SEPT. 22 - 28, 2022 TRIAD-CITY-BEAT.COM
Kirstin Cassell was hit by an anti-abortion protester’s car while volunteering in June. Now, she’s fighting to keep the only abortion clinic in Greensboro safe. by Sayaka Matsuoka | pg. 4
MAYA BROOKS IS THE FIRST
POW WOW IN GSO
WTF IS WRONG WITH DESANTIS
UP FRONT | SEPT. 22 - 28, 2022
EDITOR’S NOTEBOOK The ACC forsakes the Triad
ike to roll AV carts into the classroom so Krispy students could watch the games. Kreme, Is all that over? several thousand I suppose we’ll still get the men’s random New basketball tournament in Greensboro Yorkers and Fan- once in a while — it’s locked in for tasia Barrino, the 2023, and the women’s tournament by Brian Clarey Atlantic Coast seems to have found a home here, Conference has officially moved which reminds us that there are a from the Triad to Charlotte. lot of other programs besides men’s The announcement came on basketball (and, to a lesser degree, Tuesday morning after football) under the a long deliberation in umbrella of the ACC. Everyone who which Greensboro, the In that regard, gives a damn ACC’s current home, Charlotte is probably a knows that the never really figured. good move. It became ACC was founded in the 15th largest city in And it’s a damn shame. Greensboro in 1953. the US as of the 2020 Everyone who gives Census, making it a a damn knows that the ACC was real player in marketing terms. Its founded in Greensboro, in 1953 at economy runs on cadres of reliably the Sedgefield Country Club. And overpaid bankers who will buy tickets everyone knows that all of the best to absolutely anything. Sponsorship moments in ACC Men’s Basketball opportunities abound. history happened inside the GreensThey’re moving to Charlotte for the boro Coliseum — Dean Smith’s same reason anyone from the Triad first and last ACC championships moves to Charlotte: A Bigger and (1967 and 1997), the first nationally Better Deal. But the Triad still has a better airtelevised ACC Tournament (1978), port. And, it should be noted, an actuMichael Jordan vs. Ralph Sampson al legacy ACC team in Wake Forest. (1982), Wake Forest’s back-to-back And it might have been even titles (1995-96), some Duke stuff…. worse. They could be moving to Being the home of the ACC was Brooklyn. important to Greensboro. The whole city transforms for the tournament, the population swells, teachers used
BUSINESS PUBLISHER/EXECUTIVE EDITOR Brian Clarey
PUBLISHER EMERITUS Allen Broach
SALES KEY ACCOUNTS
Abortion clinic escort Kirstin Cassell was hit by an anti-abortion protester’s car in June.
[photo by Carolyn de Berry]
EDITORIAL MANAGING EDITOR
CHIEF CONTRIBUTORS James Douglas
1451 S. Elm-Eugene St. Box 24, Greensboro, NC 27406 Office: 336.681.0704 ART WEBMASTER Sam LeBlanc ART DIRECTOR
Carolyn de Berry, John Cole, Owens Daniels, Luis H. Garay, Kaitlynn Havens, Jordan Howse, Matt Jones, Autumn Karen, Michaela Ratliff, Jen Sorensen, Todd Turner
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THURSDAY Sept. 22 Paint & Sip @ Stock + Grain Assembly (HP) 6 p.m. Mural artist Dana Holliday will guide you through painting your own fall-themed pumpkins to celebrate autumn approaching. Registration is $45 and includes all materials and one alcoholic beverage. Register on Eventbrite.
UP FRONT | SEPT. 22 - 28, 2022
by MICHAELA RATLIFF
FRIDAY Sept. 23 Carceral Country: Inside: Voices from Death Row @ Scuppernong Books (GSO) 6 p.m. Scuppernong Books presents an eight-part series on criminal and social justice issues in America. Join them and Tessie Castillo for this hybrid discussion of Inside: Voices from Death Row, a collection of narratives by men on North Carolina’s death row. Register at scuppernongbooks.com.
SATURDAY Sept. 24 Apple Fest @ Historic Bethabara Park (W-S) 10 a.m. Historic Bethabara Park is excited to announce the return of Apple Fest after a two-year hiatus. Celebrate autumn by listening to live music from local musicians, creating apple-themed crafts or purchasing gifts from local artisans. All the apples you need to create baked goods this fall will be available for purchase.Visit historicbethabara.org/event/apple-fest for more information.
