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Philly to require African history
class for all high school students
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - City high school students will be
required to take a class in African and African- American history to
graduate, a move that education experts believe is unique in the
nation. . .
The requirement in the ISSjOOO-student
district, which is about two-thirds black, will
begin with September's freshman class. The
Philadelphia Inquirer reported last Thursday.
The yearlong course covers subjects
including classical African civilizations, civil
rights and black nationalism, said Gregory
Thornton, the district's chief academic offi
cer. The other social studies requirements are
American history, geography and world his
tory. Thornton was previously an assistant
superintendent in the Winston
saiem/rorsytn c ounty acnooi system.
Michael Casserly. executive director of the Council of the Great
City Schools, an advocacy group for big city school districts, said
Philadelphia appeared to be in the forefront with such a require
"Courses on the subjects are offered as electives in other cities,"
Some parents opposed requiring the course, including Miriam
Foltz, president of the Home and School Association at Baldi Mid
"There are other races in this city," said Foltz, who is white.
"There are other cultures that will be very offended by this. How can
you just mandate a course like this?"
Helms apologetic on AIDS, not segregation
RALEIGH (AP) - In his upcoming memoir, former Sen. Jesse
Helms acknowledges he was wrong about the AIDS epidemic but
believes integration was forced before its time by "outside agitators
who had their own agendas.
"Here's Where I Stand." to be published
in September by Random House, contains
Helms' first extended comments on national
affairs since the Republican retired from the
Senate in 2003 after five terms. Advance
proofs were described in last Thursday's edi
tions of The News & Observer of Raleigh.
Helms. 83, was one of the state's leading
voices of segregation as a TV commentator
in Raleigh in the 1960s and opposed nearly
every civil rights bill while in the Senate. He
has never retracted his views on race or said
segregation was wrong.
In the book. Helms suggests he believed voluntary racial inte
gration would come about without pressure from the federal gov
ernment or from civil rights protests that he said sharpened racial
"We will never know how integration might have been achieved
in neighborhoods across our land, because the opportunity was
snatched away by outside agitators who had their own agendas to
advance," according to the uncorrected proof.
Police arrest killer cow
LAGOS, Nigeria (Reuters) - Nigerian police have arrested a
cow that killed a bus driver who was urinating on a highway, a
police spokesman said last Thursday.
The homed African cow. which was wandering stray in the Ojo
district of Nigeria's biggest city. Lagos, also injured several
bystanders after killing the man.
"The cow went mad, ran into a bus driver, and knocked him
down. Efforts to revive him were fruitless," said Lagos police
spokesman Olubode Ojajuni.
Some people suggested the animal be shot, but the district police
officer ordered it to be taken alive.
"You know what it will take to arrest a mad cow?" one newspa
per quoted a policeman as saying. "We applied ingenuity and arrest
ed the cow, which is now being detained at the station." he said
without going into details.
Ojajuni said police were seeking the cow's owner to press
charges for failing to keep it under control.
AIDS cases reach a million
ATLANTA (AP) - The United States has reached an AIDS
milestone, but not the one the government intended.
This was to be the year that federal health officials slashed
the country's annual rate of 40,000 new HIV infections in half.
Instead, the government said Monday the infection rate has
remained the same and that for the first time since the height
of the epidemic in the 1980s there are 1
million Americans living with HIV.
In part, it's a testament to the power
ful medicines keeping so many people
alive. After nearly a quarter-century of
battling AIDS, much more is known
about the disease than ever before - and
how to treat it.
But U.S. health officials face prob
lems similar to the early days.of the epi
demic. including a new generation of
Americans who engage in risky, unpro
tected sex ^nd the inability of a govern
ment to curb the spread of the virus.
Health officials say HIV and sexually transmitted diseases
have recently spread through outbreaks in major cities as
many gay and bisexual men have let down their guard after
enduring years of safe-sex messages. The new estimates indi
cate that, as in recent years, blacks still account for a dispro
portionately high share of the cases - about 47 percent.
"We have not halved the rates of new infections. But we do
think we are making progftss,'" said Dr. Ronald Valdiserri.
deputy director of the CDC's National Center for HIV, STD
and TB Prevention, as the National HIV Prevention Confer
ence got under way.
