Sen. Bill Nelson pushing for expanded
pensions for Negro League players
TAMPA, Fla. - U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson reported progress last
week in efforts to persuade major league baseball to include more
players from the old Negro Leagues in a pension plan established five
Nelson has been assisting the players for months in hopes of
resolving their complaint about being denied benefits because they
didn't play before 1947.
"I am very encouraged," the Florida
Democrat said. "For the first time, I have seen
an indication by major league baseball that
? they are going to recognize the valid claims
for the players of the old Negro Leagues to
t receive a pension."
Bob Mitchell, a Tampa resident who
pitched for the Kansas City Monarchs in the
1950s, estimates there are about 145 men who
were denied benefits in 1997 when baseball
agreed to a $10,000-a-year pension for some
former Negro League players.
To be eligible, a player had to have played
fout years on a Negro or major league team, or a combination of both,
andhad to have played in the Negro Leagues before 1947 when Jack
<> ie Robinson broke the color barrier in the majors.
Nelson met with Mitchell and others eight months ago, promising
to take their case to baseball officials.
One option could be lump-sum payments to the players, a move
Mitchell said would cost baseball less than $9 million. Others include
quarterly payments (which eligible players currently receive) or
Nelson said baseball is looking at ways to resolve the dispute biit
has not made any proposals. Nor is there a timetable for coming up
with a plan. '
Parma, Ohio, and NAACP agree
to settle discrimination case
CLEVELAND - Lawyers for a predominantly white Cleveland
suburb and the NAACP have agreed to settle a hiring discrimination
Parma Law Director Tint Dobeck said a tentative settlement has
been reached in a 12-year-old lawsuit.
A 27-year court case involving the city was settled with the U.S.
Justice Department in 1999 over alleged housing discrimination.
"Hopefully this settlement and the prior settlement will dispel the
notion that Parma is a racist community," said Council President
Chuck Germana. He said the label is unfair because Parma has done
as much as, if not more than, other predominantly white communities
to recruit black residents and job applicants.
The Plain Dealer reported Wednesday that Parma will not have to
admit it has been guilty of exclusionary hiring practices. But the
; newspaper's sources said settlement terms would last six or fewer
years and require the city to pay NAACP lawyers $295,000 in legal
fees, appoint an equal opportunity officer and spend up to $10,000 a
year to advertise job openings in minority publications.
The 550-person city payroll includes two blacks, a police officer
and a clerical worker.
The agreement to be complete must be approved by the Parma
City Council and the NAACP.
U.S. District Judge Kate O'Malley dismissed the case in 1998.
O'Malley expressed belief that the city had corrected discriminatory
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati last August
overturned O'Malley's ruling, setting the stage for a new trial. The
settlement came during pre-trial negotiations.
: Poll: Powell popular among blacks
| WASHINGTON - In a national poll of African-American regis
tered voters commissioned by Black America's Political Action Com
mittee (BAMPAC), Secretary of State Colin Powell received an 80
percent favorable rating. This gave him the highest favorability rating
among a list of African-American leaders that included: Rev. Jesse
Jackson (80 percent). Activist A1 Sharpton (51 percent), and National
Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice (41 percent).
Rice experienced the largest surge in name recognition and favor
able rating in this most recent poll. Her name recognition has risen
from 38 percent in 2001 to 59 percent in 2002.
The top issues of concern among African Americans are national
security (33 percent) and the economy (24 percent), according to the
O'Neal to take over reins at renowned
brokerage firm Merrill Lynch
Wall Street will be looking a little more in the black with the
stepped-up appointment of E. Stanley O'Neal as the chief execu
tive of Merrill Lynch & Co.
O'Neal. 50. who has been president and
jl chief operating officer, will assume his new
I duties on Dec. 2. a year earlier than origi
I nally announced. He becomes the first
African-American to head a prominent
Wall Street investment company. Merrill
Lynch also is the nation's largest brokerage
On April 28, 2003. O'Neal will add
chairman to his title. He replaces David
? Komansky, who had planned to retire in
* 2004. and recently settled a legal problem
with the New York attorney general and
decided to retire earlier.
Born in Alabama. O'Neal worked on an assembly line at Gen
eral Motors, while taking college classes, to pay his way through
school. A Harvard business school graduate, he joined Merrill
Lynch in 1986. O'Neal recently was ranked No. I in Fortune's list
of top black corporate executives.
Fn>m AP and NNPA wire reports
The Chronicle (USPS 067-910) was established by
Ernest H. Pitt and Ndubisi Egemonye in 1974 and is
published every Thursday by Winston-Salem Chronicle
Publishing Co. Inc., 617 N. Liberty Street, Winston
Salem, NC 27101. Periodicals postage paid at Win
ston-Salem, N.C. Annual subscription price is $30.72.
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to:
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Winston-Salem, NC 27102-1636
White woman raised black says
skin color is just 'a state of mind'
Forest City woman
did not know she was
white until a relative
helped her locate
BY ELIZABETH LELAND
THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER
FOREST CITY - Linda
Fay McCord was raised in the
1950s as a (tjack child by adpp
tive black parents. She rode in
the back of the bus. She drank
from colored water fountains.
When classmates taunted
her as 'high yellow" because of
her light skin and ha/el eyes,
McCord yelled back: "I'm
Years later, when a co-work
er at her new job confided he
was glad the boss hadn't hired a
"colored girl." McCord scolded
hint: "I'm black."
"No. you're not."
"Yes. I am."
