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Clje Charlotte
Vol. 14, No. 49 Thursday, May 4,1989
50 Cents
Black Rage
In America
African-Americans Becoming More
Assertive In Demanding Equality
Post Staff Writer
After eight years of former
President Ronald Reagan's
America, blacks are becoming
more vocal In demanding equal
ity from a society that has be
come less sensitive, says a
Johnson C. Smith University
Dr. Perclal M. Thomas, asso
ciate professor of history at
JCSU, said African-Americans
are becoming more vocal be
cause there Is a perception that
their opportunities are being
the part of the total public-
private and non-private—of the
problems and their many fa
cets," Thomas said.
"The general public will no
longer able to mask Inaction
or non-action behind an alleged
veil of Ignorance by saying 'I
didn't know' or 'I wish I had
known things were so bad so I
could have (tone something.'"
Thomas said the entire world
knows of the problems facing
African-Americans, but solving
them will rest among blacks.
Ehrn with help from other seg-
11mlted. The Reagan years of
program cuts and laxity toward
civil rights followed by George
Bush have galvanized black an
"It took eight years for them to
(figure) that nothing was being
done," Thomas said. "Equality of
opportunity must be a resdlty
and not an ideal. Bush's call for
a kinder and gentler America
should not Increase the level of
anxiety among black Ameri
With an Increase in reported
racist Incidents and dlmlnlsh-
Ing opportunities for African-
Americans, the logical outlet is
Increased discussion of the
problems facing blacks.
"A more aggressive black effort
to address the problems will
lead to a greater awareness on
Pro-Lifers' Politics Scare
Off Potential Supporters
blacks don't Join the anti
abortion movement because of
the political views of some of its
proponents, a black pro-Ufe ac
tivist said.
"Who are these pro-life people?
They are the people who sup
ported Ronald Reagan and Jesse
Helms and whose heroes are Jer
ry Falwell," said Pat Funder
burk, North Carolina director of
Black Americans for Life, to
about 100 participants at the an
nual convention of N.C. Right to
Life. The group met Saturday at
Greensboro's Southslde Baptist
Church. ~
For black Americans, many of
whom she believes personally
oppose abortion. Identifying
with a movement dominated by
conservative white people re
quires too much compromise,
she said.
"When you're a black American
who still feels the effects of ra
cism and hatred, you really have
a distorted perception," Ms. Fun-
deihurk said.
Hundreds of students and teachers, and the mayor of Chariotte,
attended Wednesday's funend services for Alez Orange, the 18-
yesr-old West Charlotte High School Junior who was killed last
week when a gathering of black social groups turned violent.
Schoolmates Say Final Goodbyes
From Staff Reports
Scores of mourners went to Ebenezer Baptist Church Wednes
day to pay final respects to Alex Orange, a West Charlotte High
School Junior who was shot and killed at a paify over the week
Orange, 18, who was a linebacker on the football team, was eu
logized as a warm, caring person. Hundreds of students, teachers
and Mayor Sue Myrlck attended the service at the West Trade
Street church. Relatives and students wept throughout the me
morial, which sounded a recurring theme; stop the violence.
Myrlck, who has targeted Charlotte's crime rate as one of the
clfy's major challenges, encouraged the spectators to "love one
another, and get rid of the hatred."
Orange was one of about 200 teens attending a party Friday
night at 6126 Cove Creek Drive, the home of Novella Townsend,
whose son Richard Is a West Charlotte graduate.
Myron Tyrell Burris, 18, a student at West Mecklenburg High,
was charged Monday by police with Orange's murder. According
to reports. Orange struggled for control of the weapon before he
was shot.
Chamber Head Urges Housing Cooperation
ments of society, the process
may take a while.
"How long It will take depends
on how long it takes the black
community to recognize that It
is primarily their problem...and
form the front line of offense uti
lizing the resources of the total
community—black and White,
private and public," he said.
"Just as the pre-Clvil War doc
trine of popular sovereignty al
leged that slavery could exist
only when a majority of the In
habitants supported It, the
same is true relative to most of
the problems confronting the
black community, especlal-
fy...relating to substance abuse
and black on black crime,"
. See BLACK On Page 2A
John Georgius, chairman of
the Greater Charlotte Chaniber
of Commerce, called for In
creased public-private c(x>pera-
tlon to address Charlotte's low-
cost housing needs. Georgius is
also chairman and chief execu
tive officer of First Union Na
tional Bank of North Carolina.
Speaking at the Charlotte-
Mecklenburg Community Rela
tions Committee Conference for
Low-Cost Housing recently,
Georgius pointed to the forma
tion of the Charlotte-
Mecklenburg Housing Partner
ship as an important step in
providing affordable housing In
the community.