SUNDAY Sept. 25 Fall Festival @ Frazier Marsh Farm (HP) 12 p.m. Tractor rides, a pumpkin patch and other fall-themed activities make up this fall festival at Frazier Marsh Farm. Purchase tickets at fraziermarsh.com. Get the full events calendar by signing up for the Weekender, straight to your inbox every Thursday.
NEWS | SEPT. 22 - 28, 2022
A GSO abortion clinic volunteer was hit by a protester’s car in June. Now she’s fighting to keep the clinic safe.
NEWS Kirstin Cassell has been volunteering at A Woman’s Choice in Greensboro for five years.
by Sayaka Matsuoka
ightmares, flashbacks, insomnia. Kirstin Cassell is a trained trauma therapist who can quickly identify symptoms of a trauma response in not just her clients, but also in herself. So when she started experiencing these issues back in June, she wasn’t that surprised. “It was really interesting,” Cassell said. “I’m a therapist who specializes in trauma, so I knew exactly what was happening. And just because you know about it doesn’t mean it can’t happen to you.” On June 4, Cassell was hit by a car while she volunteering at a Greensboro abortion clinic. She didn’t suffer any major physical injuries, but the emotional and mental toll of the incident lasted for weeks. “I was having nightmares and flashbacks, and I could hear the music that was playing at the time,” she said. “We usually play music at the clinic because the protesters yell such horrible things. The song that had been playing, I couldn’t get it out of my head.” The song was “Quiet on Set” by pop singer Remi Wolf. Cassell has been volunteering as a clinic escort, something she jokingly describes as a “glorified parking attendant,” at A Woman’s Choice, Greensboro’s only abortion clinic, for about five years. And even though it’s just a volunteer thing, it’s not an easy gig, Cassell said. In 2019, Triad City Beat took an exhaustive look at what accessing an abortion looks like in the Triad, including what patients have to endure when they visit A Woman’s Choice on any given day of the week. Street preachers, dozens of protesters from local religious organizations and more aggressive protesters with signs like “Babies are murdered here,” are commonplace. And since the leak of the draft Supreme Court opinion in May and the subsequent overturning of Roe v. Wade on June 24, protesters have become more emboldened, some abortion rights activists say. But as far as the volunteers and clinic staff had been aware, there hadn’t been any actual violence at the clinic, until that day. “At the Greensboro clinic, the car situation is one of the worst,” said Amber Gavin, the vice president of advocacy and operations for A Woman’s Choice, Inc. Now Cassell is using her voice and her experience to shed light on what she sees as a dangerous far-right movement that will put the lives of people they don’t agree with at risk to further their agenda. She’s involved in a criminal court case against her assailant and hopes that the case will show the increased need to support abortion clinics. “This has invited us to reconsider how dangerous our work is and reconsider putting new safety measures in place,” Cassell said. “Nothing like this has happened in the years that I’ve been there.”
CAROLYN DE BERRY
to Midori, a Japanese hibachi place. It’s hard to see the clinic from the main road, so oftentimes patients pull into the wrong parking lot, which was why Cassell had stationed herself right on the edge of the property in the Midori parking lot next door. “One of the things that the protesters like to do is to get the patients into the Midori parking lot, so I station myself there so cars know where to go,” Cassell explained. The few yards of asphalt where Cassell was standing on that day have become a hotly contested space where anti-abortion protesters and clinic escorts vie for the attention of incoming patients. Those who seek to divert the cars from the clinic will try to stop them to hand them flyers with messaging that dissuades them from receiving an abortion, while the clinic escorts, outfitted in bright, rainbow vests, do their best tto keep the cars moving into the clinic’s parking lot. “That spot has sort of been a spot of some stress,” Cassell said. “It’s a tricky spot because we would like the cars to just keep moving to get to their appointment and [the patients] don’t know who’s who so it’s confusing.” On that June morning, Cassell was training a new escort when she saw protester Danny Bracken pull into the Midori parking lot in his black Toyota Solara. According to Cassell and other clinic volunteers, Bracken had been a known quantity due to degrading comments he had made at escorts in the weeks prior. Cassell believes he’s been coming to protest at the clinic since the spring of 2021. When Cassell saw Bracken pull into the adjacent lot, she clocked him immediately but didn’t say anything out loud, not wanting to scare the new trainee. Bracken continued to drive around the Midori parking lot, eventually making his way towards the spot where Cassell, the other volunteer and two anti-abortion protesters were standing. In a series of videos taken on body-cameras worn by the clinic escorts, Bracken can be seen driving straight towards Cassell and the new volunteer, not slowing down as he moves forward. His car only stops after hitting Cassell, who was standing at the front of the line. “By the time I realized he wasn’t going to stop, I couldn’t get out of the way,” Cassell said. The video footage shows Cassell quickly moving out of the way of Bracken’s car as she braces her hands briefly on the hood, twisting herself to the left as he continues to move forward. “I realized it was either my hands or my legs, and I put my hands out and
Nothing like this has happened in the years I’ve been there.
