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Vol. 15, No. 25 Thursday, November 16,1989
THE AWARD-WINNING "VOICE OF THE BLACK COMMUNITY"
CHOOSING BEHER SCHOOLS
On Hot Issue
Does Choice Means Resegregation?
By GWENDOLYN DANIELS
Post Staff Writer
The question In the near future will be whether states will allow
public schools to compete in the marketplace for students allowing
parents to choose where they feel their children can go to get the
A regional strategy meeting on choice in schools was held this
week at the Radlsson Plaza.Many states are now advocating this new
concept of choice, which means that parents will have a more ac
tive voice In where their children go to school and will have a say In
what kind of education the children will get.
One of the big arguments against the Idea of choice is resegrega-
tlon In schools. Many fear that choice is a tool to bring back the days
of Inequality in education for blacks.
Polly Williams, a black state representative for Wisconsin, said she
believes choice can work only if the public will address the needs of
black students. She said the system must be able to benefit black
students as well as white students.
"Why should we lock poor people Into a system In which they don't
have a way out," Williams said. 'We need the same options as whites
Vernon Robinson, assistant professor of business and economics
at Winston-Salem State University, said blacks fear the Idea of a
choice system because they think the black child's education will
suffer and parents don't have alf the facts.
"They are deathly afraid that kids will be worse off," Robinson said.
Robinson said It used to be a top priority for a black child to be
able to sit next to a white child In school. He said that he Is not sure
blacks are willing to subordinate a quality education to further inte
Peter Relic, superintendent of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school
system, said said he was pleased that the U.S. Department of Educa
tion chose Charlotte as the place to host the meeting.
Relic said Charlotte has many outstanding schools and he believes
that choice offers a unique approach that relates to quality and Inte
One of the greatest advantages is that parents communicate and
provide support," Relic said. "The total school commitment can
make choice an attractive alternative."
Relic said that In order for choice to be a success. It can In no way
leave any child out and has to meet the needs of all students. He add
ed that choice should offer something positive and not be a used as
a system to run away from a situation.
"That point has to be emphasized. We hope that they (parents and
students) are going to be running to something Instead of running
away from something."
Arthur Griffin, a member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school
b^rd, said he doesn't believe choice will work In Charlotte.
"Choice will be acceptable when excellence Is afforded to every
chUd," Grfffln said. "It's (choice) a lltUe ahead of It's time."
choice Isn't a new Idea. He said that nothing is new In
S«e EDUCATORS On Page 2A
STRIKE UP THE BAND!
Johnson C. Smith University's marching band
struts its best Tuesday during halftime of the
Charlotte Homets-Orlando Magic basketball
game at the Charlotte Coliseum. The band was
fhe featured attraction of the halftime show.
Agents' Case Going To Court
By MILUCENT LINK
Post Staff Writer
An 18-year-old discrimina
tion suit In which black agents
of the N.C. Agriculture Exten
sion Service contend they were
paid less than white counter
parts and passed over for pro
motion will be tried again.
Despite a finding of discrimi
nation by the U.S. Supreme
Court three years ago, the state
appears nowhere near a settle
ment In the case.
Eighteen years after the suit
was filed and 24 years Eifter the
merger of the dual system, the
agents have received no compen
sation for discrimination they
suffered. Instead, the state has
paid a Raleigh law firm more
than 350,000 to defend the suit.
Despite the evidence. Judge
Franklin Dupree rejected all
claims of discrimination. The
plaintiffs appealed the case to
the Fourth Circuit Court of Ap
peals and then to the United
States Supreme Court. In July
1986, In a 9-0 decision, the Su
preme Court ruled in favor of the
agents on the issues of In salar
ies and promotions.
Philip Bazemore of Monroe,
the lead plaintiff, said the
agents would settle for $1.6 mil
lion. He said the state has of
fered a mere $250,000, an
amount that would have to be di
vided between 150 to 200 current
and former black agents, which
Is equivalent to $1,250 per
Bazemore said. That's an In
sult—a racial Insult."
For Bazemore, who retired af
ter 30 years of service, that
amounts to nearly $416 for each
year of service rendered.
Maiy Martin of Charlotte, who
has been a home economics
agent In Mecklenburg County
for 28 years, said she has a mas
ter's degree, but even now earns
$600 a year less than a co
worker with only 12 years of ex
perience and no graduate degree.
Both Bazemore and Martin
also claim being passed over for
promotions for less qualified
Given the relative ages of the
agents, many of them may not
live to spend any settlement
money, said Kelly Alexander Jr.,
state president of the National
Association for the Advance
ment of Colored People
(NAACP). He said the practice of
paying blacks less for the same
work than paid whites Is com-
pKDunded by "stone walling.
"It is their strategy to punish
those who had the audacity to
challenge the discriminatory
practices of the state by dragging
out the settlement process as
long as fx)sslble," he said.
"It Is an old negotiation tech
nique of waiting around for eve
rybody to die," he added.
Alexander charged that the
state Is not negotiating in good
See NAACP On Page 2A
Farrakhan: Unite Against U.S. Plans
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Nation
of Islam leader Louis Farrak
han says blacks must unite
against the United States's plans
to destroy them.
"The government has been
working on this plan for many
years since the death of the civil
rights movement," Farrakhan
told more than 1,000 people at
the Masonic Temple Saturday.
"They've determined they would
never allow our rise like they did
In the '60s."
