A Mess At
Editorials / Page 4A
A New Alternative
For Black Hair
Lifestyles / Page 6A
"Field To Factory":
Black Art Exhibit
Entertainment / Page IB
Sports / Page 6B
Vol. 15, No. 27 Thursday, November 30,1989
THE AWARD-WINNING "VOICE OF THE BLACK COMMUNITY'
Edwards Saw City With Magical Lens
By M. L. LaNEY
To have a sense of focus was
central to the life of photogra
pher Colin Marshall Edwards.
He lived 75 of his 86 years In
pursuit of It. Mr. Edwards (as he
was known by most people) died
Monday, November 27, at home
after a prolonged decline In his
health. He Is survived by his wife
of 53 years. Mrs. Novella Ed
wards, an only son, C. Morgan
Edwards (presently of Raleigh)
along with two granddaughters,
Thersa D. and Hayley E.
Edwards' work was profes
sionally replete. He was prolific
In compiling an historic photo
graphic record with his images
of the Westslde of Charlotte
(wherever that happened to be)
and the surrounding area.
He was bom in Shelby on
January 8, 1903. At age 11 he
began an apprenticeship with
an established studio for a white
photographer named Shuford.
He continued even- after enrol
ling to attend Livingstone Col
lege for two years. Afterwards,
Mr. Edwards was a school
teacher around the Shelby area
and before he became a cook
with the railroad.
"My father loved to cook, it was
like his hobby," said Morgan Ed
wards. "He quit the railroad in
the mld-'30s and came to Char
lotte. Shuford, meanwhile.
moved from Shelby to Charlotte
and he hired my father to do the
lab (darkroom) work. He then
worked for the St. John's Studios
and at others like Gaddy's and
Broomfield's. These were esta
blished studios contracted to
the major department stores
here. They did layouts for ads."
By the early 1940s, Edwards
says he started operating on
his own out of his home. In 1945
he sat up his own studio at 2207
Booker Ave., operating it contin
uously until the early '70s. Dur
ing this time his photographs
were used by such respected rag
sheets ('40s' slang for newspa
pers) as The Charlotte Post, the
now defunct Charlotte News and
The Charlotte Observer. They
appeared in court cases via his
work with the Charlotte Police
Department. He also did count
less weddings, awards ceremo
nies, graduations and the like.
His photography has cap
tured, In crvstalllne fashion, a
slice of black life in the South
ern Piedmont. His work chroni
cles the social, the athletic, the
religious and the commonplace
aspects of Charlotte's black
community but his photographs
were of all people, for all people.
He was a positive thinker, a man
considered by some to be the
"dean of black photographers" In
James Peeler, a long-time pro
fessional photographer, remem
bers Edwards well. "He was an
Institution around Charlotte,"
recounted Peeler, after listing a
few facts concerning Edwards'
accomplishments. Like the fact
that, "for a long time he (Ed
wards) was the only black pho
tographer on the westslde," and
one of two In all of Charlotte.
Edwards was also known as
the driving force behind the
technical Influence on aspiring
them to higher achievement.
Photographers sought his ad
vice from the basics on up.
Some went on to establish
their own credentials In the pro
fession. Towns, Covington and
Hill are chief among them. By all
who knew him, he Is remem
bered as a remarkable gentle
man with a respected eye for Im
Edwards looked deeply Into
the possibilities of his subjects,
the community activities that
marked the progress of blacks
In and around Charlotte, seek
ing to document the diverse vita
lity that characterized the post
war era of the Carollnas. His
success Is enhanced by the hu
mility and humanity displayed
by his sensitivity to those he
Edwards believed that the his
torical nature and value of any
See EDWARDS On Page 2A
Colin Edwards photographed black life in Char- black police officers in city history in the early
lotte for most of his 86 years, including the first 1940s.
Scientist Challenges Students
Gatling's Message To West Charlotte:' I Made It--You Can Too'
Dow Chemical Co. employee Sterling Gatling spoke Wednesday at
West Chalotte Senior High School.
