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tKhe ChatJotte 10ost
"The Voice Of The Black Community'
Volume 13, Number 34
THE CHARLOTTE POST - Thursday. January 21, 1988
Price: 50 Cents
In Search Of
Leaders Like Kmg
BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
On the 59lh blrthday-pf slain civil rights leader Marlin Luther
King Jr., a group of Charlotleans began a grassroots program to
find more leaders like him.
Called Focus on Leadership, they described the program as an ef
fort to get more blacks to the forefront of politics, business, volun-
teerlsm and other areas of community life.
“There are many opportunities In Charlotte for black Ameri
cans," said Robert Albright, president of Johnson C. Smith Univer
sity. where Focus on Leadership was unveiled Friday. “But we don't
believe the opportunities have been tapped as well as they could
have been tapped.
“As our community continues to grow and prosper, and indeed
evolve into that of a world-class citizenship — a world-class city —
we think there must be a larger role for black Americans to play."
About 25 participants will begin a 13-seminar program Feb. 17,
said Kevin Patterson, president of Focus on Leadership.
Program Launched To Foster New Black
Leadership In Politics And Business
Stoiy Page 2A
Go. Rep, Lewis: ’'King was a Modern Day Moses"
Elsewhere, U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., speaking Friday night at
the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at the
University of North Carolina at Greensboro, li
kened King to “a modern-day Moses, using his
religion and the emotion of the black church as
Instruments ... for the freedom of his people."
Lewis, elected to Congress In 1986 from Geor
gia's 5th District over former slate Sen. Julian
Bond, another King protege, said King's in
fluence on him had l^en early and powerful.
“The concept of non-violent confrontation
with the forces of segregation iirought a ray of
hope to me, as It did to many other people
across our nation," Lewis said. “He was tiylng
to make his religion relevant to the struggle of
“As we celebrate and commemorate his birthday tonight, we must
look at him as one of the founding fathers of the new America," Le
wis said. “He not only freed blacks, he freed all of us."
Dr. Samuel Proctor, former president of N.C. A&T Stale Universi
ty, likened King to Queen Esther. Esther risked her life by interced
ing on behalf of her people when her husband was persuaded to de
cree that all Jews of Persia be slain.
And 2,500 years later. King also “felt obligated to do something
for his people," said Proctor, now senior minister at Abyssinian
Baptist Church in New York. “He could have gone into medicine.
Into law, into architecture. But he gave his life for his people."
While targets In the fight against segregation were clear In the
1960s, “things are very different today," I’roctor said. “The targets
are not so clear at all. You know (here is racism and racial tension,
but you don't know who to picket anymore."
Now, Proctor said, “We must do whatever we can to enhance our
presence In all the high places of the country."
In Fayetteville, state Corrections Secretary Aaron Johnson told
about 200 people at Fayetteville Stale University that IGng's dream
did not die when King was killed by an asSassln In 1968.
“He had a dream for America," Johnson said, '“fhat dream is
still alive. All that Martin Luther King did will not mean much if
we do not chase that dream."
Johnson challenged FSU students to spend more time in the 11-
braiy, study harder and increase test scores to raise their opportu-
nltes and thereby carry on King's dream.
“The God that brought us this far didn't make you Inferior," he
said. “He gave you the same brain power as everybody else. Use it."
McMillan: "...Free to Climb the Highest Peaks'
In Charlotte, U.S. District Judge James B. McMillan praised
King's “dream of equal opportunity" and “his ability to touch the
hearts of people, whether they agreed with him or not.”
“At one time, for many of us here, the mountains were only foot
hills," McMillan told a student assembly at Charlotte's Sedgefield
Junior High School. “I suppose you could truthfully say that be
cause of Martin Luther King, you arc not limited to foothills _ but
are free to climb the highest peaks."
McMillan in 1969 Issued an order that made Charlotte the nation
al test case for busing to achieve Integration.
McMillan said tliat when the case began, he had no Idea he would
issue such a ruling.
“It took about a year and a half for the facts to sink Into my
brain," he said. “The process of Improving Charlotte's schools by
eliminating racial barriers had to begin with the education of a
McMillan said he's proud of Charlotte's response.
“I wish mankind In general could deal with problems as good-
humoredly and peacefully as this community has," he said.
EVERYBODY SING FOR MARTIN LUTHER KING...Charlotte's
first Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade was quite successful.
Sponsored by WestFest Inc. and The Charlotte Post, the event
brought hundreds together in honor of the late, great civil rights
Griffin Files For School Board
By Herb White
Post Staff Writer
ber of the Mecklenburg Cdunty.
School Board, Is really plimpec
up for his election bid.
He sees the county's 74,000 stu
dents as Mecklenburg's most
valuable resource, especially the
"The kindergarten class today
is the 12th graders of the year
2000 and that's why I'm so excit
ed about running," he said.
commitments we made in the
’70's" to make education oppor-
’tents, he said
To move away from the con
troversy regarding pupil reas
signment, Griffin favors the
construction of "mid-point"
schools between black and while
GriHln, who was appointed to
the board In 1985 but lost in the
1986 election, said he considers
himself an advocate of children
and providing them with equal
education opportunities. To
meet that end, Griffin said the
school system should try to
move past the pupil reassign
ment plan currently in place.
"1 feel we're moving from the
"In order to guarantee that our
children get the best education
possible, we should have mid
point schools between predomi
nantly black neighborhoods
and predominantly while com
munities," he said. "That's a
long-term solution. Everything
else Is short-term."
