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Greensboro / Winston-Salem / High Point Nov. 30 - Dec. 6, 2017

Slam Poets Society The 2017 Local Gift Guide on Page 9


Nov. 30 - Dec. 6, 2017


If you closed your eyes If you closed your eyes it could have been 2000, at Wild Magnolia’s on the Corner, with Allison King piercing the limits of the normal by Brian Clarey human vocal range and Bill Jordan doing that sure-fingered Walter Becker thing he always does when his wife is singing. There was the clink of glasses and the soft roar of a game on the TV, and raucous cheers from full tables around the room. And if you listened close you could hear the Sound Guy giving voice to a complicated romantic lament. But when you open your eyes, you’re in Karonda’s on the northeast edge of Greensboro, staring at a plate of nachos, and somehow 20 years have gone by and we’re all squinting at menus and shouting in each other’s ears like a bunch of… old people. Which, of course, we are. And an awful lot has happened between then and now. My own history with Allison King goes back only so far — to the last years of ESP magazine around 2001, where as my editor she generously accepted my paddedout, 3,500-word features designed to maximize my 5-cents-a-word rate. And I was there when she filled rooms like the

Rhino Club, the Clubhouse and Wild Mags, by then a standard on the scene. My wife was here when Allison King made her mark on Greensboro in the 1980s, with a wild set of curls, sass for days and a voice like an elegant weapon. Like everyone else here, she remembers. With her wild curls mowed down to a more manageable look and her signature glasses now a more sensible style, Allison resembles a teacher a lot more now than she used to — she is, in fact, a substitute for Guilford County schools these days. It’s a fundraiser — nothing new in the Greensboro music scene, then or now — but this time it’s Allison herself who needs the help. Breast cancer. Bad insurance. It’s enough to bring her out on a Sunday to rock the room one more time, in front of the old gang. And sure, it’s daylight on a Sunday instead of midnight at the bar, and yeah, a lot more people are sitting than dancing in the aisles. And maybe, just maybe, some of us are hoping to get home in time for “60 Minutes.” And then we close our eyes again, and the decades melt away. You can donate towards Allison King’s medical expenses through the Go Fund Me page,


Disparity and disproportionality in school discipline is something our school district is very aware of. — Charlos Banks, in the News, 8


ART ART DIRECTOR Robert Paquette








1451 S. Elm-Eugene St. Box 24, Greensboro, NC 27406 Office: 336-256-9320 Cover photo by -

Lauren Barber, Carolyn de Berry Spencer KM Brown, Matt Jones

TCB IN A FLASH DAILY @ First copy is free, all additional copies are $1.00. ©2017 Beat Media Inc.

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Nov. 30 - Dec. 6, 2017

CITY LIFE Nov. 30 - Dec. 3 by Lauren Barber


Up Front

WFDD listening party @ Reynolda House Museum (W-S), 4:30 p.m.

Sanctified @ NC A&T State University (GSO), 7:30 p.m. The A&T theater arts program presents Javon Johnson’s award-winning musical comedy about intergenerational conflict within a small African-American church when an interim pastor attempts to revive an uninspiring repertory. Learn more at

You’re a Mean One @ Smith & Edge (GSO), 6 p.m.



Festival of Lights @ LeBauer Park (GSO), 6 p.m.


Food with Company and Smith & Edge present an evening immersed in the world of Dr. Seuss’ Grinch. Enjoy craft cocktails and Grinch-themed treats. Learn more at


Enjoy drinks and hands-on art activities to the sound of family-friendly music before a listening party with 88.5 WFDD at 6:30 p.m. Attendees discuss a selection of NPR clips exploring women’s roles during the time of Katharine Smith Reynolds. Learn more at Emilia Phillips and Natalie Shapero @ Scuppernong Books (GSO), 7 p.m.

Come out for acoustic performances, carolers and the lighting of the community tree. Roast marshmallows and visit with Santa in Hamburger Square before heading to the Polar Express on the south end of the LeBauer Park. Hand-warming stations and a photo booth will be available. Learn more at Supper and Santa @ Kaleideum Downtown (W-S), 6 p.m.


Shot in the Triad

Black Nativity @ Arts Council Theatre (W-S), 7:30 p.m. The North Carolina Black Reparatory Company presents a one-act version of Langston Hughes’ 1961 retelling of the nativity from an African-American perspective. Learn more at


UNCG poet Emilia Phillips joins Natalie Shapero — a civil rights lawyer and professor of the practice of poetry at Tufts University — for an evening poetry reading. Learn more at

Enjoy a dinner of chicken tenders, fruit, cheeses and dessert before crafting, decorating cookies and storytime. Hearts & Arrows Photography will be available to document visits with Santa. Learn more and register at

Up Front

Christmas at the Carolina @ Carolina Theatre (GSO), 9:30 a.m. Catch a free screening of The Search for Santa Paws at 9:45 a.m. before a singalong and photos with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Attendees are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys for Salvation Army’s Gifts for Kids. Learn more at

Holiday choir concert @ Winston-Salem State University (W-S), 4 p.m.



Uptowne Holiday Stroll @ N. Main St. (HP), 10 a.m. More than two dozen churches and retail locations offer daylong holiday open houses. Enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides, performances from carolers and activities for children while perusing various crafts. Santa and his elves will be on site. Learn more at Candlefest @ Greensboro Arboretum (GSO), 6 p.m.


Family Lovefeast @ Wake Forest University (W-S), 4:30 p.m.

Shot in the Triad

Collector’s Choice Fundraiser @ GreenHill (GSO), 7 p.m. Enjoy food and wine while socializing with exhibiting artists for an opportunity to buy Winter Show pieces before they become available to the public. More than 120 artists from across the state showcase paintings, ceramics, woodwork and fiber works. Learn more at



Holiday Market @ Elm Street Center (GSO), noon Find the right gifts for everyone on your list at Greensboro’s largest indie craft fair. Hand to Hand Market hosts more than 50 makers from throughout the Southeast. Find the event on Facebook.


