Washington gives $1 million to Wiley
to re-establish school's debate team
MARSHALL, Texas (AP) - Denzel Washington is donating
$1 million to Wiley College - the school
featured in his new movie "The Great
Debaters" - to re-establish its debate team
The gift was announced last week by
Washington was in Marshall, Texas last
week to screen the film, a story about
Wiley's 1930s debate team. He stars as
educator and poet Melvin Tolson, who led
the all-black college's elite debate squad.
During his appearance, the 52-year-old
actor-director said he would like to see the
team gei going again.
Marshall is a city of about 24,000, located 140 miles east of
Dallas. Wiley has about 900 students.
"The Great Debaters" opened Christmas Day. It has been
nominated for a Golden Globe Award for best picture drama.
State panel says 'yes' to
marker for Durham sit-in site
RALEIGH (AP) - A North Carolina highway marker will
commemorate the sit-in at Royal Ice Cream in Durham that
occurred three years before the better known protest in
The Historical Marker Advisory Committee agreed Monday to
put a marker at the site of the sit-in that occurred in June 1957
when seven blacks sat in the whites-only section of the ice cream
The protesters were arrested, charged and fined.
Three years later, in 1960, a sit-in occurred at Woolwoith - a
protest that's recognized at the Smithsonian.
The Durham marker is scheduled to go up in spring 2008 at
the former location of Royal Ice Cream.
In 2002, the committee had different members and turned
down a request for the marker, saying the Durham sit-in wasn't as
significant statewide as the one in Greensboro.
North Carolina has more than 1,500 historic markers, but the
one in Durham will be just the fourth that commemorates a civil
Alice Walker to place literary
papers at Emory University
ATLANTA (AP) - Pulitzer Prize winning author Alice
Walker is placing her literary archive at Emory University's
library, university officials said last week.
Walker, a native of Eatonton, Ga? and author of the 1983
prize-winning "The Color Purple," has
spotlighted the struggle of Southern blacks,
particularly women. She visits Emory
every couple of years for reading* and
meetings with faculty mwnbars. That rela
tionship was key"th hertlecfsion to place
her archive at the institution, university
In a statement released through the uni
versity, the author said she chose Emory
because she feels "at ease and comfort
"I can imagine in years to come that my
papers and memorabilia, my journals and letters, will find them
selves always in the company of people who care about many of
the things I do: culture, community, spirituality, scholarship and
the blessings of ancestors who want each of us to find joy and hap
piness in this life, by doing the very best we can to be worthy of
it," Walker said in the statement.
Walker said Emory's relationship with the Dalai Lama also
played a part in her decision. The Tibetan spiritual leader joined
the university's faculty in October as a Presidential Distinguished
Professor and plans to periodically visit Emory to give talks to
Her archive spans 40 years and includes journals she's kept
since she was a teenager, drafts of many of her works of fiction -
including "The Color Purple - and correspondence between
Walker and editors, friends and family. Some of the correspon
dence is from Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones and Tillie Olsen.
Congress approves bill to name
federal courthouse after Howard
PINE BLUFF, Ark. (AP) - The late U.S. District Judge
George Howard Jr. will be honored with the naming of the fed
eral building and courthouse after him in his hometown of Pine
Legislation to name the building after Howard passed the
Senate and will be sent to President Bush for his signature,
Arkansas congressional members announced last week. The bill
passed the House on June 25.
In 1980, Howard was the first black Arkansan appointed to
a federal judgeship. He was named to the post by President
Howard was born in 1924 in Jefferson County. He attended
Lincoln University in Missouri and the University of Arkansas
at Fayetteville, where he received his law degree in 1954. He
was not the first black graduate of the law school but he was
one of the earliest.
In 1969, Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller appointed Howard to
the state Claims Commission. After that, Howard went on to
serve on the state Supreme Court and the Arkansas Court of
Appeals before arriving at the federal bench. He was the first
black person to hold each of those positions in Arkansas.
On the federal bench, Howard presided over the
Whitewater-related trial of then Gov. Jim Guy Tucker and
James and Susan McDougal in which then-President Clinton
Howard died April 21 . He was 82.
