North Carolina Newspapers

We march for good but racism marches, too
. i ? i
James B.
Recently, we celebrated
the 50th anniversary of the
March. It was in 1965 that
men and women of both
races and all ages made this
historic walk to protest
racial intolerance.
Men like John Lewis
and Hosea Williams will be
in our history books forev
er as they were among hun
dreds who made that event
ful walk across the
Edmund Pettis Bridge.
Now that the anniver
sary march is over and the
speeches have been made,
what have we learned from
this significant event in our
nation's history?
First and foremost, I
believe that people gen
uinely care deeply about
this country despite its con
tinued racial divide. The
majority of Americans
want to eradicate racism
and sexism in this country.
We know that the Selma
March and The Voting
Rights Act of 1965 will for
ever be linked together.
However, we see restric
tions are now being placed
on our ability to vote in
some states.
It grieves me that any
state would try to limit our
right as citizens to vote.
But we see it unfolding
right in front of our eyes. If
there is ever a time to con
tact our state and national
legislators it is now.
Many young people
were there marching, and I
can only hope they
marched with a purpose.
The pomp and the circum
stance without the commit
ment and the compassion
are hollow. One of the
recent Selma marchers,
Margaret Howard, said in
the USA Today newspaper,
"There's been great
progress but it feels like as
a country we're 10 years
behind where we should be
at this point."
The racial climate in
America continues to be a
stumbling block which
derails any progress that
we make. Just when we
think a modicum of victory
has been won, something
happens. .It seems as if
"something happening"
has been an ongoing refrain
for much too long now.
Earlier this month,
members of the Sigma
Alpha Epsilon Fraternity at
the University of
Oklahoma had a racist
video which was offensive
to African-Americans, and
quite honestly, to any citi
zen regardless of ethnicity.
While black folks were the
targets, we are all targets
because we are our broth
er's and sister's keeper.
The president of the
University of Oklahoma
has denounced the video,
closed the fraternity house
and taken strong discipli
nary actions against the
students. Now of course
the students in question
fear for their lives, as they
have received death
threats. Their parents are
worried and are fearful of
As a parent and a
grandparent, I understand
their concerns and don't
wish upon their children
any hurt or harm.
However, what concerns
me is what went on around
their dinner table when
their children were young.
Did the parents tell their
children to be respectful of
all people and cultures? If
they did, the lessons did not
With all that is happen
ing in this country that is
racially motivated, you
simply cannot say "I didn't
know" or offer an apology
and think your transgres
sion will simply go away.
It won't.
You give up the percep
tion that you are a good cit
izen when you engage in
this vile and mean-spirited
behavior. When you think
about it, too many of these
acts are happening on col
lege campuses. Cross
burnings, racist graffiti and
video productions all send
the wrong message about
this country.
We cannot be the melt
ing pot of ideas and be the
cesspool of hatred. It
didn't work 50 years ago at
Selma and it won't work
now in 2015.
College campuses are
supposed to be the training
ground for the next genera
tion of leaders.
As we go into the halls
of ivy, how many other
individuals and groups
have the same message of
racism and sexism but just
haven't been caught?
The march for equality
and justice is headed in the
right direction, so we must
march on!
Yet we must also know
that evil marches and sings,
Stomp on and stomp
out evil and incivility.
March for what is right, fair
and just.
The future of our coun
try depends upon it.
James B. Ewers Jr.
EdD. is a former tennis
champion at Atkins High
School and played college
tennjs at Johnson C. Smith
University where he was
all-conference for four
years. He is the President
Emeritus of The Teen '
Mentoring Committee oj
Ohio and a retired college
administrator. He can be
reached at
ewers .jr56@ yahoo .com.
AP Pfcoto/Jacquelyn Martin
President Barack Obama, fourth from left, listens to Rep. John Lewis, (D-Ga.), as he speaks about "Bloody
Sunday" as they and the first family, civil right leaders, and members of Congress, walk across the
Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., for the 50th anniversary of the landmark event of the Civil Rights
Movement, Saturday, March 7. From left are Sasha Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Lewis, Obama,
Amelia Boynton Robinson, who was beaten during "Bloody Sunday," and Adelaide Sanford, also in a
We must redouble
our efforts to gain jobs
for Black Americans
jobs report is
news. With
295,000 jobs
created last
month and the
ment rate
dropping to
5.5 percent, we have good reason to feel
optimistic about the future.