Greensboro Parks & Rec and regional Girl Scouts present an evening of holiday festivities featuring holiday music and more than 4,000 luminaries lighting arboretum walkways. Enjoy hot chocolate, s’mores or a visit with Santa. Earn free admission with the donation of a nonperishable food item for Greensboro Urban Ministry. Find the event on Facebook.

Grammy-nominated WSSU choir, Burke Singers, Schola Cantorum and the Singing Divas present their annual holiday concert. Join the Singing Rams for new arrangements, student compositions and classic holiday favorites. Find the event on Facebook.

Wake Forest celebrates a traditional Moravian holiday with an abbreviated version of its annual service. Rather than a sermon, this hour-long celebration features the nativity story before the traditional service at 8 p.m. Learn more at


Nov. 30 - Dec. 6, 2017

9by Lauren ways my cat throws a wrench in my day Barber

Up Front

1. Rude awakenings Sometimes for want of love — but mostly for want of food — my domesticated tiger pulls at my hair, brushes her tail against my face or sits on my chest staring down at me, waiting for the slightest signal of my stirring. She does not understand seasonal shifts in sun and moon cycles, and probably wouldn’t care to learn. 2. Licking food on my plate Unlike dogs, domesticated cats never lost their hunting instinct, only now they stalk fish tacos. Our fish tacos. And though her mouth is small, Clementine’s determination is mighty. Meals require constant vigilance.


3. Failing to catch vermin When your cat can make away with an entire slice of pizza but not deal with a rodent a quarter the size, it may be time to talk about upping the little lion’s rent. 4. Infesting my home with vermin Everyone knows fleas are a dreadful, but my love for Clem hadn’t been fully tested until these teeny-tiny terrorists invaded my living space. Though truly a bonding experience, the scorched-earth efforts exhausted us both.


5. Drawing blood from guests Evidence shows that in four out of five instances, the visitor never learned to pet cats (or to take a hint from any mammal, for that matter). Yet, someone I care about is kind of bleeding and sneezing, and Clementine is less than pleased. Ugh.

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Shot in the Triad


7. Fixation with paper products Reading from my steno pad, a book or a fresh copy of Triad City Beat? My feline comrade is likely pawing at the pages or parking her fluffy self on top of the paper material. I suspect she was born on newspaper and finds paper products comforting — which is cute — but it’s annoying to repeatedly relocate Clementine’s stubborn derrière.

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6. Destroying clothing There is nothing like a warm welcome from my furry companion, but I’ve learned to change out of my favorite tops before letting her lay on me. A nail catching a single thread can devolve into a fashion tragedy.

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8. Making road trips twice as difficult Does your cat cry the entirety of any road trip? Mine does until she falls asleep, but even when we let her out of her carrier, she starts up again upon awakening. 9. Being too adorable to leave behind Despite these and other glaring flaws, cats are unequivocally fabulous creatures. Clem is worth slightly uneasy friends, crumpled book pages and hypervigilant mealtime practices. The greatest downside is that, inevitably, I must leave her side to participate in society. But… that nose. Those paws. How dare she be so flawless?

Up Front News Opinion Culture Shot in the Triad Puzzles

After years of relative stability, the homicide rate in US cities made an abrupt, unforeseen and significant jump beginning in 2015. Greensboro and, to a lesser extent, WinstonSalem fit the pattern. After bumping along at eight or nine homicides per 100,000 residents between 2008 and 2014, the rate rose to 10 in Greensboro in 2015, and then to 13 in 2016. The homicide rate is on course to reach 15 in Greensboro by the end of the year, the highest since 2007. Winston-Salem experienced six homicides per 100,000 residents in 2014 and 2015, with a jump to nine in 2016. This year, the city is on course to reach 10. High Point stands out for its explosive homicide rate: After seven homicides per 100,000 residents in 2015 and 2016, the city is on track to record 17 by the end of the year. Sudden increases in crime are ripe for exploitation by demagogues eager to promote social panic, racial resentment and reactionary politics. Exhibit 1: Dr. Joseph Guarino — author of the Triad Conservative blog — who blames Greensboro’s homicide rise on Greensboro City Council, and yes — believe it or not — Triad City Beat. Guarino faults Managing Editor Eric Ginsburg for “us[ing] connections with the New York Times to plant an inflammatory story regarding traffic stops,” when in fact he assisted the lead reporter as a researcher. The theory might not be utterly laughable if Greensboro was the only US city to experience a rise in homicides. (Among other reasons Guarino should be dismissed as a dangerous fool is his antisemitic habit of pointing out that people he dislikes are Jewish, while promoting the false notion that Christians in the United States are under attack.) In all seriousness, the rise in homicides is disturbing and stubbornly intransigent. Although the particulars of Guarino’s argument are ridiculous, it is a variant of a respected theory in criminology circles known as “the Ferguson effect.” Popularized by conservative Manhattan Institute fellow Heather Mac Donald, the theory posits that in the wake of highly charged incidents of use of force, the police pull back from proactive enforcement, making fewer arrests and minimizing citizen interactions, which then leads to more crime. Another version of “the Ferguson effect,” which has been explored in the pages of TCB — most recently in our June 2017 cover story, “Unsolved homicides leave family members wondering if black lives matter” — focuses on the question of police legitimacy. The thesis holds that if citizens view the police more as an occupying force than a protector, they’re less likely to report crime, leading to a culture of impunity and vigilante justice. These two theories are explored in a new paper prepared by the National Institute of Justice for the US Department of Justice. The paper also points out that the explosion of the opioid crisis took place around the same time as the rise in homicides, but sets that theory aside with relative ease: As measured by fatal overdoses, Sudden increases in crime are ripe for heroin and opioid addiction exploitation by demagogues eager to primarily affects whites. People promote social panic, racial resenttend to buy and sell drugs within social networks that reflect their ment and reactionary politics. ethnic community. Therefore, if the opioid crisis was driving the increase in homicides, then only white people would be committing more homicides, which is not the case. In contrast to the simplistic explanation offered by Guarino, the researchers at the National Institute of Justice are cautious about claiming to have a definitive answer. “The arrest data for large cities provide ambiguous support, at best, for the de-policing version of the Ferguson effect,” the authors write. As for the flipside: “The picture that emerges from prior research on procedural justice, police legitimacy, public reliance on and cooperation with the police, and controversial incidents of police use of force — and the extent to which any or all of these conditions explain recent homicide increases in US cities — is complex and uncertain.” More research needed.

