North Carolina Newspapers

NEWS/iEie Ctatlotte 39(i«2
Thursday, June 8, 2006
Iimmgration a hot topic at
Tuesdaj^ Breakfast Forum
Continued from page 1A
informatiori sessions, .was really jumping over
Ply’s spies report that the regulars let Latin
American Coalition hcaidio Angeles Ortega-
Moojre -have it over immigration and how it
impacts 'Ahican Americans. The way folks
were gettin’ after girlfriend, jnou woidd’ve
thcjught she was bringing in a bunch o’ illegals
You can imagine how the ranting took on a
life of its own: Forum types get worked up over
immigrants taking jobs, don’t pay taxes and
soak up human services and health care like
sponges. Then it turns into an us vs. then
Hispanics tirade and llie piling on starts.
While it may feel good to get the frustration off
the collective chest to the point where Miss
Ortega-Moore - a guest of the forum - is feel
ing like a pinata, answer this: Y’aU see her forc-
ir^ anybody across the border anytime socai?
Shoot, even President Bush and U S. Rep.
Sue Mjrick can’t do that — yet.
• No one can accuse Mayor Pro Tem Susan
Buigess of not being ambitious.
Carolinas Juneteenth festival grows
Continued from page 1A
Juneteenth has gone on for
more than a century in the
Lone Star state, and the holi
day’s popularity has
branched out across North
Amaica, Europe and Africa.
There are festivals in
Canada, the Caribbean
islands, and London hosts the
largest such celebration in
the world. And while many
festivals recognize the 19th or
the weekend surrounding it,
few celebrate like Charlotte,
with four days of activities.
In 1997, Ndiaye started the
first Juneteenth Festival of
the Carolinas out in fixjnt of
The House of Africa, 2000
people attended that first
year. For the next six years
Ndiaye had Thomas Avenue
and Commonwealth, and
soon after Central Avenue
closed and held the events in
the neighborhood aroimd
House of Afirica. The ev^t
became too big, and crowded
in the neighborhood, and was
moved to Independence Park,
where it will be held again
this year.
While attendance and
activities are increasing,
Jimeteenth is universally
“Sometime people are
scared of talking about slav
ery” said Ndiaye. “It’s some
thing that happened, some
thing that was here (in the
U.S.). I think it is one of the
worst things that ever hap
pened to humanity and I
believe we must teach people
about it to be a better per
This year’s festiviti^ kick
off with Ndiaye’s the celebra
tion of history children’s day
camp featuring crafts, drum
ming, mask maki-ng, tie dye,
and acting of all kinds, finm .
10 am to 4pm. “We’ve invited
ch-urches, day cares, camps,
everybody Last year we had
300 children attend, and this
year we are ecpecting more,”
said Ndiaye.
Each year’s festival theme
has been education.
Jimeteenlh of the Carolinas
logo contains a tree overlaid
with children’s faces and the
words, “From these roots
teach the world our history”
Ndiaye believes that the edu
cation portion and teaching
education in the community
is the most important part.
The (ximmittee will give the
first Marilyn Griffith Turner
Scholarship Award in memo
ry of Ndiaye’s lor^time
fiiend, business partner, and
the Jimeteenth of the
Carolinas first committee
‘This is the first year we
will be giving a four year fiiU
scholarship,” Ndiaye said.
‘It’s hard doing this without
Marilyn. She was the back
bone of The House of Afiica
and Jimeteenth. She was a
great lady and a wond^ful
Students wishing to apply
for the scholarship online at
the organizations website,
Events on Sunday are also
geared toward kids, including
a youth seminar and a talent
show and a tribute to fathers.
“Anytime Juneteenth falls
around Father’s Day, we
always have a tribute,” said
festival Chairperson
Demetria Bell. This year’s
theme is “The Essence of
Father: What makes a good
father to you?’ Children can
enter the essay contest - 150
words or less - by mailing
their entry to Juneteenth
Father’s Day Tribute, 1215
Thomas Ave, Charlotte, NC
28205. The winning essay
will receive a gift for Dad
courtesy of the House of
In addition to Thursday
and Sunday’s activities, the
festival wid include South
Afiican drummers, a stick
walker and dancers.
