North Carolina Newspapers

    Volume 32 No. 16
$1.00
The Voice of the Black Community
Serving Cabar
Ssat:;es ■
livlcite KC .
Adding
fashionable
tweaks can
make your
wardrobe
sizzle/1 B
ALL THAT JAZZ
Saxophonist
Walter Beasley
keeps lofty perch
by reinventing/1 D
KEEP AN EYE
ON THIS GUY
Stock car racer
Marc Davis will
be among
athletes to watch
in 2007/1C
Watt
hands over
gavel to
Caucus
By Herbert L. White
hertJ.wtiife-^/hechortoffeposf.com
U.S. Rep. Mel Watt is
happy to step away fitjm the
glare of chairing the
Congressional Black Caucus.
“You better believe it,” said
the Charlotte Democrat,
whose two-
year term ends
today “I’m
happy to get
back to real cit
izenship.”
The last two
years have
been a whirl
wind for Watt.
Watt
As CBC chair, he’s articulat
ed the caucus’ position on
issues ranging from genocide
in Sudan to the federal gov
ernment’s response to
Hurricane Katrina.
Foremost, he said, was focus
ing the CBC’s mission as the
representative of African
American issues in Congress.
“I think we had some
accomplishments,” he said.
“We tightened the CBC’s
agenda so we understood
what our objectives were and
allied groups imderstood our
agenda.”
With Rep. Carolyn
Kilpatrick (D-Mich.) taking
over as chair, the CBC faces a
new challenge. With
Democrats in control of
Congress, Watt said heh urge
his colleagues to stick to the
caucus’ values, even if it con
flicts with the party’s.
“Our bluest challenge will
be not to get so aligned with
the Democratic Party that we
become an extension of the
Democratic Party” he said.
We shouldn’t lose si^t that
there is a separate black
agenda from the Democratic
Watt led the panel to the
dawn of Democratic control of
Congress. Although
Democrats were out of power,
the caucus opposed tax cuts
for the richest Americans
while championing afBima-
tive action progranis.
“Did we close any dispari
ties? Unfortunately, no
because of the policies of (the
Bush) administration,” Watt
said. “The disparities have
moved in the wror^ direc
tions.”
There were some successes.
Watt said. Much of a CBC-
sponsored bill to rebuild the
Gulf Coast after Hurricane
Katrina was adopted by the
House and signed into law by
President Bush. The Voting
Rights Act was extended- And
the arrest of caucus members
helped bring,attention to the
humanitarian crisis and
genocide in Sudan, an east
Africa nation.
“I think we’ve had success
es,” he said “It’s been a whirl
wind two yeai’s. It’s like all
these things have just
merged tc^ther. It’s been a
heck of an experience.”
FILE PHOTO/CALVIN FERGUSON
HEALTH CARE
31.percent of racial minorities don't have health Insurance in Mecklenburg
County, compared to 8 percent of whites.
Disparities in a
county of plenty
ECONOMICS AND FINANCE
FILE PHOTO/CALVIN FERGUSON
Three-quarters of white Mecklenburg
By Erica Singleton
FOR THE CHARLOTTE POST
N.C. Sen. Malcolm
Graham openly marvels at
Charlotte’s rapid growth.
He also sees its
underside, which
often puts African
Americans lagging
in health care, edu
cation and economic
viability
“When you look at
the community it’s
growiig at a daz
zling rate,” said
Graham, co-chair of
the Charlotte-
Mecklenburg
African American
Agenda, which is
families own their home; less than half
of African American families do.
hosting a town haU. meeting
on racial disparities this
weekend. “African
Americans are tryirg to keep
FILE PHOTOADURTIS WILSON
EDUCATION
Organizers see town hall meeting as opportunity for African
Americans to address solutions to racial inequities in Mecklenburg
with the growth, yet we’re
losing in all categories —
housing rates, unemploy
ment rates, students test
scores. We need to come
together. We need to cooper
ate. How can we make a bet
ter tomorrow..how can we
address these disparities?”
Hundreds of African
Americans will converge on
the Charlotte Convention
Center for the town hall
meeting Friday and
Saturday The event wiU
bring together community
activists and speakers of var
ied backgrounds and opin
ions to discuss local dispari
ties in quality of life issues.
Oiganizers hope to develop
an ^enda to addregs the
gaps that exist between
blacks and whites.
Please see AGENDA/2A
Proiirain’s
-a
dassrobm
■xw
v- yp
'A
'^itiative launchM^ln
fS..C. targets elementary
I tfid secondary schpols
By K. Chandler'—-—
Increasingly education advocates from
around the countiy are pointing to a direct
correlation between the egregiously dispro
portionate prison statistics of black males
today along wilh the dearth of youig black
American males who are successfully com
pleting college, and Ihe fact that only 2.4 per
cent oftliis nation’s 3 million elementary and
secondary public school teachers are black
men.
In an effort to change that bedeviling situ
ation, the Call Me MISTER program —
named in honor of' actor Sidney Poirier’s
memorable line, “Call me Mr. Tibbs” in the
1970 hit mo'vie. In the Heat of the Kight —
was established in 1999 by four South
Carohna colleges: historically black Claflin
University and Mon'is and Benedict College
as well as majority-white Clemson
University
The Call Me MISTER program, which is
short for Men Instructing Students Tbward
Effective Role Models, was designed to
recruit, train and assist black men academi
cally and financially in obtaining- South
Carolina teaching certification in order to
exert a positive influence on young black
males and respond to the critical need for
more black men teachers in the state’s mar
ginally performing schools.
“Although inspired by the Hollywood
movie version, in terms of the development
of the Call Me MISTER program we recog
nize that our legacy comes from the fact that
Please see PROGRAM/2A
theboX
NEWS, NOTF-S & TRENDS
Thin’s in for
Post in 2007
Out with the old, in with the slim
Starting next week. The Chaidotte
Post will publish,a narrower newspa
per in response to the risir^ cost of
newsprint. 'This week’s paper is 11.625
inches -wide by 21.5
inches tall. The new
layout will be 10.875
inches by 21.5.
Tb accommodate the
adjustment, The Post
will institute changes
in design that should
maintain our current
level of articles and pho
tographs with minimal
disruption to readers.
Instead of passing on the rising cost
of newsprint to readers, newspapers
around the country are going narrow.
The management of The Charlotte
Post considers that to be sound policy
as well, and we’re interested in your
feedback. Feel fiiee to caU me at (704)
376-0496 or e-mail
herb, whited'thecharlottepost.com.
Jobs-training program graduates
ready to launch careers./6C
Life 1B
Religion 4B
Sports 1C
Business 6C
A&E1D
Classified 50
INSIDE
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