Homicides on the rise by Jordan Green


Nov. 30 - Dec. 6, 2017 Up Front News Opinion Culture Shot in the Triad Puzzles



A direct pipeline from Triad schools to juvenile-justice system by Jordan Green Forsyth County has the highest rate of charging juveniles with criminal offenses in school among the state’s five largest school districts, according to new data from the state Department of Public Safety. And black students at both Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools and Guilford County Schools are seven times more likely to be charged than their white counterparts. New data indicates that Forsyth County generates more school-based referrals into the juvenile justice system proportionate to student population than any of the other five largest counties in the state. Validated data from the state Department of Public Safety provided to Triad City Beat indicates that juvenile court counselors logged 573 school-based complaints from Forsyth County in 2016. Considering Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools’ 2016 population of 54,528 students, that equates to 1,051 complaints for every 100,000 students. Guilford, the Triad’s other urban county, generated 513 complaints, equivalent to 713 for every 100,000 students. In comparison, Wake and Durham — the two largest school systems in the Triangle — generated less than a quarter as many complaints when adjusted for population as Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. Both Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools and Guilford County Schools rely on officers employed by local law enforcement agencies to maintain public safety. Those school resource officers, typically known as SROs, file juvenile complaints — the equivalent of criminal charges for adults — that funnel children into the court system. The phenomenon is widely known as the “school-to-prison pipeline.” “The juvenile system is often treated as a dumping ground for North Carolina’s public school students,” a recent report by the Youth Justice Project at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice noted. “Students are pushed out of school and onto a path toward the juvenile and criminal systems as a result of suspension, school policing, and other punitive disciplinary process.” The report also noted that children in the juvenile system

“face harmful collateral consequences,” including further entanglement in the criminal justice system and expulsion from school, along with barriers to driving privileges, employment, public housing and military service. Kenneth Simington, the deputy superintendent for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, said the numbers have district leaders’ attention. “It will cause us to have some discussion and reflection on what the other urban school districts are doing,” he said. “How do their law enforcement agencies work with their schools?” He added that he wants district leaders to sit down with their law enforcement counterparts at the Winston-Salem Police Department, Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office and Kernersville Police Department “to share the data and talk about some of the factors that impact the data.” The data provided by the state Department of Public Safety also indicates black students are far more likely to be referred to the juvenile system than their white counterparts. While black children account for 350, or 61.1 percent, of the school-based complaints in Forsyth County, blacks make up only 28.5 percent of the student population at Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. A TCB analysis found that black students at Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools are seven times more likely to be subject to juvenile complaints than white students — a criminalization gap that is roughly in line with the state’s other four large urban school districts. The disproportionate referral of black students into the juvenile system aligns with the racial disparity in discipline in the school district — a phenomenon that is familiar to senior administrators. “We certainly are concerned about the disproportionality between minority students and white students,” Simington said. “Our discipline does reflect a disproportionality, specifically with regard to African-American males.” While not as egregious as Forsyth County, the disproportionate referral of black children into the juvenile system in Guilford County is also off the charts.

The Guilford County Juvenile Detention Center is one of six facilities across the state where juveniles await court hearings.

Black students are seven times as likely as white students to be subject to juvenile complaints — a criminalization gap that is roughly in line with the state’s other three large urban school districts in the Charlotte area and the Triangle. Charlos Banks, the executive director for student services and character development for Guilford County Schools, made a similar observation. “Disparity and disproportionality in school discipline is something our school district is very aware of,” she said. Deena Hayes-Greene, a Guilford County School Board member, cautions that focusing on discipline in isolation can “paint a picture of black deviance” that allows people to excuse the negative outcomes that black children experience. “To see this as a standalone issue individualizes it and moves it away from seeing the impact of race on education,” she said. “These students that you’re talking about are under-identified for gifted and talented programs. They’re over-identified for the special education categories that are determined around subjective behavior and emotional things. Academically, they are performing on grade level in the third grade but not on grade level by the eighth grade. What happened? Race is the thing that is woven through all this. We’ve got more black students enrolled in career and technical education programs, but our last report showed that more white


students graduated with the required certification to enter the labor market after graduation.” Monica Walker, executive director of diversity, equity and inclusion for Guilford County Schools, said she was surprised by the number of black students referred into the juvenile system in the county. “We are trying to figure out how to work more successfully with SROs,” she said. District leaders became aware through the African-American Male Initiative, a pilot program at eight schools, that black students are more likely to be cited by officers for discretionary offenses, she said. Jonathan Wilson, director of security for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, offered a more sanguine assessment of the district’s relationship with law enforcement. “Our relationship with SROs is very good,” he said. “They’re not looking to create a criminal record for a student, but we do want to hold the kids accountable.” Assessments of how well educators and law enforcement navigate the line between discipline and criminal behavior vary from person to person and district to district.

continued on page 17

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For the time being, Guilford County Schools is withdrawing a proposal to charge parents for public records requests, but the process for handling requests is still confusing and likely to create misunderstanding and frustration.

