JULY 17-23, 2021 TRIAD-CITY-BEAT.COM
dunleath porchest: you’re too white PAGE 5
April parker on juneteenth
who gets to revitalize greensboro?
Freeman Vines’ sonic pursuit at SECCA BY JAMES DOUGLAS | PAGE 12
JUNE 17-23, 2021
Beat Boxes, 2021 version
he boxes were still printing our paper in Greensboro, came down most of them oblong green ones from a from Virfailed magazine project called Skirt. Eric ginia, as-is. Ginsburg and I turned those around with a Some were rusted wire brush, some spray paint and a homethrough; others made stencil. arrived without key I gathered more over the next year from pieces of hardware here and there, and then in 2015 came by Brian Clarey like handles or across the motherlode: 65 like-new metal plastic windshields, or the clip that holds newspaper boxes in a warehouse in Forsyth that week’s newspaper in the window. County, along with more than a hundred Many were missing the spring-loaded wire racks, detritus from a Spanish-lanmechanism that adjusts to the weight of guage newspaper that went under 20 years the papers or, barring that, the metal grill ago. They were mine for the price of some that keeps them from dropping to the advertising if I could bring a truck and cart bottom. Some still had steel them out of there. coinboxes attached, each Former TCB Art Director one heavy as a cinderblock, Jorge Maturino processed I understood with hard-to-reach bolts in those over the course of a cobwebby corners. year, two and three at a time that we were And by the end of the because that’s all he could building our second day tending to them fit in his car. I placed most company on in the pre-summer sun, of those on the street myself the ruins of Triad City Beat Art Director — I was still driving a weekly Robert Paquette had turned delivery route at the time, those that red as a slapmark. came before us. and I knew exactly where The last time we prothey needed to go. cessed newspaper boxes in We started doing this the office parking lot was all because I refused to pay full the way back in 2014, the year we began. I price for brand-new street boxes with slick bought the first three from an old newspawraps or professionally designed logos, per friend, Carolina-blue containers that which can go for $300 apiece. Why would had once held issues of the Daily Tar Heel. I, when there were thousands of used ones One of them, a rare double newspaper just sitting around, and so many newspabox, still stands outside the door of our pers on the brink? office, one of its panels decorated with a I understood then that we were building self-portrait by the artist Patrick Harris. our media company on the ruins of those I picked up another dozen that year that came before us. Still feels about right. from the News & Record back when they
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JUNE 17-23, 2021
UP FRONT | JUNE 17-23, 2021
CITY LIFE JUNE 17-20 by Michaela Ratliff
THURSDAY June 17
2021 Arts Awards Banquet Ticket Sales @ High Point Arts Council (HP) Online
DIY for Dad @ AR Workshop (GSO) 6:30 p.m.
Get crafty during AR Workshop’s DIY for Dad art class as you create a wood project. Choose from a plank sign, cake stand and even a wood clock! To see more project options and to purchase tickets, visit ARworkshop.com/ Greensboro.
SUNDAY June 20
Outdoor Market @ Etc. (GSO) 12 p.m.
SATURDAY June 19
Juneteenth GSO Black Food Truck Fest @ LeBauer Park (GSO) 5 p.m. On June 24, The High Points Arts Council is hosting a banquet dedicated to supporters of art in the High Point Area. In addition to entertainment and award presentations, the event will feature a cash bar. Tickets are $35 per person and can be purchased at HighPointArts.org/ events or by calling 336.889.2787 ext. 26 Tuesday through Friday from 1-5 p.m. Sales end June 22.
Not Quite Perfect Pottery Sale @ Sawtooth School for Visual Arts (W-S) 5:00 p.m.
Celebrate Juneteenth and support Black-owned local businesses and food trucks, with the event boosted by a DJ and open mic. To see more information and other Juneteenth events happening this week, visit JuneteenthGSO. wordpress.com.
DIY collective Etc. is back with another backyard market! Featuring food, art and books, Etc.’s markets provide a variety of items to treat yourself with. Visit Etc.’s Instagram page for a list of vendors and updates.
Fathers & Flights @ Bull City Ciderworks (GSO) 1 p.m.
Trucks, Taps & Tunes @ Briles House (HP) 3:30 p.m.
Stop by Bull City Ciderworks with your loved one for apple-based ciders and crafts. Nailed It DIY provides beer bottle opener, photo holder or ring toss designs for you to choose from. Create a gift for the father figure in your life or keep it for yourself! Visit the event page on Facebook for more info.
Just because a piece of pottery didn’t turn out the way an artist envisioned doesn’t mean the piece should go to waste. That’s why you can purchase ceramics with all their perfect imperfections during Sawtooth’s Not Quite Perfect Pottery sale. This free event will be held in Winston Square Park beside Sawtooth. For more information, visit sawtooth.org.
Step Up! Step Out! Step In! Father’s Day Walk and Festival @ Washington Street Historic District (HP) 2 p.m.
FRIDAY June 18
Pride & Pints @ Doggos Dog Park & Pub (GSO) 4 p.m.
