working with sophomores and
juniors who will have had six
plus accounting classes," he
Though his family is sup
portive of his opportunity,
Graham said it hasn't made it
any easier for them to deal
with the fact that he will be
gone most of the summer.
"I didn't know they were
taking it so hard," he said.
"They really missed me this
year, especially my little broth
Graham's biggest concern
this summer has little to do,
with the work. He can't figure
out exactly how he's going to
eat. He's never had to cook
before since his parents always
prepared meals for him. Since
See Graham on Ail 1
Pigford critical of Pires, settlement
* ? o , >>
This Week In
: May 6, 1787 - Prince
' Hall forms African
; Lodge 459, the first
? black Masonic lodge in
: the U.S.
' May 10,1950-Jackie
Robinson becomes the
first black to grace the
cover of Life magazine.
Black farmer says lawyer
should be 'disbarred'
By DAMON FORD
The lead plaintiff in the black
farmers discriminatory suit now
says their case should have gone to
trial instead of being settled out of
court and that their lawyer should
be "disbarred" after a U.S. District
judge OK'd the settlement.
Tim Pigford, a Bladen County
farmer, said that he and the thou
sands of other black farmers never
wanted lead attorney Alex Pires to
sign the consent decree, a settle
ment between the U.S. Depart
ment of Agriculture and the farm
ers for more than 10 years of dis
criminatory loan practices by the
"They didn't listen to us," Pig
ford said. "Mr. Pires said I would
have to sign the consent decree,
and there was no way in hell I
would have signed it.
"We made this case and Pires
turned and (expletive) us the way
Pires was out of town and
unavailable for comment but
?Phillip Fraas, an attorney who
worked with Pires on the black
farmers' case, said reaching a quick
settlement on the two-year-old
case was in the best interest of the
"We could have fought to our
last soldier to try to get farmers
more money, but the USDA would
have appealed and it would've just
(dragged) out," he said. "For some
farmers who have been kept out of
commercial farming for years, the
amount of money, no matter how
substantial, can't account for all
the wrong that happened in the
Fraas said at least 4,000 black
farmers have filled out applications
for the settlement, which could be
worth a couple billion dollars
before it is all over with.
"There's a great deal of interest
on the part of black farmers," he
said. "So we feel it is a good deal."
In March, U.S. District Judge
Paul Friedman made lawyers ham
mer out a few of the problems
farmers had with the decree. At the
end of last month. Friedman gave
the settlement the thumbs up.
See Block Foi UMI s on A10 L
Salim Afi a mambar of K'MOSA, a Miami-bated theatrical pomt
ry troupa, parforms a martial arts done* during tha group*
appearance at WFU. For full story, saa A3.
? FOR SUBSCRIPTIONS CALL (336) 722-8624 ? MASTERCARD, VISA AND AMERICAN EXPRESS ACCEPTED ? $ |