News Opinion

Frustration between parents and staff over public records led to heated discussions over the fall, but policy will remain the same.


odds with Gladden’s description of a potential fix. Consistent with current policy, the regulation dictates that all public records requests should be submitted to Carr, as the public records officer, adding that “a request submitted to any other school official or school employee will be referred to the public records officer in accordance with board policy and this regulation.” Firesheets said the administrative regulation posted on the district website represents the proposed policy that will be considered by the board on Dec. 12. The question of what information a principal can provide to parents and other requesters appears to be wrapped up in how staff defines public records requests. “If I want to know what the school rating is or if I want to know the racial demographics of my school, that shouldn’t be a public information request,” Gladden said. “The principal should put that together and provide it to the parent.”

Shot in the Triad

said. “They’re not getting it at the school level. They’re not getting the information.” Gladden suggested that training by the school attorney might address some of the frustration by empowering principals to respond to requests at the school level. Currently, all public records requests go to Carr, the district’s designated public records officer, and documents often need to be reviewed by the attorney to avoid releasing confidential student information. “The school board attorney conducted a training on this topic with the principals,” Gladden said. “There’s some misinterpretation. Another training is needed to make sure all our principals are on the same page about what data they can release without going through some kind of approval or referring it to central office just to have it sent back to the school with delays.” The administrative regulation posted on the district website with the latest draft of the proposed policy outlines a process for fulfilling records requests at



Parents and other requesters will be spared the expense of copies for public records requests to Guilford County Schools, at least for now. A proposed revision to the district’s public records policy will be on the agenda for the school board’s next meeting on Dec. 12 without a previously discussed charge of 10 cents per page after the first 50 pages, according to Tina Firesheets, a program administrator for media relations. Parent advocates have monitored meetings of the board’s policy committee and addressed the full board during the public comment section for the past several months. Some parents have expressed frustration about the difficulty of obtaining school-level information from principals, while staff has chafed at having to fulfill cumbersome and complex information requests. Lissa Harris, founder of Parents Supporting Parents, and the Rev. Laverne Carter with the Greensboro Pulpit Forum have argued that the contemplated charge for copies was punitive. Both Harris and Jill Wilson, an attorney with Brooks Pierce law firm who provides legal counsel to the board, said they believed the issue had been temporarily put to the side, but Firesheets said Chief of Staff Nora Carr informed her that it would be placed on the next agenda. School board member Byron Gladden said the policy committee agreed to forego any charges for copies at its last meeting in early November. He added that the committee agreed to revisit the issue in a year and might impose a charge at a later time, depending on the volume of requests. While the matter appears to be resolved for the time being, the process for handling requests remains unclear. “I would say definitely there has historically been a culture where parents have felt exasperated to the point where they have to come show out at the board meeting to get some results,” Gladden

Up Front

“There is no gray area,” Wilson, the director of security for Winston-Salem/ Forsyth County Schools, said. As an example, a student stealing another child’s pencil would be handled by a teacher or administrator as a discipline problem, while a report of an adult exposing themselves to a child at a bus stop would generate a criminal complaint, he said. A fight involving two students with mutual responsibility would be considered an affray; SROs would typically charge a student with assault only if they obtained evidence, such as video footage, showing one student as the clear aggressor in a fight. Hayes-Greene, the Guilford County School board member, disagreed. She said the line between administrative discipline and criminal adjudication is often hazy. “That’s been a problem,” she said. “Those boundaries are ill-defined. Some principals let SROs take over. Our staff, whether they’re principals or seniorlevel administrators, are unprepared and under-prepared to understand the dynamics of race.” Hayes-Greene credits Guilford County Schools with reducing the number of out-of-school suspensions overall, but in her 15 years on the board, she said the racial discipline gap has remained largely unchanged. Both school districts have made efforts to improve academic outcome for students of color, which in theory should promote better disciplinary outcomes. Banks noted that most referrals to the juvenile system originate in the classroom. The district has responded by providing additional professional development to help teachers improve classroom management, while shifting from a punitive to a restorative model of discipline. “It teaches students to be accountable,” Monica Walker said. “Historically, in our district, a whole lot of what we were doing in terms of our code of conduct has been just to punish students. The restorative process holds the district accountable. It makes us do what we do best; that is to teach. It helps students resolve their own conflicts.”

District drops plans to charge for public records by Jordan Green


Nov. 30 - Dec. 6, 2017 Up Front News Opinion Culture Shot in the Triad Puzzles




Net neutrality: A First Amendment issue

We can pick our poisons with the Trump administration: the State Department disaster, the fantastical math of the GOP tax plan, the sealed indictments in the Russia investigation… but if we don’t keep our eyes on net neutrality, the internet — the United States’ most significant contribution to the world since we invented jazz — could be forever changed. FCC chair, Ajit Pai, has indicated the country’s position on net neutrality will change, probably during the holiday news dump, when no one will be paying attention. This is not a change in the law; the fate of the American internet will be decided by a vote of the five-member Federal Communications Commission on Dec. 14. On its face, the notion that all content on the internet be treated equally — the premise of net neutrality — seems a most American position. We don’t prioritize content in this country when it comes to the First Amendment. And a repeal of net neutrality would feed the worst impulses of service providers, who would be able to implement new fees on both the consumer and content-creator sides of their business model. We can take examples of this abhorrence in countries that don’t benefit from net neutrality. In Portugal, ISPs charge extra monthly fees to use social media, email, streaming services and even text messages. Before Canada made a strong commitment to net neutrality this year, ISPs were accused of throttling bandwidth for some competing services and, in one case, censoring a website that criticized the company. A case can be made that net neutrality might not disturb the digital status quo in the US — the bigger players like Google and Facebook have already created scaled-down internets of their own, content delivery networks that, in a manner of speaking, already bypass most internet traffic. And in most consumers’ minds, ISPs are going to suck no matter what. But erosion of these Obama-era rules makes two significant declarations. For one, to delineate the very internet upon which so many families, businesses and institutions depend as anything other than a utility is disingenuous. In 2017, a high-speed internet connection is as essential to life as electricity, too important to trust to the whims of a corporation intent on increasing its share price. For another, it opens the door for moneyed interests to drown out smaller players on the digital landscape — Triad City Beat included.