Join Doggos in kicking off Give Back Weekend by attending Pride & Pints. 10% of the event’s sales will be donated to Guilford Green Foundation & LGBTQ Center. Don’t forget to visit Doggo’s website for house rules and attendance requirements for your pet.
The Junior League of High Point invites you to an afternoon of fun, food and live music by Shane Key before heading to the Rockers game that evening. Trucks, Taps & Tunes will include local vendors, raffles for prizes and more. Grab your $15 ticket at JLHP.org.
Celebrate Father’s Day during community organization Uniting Black Men for Change’s family-friendly festival including food trucks, giveaways and guest speakers. Guests are asked to meet at Morehead Recreation Center before the walk. For more information, visit the event page on Facebook.
(As of Wednesday, June 16)
Documented COVID-19 diagnoses NC 1,009,531 (+2,722) Forsyth 36,839(+77) Guilford County
711 (2 weeks no new deaths)
Documented recoveries NC
35,229 (as of 5/27)
Current cases NC
Hospitalizations (right now) NC
Vaccinations NC First Dose
4,308,623 (41%, +106,454)
Forsyth First Dose
166,270 (43%, +3,917)
Guilford First dose
237,188 (44%, +6,286)
n Cypress Street, Mason Jar Confessions performs original country tunes for a small crowd of local music-lovers. Down the block, acoustic duo Half-Baked Betty sings a series of rock songs. And just across Yanceyville Street, attendees of the Dunleath Porchfest enjoy the Minor Swing Band’s first performance since TODD TURNER before the pandemic hit Honestly, I had a hard time distinguishing between the acts. over a year before. After COVID-19 shut down last year’s events, Still, it’s not enough to just change a the Dunleath Porchfest returned this year name. Solidarity and real equity comes from with 43 different bands performing all over giving up space, paying artists and elevatthe historic neighborhood near downtown ing communities that have historically been Greensboro. Every single one of these marginalized. As a well-attended, annual bands was wonderful, and it was amazing community event, the Dunleath festival has to see the community come out in such the opportunity, or rather, the responsibility, numbers now that vaccines are more widely to uplift those in our community that have available. For many of the musicians at been overlooked. Don’t forget, the city Porchfest, it was their first time performing is half Black and the Dunleath neighborin front of a live audience since the panhood, which includes areas around Summit demic began in March 2020. Avenue, is also home to Black residents. NC And yet, all of the bands listed above A&T University is just a block away. were entirely white or white passing. The In speaking with Porchfest organizer former two groups have one woman in them Lynne Leonard, she emphasized how much and few, if any, of those musicians appeared she and other organizers have pushed for to be under the age of 40. And honestly, as diversity among their music acts, and that I meandered from house to house, porch she has reached out to a number of folks to porch, I had a hard time distinguishing personally. Every year, she says it is a goal of between the acts. hers to bring more diverse acts to DunSome acts stood out — Sabrina Petel, leath’s porches-turned-stages. Emily Stewart and Kirby Heard come to While that’s great to hear, perhaps mind — but we as a city can and should do behind-the-scenes efforts like recruiting better, especially after the events of 2020 more organizers of color and expanding in which a nationwide reckoning of violence current organizers’ knowledge of Greensagainst Black and brown bodies took place boro musicians should begin as early as now, and a global pandemic disproportionately a year out from the next Porchfest. killed communities of color. And as much as I enjoyed the festivities, The history of the neighborhood brings I would be remiss not to note the lack of dithe festival’s lack of diversity into much versity, especially as Juneteenth draws near. harsher light. Before the community was Hopefully, those who enjoyed the music called Dunleath, it was named after Charles at Dunleath will come out to the events — B. Aycock, a governor in the early 1900s, a such as Juneteenth GSO and the city’s day fierce opponent of Reconstruction and an of celebration — with similar excitement. advocate for white supremacy. Because ultimately, what we show up for Neighborhood residents petitioned to and continue to support demonstrates its change the district’s name from Aycock to worth to the city and those in it. And if an Dunleath in 2017. Centuries before that, event isn’t reflective of our city as a whole, it Occaneechi and Siouan tribes lived in the is up to us, particularly white people, to ask area. important questions and to demand change.