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-Saltern, NC 27101. Peri
odicals postage paid at Winston-Salem, N.C. Annual sub
scription price is $30.72.
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to:
The Chronicle, P.O. Box 1636
Winston-Salem, NC 27102-1636
Widow puts out book about Evers
BY KM1LY WAGSTLR PfcTTUS
THE AMOCmtB WUJS __
JACKSON, Miss.- Myrlie
Evers- Williams believes her
late husband. Medgar Evers,
deserves more lhaa a fleeting
reference in history books as a
slain civil rights leader.
She hopes "The Autobiogra
phy of Medgar Evers," the new
book she edited with Columbia
University history professor
Manning Marable. will provide
a comprehensive picture of the
work Evers performed as the
first field secretary for the Mis
sissippi NAACP. The World
War II veteran held the job from
November 1954 until his death.
wants younger generations of
Americans to know about her
husband's part in breaking
down the Jim Crow system in
what was one of the most
staunchly segregated states in
The book was released May
31, and Evers-Williams has
been on a promotional tour in
Chicago. San Francisco and
"The response has been real
ly very gooid to the book. I'm
very pleased that people are
saying it's a book that has been
needed for a very long time,"
Evers-Williams said during a
phone interview last week
between appearances in New
Sunday marked 42 years
since Evers was assassinated in
the driveway of his family's
Jackson home. His wife and
their three children were inside
when the shots rang out just
Zuma Press Photo
Myrlie Evers-Williams holds the book she edited about her late husband. The book , "The
Autobiography of Medgar ? vers: A Hero's Life and Legacy Revealed Through His Writings , Let
ters and Speeches v/as recently released.
hours after President Kennedy
gave a televised speech on civil
Fertilizer salesman Byron de
la Beckwith was tried twice on
murder charges in 19^4, but all
white juries deadlocked. Prose
cutors reopened an investigation
in 1 989, and a mixed-race jury
convicted Beckwith in February
1994. The avowed white
supremacist died an prison in
January 2001 .
Evers-Williams, who now
lives in Bend, Ore., said as she
reread her husband's letters and
speeches to prepare the book,
she felt emotions she thought
"had been boxed up and put
away." She recalled the work of
other Mississippians who chal
lenged racial injustice.
The couple's youngest son,
Van. sorted through hundreds of
pictures and documents, includ
ing Evers' driver's license.
Sec Evers on A10
Gordon poised to be NAACP president
BY MAKEBRA M ANDERSON
WASHINGTON (NNPA) -
Aspecial NAACP search commit
tee has recommended that former
President and CEO Kweisi
Mfume be succeeded by Bruce
June 25 in Atlanta.
"I think this Ls an excellent
choice. I think it's the best choice
the NAACP has made since they
had (Benjamin L.) Hooks," said
Harry Alford, president of the
National Black Chamber of Com
merce. "Gordon has good corpo
rate executive experience, but he's
also been in charge of diversity
over at Verizon, so he knows how
and what a major corporation can
The selection of Gordon
caught even some board members
by surprise. Acting President Den
nis Hayes did not learn of the
selection until the story was bro
ken last Friday by April Ryan on
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An unknown in the Civil
Rights Movement. Gordon's
impending confirmation is
expected to alter some of the fric
tion that previously existed - but
was publicly denied - between the
association's president and Board
Chairman Julian Bond.
It also means that Bond will
serve as the primary face and
voice of the nation's oldest and
largest civil rights organization
while Gordon assumes a less pub
lie role, applying his management
skills to improve the NAACP.
Although Mfume had good
business sense, Alford, who has
worked closely with Gordon, says
that his leverage will allow the
NAACP to tap into new
"Civil rights is about equal
opportunity for all," Alford said.
"Now the NAACP can go to IBM,
and go to GM and others and say,
'I've been there, I know how to do
After a successful 35-year
career. Gordon retired from Veri
zon in December 2003 after serv
ing as president of retail markets
in Verizon's domestic telecom
unit. As head of retail markets, he
wis responsible for the compa
ny's consumer and small-business
According to some. Board
Chairman Julian Bond wanted
someone with excellent fund-rais
ing abilities and unquestioned
See NAACP on At 1
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