The last time she ever cor
rected anybody was four years
ago. when a stranger tele
phoned. claiming to be her
niece. McCord confronted her:
"You can't he my niece." she
remembers saying. "You sound
like you're a white girl."
"I am white," the caller said.
"And so are you."
"Oh. my God."
The caller mailed McCord a
copy of a faded birth certificate
from Surry County, northwest
of Winston-Salem. "Linda Fay
Alderman," it said in typed let
ters. "Place of birth: Toast, N.C.
Date of birth: 18 November
1946. Color or race: While."
"I don t even know who I
am." McCord now says. "I'm
caught in the middle of some
thing. My mind says I'm black.
Then I look at my skin, and it
says I'm white. I've come to the
conclusion that color is just a
state of mind."
McCord is 55, a big-boned
woman. 5 feet 7 inches tall, with
freckles dotting high cheek
bones and curly hair turned
gray. She talks with pride about
raising six children as a single
mom without welfare. She
cooked, painted, cleaned white
people's homes, worked as a
nurse s aide in a convalescence
center and inspected cloth at a
mill. She now cooks at a nursing
home. She's been married 6 1/2
years to Mac McCord. a black
man and retired engineer who
says the first time he met
McCord he wondered if his
friend had set him up with a
McCord always felt her
adoptive parents disliked her
because of her light skin. She
has a twin sister, Brenda Kay,
who has darker skin and seemed
to fit in better. McCord said
when freckles popped out on
her face at age 6, her adoptive
mother whipped her and tried to
scrub them off with a Brillo pad.
She was 12 when she and
Brenda found out they were
adopted. She said her mother
told them that their real parents
gave them away.
As best as she now can fig
ure out, McCord's biological
mother was Dutch Irish, a fair
skinned woman who worked as
a housekeeper in Mount Airy.
Her father was half-German.
half-Cherokee, an alcoholic
who made his money - when he
worked - digging wells and
painting houses. He disappeared
for days on drinking binges.
Linda and Brenda were
taken from home when they
were 3. maybe because of their
father's drinking. maybe
because he'd left on a binge and
their mother couldn't provide
Somehow they ended up
with a black couple from the
town of Ruth in Rutherford
County. There are no adoption
records, no one who can sort out
the truth. A second birth certifi
cate is on file in Rutherford
County and lists the adoptive
couple as birth parents. "Linda
Fay Douglas." it says! "Place of
birth: Rutherfordton. Date of
birth: Nov."l8, 1946. Color or
"If you couldn't go in a
restaurant and sit down with a
white person and eat, if you
couldn't sit in the bus with
them," McCord wonders, "how
in the world could a black per
son adopt a white person in
After Linda and Brehda
were taken away, their biologi
cal mother gave birth to a son
and another daughter, who
stayed at home and were raised
as white children.
Their mother talked about
Linda and Brenda. For years,
she tried to locate her twins. She
?called for them on her deathbed
After she died, her grand
daughter, Jocalyn Dolani, began
looking for the twins. She set
out to find two white women
After months of digging, she
turned up two black women.
When McCord answered the
phone, it was as if Dolani was
hearing her dead grandmother
speak again. She had the same
tone of voice, the same infec
McCord didn't believe what
Dolani told her. But when
Dolani described Brenda's
crooked toe. McCord knew it
was true. How else would this
stranger know about Brenda's
"What was my mother's
name?" she remembers asking.
She hesitated before she
asked the next question. She had
dreamed of meeting her parents
for so long. She wanted the
Si\ McCord on A5
(AP Photo/The Charlotte Observer. Robert Lahser)
Linda McCord was raised in the 1950s as a black child by adoptive black parents. She rode
in the back of the bus. She drank from "colored" water fountains.
NC State House District 72
Paid for by the Committee to Elect Aimeltc Beatty
Notice of Availability
The Virginia Department of Rail and
Public Transportation and the North
Carolina Department of
Transportation have completed a
Tier I Final Environmental Impact
Statement for proposed high speed
passenger rail service between
Washington. DC. and Charlotte. NC.
Copies of the Tier I Final
Environmental Impact Statement may
be reviewed at these locations.
Public comments are vital to the project and will be
entered into the public record. Comments will be
received through August 30. 2002. and should
be sent to:
David B. Foster. PE
Mail Service%Center 1553
Raleigh. NC ^27699-1553
NCDOT Division 10.
District 2 Office
7605 District Drive
Charlotte. NC 28213
NCDOT Division 5 Office
2612 North Duke Street
Durham. NC 27704
Jon G. Nance
NCDOT Division 7 Office
1584 Yanceyville Street
Greensboro. NC 27415
336 334 3192
NCDOT Division 5. District
1060 Eastern Boulevard
Henderson. NC 27536
NQDOT Division 5. District
4009 District Drive
Raleigh. NC 27607
Brandon H. Jones
Roanoke Rapids. NC
NCDOT Division 4. District
PO. Box 98
Halifax. NC 27839
(Location: NC 903. 1.5 miles
northwest of Halifax. NC)
252 583 5861
Lee County Manager's
106 Hillcrest Drive
Sanford. NC 27330
NCDOT Division 9. District
4770 South Main Street
Salisbury. NC 2814 7
Star Municipal Building
454 South Main Street ?
Star. NC 27356
Robin Hussey ? ~
910 428 4623
NCDOT Division 4 Office
509 Ward Boulevard
Wilson. NC 27895
NCDOT Division 9 Office
2125 Coverdale Avenue
Winston Salem. NC