JUNE 17-23, 2021 | UP FRONT
Coronavirus in the Triad:
Dunleath Porchfest is nice, but pretty white by Nicole Zeniker
NEWS | JUNE 17-23, 2021
New music organization by Andy Zimmerman raises eyebrows after city grants $250,000 to help fund venture by Sayaka Matsuoka
he goal is pretty simple. Part of the organization would be a for-profit venture, with a live-music performance space, rehearsal areas and studio space for musicians. The non-profit portion would help “underserved” children receive a music education. That’s the vision local developer Andy Zimmerman has for the vacant building located at 800 Pastor Anderson Way in Greensboro, an endeavor he’s calling “Rhythm Works.” “The concept actually came from my desire to have more of a music scene in Greensboro, specifically in downtown.” Zimmerman said to Triad City Beat. “When I first moved here, there was a much livelier live music scene and one of the components of Rhythm Works will be practice space, but it will be a venue for people to perform too.” The building, which is owned by Zimmerman and partners Stu Nichols and Linda Spitsen under the company PAW Greensboro LLC, is a former meatstorage facility on the edge of downtown near NC A&T University and Bennett College. During the May 18 council meeting, Zimmerman and his colleagues petitioned council for a grant to help make their vision a reality. In the end, city council approved a $250,000 urban development investment grant to PAW Greensboro LLC to help renovate and upfit the building. The resolution for the grant passed 8-1 with all members voting in favor expect for council member Justin Outling who did not give a reason for voting against. According to the resolution, Zimmerman and his colleagues have already committed $2.3 million of private capital to the project, a condition of the grant. The resolution also notes that if PAW does not invest at least $2.58 million in the project by Dec. 31, 2022, or fails to create five new full-time jobs by Dec. 31, 2023, that the grant will be rescinded. Zimmerman, who owns buildings in and around downtown through his business A-Z Development, told TCB that without the $250,000 grant from the city, he wouldn’t have moved forward with the project. “I wouldn’t do it,” Zimmerman said. “I don’t have the full $2 million; I needed the $250,000 to make this
happen. And not only is the city going to help, I’m going to start a GoFundMe campaign to outfit the studios.”
‘I don’t see why the city saw this as a need right now.’
till, some in the community like Princess Howell Johnson are questioning Zimmerman’s assertion that without the grant from the city, he couldn’t have moved forward with the project. Johnson, who owns and operates Royal Expressions Contemporary Ballet, says she’s been running her entity for 12 years and has gotten money from the city just once, and never anything close to $250,000. She said that she once got $600 from the city to help fund a summer arts program. “I was shocked,” Johnson said. “And then I was angry because we don’t need any more music spaces; we have plenty. SAYAKA MATSUOKA Also, he could have gone to the bank Rhythm Works, on the eastern edge of downtown Greensboro, will feature practice and got a loan. I don’t see why the city spaces, a performance hall and a recording studio. saw this as a need right now.” Johnson, whose organization teaches ment grants are allocated for “development grant in the last three years. Zimkids and adults how to dance, pointed to ment and redevelopment projects in merman and his colleagues with PAW the new Tanger Center as an example downtown, reinvestment areas, reinvestGreensboro are one and the other two of another music venue that will be ment corridors, corporate parks and were obtained by S&S Capital LLC in opening up soon. She also said that as long-term vacant big box shells that have the amount of $750,000 in June 2020 a Black woman running a smaller arts requested city participation.” and by Double G Properties LLC in the organization, she feels she and others The guidelines outlined in the docuamount of $80,000 in July 2020. S&S like her have been overlooked by the city ment note that developers must demonCapital LLC is owned by Shahzad Akfor years. strate a need for assistance and an ability bar and his grant was to be used to build “We have all these small organizato pay private debt service. Applicants a Piggly Wiggly in the Freeman Mill tions who are constantly must also have experiSquare shopping center. The project was overlooked and here you ence successfully develdelayed once in 2018 and was scheduled go once again sidestep‘We have all these oping similar projects to open in April of this year according ping the people who and contribute at least to a Fox 8 report. Double G Properties small organizations have put in hours of 10 percent equity in the LLC, owned by Dale and Paul Talley, building up the art com- who are constantly project. applied for the grant to create Bourbon munity but not investing overlooked...’ For downtown initiaBowl, a new whiskey, bowling alley in in it,” she said. “I was tives, the city has identidowntown Greensboro which opened – Princess Howell Johnson very disappointed that fied about 500 acres recently. the city would approve between Fisher Avenue Stu Nichols, one of Zimmerman’s something like that.” and W. Gate City Boulevard as key for partners on the project, explained durWhen asked about his wealth and development. Some of the considering the city council meeting that they whether he felt like he was taking the ations for downtown projects is that they wouldn’t touch the $250,000 from the grant from a smaller organization have “regional draw due to uniqueness city until they were able to fill the gap who might need it more, Zimmerman of use” or “reuses a vacant or underutithat they currently face to fund the pointed out that the grant is available to lized property,” both criteria which could project. anyone. Zimmerman also noted that the be met through Rhythm Works. Another “There is clearly a funding gap becity has to reallocate funds from elsecriteria that gets points from council is if tween the amount of money we’ve put where in its budget to fund this particuthe project is mixed-use. in so far, loans that we’ve taken and this lar grant. According to a public records request grant money,” Nichols said. “We have According to a 2015 document on the submitted by TCB, only three entities cont. on pg. 8 city’s website, urban development investhave qualified for the urban develop-
THE RETURN OF THE TRIAD’S BEST DINING GUIDE
JUNE 17-23, 2021 | NEWS
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NEWS | JUNE 17-23, 2021
‘Rhythm Works cont. from pg. 6
to have that type of mindset that this is what you want to do, and unfortunately, if you don’t have sponsors or grants where you can make this your full-time endeavor, you have to juxtapose that with life. This is not for everybody. You have to have a functioning organization; you have to be made aware that these grants exist and then apply, so is it fair? Life is not fair.” Johnson said she didn’t even know grants of that caliber existed. “A lot of Black people don’t know what the city even offers as far as funding and assistance,” she said. “We don’t know what avenues to take. Like is there something available online, is there a contact person to talk to? I feel like to get money from the city you have to know who’s who in the city and if you’re not in that circle, you’re already behind.”