"There Is no doubt In my mind
that the Charlotte-Mecklenburg
Housing Partnership provides
the kind of coalition that car
bring real actloti to bear and
represents the best and the
brightest of ou|r organizations
working togetiher," Georgius
said. ,
The partners) ilp has started a
low-interest rai e loan pool with
partlclpatun sd far by First Un- [
Ion and N^jNip. Several other'
banks also expected to par- ;
tlclpate In tir pool. The pool'
has a goal of $15 million. In ad-;
dltlon, local bai'ks, Duke PowCir
and the Z. Smith Reynolds
Foundation have contiibutejd
$110,000 for the operating funqs
of the partnership. ,
The goal of the partnership |is
to provide first a^nd secojy^j
mortgages for renters earning
between $8,000 - $15,000 or
present homeowners earning
between $15,000 - $22,000 an
nually. The program Is struc
tured so that a family's total
shelter cost will not exceed 30
percent of Its Income.
Another Important program
changing the face of Charlotte Is
low-cost home Improvement
lending, provided through pub
lic-private partnership in con
junction wlffi the North Carolina
Housing Finance agency.
'To give you some Idea of the
quality of this program, consider
this: of the 98 loans that were
serviced, there was only one
foreclosure and one delinquen
cy. representing less than one
percent of the outstandings,"
Georgius said.
"If we can gain momentum. If
we do It light, by the year 2000,
we will see a Charlotte that has
more than exciting office build
ings and fine suburbs. We'll see
a Charlotte that also has decent
but low-cost housing for all Us
First Union Senior Vice Presi
dent for Human Resources,
John A. "Jack" Mitchell, also
participated In the conference.
Mitchell, vice chairman of the
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing
Partnership, served as modera
tor for a panel discussion on af
fordable housing and sources of
Black Vendors More
Noticeable At SpringF^st
The national organization of
Black Americans for Life, an
anti-abortion group, was formed
two years ago and has 7,000 to
10,000 names on its mailing
list, she said.
Many blacks, she said, distrust
motives of anti-abortion mem
bers: "What do they care about
me and my children? They don't
want to socialize with me, live
by me, and God forbid, have one
of my people marry one of
theirs. There must be a hidden
agenda there when they say they
support my unborn baby."
Ms, Fimderburk, 39, a Republi
can who lives In Raleigh, ac
knowledged that racial divi
sions weaken the antl-aborUon
movement. To combat this, she
speaks to black and white audi
ences about becoming political
ly involved In the abortion de-
"I don't try to win them over to
the (anti-abortion) group," she
said of black audiences. "I try to
win them over to the pxDsltlon."
Post Editor
Spiingfest 1989 was held In
Charlotte last weekend, drawing
more than 200,000 people to the
downtown area. Among the
many vendors there, Carolyn
Mason, owner of Balloon-A-
Grams, and five other Afrlcan-
Ameiicans sold their wares to
the large crowds.
These black vendors were able
to participate In this year's
Springfest due to last minute
changes, which took place alter
the Springfest organization was
charged with excluding blacks
from the economic benefits of
the city-supported event.
Mason, who had been a vendor
with Springfest for the previous
four years, was Initially exclud
ed from Springfest '89 due to a
policy change. Mason protested
and Charlotte's black communi
ty made known Its resentment
of Mason's exclusion.
To amend the situation,
Springfest, Inc. reopened its
vendor selection process and In
vited blacks, especially, to ap-
ply. ,
Following Spiintfest '89, Patti
Tracty, vice president of Spring
fest Inc., said, 'We're very en
couraged because we did have
more black vendors." ;
The exclusion of M *®°" was
the catalyst behind; ®®}eral
meetings that took be
tween Springfest, Inc. mem
bers of the black cor.^^unlty.
Tracey said these etings
helped solve some of t.' a prob
lems that existed betv en the
two groups.
'The meetings with members
of the black community before
the event were effective In our
getting more black venders for
this year's Springfest.
"Right now we are taking time
out to evaluate some policies
and functions of Spiingfest, Inc.
with the aim to become more In
volved in the larger community
of Charlotte," said Tracey.
When the situation with the
black vendors arose earlier this
year, there was also some con
cern about Springfest, Inc.'s lack
of black Involvement^on Its var
ious boards. At the time, the or
ganization had no blacks active
on Its staff or boards.
Since then, according to Tra
cey, Reggie Lawson, an Africam-
Amerlcan who works for Spirit
Square has Joined the Spring
fest board of directors. Tracey
See LAWSON On Page 2A
Lynalr Wnllw/JCSU
The black-owned buslnesa, Balloon-A-Orams, waa preaent aa a
vendor at laat weekend'a Sprlngfeat '88. Sprlngfeat olBolala aay
dialogue on involving more blacks In the annual downtown festi
val continues.
Inside This Week
Editorials Pg. 6A
Obituariaa Pg. 3B
Entartainment.. Pg. 8A
Sports Pg. 7B
Lifestyles Pg. 1B
Classiflads.... Pg. 10B
Church Naws... Pg. 3B
Alliance Pg. 11B
Subacriba To The CharU
>tts Poet, Call 376-0496

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