However, our economy still has major
disparities in the number of jobs gained by
African -Americans versus other races,
and lawmakers could be doing much more
to encourage Black entrepreneurship.
At 10.4 percent, Black unemployment
is still double that of other demographics.
And, the African-American community
has seen the lowest participation rate dur
ing the past six months, meaning that
despite job gains across the country, our
communities continue to see a significant
lag in job creation.
We must work to redouble our efforts
to ensure African-Americans have access
to jobs. A large part of the stimulus to
reduce Black unemployment shpuld be
centered on expanding African-American
small business owners' opportunities to
grow, create jobs and thrive.
This includes increasing the availabili
ty of small business loans for our commu
Unemployment rates
l2[~ V ?iBUok. ??(>??? US
10 -
? m -rn
41 1 1 1 1
* Feb.'14 Dec. '14 Jan.'15 Feb.'15
Source: US. Deparetment of Labor
nity. Black businesses employ nearly 1
million people. Last year's startling report
by the Wall Street Journal that found
Black-owned small businesses receive
about 1.7 percent of all loan
money available through the
Small Business
Administration, down from
8.2 percent before the reces
sion, is a trend that cannot
The U.S. Black
Chambers Inc. will continue
to work with Black entre
preneurs, the Administration
nd Congress on solutions to
tie problem of Black unem
ployment and on increasing
African-American entrepreneurs' ability to
access vital funds for their businesses and
create jobs.
Cherish the Black historian who lives among us
Henry J.
Editor's note:
Lenwood Davis was hon
ored with a Lifetime
Achievement Award during
The Chronicle's 30th annu
al Community Service
Awards event on March 21.
Henry J. Pankey originally
wrote this for Black History
Lenwood G. Davis'
arduous work habits, keen
intellect, creative word
smith have distinguished
him as one of the most pro
lific writers of the baby
boom generation. African
American writers continue
the Afrocentric role of the
griot (story-teller) respon
sible for recording and sal
vaging history in an inter
generational manner
passed from one generation
to the next.
His paradox as a young
author writing about a
young eloquent preacher
from Atlanta is synony
mous with a' historian
becoming history.
Although, Davis wrote one
of the first biographies of
Martin Luther King Jr., the
retired Winston-Salem
University pro
fessor has pub- L
lished hundreds M
of articles, 30
books and made BjA
countless local,
state and interna- 1
tional academic pre- r" A
sentations. VXB
The North M
Carolina Central T f
University graduate Vj
biographic "Selected r*
Writings and Speeches \
of James E. Shepard. 1
1896-1946: Founder of '
North Carolina Central
Black History Month is
a time when we remember
the history and legacies of
giants in our midst, but
sometimes the greatest are
walking silendy beside us.
Without apologies. Dr.
Davis pearls of gems are
meticulously woven in
impactful literary fabrics.
His publications are a
metaphor for success and a
role model for a generation
in search of a hero. We
must pro- ^?
the living, dead and yet
unborn that our geniuses
are no longer a dream
deferred, but the fulfillment
of our loftiest aspirations.
His acumen skill in
h'" I "
"bout I
^? unsung I
?ft? ( ^^^"--"""""neroes, historical '
truths on controversial sub
claim to jects have been vetted and
validated by but not limited
to the following: Martin
Luther King Jr., Malcolm
X, Paul Robeson, Fredrick
Douglas, Booker T.
Washington, Joseph
Charles Price, Simon
Green Atkins, James
Walker Hood, Black
Women as Educators,
Women Inventors, Daniel
A. Payne, Marcus Garvey,
The History of Violence in
the Black Community,
Daddy Grace, etc .Read,
analyze, discuss and hand
down pockets of excellence
embedded in the extraordi
nary works of a fearless
word slinger dedicated to
preserving contributions,
pride, dignity, courage,
convictions, nobility and
self-respect of unheralded
historic African-American
crown jewels.
"Black History matters.
Black lives matter. Dr.
Lenwood G. Davis matters.
So do you!"
Henry J. Pankey is the
author of "Fly on Sweet
Angel," "Standing in the
Shadows of Greatness,"
"The Eagle who Thought
he was a Hip Hop Funky
Chicken," "How to Turn
Around low Performing
Schools," A creator of
"Hooked on Rap" an
interactive tongue twister

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