a bunch of ideas...on how we’re going to close that gap, but one of the things that we as the partners in this concept that we wanted to make sure that city council understands is that one way or another, by us reaching into our own pockets or through third-party participation in the form of sponsorship grants, equity investment or what have you, we will make sure that that gap is closed and we will not tap into this grant money from the city unless that gap has been closed. We understand that full financing of the project is in place before we spend the first dollar on the project. The city dollars will be the last dollars in, and we won’t start until we know we can complete the outfit of the building for this project.” Zimmerman said that the venture is one that will ultimately benefit the comWho gets to revitalize munity. Greensboro? “This is a return on community,” he ohnson also wonders if Zimmersaid. “Me and my partners could have man and his partners are the right fun with our money anywhere, but we people to run an organization wanted to invest in East Greensboro targeted at Black and Brown children. instead…. We want to put thousands of “I’m asking the question: Who are kids through a positive experience.” you and where have you been? Why Through the nonprofit portion of does Andy Zimmerman want a piece of Rhythm Works, Zimmerman said he this pie?” she asked. “We have plenty of plans to partner with Notes for Notes, outreach programs…. I just feel like he’s a national organization that provides taking something that is already happenchildren access to high-quality recording and is putting his name on it. Who’s ing studios, as well as Guilford County going to follow up with Schools. The kids in the that and ensure that what program will be able to he says he’s going to do is attend Rhythm Works free ‘I don’t have the going to happen?” of charge. During the May full $2 million; Both Wilkerson and 18 city council meeting, I needed the Johnson have been both Notes for Notes and a representative for Guilford $250,000 to make working for weeks to put on events taking place County Schools wrote let- this happen.’ throughout the city for Juters in support of Zimmer- – Andy Zimmerman neteenth this weekend. For man’s project. the event, Johnson applied Joseph Wilkerson III, for funding through the city to be able another arts organizer in Greensboro, to pay the artists who participate. The had mixed feelings about the fact that amount she got for four days of events: Zimmerman got $250,000 from the city $6,000. for his project. “That’s the first thing we’ve ever gotWilkerson, who is the executive directen from the city,” Johnson said. “And tor of Uptown GSO Inc., echoed Zimthey had to create a program specifically merman’s assertion that the grants are for organizations of color because of available to anyone, but also noted that George Floyd. It was like, ‘Oh it’s like we people need to know they exist to actushould probably do something about this ally apply for them. He also stated that quickly.’ And we’re grateful, but where as a wealthy white man with connections was this years ago when we were asking throughout the city, Zimmerman likely for it?” had an easier time getting approved for Even with the city funding, Johnson the grant than others may have. said that they are still fundraising for the “I have a full-time job,” Wilkerson Juneteenth events and that that’s how it’s said. “I’m not afforded the opportunity always been for Black organizations in to put in 8-12 hour days just operating the city. my nonprofit…. To do this, you have “We’re always piecing things togeth-
A large part of Zimmerman’s plan is also to “revital- The area of downtown Greensboro that the city has deemed necessary for development. ize” that area of downtown Greensboro, which Zimmera tremendous job with their campus, but man has dubbed Down East Downtown. no one has taken the initiative to level up “I think that section of town in east the community.” Greensboro has been overlooked,” But Johnson makes the case that orZimmerman said. “I saw nothing but ganizations like that do and have existed opportunity to give it some vitality and but that they are never given the kind of activity by building some communityresources that white-led organizations are. based places.” “We don’t have 50-year organizations, Zimmerman also owns Studio 503, a 100-year organizations because we come visual artist collective, which is located and we go,” she said. “We burn out or next to the Rhythm Works facility. the person dies who was running it or He said that the combination of the they can’t keep up this passion project two will help make that area a vibrant because they have to eat too. It’s just arts community. hard for us to sustain when we’re not “I am very excited about the diversity being helped by the city.” at Studio 503, and I think it’s going to At the end of the day, Wilkerson said carry over to Rhythm Works,” he said. he can’t really blame Zimmerman for Council member Goldie Wells of trying to build what he thinks is a goodDistrict 2, said during the city council will organization. Still, he wonders about meeting that she was excited at the nothe fairness of the process and who, tion of the project. ultimately, gets to realize their visions in “I’m pleased that this is coming to the city. District 2,” she said. “I think it will help “It’s just up to the individuals that are so many young people, thanks to you allocating the money,” he said. “If you all. And I know you’re continuing to get have multiple millions of dollars, should those funds, so we won’t spend any until you be applying for it? There’s nothing you get it all.” to say that you can’t; it is the way it is.” However, Wilkerson said that he’s been trying to revitalize the area for the To learn more about grant last decade through Uptown GSO Inc. funding from the city, visit greens“What I would hate to see is the boro-nc.gov/business/economicgentrification of the community when development-business-support/ I’ve been yelling, ‘Fire,’” Wilkerson said. assistance-programs. “There’s a real opportunity to start developing our community. A&T has done
JUNE 17-23, 2021 | NEWS
er,” she said. “We get started with these projects hoping we’ll get funding, but then we end up having to cut corners. Black artists are always having to play for free in this city.” She says $250,000 could have gone to opening up a theater. Wilkerson said that he would have used the money to get a space for entrepreneurs to start businesses. Neither of them have $2 million up front to bring to city council for a grant like the one Zimmerman got, they said. “That sounds so backwards,” Johnson said. “If you can put up $2.3 million, then why do you need $250,000 more? Why wouldn’t you give the $250,000 to an organization that doesn’t have $250,000 so they can build with the $250,000? It just seems so backwards to me.”