I sing the body Electro, 1947-1997

An obituary doesn’t always “He kicked cancer’s ass,” a friend, Jaime Coggins, noted. capture a life. “He was getting his strength back and a sneaky little blood The one for Harry Wilton Perclot took him down.” kins Jr., better known as “Electro,” Old friends embraced after seeing each other for the is sparing in its details. The date first time in years. They admired photos, including one that and place of his death: Nov. 19 at showed Electro’s fingers bending the strings of his guitar Duke Regional Hospital. His date under a wash of garish lighting. by Jordan Green of birth: Sept. 5, 1947. His parents’ “You can see the eighth notes!” Kirkman enthused. names: Harry Wilton and Hazel Mettie Reese Perkins. His Jim McHugh, a member of Electro’s band the Circuit military service: US Air Force. Survivors: Half-sister Ann Breakers, describes him as well as anyone in an essay Tom and close friend Donny Harris. Mention of a sister, posted with the photos as “friendly legend of my youth — Carolyn Messinger, who preceded him in death. The most and everyone’s. Originator and keeper of the deep Greensimportant part of Electro’s official biography might be the boro Motherf***er Vibe, Electro’s spirit howled somewhere fact he was a musician. Oh, and the obituary notes that the inside me every time I put slide to strings for the past 15 deceased was a member of Roxboro Baptist Church, where years — and he was still kicking. So from here on out, when he was baptized on March 5, 1961. Age 13, if you’re doing I slide-on, I’ll feel his noisome ghost kicking my ass into that the math. higher gear at which he existed, and I’ll make a go at playIt’s the final detail that elicits audible ing with something that approaches his level laughter from Rex Kirkman, who came to of HUGE-BALLS-iness.” pay his respects at College Hill Sundries Electro transcended generations of musiElectro transcend- cians in Greensboro on Sunday afternoon. in Greensboro, hanging out and playing ed generations “I can’t imagine my life without Elecslide guitar with Bruce Piephoff in the early tro,” Kirkman said. ’70s, rooming down the hall from guitarist of musicians in He was 9 when he first met Electro, Sam Frazier in the midst of the creative apex Greensboro. a journeyman musician and raconteur of the Tate Street scene later in that decade, who partied with, made music with and and then teaching the blues to a new generacrashed on the couches of at least three tion of punks when his former peers had generations of Greensboro residents. professionalized their game and drifted from “He was somewhat of a fount of wisdom,” Kirkman said. the scene. “He was good at warning me about the obstacles. He Electro taught McHugh and his friends “open-tunings played dobro and blues guitar. I played harmonica with and slide guitar and the John Lennon barre chord.” He him.” played music in a way that makes today’s indie-rock bands Even that prosaic appraisal doesn’t quite capture Electro, seem careerist in comparison. He would gather up a crowd and Kirkman paused for a moment to reach for the more at the bar at closing time, and relocate to a friend’s place mystical dimensions of the man. with a fridge stocked full of beer. With Electro on slide Kirkman recollected the details about a time when he guitar, someone else might join in on the tambourine or was living in South Dakota and had gotten into a fight with spoons. Or plug in an electric guitar and amp on a friend’s his girlfriend. He was driving across the open country when front porch at 10 a.m., and crank it all the way up. he discovered the roadside was trashed with empty bottles McHugh’s description of a Circuit Breakers gig at Coland cans. Being someone who can’t stand litter, he decided lege Hill Sundries almost 20 years ago captures the bridge to clean up the mess. He turned on the radio, and couldn’t Electro built from old-school blues to avant-garde noise. believe his ears. It was the sound of Electro’s dobro and “Judging by my bewildered beer-swollen mug in the phoRich Lerner, another Greensboro musician, singing — two to here, we Circuit Breakers are nearing that confused and old friends transmitting over the airwaves from a radio stafurious 20-minute mark of ‘Gloria’ or ‘The Thrill is Gone’ or tion in Rapid City. Kirkman tossed the bottles and cans into “Funk 49’ or something like that, and right at this moment, the back of his pickup, before resuming his quest. s***’s probably sounding insane like redneck ‘Sister Ray’ or “Then I climbed up on a butte and talked to an eagle,” he accidental early Sonic Youth,” McHugh writes, “and Electro recalled. is trucking on with us, full on — as ever.” Dozens of Electro’s friends, fellow musicians, understudies and surrogate daughters who drove him to Walmart to get his medications and brought him food during the last year when he was battling cancer crowded into College Hill, sharing stories through laughter and mouthfuls of shepherd’s pie.

CULTURE 10 dishes you should eat right now (but not all at once) by Eric Ginsburg


5. Bibimbap @ Don There was a period where I ate at this Tate Street restaurant almost once a week, alternating between the bulgogi don, bibimbap and the shoyu ramen. Even though I’ve fallen off a little, the flavors and heat of the bibimbap make it a longstanding favorite that deserves to be in the Top 5. Nowhere else in town makes this dish as well. 6. Shrimp & grits @ M’Coul’s You’ll notice that a characteristic of most places listed here is that I’ll stand behind the food in general; such restaurants allow me to return often without getting sick of something specific, and experiment recklessly with my order. That’s how I landed on the shrimp & grits at M’Coul’s, where I used to reliably order the Giant’s Causeway or eggs Benny for brunch.

