Stage is finally set for black theater festival
By T.KEVIN WALKER
The stage is set for this year's
National Black Theatre Festi
The dozens of productions
that will be staged here during
the six days of the festival all have
venues to call home. The hundreds
of volunteers who have thrown
their time and energy behind the
festival have been assigned myriad
tasks from ushering at shows to
And tickets to festival events
are briskly being snatched up by
theater lovers from around the
All that's left to do before the
Monday evening kickofT, organiz
ers say, is to dot the i's and cross
Larry Leon Hamlin, the artis
tic director for the festival, and his
staff are busy doing that, double
checking hotel and airline reserva
tions for the many entertainers
who will take part in the festival.
Planning the festival is some
thing Hamlin said he is used to.
He is the architect of the event
and has spearheaded nearly every
aspect of the festival since the
biennial event was first held in
But practice doesn't always
make perfect, Hamlin said.
"People think because this is
the 10th anniversary of the festi
val that things get easier, but
sometimes you encounter some
stumbling blocks, but you just
have to deal with them," he sail.
Burgeoning hotel construction
in the city has cleared away at least
one of the festival's stumbling
blocks. Spurred by the lack of
hotel space during previous festi
vals and C1AA basketball tourna
ments, clusters of new hotels have
sprung up along Hanes Mall
Boulevard, University Parkway
and other areas.
It's a relief to Hamlin who had
to book rooms in Greensboro the
last time the festival was held in
Securing venues for the plays
was a major and early coup for
organizers. Hamlin said it is usual
ly done months - or sometimes a
year- in advance, though finding
transportation to and from the
venues to the hotels for the stars is
something that organizers must
work on up until the last days,
Hamlin, says he has learned
over the years not to bite off more
than he can chew. He is thankful
that he has a loyal band of assis
tants who have been with him .
from the beginning.
See Nsir om A9
75 cants WlNSTON-SALEM GREENSBORO HlGH POINT Jfcl. XXV No. 48
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A soldier's story
By JER1 YOUNG
THE CHRONICLE "
E. Jerry Jones' medals came
in a package two months ago.
Wrapped in bubble wrap and
paper, the four medals arrived in
the mail with little fanfare.
But for Jones, a World War
II veteran, the small package
was worth its weight in gold.
, Since he left the military in
1945, he had wondered often
what, if anything, he was enti
tled to. ,
For five years, like countless
other African Americans who
served in the military, Jones
poured his energy into the war
effort. For black veterans, recog
nition was slow to come. Now,
more than 50 years and count
less letters later, Jones has four
new medals for which he never
knew he qualified.
He proudly displays his new
American Campaign Medal,
Medal, World War II Victory
Medal and USN Good Conduct
Ribbon on a black velvet holder.
Several boast stars to mark bat
tles he fought in.
He's the first to admit, the
honors were a long time com
. \ <ng.
"It feels good," he said. "I'm
just happy to have them."
Jones' odyssey began in rural
Texas 60 years ago.. In 1939, he
was a recent high school gradu
ate looking for money to attend
; college. For a young black in
those days, he said, the military
made sense. He had three sisters
; already in college.
The $21 a month he would
make as a Navy steward's mate
would go a long way to helping
him pay for college.
"When I finished high
school, we were under the
Depression," he said. "Going to
See SoldiT on AS
, ' \ \
Jerry Jones, standing center, poses with a group of shipmates.
? * ? .. if
More than 2,000 gather
for missionary convention
By DAMON FORD
The 115th Annual Session of The Woman's Baptist Home and For
eign Missionary Convention of North Carolina will come to a close
today in Winston-Salem.
Over the past five days, more than 2,500 women and men made their
way through a number of worship services and workshops at Mount
Pleasant Baptist Church and the M.C. Benton Convention Center.
The Woman's Convention comes under the umbrella of the General
Baptist State Convention, and convenes every year. The objective of the
convention is to strengthen the missionary departments in the churches
as well as senior, young adult and youth departments.
Organizers hope the week-long program will increase interest in mis
sionary work on the local and national levels while putting the conven
* tion in a position to better support the GBSC.
"It will give us a renewed time to come together and fellowship to talk
about the work of the Lord and how that we can stretch ourselves and
Sri Confvrtnct on A10
Photo by Damon Ford
Jamah John ton (hft) and Christophmr McDonald anfay thair moot
Monday during tho proconvontion dinnar of The Woman's Baptist
Hama and foroign Missionary Convention of North Carolina.
Citing financial problems, powerful board
recommends revoking charter of East Winstdn school
By PAUL COLLINS
THE CHRONICLE __
The state Charter School Advisory Committee has recommended
that the State Board of Education revoke the charter of LIFT Acade
my, a public charter school in Winston-Salem. The state board is sched
uled to discuss the recommendation during its
meeting Aug. 4-5, said urova Bridgers, director ot
the state Office of Charter Schools.
Bridgers said that the state Charter School
Advisory Committee cited two reasons in its rec
? LIFT Academy did not pay $33,861.40 in
payroll taxes, to the Internal Revenue Service for a
period prior to LIFT Academy becoming a public
charter school in 1997. (LIFT Academy was a pri- J
vate school before the 1997-98 school'year.)
Philip JPrice, the director of school business for
the State Department of Public instruction, said
that the IRS seized the $33,861 from LIFT Acad
emy s bank account in early 1999. -
? LIFT Academy had a deficit of $90,368 in the, 1997-98 school year.
- Price said, though an audit has not yet been done for the 1998-99 '
school year, staffers in Price's office believe LIFT Academy's deficit for
the 1998-99 school year will amount to more than $120,000.
Earline Parmon, administrator of LIFT Academy, said, "The infor
mation the committee (the state Charter School Advisory Committee)
was given about our deficit was erroneous." she said, "DPI (the Depart
ment of Public Instruction) is reporting two different (deficit) figures -
which says one is wrong."
She said one figure DPI cited was $90,368 and the other was
See LIFT on AIO
???a- *T MEMI II III?
Photo by The Amtociatcd Preu
A young John f. Kennedy Jr. salutes the casket bearing his father.
T T 11 1
during special service
? THE CHRONICLE ? ? ' ' C -
* * #
They came from across the city.
Armed with Bibles, clips from old newspapers and hundreds of
memories, they gathered Monday at Goler AME Zion to pay tribute to
yet another fallen Kennedy.
John F. Kennedy Jr., 38; his 33-year-old wife. Carolyn; and her sister,
Lauren Bessette. 34, died July 16 when Kennedy's single-engine plane
crashed into the Atlantic off Martha's Vineyard.
Their cremated remains were cast into the ocean near the site last
Last weekend, both the Kennedy and Bessette families gathered in
New York City and Greenwich. Conn., to pay tribute to their fallen
loved ones. But unlike those invitation-only memorial masses, the ser
vice at Goler was open to the public.
For almost an hour, speakers from around the city stepped up to the
podium to reminisce about the legacy of the Kennedy family. They
talked about symbolism, irony and death.
The speakers represented a broad spectrum of races and religious
backgrounds. Some remembered the haunting image of a young "John
John." saluting his father's casket. Others remembered an adult JFK Jr.,
who often stumbled in his quest to figure put his place in Camelot but
never strayed far from civil rights initiatives that made his father a
beloved figure in the African American community.
"1 loved John F. Kennedy Sr.." said Lafayette Jones, to a chorus of
'amens'. "And I love the son because of the father."
Sr. Ktnmdy on M
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