OPINION | JUNE 17-23, 2021
The new news
hat a time to be in journalism. went up in the South either at the height A global pandemic that, of Jim Crow, or during the Civil Rights despite what your own eyes Movement of the 1960s. tell you, is not quite over. We have been forced to acknowledge The strongest domestic push for civil that official police documents are not rights in decades. A dysfunctional governgood sources for truth after we realized ment. An utterly corrupt political party that the police report from the death and another that’s just sort of corrupt. An of George Floyd described his demise actual insurrection and ongoing attempts as a “medical incident” and the official at a political coup designed to erode our press release from the death of Marcus republic. Smith made no mention that he had been Our job these days is less like a fronthogtied. row seat to history and more like a frontWe’re not calling people “felons” or row seat at a punk-rock show, the kind “convicts” in print anymore, striving to where the band spits on you neutralize our language in and dumps beer on your head terms of gender, and rebecause anti-media sentiment thinking anonymous sources We’ve got is another current that’s runin regards to the real dangers some hard ning through American society they face. questions right now. And we’re even considering Objectivity or not, we in the “unpublishing” stories about of our own media are not immune to the perpetrators of crime, considto answer. changes sweeping our society, ering what we know about the and in this Age of Reckoning mistakes of law enforcement we’ve got some hard questions of our own and the real effect on people’s lives. to answer. In the old days, of course, unpublishing Capitalizing the word “Black” when something was not an option — it showed referring to people is just a part of it: up in print and that was it, unless a correcNewspaper reporters and editors — and tion was in order, in which case it would publishers! — have been forced to admit run a couple days later, with no way to link flaws in the historical record after the 1619 it back to the original mistake. Project articulated the role of slavery in For the record, we’ve never unpublished the founding of our nation, after millions a story in Triad City Beat; we don’t do a lot of Americans learned about the Tulsa of crime reporting, so it’s never come up. Massacre on Black Wall Street from a TV But the news is new these days, and for show about superheroes, after we underthe first time ever we’re willing to have the stood that most Confederate monuments conversation.
Q&A: April Parker talks Juneteenth and her future visions of the holiday
By Sayaka Matsuoka
his year’s Juneteenth celebration, set for June 17-20, is the second time the city of Greensboro has recognized it as a holiday, closing city offices and offering paid time off . But organizers in the Gate City — particularly Black women — have been hosting celebrations around the official freeing of slaves for years. One of the main organizers of the movement, April Parker, describes how this year’s celebration came together after last year’s event was forced to go online. For a full schedule of events, visit Juneteenthgso.wordpress.com or follow JuneteenthGSOFest on Facebook.
How does it feel to have a full Juneteenth celebration in conjunction with the city for the first time after last year’s event was moved to be all virtual? It feels like Black joy. I was really excited because this is the first year there has been this huge cultural shift. I’m really thankful for the movement and I’m excited to be celebrating Black liberation in a big way. It feels good that it has grown like this. I want to give thanks to Princess of Royal Expression Contemporary Dance School because she had the foresight to apply for funding to do a Juneteenth event. And it really feels like Black joy; it does feel like Black power in the ways that a lot of us have never worked tougher. This committee is the first time we have worked together. It’s nice because I don’t own Juneteenth. It’s about honoring the people who are new to Juneteenth but also to celebrate people who fought for Juneteenth. I just think that Black women have fought so hard for this to come to fruition and I’m thankful for my elders and to Black organizers. It’s the first time that we’re working together on something like this and we were able to lean into our relationships. It felt like family and making sure the rest of our extended family was taken care of. I’m just so thankful for that
Why was it important for you to have the city recognize Juneteenth as a citywide holiday? Because Black people are not the minority in Greensboro and the city has passed itself off for a very long time as
being this racial harmonious place, but we’re really tethered to this idea of integration which dilutes the idea of Black power and Black experiences, so I appreciate that we are doing something that is explicitly and overtly Black outside of Kwanzaa. I’m excited that we are honoring the rituals and traditions of Black people and recognizing that July 4th is a fallacy. The city has spent a lot of money to celebrate the Fourth of July and my people were in bondage. There’s no way I can wear my red, white and blue and know that the holiday is not for Black people. So if we’re going to invest in Fourth of July, we’re going to damn sure celebrate Juneteenth.