Farrakhan, a supporter of
Jesse Jackson In the 1984 presi
dential campaign, drew atten
tion when his anti-Semitic re
marks were blamed for souring
Jackson's bid to win the Demo-
Farrakhan was In Jackson to
rally support for black publisher
Charles Tisdale and Tisdale's
newspaper The Jackson Advo
cate. Farrakhan was among sev
eral speakers praising Tisdale,
who took over the weekly news
paper In 1978.
"It Is Intelligent as a black per
son to read a black newspaper,"
said Farrakhan, urging blacks
to buy the Advocate and make It
a centerpiece, of discussion
nightly around the dinner table.
Other speakers at the gathering
Included attorney Chokwe Lu
mumba, chairman of the New
Afrlkan Peoples Organization;
former Tchula Mayor Eddie Car-
than; Jackson Human Rights
"The government has been
working on this plan for
many years since the death
of the civil rights move
Coalition chairman and biology
professor 'Vernon Archer: civil
rights activist Ineva Pittman;
and Republic of New Africa lead
er Imarl Obadele.
Farrakhan was the main at
traction, however, and was pro
tected by an entourage of body
Farrakhan warned whites Sat
urday, "Don't call me no damn
On the other hand, he told
blacks not to apologize for hat
ing whites. Blacks shouldn't
make friends with their ene
mies, he said.
"What's the hell wrong with
you Mississippi?" Farrakhan
asked. 'You don't make any
apology to black people who do
you wrong. Why should you
mEike any apology to white peo
ple who do you wrong?"
To the few whites In the audi
ence, he said; "Don't ask me do I
love you? Ask me am 1 justified
to love you."
Wilder's Success May Fuel Black Campaigns Tn North Carolina
The Associated Press
CHARLOTTE (AP) — The ap
parent election of Douglas Wild
er to the Virginia governorship
Is expected to boost the candida
cies of other blacks seeking
statewide offices, and one man
considering a bid for the U.S.
Senate seat held by Jesse Helms
says the precedent encourages
"I'm awfully encouraged by
Doug Wilder's showing yester
day," former Charlotte Mayor
Harvey Gantt told the News and
Observer of Raleigh In an Inter
view published In today's edi
tions. It really confirms a gut
feeling that I have deep down
that voters In this region are
voting for people on the basis of
their perceptions of their quali
fications. It Is one of the reasons
I am considering a statewide
Gantt says the media focus too
much attention on a candidate's
race — at the expense of his posi
tions, character, record and vi
sion. But he acknowledges he
probably will face the question
as he ponders whether to enter
the race for Helms' seat.
The apparent election of Wilder
as the nation's first black elected
governor Is likely to focus a
brighter spotlight on Gantt and
on former Chapel Hill Mayor
Howard N. Lee, both of whom are
taking political soundings about
the Senate race.
Gantt says hfe wUl make his de
cision on whether he would seek
the Democratic nomination lat
er this year. Lee says he Is now
leaning toward running for lieu
tenant governor or attorney gen
eral In 1992.
In North Carolina, the closest
any black has come to winning
statewide office — other than
state Supreme Court or Court of
Appeals — was in 1976, when
Lee led the Democratic primary
for lieutenant governor, only to
be overtaken by then-House
Speaker Jimmy Green In a run
"The big problem Is that blacks
in North Carolina haven't brok
en the secondary barrier — like
winning office to the Council of
State or lieutenant governor,"
said Dr. Thomas F. Eamon, a
See BLACKS On Page 2A
By MELUCENT LINK
Post staff Writer
A westslde task force wants to
take drugs out of its neighbor
hoods, but It needs cash to make
Monday, the 25-member group
made its pitch to a national en
dowment foundation in hopes of
The task force entertained
members of the Robert Wood
Johnson Foundation of Prince
ton, N.J. in Its efforts to acquire
a $3 million grant for the
"Fighting Back" program.
The program encourages citi
zens and local agencies to work
together to decrease the drug de
pendency rate. Fighting Back
will be Implemented In residen
tial areas plagued with the
spread of substance and alcohol
The program will target the
District 2 Mecklenburg County
Commission area which In
cludes Belmont, Blddlevllle,
First Ward, Five Points, South-
side, WUmore and several other
neighborhoods. The district
also comprises the Charlotte
Coliseum and Charlotte/
Douglas International Airport.
The program was Initiated by
Johnson C. Smith President
Robert Albright and a group that
consists of educators, religious
leaders, professionals, business
people and two high school stu
Representatives of the Robert
Wood Johnson Foundation of
Princeton, N.J., which supports
health-care programs and facil
ities met with members of the
task force earlier this week to
hear their presentation.
Charlotte Is among 18 final
ists In the running for a two-
year $200,000 planning grant
for the program.
John Harris, newly appointed
chairman of the Charlotte
Chamber of Commerce said with
assistance from the foundation
the city of Charlotte can be suc
cessful In lowering the depen
dency of alcohol and substance
"As a community we can not be
successful If It Is not a public/
private venture," said Harris.
In a letter from Mayor Sue My-
rlck, Ron Leeper, Mayor pro-tem
expressed the city council's con
cern for a drug-free community.
If the westslde project proves
to be effective It could serve as
model for the rest of the county.
"If we are given the opportunl-
See WESiraroE On Page 2A
Dr. B. Victor Olowofoyeku, a
Charlotte surgeon, was among a
group of 1,467 Initiates from
around the world who became
Fellows of the American College
of Surgeons, the largest organi
zation of surgeons In the world.
The convocation Ceremony was
held In Atlanta, October 19,
1989, during the College's Annu
al Clinical Congress.
See CHARLOTTE On Page 2A
INSIDE THIS WEEK
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