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McKinney running for president ;
BY AKWASI EVANS
NOKOA - THE OBSERVER
AUSTIN, Texas (NNPA)
- Many political observers
believe that it is highly
unlikely that America will
elect a woman for president
and even less likely that
America will elect an African
American, so what would be
the odds of America electing
an African-American woman
Whatever they would be,
Cynthia McKinney is ignor
The former Georgia
Congresswoman, known for
her outspokenness on hot
political issues, is the presi
dential nominee of the Green
Party and she was in Austin
earlier this month, soliciting
support for her up the moun
McKinney spoke to listen
ers of KAZl-FM's talk show,
"The Wake-Up Call", telling
listeners that both the
Democrats and the
Republicans want to feed the
people to the war machine.
She said people's values are
ignored by the major parties
and opportunities for
advancement are being
exported instead of cultivated
here at home. McKinney
spoke with NOKOA by phone
following the radio broadcast.
"The Green Party has a
primary process. I have had a
long relationship with mem
bers of the Green I*arty. Their
members supported my first
campaign in 1992. Think
about economic justice, pub
lic policy for people who have
been left out, health care,
these are all concerns I share
" ? ~ ~ MCT Photo
Cynthia McKinney addresses supporters at The Capitol during her days in Congress.
with members of the Green
Party," she says.
McKinney, who served in
Congress as a Democrat, quit
the party in September.
"Being green, feeling
green, but not being a Green.
The structure of politics does
n't fit my values so you have
to find where your values do
fit," she says.
In the radio interview,
McKinney said she was on the
ballot in four or five states.
She tells Nokoa that she won't
"My goal is to be on 51
ballot lines, including the
District of Columbia. In Texas
our petition drive needs to
collect 45,000 valid signa
tures from registered voters
for my name to appear on the
ballot. Nationally our goal is
to get over 5 percent of the
vote. McKinney is traveling
by car. She has toured
Oklahoma, Illinois and
Minnesota. She said she has
visited 25 states so far and her
support keeps growing every
where she makes an appear
Cynthia McKinney served
as a Democrat in the U.S.
House of Representatives
from 1993 to 2003 and from
2005 to 2007, representing
McKinney was defeated in the
2006 Democratic primary,
losing her Congressional seat
for the second time. She quit
the Democratic Party about a
month before filing paper
work with the FEC creating
an exploratory committee for
a Green Party presidential
campaign on Oct. 22.
Her political career began
in 1986 when her father, a
representative in the Georgia
House of Representatives,
submitted her name as a
write-in candidate for the
See McKinney on A4
Sharpton: Torture case a hate crime
BY SHAYA TAYEFE MOHAJER
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
The Rev. A1 Sharpton called
on prosecutors last week to
add hate crimes charges
against the six people suspect
ed of kidnapping and torturing
a young black woman, and
vowed not to give up the pres
"The best way to keep us
out of town is to handle hate
crimes the right way here in
town," the civil rights activist
told a crowd of nearly 100
people gathered at the First
Baptist Church in honor of
Authorities said three men
and three women held
Williams captive for days at a
rural trailer in Big Creek this
summer - sexually assaulting
her,' beating her and forcing
her to eat human and animal
feces. She was rescued after
an anonymous caller alerted
' Logan County sheriff's
The case is expected to go
in January before a grand jury,
where the defendants face
sexual assault and kidnapping
charges. The kidnapping
count carries a possible sen
tence of life in prison.
Prosecutor Brian Abraham
has said state hate crimes
charges, which carry a maxi
mum sentence of 10 years in
prison, could be difficult to
prove because Williams had a
"social relationship" with one
of the suspects, 24- year-old
Abraham has advised the
Williams family not to partic
ipate in public events for fear
of tainting jury pools.
Williams did not attend the
The Associated Press gen
erally does not identify sus
pected victims of sexual
assault, but Williams and her
mother agreed to release her
name. Carmen Williams said
she wanted people to know
what her daughter had
The National Association
for the Advancement of
Colored People and several
local preachers have also
stayed away, saying they were
concerned it could harm the
prosecution's case. Local and
national NAACP leaders also
said they disapproved of the
organizers of a November
march, a Washington, D.C.
based group called Black
Lawyers for Justice because
of its ties to black radicals.
Sharpton also criticized '
Charleston Mayor Danny I
Jones, who has called for!
Williams' supporters to back;
off over similar concerns.;
Jones had objected to the
involvement of Malik!
Shabazz, the Williams fami-;
ly's legal adviser, because of
See Williams on A 4
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