You and others worked so hard and for so long for Juneteenth and it seems like it took the death of George Floyd to make it a citywide holiday. Do you feel like there is a necessity of Black pain to force change in institutions? I think Black joy is the one of the most enduring things. That even in our pain, in our collective pain and collective grieving, we know that there will be an end to that where we will experience Black joy. It’s not an either/or, it’s never going to be an either/or. I think it’s powerful that we have a nation and a state government that is trying to suppress critical race theory. I would challenge Greensboro now. At the board of education, no one is collectively speaking for antiracist education. They’ve been out-organizing us for centuries. I think that that’s happening now. We can’t get comfortable. We’re still not wielding the political power that we need and I hope that Juneteenth helps us centralize us after the isolation, because we need to come together as an act of resistance. I hope Juneteenth can be that without an uprising because somebody else was murdered. It’s like, how can we help each other survive and thrive? And we don’t need another tragedy to make that happen.
What significance does Juneteenth have for you? When I came to Greensboro, I was talking about Juneteenth when nobody really knew what Juneteenth was. I’m an Aries; I like resuscitating things. I like Sankofa and bringing things that we may have lost as a culture back; I love bringing that shit back. I like the fact that our Juneteenth’s are queer and our Prides are Black now. So even though there is still struggle and conflict that we’re ironing out, I appreciate being a part of that work. I appreciate being a part of folks’ traditions. As a queer person, we’re very traditional people. We just love having rituals and so much of that gets taken away from us when we have to build family outside of our biological family. I might not have had this experience when I was younger, but we’re building up our community for our children.
What would you like non-Black people and white people to know about the holiday and how to support it? It’s on white people to do the heavy lifting. Hopefully this will be another eye-opener to plugging in to do their own work.
JUNE 17-23, 2021 | CULTURE
April Parker has been planning Juneteenth celebrations with other artists and organizers in Greensboro for years.
I also think that Juneteenth should be handled fundamentally like July 4. Like whatever your policies are for July 4, they should be for June 19. And for white folks, instead of starting your own thing, you should look to see how you can support community-driven initiatives. Even though we got financial support from the city — they gave us about $1,200 to use LeBauer Park — there should be no balance. I think that it should be handled with the same reverence and we’re paying all of our artists so I would say donate to the committee who’s driving this. Everybody who is involved is being paid a little bit. It’s not reparations, but it’s our money. So yeah, I think that’s a way to support. That’s why it’s downtown in a way. Because we want to it be as accessible, but to show that this is bigger than one person. In the meantime, we have a lot of white organization and I think there should be time so we can start the cultural shift. White organizations:Iif you want to give space, money, the day off to your employees, that’s what needs to happen right now.
What are your future visions for Juneteenth? I would really like to do strawberry contests or pie contests because I know that was a thing recently emancipated Black people were a part of. And especially now that everyone is a gardener, I think that a beautiful thing would be to lift that up. Like have Miss Mary’s prize squash or whatever. Black farmers have been really centered in this time and people returning to the land. I would love Juneteenth to celebrate that. Even things like watermelons. Black people were selling them after Emancipation and white people didn’t like that so they made it into that very racist thing. And I would like to kind of have some type of celebration where we’re unveiling some of those things that happened after Emancipation. White people worked really hard to discredit the work of a free Black man and I really think Juneteenth could be something that works to eradicate that. I’d like to see wagons and people dressed up in white with white flowers and they didn’t have DJs back in the day, but they had their fiddles. I want to bring some of that stuff back.
CULTURE | JUNE 17-23, 2021
Culture by James Douglas
Freeman Vines’ pursuit of sound on display in new SECCA show
rtist Freeman Vines was retrieving unwanted wood from neighbors to create guitars when he came across the story of Oliver Moore. He tells the story matter-of-factly, like he could be commenting on the summer heat. As he was loading his truck with the sawed remnants of a walnut tree, his neighbor gave him a warning. “He said, ‘Vines, you might not want that wood right there,’” he recalls. “He said, ‘A man was hung on that tree.’ I didn’t pay it no mind.” Vines’ distinct drawl is pure Eastern NC flatland. The wrinkles on his dark weathered face are an indecipherable roadmap, but his eyes possess a bonfire of intelligence, creativity, humor. Years later, the guitars dangle from strings at different heights, hung by their necks and rotate gently in the artificial breeze. The sturdy branch mounted above the gallery floor from which they hang erases any illusions about what the instruments are supposed to represent. “The strangest thing happened,” says Vines. “There was stuff in that wood that made me think a boy was crying out.” Hanging Tree Guitars is SECCA’s newest exhibition and an eye-opening experience featuring Vines’ work. The exhibition, on view until Sept. 12, features a series of tintypes, hand-carved wooden sculptures and handmade guitars by Vines. A number of the pieces in the exhibit were made from the tree used in a lynching in 1930. Oliver Moore was a 29-year-old farm worker who was lynched after being abducted from the Tarboro Jail by 200 – freeman vines white men. Charged with attempted rape, reports differ on the events that led to Moore’s arrest. None of the men involved in the lynching were brought to trial. Tim Duffy, a photographer and founder of the Music Maker Relief Foundation, was collaborating with Vines on the series of tintypes that would later be a part of the exhibition when Vines began to work with the wood from the walnut tree. Together, they began to uncover Moore’s story. In an area where Klan presence and racism is still prevalent, Vines was initially concerned about pursuing the
A collection of Vines’ guitars hang from a tree branch in SECCA’s gallery space.
