North Carolina Newspapers

    Anniversaiy Issue /Section C
The Mama Of Grier Heights
Editorials/Page 6A ^
African Art Exhibit
Entertainment /Page 8A
Women's Equality
Page 13B
Cl)e Cljarlotte
Vol. 15, No. 13 Thursday, August 24,1989
50 Cents
West Charlotte High School assistant principal Karen WatU Oeft) points sophomore AmJa Canada to a class Wednesday.
New Year, Challenges
Post Staff Writer
When Amla Canada woke up
Wednesday morning she
knew It was not going to be an
ordinary day.
Instead of waking up in the
afternoon, she rose at 5:30.
Instead of eating a full break
fast, she ate a doughnut on
the run.
This would be her morning
routine for the next 282 days.
Canada is among the 75,000
Charlotte Mecklenburg stu
dents starting school.
Canada is a sophomore at
West Charlotte Senior High
School and she says a stu
dent feels a great deal of pres
sure and anxiety leaving the
safe halls of Junior high to en
ter high school.
"My stomach was queasy
and I was nervous. I couldn't
even go to sleep because I
kept tossing and turning," she
"The night before school
opened, new problems came
up like what to wear the next
day. I called my friend Lisa
that night and I asked her
what she was wearing to
school. She said '1 don't know
what you should wear be
cause you are going to West
Charlotte you know they
dress up over there.' So then 1
had to worry about whether or
not what I had on looked
right," Canada said.
To sophomores who are ac
customed to smaller schools
and socializing with a set
group of friends, high school
can be a shock. Insecurities
develop as a result of being
thrust into a school with
roughfy 1,700 students.
Canada said the group of
sophomores she wandered
around with didn't eat lunch
because they felt that while
standing in the long line peo
ple could teU they were soph
The consensus of the group
was they would rather be
hungry than feel like sopho
mores. Canada says she and
her friends worry about
teachers, being teased by
members of the upp>er class,
and falling down in front of
groups. However their main
concern is being accepted.
'You worry about making good
first impressions and a lot of
that has to do with your ap
pearance because people
judge you ly your outside first
You are labeled. People say
whether you're in the In crowd
just by looking at you." she
said. "I'm not really going to
worry about all that though.
My mother told me to be my
self, respect myself, and not to
try and change for anybody."
Canada found herself lost
occasionally. "I thought I was
going to be lost and I knew I
was kind of confused. Upper
classmen were sending peo
ple the wrong way so I wasn't
about to ask them. I asked as
sistant principals," she said.
While West Charlotte jun
iors and seniors did not bend
over backwards to help their
sophomores find classes, they
did offer a sophomore orienta
tion program that stuck in
Canada's mind.
" I loved it! It made me feel
very welcome and a little bit
more relaxed. The skits were
funny," she said.
Despite her anxieties, Cana
da feels West Charlotte is the
right place for her. She likes
what she sees in friends and
JCSU Opens
Doors For
New Year
Post Staff Writer
Freshmen and upperclass
men are once again scurrying
about the campus of Johnson
C. Smith, registering for
classes, meeting new friends
and beginning a new school
Most freshmen arrived on
campus Aug. 15. For many it's
the beginning of life away
from home wlUiout mom and
Jennifer Lewis, a freshman
from Greenwood, S.C., said
this is her first time being
separated from her parents,
but she's adjusting.
See JCSU On Page 2A
Black Panther Huey Newton Sybolized Party
Associated Press Writer
OAKLAND, Calif.— Huey P.
Newton, the charismatic co
founder of the Black Panther
Party whose defiance was bol
stered by his powerful Intellect,
was adrift without a battle to
fight in his final days, according
to a close friend.
Newton's bullet-riddled body
was found lying in a pool of
blood an hour before dawn Tues
day in a neighborhood known
for drug-related violence. Police
had no suspects and no motive
for the slaying, according to Lt.
Mike Sims.
Newton, 47, was killed in the
same area of west Oakland
where he began organizing
blacks more than 20 years ago.
The scene was several miles
from his Oakland home.
But the compelling leader was
struggling recently to find a
niche for himself after earning a
doctorate, overcoming alcohol
and drug abuse problems and
facing life with no criminal
charges before him for the first
time in 15 years, according to
Fred Hlestand, a Sacramento
lawyer who was Newton's attor
ney and close ftleiid.
"He was just trying to figure out
where he fit, what he was going
to do ... trying to shake some al
cohol and chemical dependency
that he acquired, but he was do
ing it all on his own, without
anyone's help," said Hlestand.
Hlestand, who knew Newton
for 15 years, last saw him Fri
day, when the former Panther
leader "seemed to be okay. There
was nothing bothering him that
he talked alx)ut."
Hlestrmd refused to say what
kind of drug problem Newton
had suffered, but he said he be
lieved Newton had been clean
for at least six months.
Although Newton had been ar
rested earlier this year for pos
session of drug paraphemedla.
police investigators said they
had no indication that the slay
ing was drug-related.
"He didn't seem to be able to
find a role for himself," said
Hlestand. "1 think he was like a
lot of perople who went through
that period ... He lived It Intense
ly and it left its scars."
With Bobby Seale, Newton
fpunded the Black Panther Par
ty to combat racism. Envisioned
as a revolutionary political par
ty, Panther members armed
themselves with shotguns and
followed f)ollce patrol cars to
■monitor their activities in the
black community.
Huey Newton
Under the slogan "All power to
the people," the Panthers also
operated a school, a health clin
ic, programs for ghetto youths
and served breakfast to school
Newton's strong leadership
helped win the group Interna
tional attention at the same
time that his numerous clashes
with police produced critics who
questioned the party's violence-
prone methodology.