9. Livorno pizza @ Cugino Forno When you write lists like this and start to get towards the end you think things like, Am I being dishonest if I don’t include Bojangles? I go to Jack’s Corner a decent amount, should it be on here? The key is to go with your gut, and try to be as honest as you can. This slot is actually a tossup with Sticks & Stones, where I go often despite its popularity because it’s just that good. But let’s give the less obvious newcomer a spot, because my girlfriend and I spin out to Revolution Mill frequently for this quick and satisfying pizza. She prefers the pepperoni, me the sausage — generally we compromise. I’m convinced this place just keeps getting better, and they just added a bunch of gelato. 10. General Tso’s chicken @ Golden Wok Admittedly, I almost never go here because it’s clear across town, at the corner of Bridford Parkway and West Wendover Avenue. But if you want greasy Chinese takeout, there’s no better option. Expect to wait on evening nights, even when ordering takeout. While I go for the General Tso’s, you’re safe betting on most anything. (If you want a different Chinese food experience altogether, go to Captain Chen’s Sichuan restaurant or over to Winston-Salem’s May Way Dumplings.)


7. Choripollo burrito @ Blue Agave Yes, I love burritos. So maybe it isn’t surprising that I’m willing to drive way down Battleground Avenue for the chorizo and chicken burrito at Blue Agave, a Mexican restaurant that also serves delicious and gigantic drinks on the cheap. It’s worth it for the accompanying sauce alone. (Villa del Mar’s chicken burrito was my favorite — RIP — but Blue Agave is arguably a nicer experience.)

8. Twisted Chicken Salad @ Fishbones If you fry chicken, dunk it in some amazing sauce and throw it into a complex salad, I can eat something that’s primarily green but still walk away incredibly satisfied. Fishbones does it better than anyone else in town, but shout-out to the fried oyster and bleu cheese salad across the street at Lindley Park Filling Station (and the lemon-garlic shrimp salad at Green Valley Grill).

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4. Thai green curry @ Crafted: Street Food I stand by the hot chicken sandwich,

banh mi burger and mac & cheese in particular at Crafted: The Art of Street Food, but holy hell the green curry is amazing. I can’t go to Street Food without ordering the coconut curry dish (with chicken or shrimp), and I love eating leftovers of the massive portion the next day. Hopefully some day Crafted brings back it’s bao, too.



3. The noodle bowl @ Noma Another place where you can’t go wrong, I’ve gravitated towards the vegetable-laden noodle bowl (though I switch up the meat) at this fast-casual spot with two locations. On my last visit I ordered pho with steak, and I’m a big fan of the red curry with chicken, too. Vegetarian and vegan options abound here. (If I lived closer to Pho Hien Vuong, Binh Minh and Rearn Thai, one of them would likely be listed here.)

The shrimp & grits at M’Coul’s is among the author’s go-to dishes in Greensboro.


2. The hot & cold bars @ Deep Roots Market Since they’re priced the same, feel free to mix and match items on the hot and cold bars at Deep Roots. Find me throwing a cut of salmon onto a veggie-loaded salad, stocking up on a side of fresh fruit or scooping anything from Brussels sprouts to noodles into my container. With ample parking, it’s one of the fastest lunch options around downtown. (And it’s way less pretentious than Whole Foods.)


1. The Cuban shrimp burrito @ Bandito Bodega When the cashier at Bandito answered the phone with, “What’s up, Eric?” I knew I’d officially qualified as a regular. I love everything I’ve ever eaten here, from the steak cold noodles to the Asian-style tacos, but the Cuban shrimp burrito has become my go-to order, usually called in right around the time this pocket restaurant opens.

Up Front

eople frequently ask me about my favorite restaurant — a question I hate, because it’s pretty impossible to compare or choose — but a better question is probably, “Where do you go most often?” We all settle into our own routines, even the few of us who are being paid to go out and explore new restaurants. But these dishes and venues are arguably more telling about my opinions of where you should go in Greensboro than some sort of ham-fisted best-of ranking. (Yes, they’re overwhelmingly in the center of the city near downtown, where I live. That’s how this works.)


Nov. 30 - Dec. 6, 2017 Up Front News Opinion Culture Shot in the Triad Puzzles


CULTURE In Temporium, Kelly Cherry skillfully spans genres by Spencer KM Brown


hile some critics and authors believe ambitious works of literature are reserved for younger writers, at the age of 76 Kelly Cherry has shattered this misperception. The author of more than 30 works of fiction, poetry, nonfiction and translation, Cherry’s catalogue has led her to selection as a former poet laureate of Virginia, and yet her best writing is still being produced. Temporium: Before the Beginning to After the End, Cherry’s latest collection of stories published by Winston-Salem’s Press 53, pushes the envelope of what a story can be. Part fiction, part poetry, part memoir, the genre lines are twisted and entwined like roots on the page, yet the writings collected within don’t belong in a single realm. Temporium contains 73 “fictions” — some stories, some character sketches, some prose poems — dialing in at 184 pages. But as a whole, the book functions more as a timeline of the writer’s notebook: thoughts and musings of life’s questions that have no answers, but which Cherry turns over in her hand like pieces of fruit, examining all sides. The second story in the collection, “God: A Proglegomenon,” thrusts the reader into a metaphysical dilemma: “Start here: If God does not know time, he exists in a state of ignorance.” And by starting at such a peak of a philosophical mountain, Cherry sets the reader on a journey through time, memory, love, God and death. Though this might seem a daunting undertaking at first, Cherry’s masterful language and compelling storytelling give grace to the heady questions, and plenty of breathing room when emotions get too deep. In “Liling” we are given a more straightforward approach to story. The title character, a beautiful girl who lives in the early years of the Ming Dynasty and a product of the ancient practice of foot-binding, wishes for something more than merely waiting for a man to come and marry her. When her younger brother learns to swim, she asks her father for permission to swim also. When her father refuses on account of the societal uproar it would cause, Liling replies: “I am female, Papa, and I have a need to swim.” It is passages such as this where Cherry’s masterful writing raises questions,