‘I realized he wasn’t going to stop’ assell usually goes to A Woman’s Choice on Saturday mornings when the clinic sees the most patients. Her main responsibility is to make sure that patients can find the small brick building that’s tucked away off of Randleman Road, behind a tire shop and next
pushed myself out of the way,” she said. “He didn’t stop. If I hadn’t twisted out of the way, he would have run me over.” Cassell said she hurt her lower back and hips from having to quickly move out of the way. After stopping the car, Bracken exits and can be heard stating on camera, “You don’t have the right of way here ma’am.” Cassell, who also caught the incident on her body camera, walked away as soon as she was hit, keeping in mind the clinic’s no-confrontation policy. “We’re really, really well-trained as escorts,” she said. “When that happened, I immediately walked away and removed myself from the situation.”
‘We want this law upheld’
n June 5, Danny Bracken was charged with one count of a misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon after Greensboro police officers were called to the scene. “I find that there is probable cause to believe that… you unlawfully and willfully did assault Kirstin Leslie Cassell with a deadly weapon, a black Toyota Solara,” reads the charging document on file at the Guilford County Courthouse. The next hearing for the case is scheduled for this Friday morning at the courthouse. But Cassell said that the charge isn’t enough and that she hopes the judge assigned to the case will add another charge because Bracken was impeding access to an abortion clinic. In 1994, President Bill Clinton signed the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, otherwise known as the FACE Act in response to an increase in violence towards providers and patients of abortion clinics. The statute creates federal jurisdiction and penalties for a person who “by force or threat of force or by physical obstruction, intentionally injures, intimidates or interferes with or attempts to injure, intimidate or interfere with any person because that person is or has been, or in order to intimidate such person or any other person or any class of persons from, obtaining or providing reproductive health services.” The act also penalizes people who intentionally damage or attempt to damage or destroy property of a reproductive health facility. On the Justice Department’s web page explaining the act, “physical attacks on clinic employees and patient escorts” is noted specifically under “conduct found illegal under FACE.” In 2010, North Carolina passed its own state statute that mirrors the national law. It similarly prohibits obstructing a person’s access to a health care facility and prohibits injuring or threatening to injure a person who is obtaining health care services, lawfully aiding another to obtain health care services or providing health care services. A Facebook photo of Danny Bracken. As a volunteer of the abortion clinic, Cassell said that she wants an added charge for Bracken under the FACE Act or the state statute. Penalties for violating the FACE act include a fine and less than a year of prison time for a first offense. The statute also reads that civil remedies could exist for violations but Cassell said that a civil case didn’t work out for her because there aren’t any laws in place protecting people who aren’t in romantic relationships with their assailants. For the NC law, violation is classified as a Class 2 misdemeanor. “I didn’t qualify for a 50B and a 50C is the only other option,” Cassell explained. A 50B is a Domestic Violence Protective Order that is designed specifically for victims of domestic violence to give them the protection they need from the abuser. Most often, these occur within romantic relationships. Cassell got a temporary emergency restraining order against Bracken but dropped it earlier this month. A 50C is a Civil No-Contact Order seeks to protect victims of sexual assault, stalking, and other forms of harassment but Cassell’s attorney told her that that doesn’t really apply to her either. So, now she’s left with just the criminal case. “We want them to consider this statute,” she said. “I don’t think [Bracken] hit me with the car because it was me. We want him to be banned from the clinic. We want this law to be upheld. There’s a statute that says you can’t do this; put some teeth behind this.”