story, because to bring up old demons carries a risk of ramifications, most notably from the descendants of the people responsible for Moore’s death. The white families still live in the state, side by side with the same Black families who worked for them decades ago. But Vines believes that using that fear and pain in art can create dialogue. “I learned pain,” Vines says. “Sometimes pain is a friend of yours.” Growing up in rural, eastern NC, Vines’ early life was one of labor, struggle and racism. Working as a field hand on tobacco farm, pay was mostly nonexistent and to ask for it would invite violence. In his book, co-authored by Duffy and folklorist Zoe Van Buren, Vines compares his early life to slavery. “[It was] worse,” Vines writes. “Because see, you had the idea that you were free, and you weren’t.” Relying on creativity and expression has been an escape from trauma and in Vines’ case, a catharsis. While much of that has been through visual art, Vines also has a background in music. Initially, the artist says he began making guitars so he could craft his own sound. “The first guitar I ever made was a slab of wood with some strings on it,” says the 79-year-old artist, luthier, musician and storyteller. His guitars, like his vision, are varied and unique. All are made by hand. “The saw has a mind of its own,” says Vines. “The jigsaw
‘there was stuff in that wood that made me think a boy was crying out.’
would not follow the way I had drew the shape of the guitar. When I get through cutting, it’s a guitar but different than the other ones.” These days, his experimental use of capacitors from old radios, discarded wood from old barns, soundboards from thrown away pianos are all a continued attempt to form a unique sound that is his, and his alone. One of Vines’ guitars is played on a track, “Somewhere to Lay My Head,” performed by Johnny Ray Daniels on the accompanying album, Hanging Tree Guitars, that Music Maker produced for the exhibition and book release. The track opens with Daniels’ gruff voice over a chorus of joyous gospel singers. “I’ve got trials and tribulations / I’ve been ‘buked and I’ve been scorned / I’m hoping soon my trials will be over / And I want... / Somewhere (somewhere to lay my head),” sings Daniels. The track, while jubilant in nature, seems to echo Vines’ life of hardship and struggle. But unlike the song repeats, the artist suggests he’s not quite ready to retire yet. He says he’ll keep his health in check and work in his barn when he has time. “80 years old, I just do basic stuff,” Vines says. “I don’t abuse the [health] problem. You can’t run no more.”
Freeman Vines: Hanging Tree Guitars is on view at SECCA until Sept. 12. Visit Secca.org to learn more.
by Michaela Ratliff
Indie documentary Bookstour features Scuppernong Books
hy should people shop at an indie bookstore? That’s the question upon which The Bookstour, a 30-minute documentary by Mason Engel, a self-published author from Indiana, was created. And in it, Greensboro’s own Scuppernong Books makes an appearance. After experimenting with online marketing, Engel wanted to try a new approach to advertising his sci-fi novel 2084. In March 2019 he set out on a road trip to promote the book, available solely through Amazon. “The idea I had was to promote it in brick-and-mortar bookstores, which led to my trip from Indiana to California and back visiting 50 indie bookstores in 50 days,” he says. His tight budget of $1,000 went towards food, gas and car maintenance. To save money, Engel’s car became his sleeping quarters at times. “I slept on friends’ couches and when I couldn’t find couches, I found a Walmart parking lot and just crashed in my car,” he remembers. Along the way, Engel gained a new perspective, switching gears from talking about himself to listening to others, and the idea of The Bookstour came to COURTESY PHOTO mind. Documentarian Mason Engel visited 50 bookstores in 50 days to create the Bookstour. “After a dozen or so stores and being received so warmly by the booksellers, despite the fact I was promoting a novel Once in North Carolina, the men were forced to find an sity, especially now. that was available only through Amaalternative after a cancellation from a bookstore in Durham. “It’s all the more important right now because we’re emergzon, their direct competitor, and just That is when Engel found Scuppernong. ing from the pandemic,” he says. feeling that acceptance in these places, “Scuppernong was unique in that we didn’t actually schedMitchell expects the film will lead to more support as it just made me ule to go there initially because it wasn’t people learn to treasure the local businesses they enjoy. curious about the directly on our route,” he says. “I think one of the things the pandemic did was make industry,” he says. After a quick Indie Bound search, he people realize they really like their