The party gradually disinte
grated, in part because members
were killed and the FBI success
fully infiltrated and disrupted
the organization.
At the scene of the fatal pre
dawn shooting, longtime resi
dents of the neighborhood,
which is marked by rundown
Vlctorlan-style homes and
abandoned buildings, recalled
Newton's work with the Pan
thers in the neighborhood.
One man, who declined to be
Identified, said: "He knew every
body down here. This area is
part of his roots. This area is
where he came up."
Tire shooting was reported to
police shortly before 5:29 a.m.,
when officers arrived on the
scene, said Sgt. Dan Mercado.
Newton was taken to Highland
Hospital, where he was pro-
rfounced dead at 6:12 a.m., he
Neighbor Audrey DePalm, 29,
said she heard one shot at about
5:15 a.m., followed seconds later
by three more shots. Then an
eery sUence.
"It was like the echoes of the
shots were eating up the neigh
borhood," she said, adding that
shootings in the neighborhood
are common but are usually fol
lowed by screeching tires or oth
er signs of a dispute.
"To us, Huey Newton was a
hero," said DePalm's brother,
Fred, who was awakened by the
gunshots. "The Black Panthers
were a thing to identify with
along with Mdcolm X and Mar-
See HUEY On Page 2A
Mayor Pushes
Drug Initiative
Myrick Urges Changes In War
Post Staff Writer
Saying that North Carolina is
losing the war on drugs, Char
lotte mayor Sue Myrick pledged
her support for plans to help
turn the tide.
At a recent press conference,
Myrick presented a plan devised
by mayors across the state to
reduce the flow of illegal drugs.
The strategy would effect legis
lation and promote positive
neighborhood activlfy.
Myrick said a conference of 30
mayors began this most recent
attack on drugs by sending let
ters to President George Bush
and drug czar William Bennett.
The plan encourages full fund
ing for anti-drug progreuns, of
fering Incentives to deter the
producing of illegal crops, and
redirecting seized money to law
enforcement agencies.
"We are trying to indicate to
the nation how we feel about tlie
drug problem and how we feel
like we don't have enough re
sources to get this done," Myrick
said. 'We need help from the fed
eral government and the state
government. We want to seize
money from drug busts and use
it to fight drugs."
Myrlck's drug task force is ex
panding on a new neighborhood
program called " The Teddy Bear
According to Pat Ktlleher, a
task force affiliate, the program •
encourages neighborhood chil
dren to stay off drugs by offering
a support group. Elementary
school-aged neighbors meet
once a month to discuss pres
sures they feel at school.
'We want the kids to feel like
they have someone to talk to
when they are faced with pres
sure about drugs and alcohol,"
Kelleher said.
Eric Massey, a student at Lin
coln Heights Elementary and
secretary of the Teddy Bear
Club, said he learned a lot
tlirough the club,
'We learned about needles and
drugs and how you can catch
AIDS," he said.
Jackie Thayne, a drug task
force member, said communi
cation skills are stressed in the
'They {the children) put them
selves in real drug situations. I
might ask them what they would;
do If their best friend offered
them drugs and they have to-
come up with an answer," she
Kelleher said there are plans
to expand the club to other
Myrick agrees drugs are a
problem everywhere. "It crosses
See MAYORS' On Page 2A
Think Tank Needs
African-American Input
Post Staff Writer
When the economic, social
and political pie is divided in
Charlotte, the African-
American community often
isn't involved with the planning
of how the pie is divided.
So a group of concerned citi
zens and organizations are hop
ing to get the African-American
community involved in the
planning process with a "black
think tank" to pool the commu
nity's ideas and resources.
The workshop, "Challenges
For The Black Community: The
Decade Ahead," will be held
Sept. 9, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at West
Charlotte High School. Registra
tion is $30 per person and covers
reference materials, refresh
ment breaks and lunch. The
deadline to register is August 31
with the first 90 applicants be
ing acce 3ted.
'There will be a variety of top
ics to discuss. They will Include
housing, education, iiealth care
and the elderly and criminal
Paula Newsome, vice president
of Focus on Leadership, an or
ganization that trains African-
Americans for future leadership
positions and a developer of this
idea, said the workshop is a one
time only event that will try to
unify the community's efforts
for progress.
"■We're going to provide a work
ing document tha t we hope each
organization's representative
can take back to their respective
groups tc use during their pro
gram planning for the coming
year," Newsome said. We hope
that If the organization's pro
grams do not go along with what
this workshop has determined
as the most pressing problems
facing the community that they
would consider aligning their
programs so that they would be
more in tune with the think
tank's priorities."
Newsome said the idea for the
think tank was developed in
June when Focus on Leadership
met with First Friday, a net
working group for blacks and 25
elected officials and business
people. She said each was " over
whelmingly supportive of the
Newsome hopes that the presi
dents of each fraternity and so
rority along with ministers, pol
iticians, educators arid any one
else concerned with the African-
American community will at
tend the think tank.
For more information on how
to register, please call Paula
Newsome at 333-7238.
SAT Prep
will offer a preparation course
on the university campus for
high school students planning
to take the Scholastic Aptitude
The preparation course, con^
slstlng of all-day (8:30 a.m, - 4
p.m.) sessions on three consec
utive Saturdays, features analy
sis of and practice with both the
verbal and mathematical sec
tions of the SAT. Instructors are
UNC Charlotte faculty members
specializing in math, engllsh,,
testing and education. Cost is
$125, which Includes all materir
als. Early registration is en-
See UNCe On Page 2A
Inside This Week
auiPg 6A
Church News..
..Pq. 4B:'.
u^P4 m-
Subscribe To The Charlotte Post, CaH 376-0496

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