By MILUCENT UNK
Post Staff Writer
Sterling Gatling did not come
to West Charlotte Senior High
Wednesday to bring a magic
He came to encourage students
to follow their dreams and be
lieve in their abilities.
Gatling, a placement supervis
or for Dow Chemical Co. in Mid
land, Michigan, challenged the
students of the Minority
Achievement Program to reach
deep within and take a look at
where they are and where they
He told the students to stop
saying they can't make it and be
lieve in their capabilities.
"Whatever Is lurking down In
side of you, let It come out," said
Many students need an atti
tude adjustment and do not have
enough confidence In them
selves, Gatling said. "Students
need to change their pattern of
thinking," he said.
Gatling told students to be
careful whom they listen to and
be careful in what tliey do. "You
are your worst enemy," he said.
He also emphasized the Impor
tance of establishing a mentor.
"EYeryone needs someone that
they can look up to and respect,"
As Gatling spoke from the top
ic "I Made It— You Can Too," he
urged the Lions to stay In school
and go on to college. "So you will
have a choice Instead of a
chance," said Gatling. He told
students that his pet peeve Is to
be stereotyped: however he dis
covered that he was guilty of ste
After attending an all black
high school and going on to a
predominantly white junior col
lege, Gatling begin to struggle
with himself. He begin to ques
tioned his own capabilities. "I
couldn't understand why my
friends were making A's and B's
and I was struggling to make a C
average," said Gatling.
Subconsciously I felt inferior.
However the next semester he
began to excel academically. "1
realized that It didn't matter
who was In my class: 1 had a
brain too," he said.
The N.C. Central University
graduate did not decide until his
senior year in college that he
wanted to major In chemistry.
He changed his major two times
before he made a decision. After
taking a chemistry class, a pro
fessor encouraged him to major
Although his friends said that
chemistry would be too difficult,
his mentor saw a hidden talent.
"He saw something in me that 1
didn't see," said Gatling.
As a child growing up on a
North Carolina farm, he lived
somewhat of a sheltered life
style. Gatling believes that this
contributed to his lack of self-
Color Keeps Blacks From Integrating
BY MICHAEL MORAN
ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER
NEWARK. N.J. (AP) — A major
ity of residents trace ancestry to
people unwillingly brought to
America in chains. Not surpris
ingly, there Is little nostalgia for
the concept of this nation as a
great melting pot.
"It's a lot easier to change your
name when you get to America
than the color of your skin,"
said Howard Taylor, a Princeton
University sociologist and for
mer head of the school's Afro-
American studies program.
"There is ongoing resentment on
the part of the black commimlty
for what they perceive as the ad
vancement of other Immigrant
groups at their expense."
Taylor and other experts say
institutional bigotry In the
United States, linked primarily
to skin color, has prevented
blacks from following in the
footsteps of the Irish, Poles,
Jews and other immigrant
No one disputes that black
Americans have made strides In
the past 20 years toward over
coming the systematic discrimi
nation that denied them access
to so much.
And in many ways, Newark
was a catalyst for that progress,
from the explosive expression ol
rage In 1967's race riots to the
1970 election of Kenneth Gibson
as the first black mayor of a ma
jor American city.
But economic and social
progress for blacks In New Jer
sey and nationwide has been un
even, experts say. Often It must
be forced on the majority white
population by court orders and
David Surrey, an urban affairs
professor at St. Peter's College In
Jersey City, said black resent
ment of the upwardly mobile
Immigrant can be traced to the
racism directed at American
blacks by segments of white so
"Hiring patterns in Institu
tions traditionally open to Im
migrants, like police, fire and
education jobs, continue to leave
blacks out," said Surrey. "For
blacks, that leaves the distinct
Impression that the deck Is
stacked against them."