favorite restaurants and At the height of called Steve Mitchell, co-owner of Scupperbookstores and places to go in their town because they sudthe coronavirus nong, and nailed a last-minute interview denly couldn’t go there anymore,” Mitchell says. pandemic, Engel with him with just an hour of notice. They Proceeds from the film will be donated to the Book Indusrealized indie bookrushed to South Elm Street, and as the try Charitable Foundation, which donates to bookstores and stores and other store was near closing, they conducted a other small businesses facing hardship, an act Mitchell is local businesses – Steve Mitchell, 12-minute interview with Mitchell. grateful for. needed the most scuppernong books co-owner He agreed to do the interview after “Local businesses need support to stay open,” he stresses. support they’ve experiencing the difficulties of trying to Engel agrees, and during filming, he asked store owners why ever gotten. Durmaintain a small business firsthand. people should support indie bookstores. ing the summer of “Every indie bookstore in the country was worried about “Why should people care?” he asked. “We got some great 2020, Engel enlisted the help of camerawhether they were gonna be able to survive the pandemic,” answers. I’m excited to share those with folks in the film.” man Brayden Williams to document the Mitchell says. stories of independent bookstores in Mitchell says he appreciates how the film not only highvarious cities along the East coast, using lights indie bookstores, but how they interact with the comthe bookstore locator on the website munity around them. The Bookstour is available for preorder until July Indie Bound to find locations. In the To Engel, the essential theme of the film is the one thing in7 at thebookstourfilm.com. end, Engel and Williams visited stores in dependent bookstores offer that big-box stores don’t: human Boston and Washington DC and other Scuppernong Books is now fully open to the public. connection. While sitting down with bookstore owners and cities in 17 days. employees, Engel realized face-to-face interaction is a necesVisit at 304 S. Elm St in Greensboro.
JUNE 17-23, 2021 | CULTURE
‘every indie bookstore in the country was worried about whether they were gonna be able to survive the pandemic.’
SHOT IN THE TRIAD | JUNE 17-23, 2021
SHOT IN THE TRIAD
Spring Garden Street, Greensboro
CAROLYN DE BERRY
Mike Moore, owner of Buffalo Boogie Records.
SUDOKU JUNE 17-23, 2021 | PUZZLES
‘Just Ir-ish’—oh, whatever. by Matt Jones
1 Concession stand drinks 6 Tugs 11 Shot in the arm 14 Authoritative decree 15 “You’re ___ and don’t even know it” 16 Need to square up with 17 Compliant “Transformers” director? 19 Milliner’s product 20 Printer refill 21 Coast-to-coast vacation, maybe 22 “(You’re) Having My Baby” singer Paul 23 Sheepish sounds 24 Orchestra woodwinds 25 Beach atmosphere 28 Sapphire novel on which the film “Precious” was based 29 T, e.g. 30 Allowed past the door 35 “Lara Croft: ___ Raider” 36 Showing little emotion 37 Roman emperor after Claudius 38 Mixed vegetables ingredient, maybe 40 Laundry day target 41 Distant lead-in 42 Car accessory 43 ___ pastry (eclair basis) 45 Five-iron nickname 48 Architect Ludwig Mies van der ___ 49 Casino customer 50 Bearded zoo animal 53 Intent 54 Pop soloist familiar with the Egyptian underworld? 56 “Don’t text and drive,” e.g. 57 Optimal 58 Come together 59 RR stop 60 Teacher’s summons 61 Printer refill
©2021 Jonesin’ Crosswords
© 2021 Jonesin’ Crosswords (email@example.com)
1 Big rig 2 Mythological deity with two ravens 3 Nickname for Nixon 4 German grumble 5 Illuminated, as at night 6 “Big Three” conference site of 1945 7 “To reach ___, we must sail ...” (FDR quote) 8 “Dona ___ pacem” (Mass phrase) 9 Hold onto 10 Mess of a spot 11 Unfortunate tractor inventor? 12 Up 13 Software versions still being tested 18 At any point 22 Kind of ballot
Answers from previous publication.
Answers from last issue
23 Potato chip flavor 24 In circulation 25 They haven’t flown for 18 years 26 Self-help Internet site 27 Disappointing “Save Me” singer-songwriter? 28 File on a phone 30 “What am ___ do?” 31 Mail motto word 32 “F9” actor/producer Diesel 33 Reggae Sunsplash adjective 34 Taboo 36 Biol. or ecol. 39 Prom piece 40 Foments 42 Pest greeting 43 Vegas game with rolls 44 Raise, as a flag 45 Battle royale 46 George Peppard TV series, with “The” 47 Mode of fashion 49 “I’ll ___ my time” 50 Hang on tight? 51 “Last ___” (The Strokes song) 52 Tablet owner 54 Prefix with information 55 ___ nutshell
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Guitars from the hanging tree, plus arts money in east Greensboro, Juneteenth explained, the new news, the whitest festival and more.
Published on Jun 17, 2021
Guitars from the hanging tree, plus arts money in east Greensboro, Juneteenth explained, the new news, the whitest festival and more.