With the controversy sur
rounding the busing of children
going full blast recently, Griffin
said the suggestion of southeast
parents to build neighborhood
schools won't play in a county
where blacks bear the brunt of
hoods arc too big," he said. "That
may l\ave beei\ possible U\ Vbc
‘50's when nelgh'Dt>rhoods wei\
smaller but in the 80's (hat's a
Griffin said Mecklenburg ‘
should do a better Job of balanc
ing the burden of busing, a con
tention held in the black com
munity. According to the county
board of education, most of the
busing lakes place in Mecklen
burg's 71 elementary schools.
See Griffin On Page 2A
the busing burden.
"We can't have neighborhood
schools In the traditional sense
because a lot of the neighbor-
Study: Black Gains Were Few
By Herb White
Post Staff Writer
The state of blacks in Meck
lenburg County Is pretty much
the same as In the rest of Ameri
Progress has been frozen and
there is the threat of a retreat In
most areas, according to a Char-
lotte-Mecklenburg Urban League
Madlne Hester Falls, executive
director of the local Urban
League, said the State of Black
America report released last
week by the national Urban
League summarized that cuts In
federal programs and legisla
tion that have rolled back gains
in employment and civil rights
have put black Americans In a
holding pattern at best.
The report was compiled by a
panel of scholars who re
searched different aspects of
American life from the perspec
tive of blacks. The report was
made public a week ago In a na
tional press conference.
Fails said education and em
ployment are areas the Char-
lotte-Mecklenburg League have
been directing m*ich attention to
recently and the national report
mirrors the national mood.
"When it comes to Charlotte, it
certainly does," she said.
According to Urban League fig
ures compiled from the 1980
U.S. Census, 25.1 percent of
black Americans live in poverty
compared to 5.3 percent of
whites. In Charlotte, blacks are
three times more likely to be un
employed but the figures don't
where workers take Jobs below
their experience and education.
Falls said. Mecklenburg's unem
ployment rate is currently hov
ering around the 3 percent
"For the most part, when we do
work, we work In low-paying
Jobs," she said. "For black
males, it's really at a crisis
Attacks on affirmative action
programs have played a major
role In freezing black Job pros
pects, Falls argues, and points to
Mecklenburg's proposal to do
with its policy in favor of a falr-
She said most, if not all, coun
ty supervisors are white males
but the vast majority of mainte
nance and dietary workers are
blacks and women.
"Affirmative action can still
be geared to areas where blacks
haven't been getting Jobs In
Mecklenburg," Falls said.
Sued For Racial
Thurston Motor Lines
On Segregating Jobs
GREENSBORO, NC — On Janu
ary 7, 1988, the United Stales
Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission filed a race dis
crimination lawsuit against
Thurston Motor Lines, a multi-
terminal trucking firm with na
According to a Complaint filed
In U.S. District Court for the
Middle District of North Caroli
na, Greensboro Division. Thurs
ton Motor Lines has engaged in
racial segregation In truck driv
er Job assignments and retaliat
ed against at least one indivldu
al for questioning this practice.
In Its lawsuit against Thurston
Motor Lines, the Equal Employ
ment Opportunity Commission
Is seeking injunctive and mone
According to R. Edison Elkins,
See Trucking On Page 2A
See Black Gains On Page 2A
League Blasts Both Parties For Showing No Concern For Blacks
Declarlng that no Republican
party presidential candidate
and only one Democratic party
candidate have minority staffs.
National Urban League Presi
dent John E. Jacob called upon
'The black community and its
organizations to take the lead In
actively mounting programs to
deal with our problems." The
veteran civil right leader urged
the action in the NUL's annual
State of Black America 1988 re
port this week.
"Not a single candidate on the
Republican side has a minority
person In a major campaign role
and of the top ten minority cam
paign staff positions on the
Democratic side, none of the
candidates has more than one
minority person, other than
Jesse Jackson, who has five,"
'Tliat's a shocking indicator of
the failure of the Democrats to
understand that they can't be
elected without black votes and
they are not going to gel black
votes unless they've got minori
ties who understand the black
community from the inside, and
who can shape campaign poli
cies," he declared In delivering
the Impressive document at the
National Ifress Club here. Jacob
Indicated tliat Blacks didn't ex
pect much from Republicans.
The State of Black America re
port documents the depth of the
problem facing black Ameri
cans and the failure of most
Blacks to participate in the eco
nomic recovery." added Jacob.
"While America was riding an
economic boom. Black poverty
rose," the leader said.
Emphasizing NUL recommen
dations for black organizations
to take the lead in addressing
their concerns. Jacob continued
"that's happening today as black
churches, civil rights and social
welfare agencies and communi
ty based groups are doing a tre
mendous Job of helping to amel
iorate all these conditions in
poor black neighborhoods.
Faying particular attention to
the Urban League's education
effort, Jacob said the "leagues
education Initiative has already
begun to have real Impact on
our kids and their schools." He
also told the gathering of na
tional media that other recom
mendations in the 1988 report
Include suggestions for legisla
tion and government action to
deal with problems of poverty,
hunger, homelessness and ra
Justice and social welfare. It
was televised to sites of many of
the nation's 117 historically
black colleges and universities,
as well as outlets on 700 other
campuses via satellite, NUL offi
The State of Black America
1988 Includes eleven papers
prepared by experts in the field
of civil rights, education, eco
nomics, government, criminal
Responding to the NUL call for
action by black organizations.
Dr. Samuel L. Myers, president of
the National Association for
Equal Opportunity in Higher Ed
ucation, said the increasing
concern about the alarming de
cline in school enrollment will
be the top priority of NAFEO's
13th annual Blacks In Higher
Education Conference, March
23-27, in Washington, D.C.
Inside This Week
Dukakis Wants The Black
Vote pg. 2A
Bishop Bevel Jones Will
Lecture At Myers Park
United Methodist pg. 9A
CIAA's Moorman Wants to
Postpone Proposition 48 for
Division II Schools....pg. 8B