Just this month, Camden's po
lice department and Its union
agreed to a plan to promote three
blacks and a Hispanic officer,
pending the outcome of a dis
crimination suit filed by minor
ity officers. The agreement was
the result of a two-year legal
Dr. Pauline Coleman, a sociol
ogist at Drew University's Afro-
American studies program, said
skin color alone does not ex
plain the lagging social standing
of black Americans. Class and
educational considerations also
play a part, she said.
As evidence, she cites studies
showing that Immigrants from
sub-Saharan Africa do better In
America than the average na
"People of African decent not
born here already have money
or middle class aspirations or
they wouldn't have been able to
get here In the first place," she
said. "It's comparing apples and
Most black Americans, she
said, "grow up In p>oor areas with
the poorest schools and little up
Many African Immigrants
come here as students, said Dr.
Niki Chukunta, a Nigerian who
came to study at Rutgers Univer
sity In the late 1960s.
"Contacts between Afro-
Americans and African immi
grants are not very common,"
said Chukunta, an advisor at Es
sex County Community College.
"The relationship can often be
He said the friction Is most
acute in jobs where Immigrants
compete directly with black
Americans for jobs.
"A case study Is the Haitian Im
migrants of Newark, who have
practically taken over the taxi
business," he said, "A young
Afro-American might look at
that and say, 'That could have
been my job.'"
By far the most commonly cit
ed solution Is better schools.
"The political progress of
blacks Is encouraging, like tak
ing the elections In 'Virginia and
New York," said Surrey. "But
housing problems are getting
worse and unskilled jobs scarce.
Without Improved education to
Improve their position In socie
ty, the tensions will remain."
"Once the confidence came,
this allowed my true perfor
mance to come out," said Ga
Before coming a supervisor of
the student program at Dow, Ga
tling worked as a research
chemist with 15 years of experi
ence In the area of process re
search. He developed and opti
mized processes for the
manufacturing of Dow products.
Gatling decided to take a break
from the lab In order to help
young people get first-hand ex
perience. "It Is not enough to
read the students need hands on
exjDerience," he said.
Gatling has received many
awards and honors over the
years. He was presented with the
Inventor of the Year award. The
Dow Chemical MASTL Science
Award and received three pat
ents on the process Improve
ment of Insecticides.
DryMargaret Dwight, a histori
an at the University of North
Carolina at Charlotte, will
present a symposium on black
history Sunday at 3 p.m. at the
Ubiquitous Gallery at 1936 East
Dr. Dwight Is a member of
UNCC's Afro-American, African
Studies and Women's Studies
departments. Her various
awards, publications and pro
fessional experiences Include
Fulbrlght appointments In West
Africa and Is co-author of
"Mississippi Black History Mak
For more Information, contact
Dwlgglns Swift at 332-6687, A
$5 honorarium contribution Is
requested. Refreshments will be
Shoney’s Signs To Help Elderly African-Americans
WASHINGTON- Shoney's, Inc.
has agreed to provide on-golng
technlced assistance and man
agement consulting to the Na
tional Caucus and Center on
Black Aged (NCBA). Together,
the two organizations will create
expanded employment opportu
nities for low-income seniors,
and Increase NCBA's ability to
develop and manage housing
services for the low-income eld
Older blacks are three times
as likely to be poor as elderly
whites, and two and a half times
as likely to have Incomes that
are 125 percent below the pov
Mitchell Boyd, Shoney's chair
man and CEO, announced the
arrangement recently at the Na
tional Press Club with Samuel J,
Simmons, president of the
NCBA. The arrangement may be
the first of Its kind between a so
cial services agency and a major
corporation. Shoney's, Inc. will
provide consultants from Its
food services operations to work
with NCBA In developing meth
ods and strategies to improve
training systems. The goal Is to
better prepare older workers for
employment In the fast food in
NCBA Is a national nonprofit
organization based in Washing
ton and founded to improve the
quality of life for aged blacks. It
is the only national organiza
tion that focuses Its attention
almost exclusively on the needs
of older blacks.
INSIDE THIS WEEK
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