not so much to find the answers, but rather to release them into the ether and drift through the reader’s consciousness. Again, in the story “Brother and Sister,” Cherry delves headfirst into the disturbing arena of memory and sexuality. The story examines a 12-year-old boy’s newfound fascination with his body and genitalia. When he enters his little sister’s room naked and seemingly innocuously showing himself off to her, the girl is troubled and scarred. After the parents admonish the boy, telling both children to simply forget that this ever happened, the incident buries itself in the far recesses of the girl’s mind. Such darkness enters into many of these stories, but beauty surfaces with Cherry’s ability to hold back from providing answers, and instead leads the reader to the edge, leaving them to face the questions alone. While some of the stories read in a more formulaic style, others belong in an entirely different realm, such as several stories contained in an amazing six or even four words. Where the heavy, disturbing matters of “Brother and Sister” or “The Train” stick in your head long after you’ve finished reading, moments of humor are sprinkled in, breaking up more complex musings. One six-word story reads simply: “Dead husband taught wife to shoot.” And while the humor and simplicity appear on the surface, the deeper tones resonate just as fervently as in the longer writings. Although Cherry’s prose is strikingly fluid, there are moments in Temporium where she cuts her own legs out from under her. One of these moments occurs in the story “Thomas Leigh,” COURTESY PHOTO where she brilliantly opens with: “Suppose Author Kelly Cherry’s newest book is available from slavery never existed in America.” Such supposi- Winston-Salem’s Press 53. tion drives this story, following a working man And while this might be a weak aspect of the craft in a lesser through his life up to his death, all looking at what life might writer, Cherry holds the reins tight and commands that reader have been like for African Americans in that time. The story’s back to the language, back to the story with eloquent grace. genius exists with that simple statement of “suppose,” and is Temporium acts as a scattered collection of thoughts that, enough to move any reader. perhaps, any human being might have had; it reveals Cherry’s And yet, where the writing should simply end, the authorial crystal-clear view of the world around her. Whether it be God’s voice clouds the story and becomes preachy to the point of creation of the universe, a broken heart or feelings of isoladidactic accusation, losing most of the ground the story had tion and despair, they arrive in Temporium. Cherry examines gained. questions of physics and science not from a perspective of the Moments of over-writing appear in a handful of these scientist, but rather from the view stories and lead to moments of of the everyman, with skill and starkly overwrought introspecpillowed tones, as if whispering to tion that tear the reader out of To purchase Temporium and learn more the reader. the story at hand. Such failings about the author, visit A book of this character and are perhaps unavoidable when ambition seems reserved for a dealing with matters of time and younger writer whose sensibilimetaphysical questions. At severties have not been admonished al points in Temporium, the line between fiction and autobiogby the world, and yet, Cherry has accomplished a great feat raphy seem to blend. With many stories containing unnamed in literature: a perfect blend of fact and fiction, as seen by an characters, the reader is led to the thought that these memounshaken observer. ries and scenes are in fact glimpses into the author’s own life.

CULTURE Every poem by the slam champ landed a punch By Lauren Barber


Up Front News

Haussan Byrd performed in the last round of the Artist Bloc’s Word Play Poetry Slam on Nov 25.


Culture Shot in the Triad Puzzles

strated a masterful ability to oscillate between humor and light and I am Trayvon Martin.” solemnity, eliciting both laughter and empathetic “Mmh’s” Emcee Main Man maintained a light mood between artfrom the crowd. Every poem’s final words packed a punch: ists’ appeals to God and intimate disclosures without disre“And remember — Adam needed Eve, not the other way specting the atmosphere. Between one round, he revived a around.” jovial mood singing Guy’s “Let’s Chill” when he couldn’t get Kisherra Day, who goes by “KD,” disclosed childhood a Pandora station to work. abuse as she gently walked through the audience, compelIn the third and final round, Alexander delivered yet ling attendees to reckon with the trauma she still carries another ode to black women which, while lovely, seemed in her flesh, now two or three feet from their own. Though a bit hackneyed and veered toward confining black women partially veiled by her baggy jeans and baseball cap, her to pedestals rather than celebrating their humanity. Byrd, vulnerability shone through. though, looked to his future, considering how he might Hausson Byrd started by addressing the plunder of black raise a son. Instead of pushing him into what Byrd considbodies through state violence rather than mining personal ers the slave-like conditions of a football career, he would experience, but changed tacks in the second round. The guide him towards academia and away from unhealthy death of his grandmother set him spiraling into the realizaconceptions of masculinity because “he is already good tion he didn’t know her well enough to write a poem for enough.” her funeral. Despite admirable performances, no one’s delivery quite “The only time I can really grieve is on the stage/ The matched up against the elegance of Ayanna Albertson’s only time I feel like calling is when they’re in the grave.” Of measured cadence or the breadth of themes she explored. all contestants, his delivery settled quietest During her championship encore, Alberton listener’s ears despite the weight of his son flipped the evening on its head and levwords. elled with her audience about writing poetry Learn more about The righteously angry pulse of Jugo about saving her ex-partner from suicide — the Artist Bloc at Alexander’s delivery matched the subject no humor this round. of his second poem, a eulogy of sorts from “Why is it that poetry has a way of healing the perspective of Trayvon Martin as George everyone but the person who writes it?/ Zimmerman followed him down the street Uses just enough literary devices that you before killing him. Alexander never confined himself to the overlook the cry for help/ Consider it a good concept when stage, favoring movement throughout the room. Whether a poet has a breakdown on stage/… I have learned that not intentional or not, walking created a visceral association all pain deserves this here platform/… But today, I have with the experience of his subject and Alexander’s height chosen not to trigger myself back into trauma, into deprescaused ceiling lights to illuminate his bleach-stained T-shirt sion and into grief for the sake/ of writing/ a good/ poem.” and face as he gazed upward and closed with, “I am the