‘Tor the past three years
we’ve had real Afiican wed
dings at the festival. For this
year’s festival we’re having
an actual Afiican engage
ment ceremony the way we
do it in Afiica,” said Ndiaye.
Sunday’s activities will
include HIV seminar and
screenings, a health fair vil
lage and a gospel music con-
“Juneteenth is a worldwide
festival, with celebrations
even in Afiica now,” said
Ndiaye. “It’s a piece of
American history
Juneteentii is not to recreate
the past, but to share in the
spirit of fi’eedom.”
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V Food & RestaurancVendoff
^ Art($ans& Their CrafC9
tocai Business Vendors
Children^ Activities
’ Family Entertainment
Magic Shows
■ Cultural A Educational Ac^vh^es
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Home blitz changes hves of
new owners and communities
Madam councdlwoman was at the Habitat for
Humanity Building Blitz Monday in the Druid
Hills neighborhood when Housing and
Urban Development Secretary Alphonso
Jackson'called Buigess mayor.
So did a couple of other ojit-of-
town speakers. That’s under
standable, since everybody
ured Jackson knew what he was
talking about. The kicker,
thoi^, is that Burgess didn’t try
to correct any of‘em.
Maybe she’s got plans for that
job. Buigess is next in fine, and
maybe she’s had some discussion -with Mayor
Pat McCrory as to what the fii'ture holds.
• The rapper formerly known as Hammer
hasn’t lost a step, but he sure lost a thread or
two at Speed Street.
Hammer did all his hits, like “Can’t Tbuch
This” and “2 Legit 2 Quit,” but homeboy was so
busy getting down, he flat spkt his britches.
But the show went on. Hammer (given name
Stanley Burrell) grabbed a towel, draped it
over the offending rip and kept on dancing.
Continued from page 1A
pans - eveiythir^,” she said.
Homeownership among
African Americans is more
evasive than
Americans as a
whole. There
are 75 million
U.S. homeown
ers, but black
ownership is
behind whites
jacKSon Jjy 25,9 percent
in 2001, accord
ing to the Department of
Housing and Urban
Development. In Charlotte,
15,000 families can’t afford a
two-bedroom apailment at
current market rates, accord
ing to Don Hohnstead, presi
dent of Habitat Charlotte,
which is buildii^ 16 homes
this weds.
“We must and we will build
a city that is safe and afford
able for all of God’s children,”
he said.”
Eliminating that gap has
led to a series of initiatives
launched by the
Cor^ressional Black Caucus
and federal agencies. HUD
has helped 2.6 million black
and Hispanic families move
into homes since 2002, said
HUD Secretary Alphonso
Jackson, who was in
Charlotte Monday to launch
N ational Homeownership
“We’re 200,000 homes
ahead” of pace to HUD’s goal
of 5 million new minority
homeowners. “When we’re
talking about homeowner-
ship, we’re talking about cre
ating wealth.”
Grassroots organizations,
including Habitat, have
worked on the local'level to
provide affordable housing,
and Charlotte has one of the
biggest chapters in the U.S.
“It’s a pretty great opportu
nity,” Dykes said. “I feel
Habitat really cares about
the people they bring in and
I’m fairly ov^-whehned. I did
n’t know aU of this was going
to go on. I joined the program
in October and this is a pret
ty big deal.”
That’s what the reality of
owning a home has done for
Dykes’ family
The Habitat program will
“change our life, being able to
own a home,” he said. “I don’t
think we would’ve been able
to do it on our own. It helps
out a lot.”
Said Jackson: “We’re not
only creating wealth for
.. - families, we’re creating sta
bility When we talk about
home ownership, we’re not
talking about just putting
somebody into a home, we’re
talking about transforming a
Charlotte ^oiSt
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