oft R&B filled the intimate space as patrons filtered in, taking seats along a booth-lined wall or glossy, black-leather sofas, some with bottled beers and others with the night’s cocktail special, “Word Play,” in hand. Warm ceiling lights set the scuffed-up, raised stage and a lone mic aglow. Events coordinator Tiana Bryant hosts Word Play, a slam-poetry competition, the last Saturday of every month at the Artist Bloc, a gallery, coffeehouse and creative meeting space in Greensboro. True to the slam tradition, the night’s emcee, Jermain “Main Man” Monroe, sought out five members of the audience new to poetry slams to serve as judges. Those with freshly anointed powers rated the three-minute performances on a zero to 10 scale on small dry-erase boards. The lowest and highest scores are scrapped in slams for a highest possible score of 30. Decked out in blue and orange garb, Main Man sacrificed himself as a trial run for the first-time judges, performing an aptly named poem “Sacrifice” about his first slam. Slam poetry is as physical as it is literary. Nearly every poet began with their back to the crowd facing their backdrop, a burgundy curtain, collecting themselves before turning to deliver the piece, their arms conduits for sending energy to the audience. Donning all-black attire, Jasmine Williams crooned the opening lines of “Amazing Grace” as prelude to mourning Trayvon Martin and Tamir Rice, tragic examples of black boys who “can’t outrun bullets” and questioned claims of social progress in America. Ayanna Albertson, too, began in song. After a few lines of Etta James’ “All I Could Do Was Cry,” she recounted seeing her ex-boyfriend with another woman and shared a list of 10 truths about the healing process. She relied on everything from too much ice cream and blasting trap music to realizing that: “4. He wasn’t yours to begin with/ Faithful men cannot be stolen/ Happy homes cannot be broken.” Early on, Albertson demon-


Nov. 30 - Dec. 6, 2017

N. Elm Street, Greensboro


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Up Front



Holiday tablecloths, take note!


”The Price of Freedom”--a freestyle puzzle for today.. by Matt Jones

54 Cough syrup holder 60 “Just a sec!” 61 It may follow a period of inattention

48 49 52 53 55 56 57 58 59

Divided, as a highway “___ knew that!” Garbage-hauling ship Completely engrossed “___ Mine” (George Harrison autobiography) Egg container: Abbr. Burns’s dissent Serpentine letter Vietnamese holiday



Answers from previous publication.


Down 1 Mrs., in Madrid 2 “Wonderful” juice brand 3 Former Radiohead label 4 James of gangster films 5 Head over heels for 6 Cracked, as a door 7 Tupperware topper 8 Camera lens setting 9 Crumble away 10 ___ “apple” 11 ___ Vogue 12 Ending for glob 13 Red fox of medieval lore 14 Paul Anka hit subtitled “That Kiss!” ©2017 Jonesin’ Crosswords ( 15 More unsophisticated 34 30 Seconds to Mars singer Jared 21 Tiny drink 35 Adjective dropped by rapper Bow Wow 22 “Ambient 1: Music for Airports” composer Brian 36 Willamette U.’s locale 23 Interval 37 Kansas home of the Eisenhower Presidential Library 24 Pick out some food 38 ___ Purchase (1853 deal with Mexico) 25 Hide well 40 Gasteyer of the “NPR’s Delicious Dish” sketches 27 British islet 41 School vehicle 28 Able to be assessed 42 Incense stick remnant 31 Before, in old poems 45 Line of work 32 Course that gets its own bar? 47 DIY stuff that might be made with glue and borax

Up Front

Across 1 What standard, no-frills items lack 16 November 2017 thriller with Denzel Washington in the title role 17 “What a relief!” 18 “... ___ any drop to drink”: Coleridge 19 Norse god of wisdom and war 20 Thunder’s org. 21 Israeli desert 24 Unlocked 25 1930s heavyweight champ Max 26 Twelve months from now 28 Pox 29 Explode 30 Double-___ (big mobile homes) 33 Passion 34 Word whose figurative meaning is frowned upon by grammar sticklers 36 Bob of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” 39 Ancient artifact 40 Lawyers’ org. 43 Take ___ (suffer financial loss) 44 Graduate 46 Deck on a cruise ship 47 Cold-weather transport 50 Retriever restrainer 51 South African golfer Ernie 52 Belgrade resident 53 Lab maze runner


SPREADING JOY ONE PINT AT A TIME Culture Shot in the Triad

Monday Geeks Who Drink Pub Quiz 7:30 Tuesday Live music with Piedmont Old Time Society Old Time music and Bluegrass 7:30 Wednesday Live music with J Timber and Joel Henry with special guests 8:30

Thursday Joymongers Band aka Levon Zevon aka Average Height Band 8:30


Answers from previous publication.

Friday, Saturday & Sunday BEER! | 336-763-5255 ©2017 Jonesin’ Crosswords (

576 N. Eugene St. | Greensboro



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(336) 723-7239



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TCB Nov. 30, 2017 — Slam Poets Society  

The slam takes over the Artist Bloc