Who is Danny Bracken?
ccording to court records, Danny Bracken is a 60-year-old white male who resides in Summerfield. A quick look on the state’s voter registration database shows that Bracken is a registered Republican who votes in every election. A search of Bracken’s name on the state’s business registration database shows that Bracken organized the Marine Corps League National Convention in 2010. Photos of Bracken in Marine Corps attire were also visible on his Facebook account until access was restricted earlier this week. TCB reached out to the Guilford County branch of the Marine Corps but did not hear back about Bracken’s involvement in time for publication. Cassell also noted that Bracken has been coming out to protest the abortion clinic as a member of Triad Coalition for Life, a nonprofit, Christian, anti-abortion organization based out of Greensboro. After he hit Cassell with his car, Ten H., a clinic escort who has been volunteering since mid 2021, said that Bracken didn’t leave even when the police showed up. When Bracken went to the clinic on the following Monday, he was told to leave by the founders of Triad Coalition for Life, Bobby Singleton and Tim Rogers. According to the organization’s website, Singleton and Rogers started the organization in 2020, and raked in $170,273 in total revenue that first year — all from contributions — based on that year’s tax returns. The website shows that members partake in 40 Days for Life, a national anti-abortion event, sidewalk protesting and “healing workshops” with people who have received abortions or are curious about abortion. Rogers’ LinkedIn shows that prior to founding Triad Coalition for Life, he worked as the expansion director for the Greensboro Pregnancy Care Center located off of Gate City Blvd. in Greensboro near UNCG. The center, as previously reported by TCB, is an example of what is known as a crisis pregnancy center, or an anti-abortion center that dissuades people from seeking abortions by providing false or misleading information about reproductive care. Bobby Singleton’s LinkedIn shows that in addition to working as the executive director for Triad Coalition for Life, he is also a broker and realtor with Keller Williams Realty, a position he’s held since 2016. When TCB reached out to Triad Coalition for Life to ask about Bracken’s involvement in their organization, Singleton responded by stating that they “train [their] volunteers to use a peaceful and kind approach toward everyone that [they] encounter” and that “Mr. Bracken is no longer a volunteer or associated with [their] organization.” Still, Cassell said that during the first court hearing in July, both Singleton and Rogers showed up in support of Bracken. “He volunteered with a specific organization,” Cassell said. “We have to consider if the organization bears any responsibility. When we’re thinking of creating community safety, what role does Triad Coalition for Life play in this?”
NEWS | SEPT. 22 - 28, 2022
A history of ‘contempt’
lthough Bracken is facing criminal charges for his actions on June 4, other clinic escorts told TCB that he had exhibited hostile and aggressive behavior prior to that day. Ten H. told TCB that they had been followed around by Bracken at the clinic in the spring and had been threatened by him in the past. “I was trying to escort patients out of the clinic and I was standing in the road,” they said. “He kind of stepped forward and said to me, ‘You’re a nice, big target.’ He said it in a demeaning way. I thought that maybe he was saying it in reference to the fact that I’m not a thin person but it made more sense after Kirstin was hit. He meant that I made a good target to hit with his car.” After they were threatened by Bracken, Ten H. said they took a few weeks off from escorting because they were shaken up. They also said that many escorts took time off after Bracken hit Cassell with his car. The fact that Ten H. is one of the few nonwhite volunteers at the clinic adds to the vulnerability of volunteering, too. “[The protesters] tell me that I’m a traitor to my face,” they said. “They like to make comments about how I keep my hair and tell me to cover up my body because I have a stomach pouch.”
Michael Usey, another clinic escort, described Bracken’s behavior towards him and his colleagues as contemptuous. “They continue to be aggressive and ones like Danny and a couple of the other older men, the contemptuousness is really kind of the issue,” said Usey, who has been volunteering for three years. “There are a bunch of protesters that just come out there wanting to profess love for the women using the services of the clinic, but there’s a handful of them that really foment contempt and that contempt radiates off of them in some of the things they say and do and how they behave towards us and the women and that’s been pretty much a constant.” That attitude of contempt acts as a kind of simmering violence, according to Usey. And it’s not one that’s so far outside of the realm of possibility, given the rise in extremist violence over the last few years. In the aftermath of being hit by Bracken’s car, Cassell said she couldn’t help but think about Heather Heyer. “It felt very much connected to what’s been going on around the country and how dangerous these people are,” Cassell said. “This is a person who was willing to cause serious injury to people.” In 2019, James Alex Fields Jr., a 20-year-old white man, pleaded guilty to 29 of 30 hate crime charges after driving his car into a group of counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Va. in 2017, injuring dozens and killing Heather Heyer. In 2021, in the aftermath of the protests sparked by the George Floyd murder, dozens of Republican legislators around the country attempted to pass or passed bills that made it legal for people to hit protesters with cars. According to the International Center for Not-for-profit Law, “11 states have introduced 18 new bills since January 2021 that reduce or eliminate the liability of drivers who run into protesters.” Three states — Oklahoma, Iowa, and Florida — signed the bills into law last year. North Carolina Republicans attempted to pass a similar bill in 2020, but it ultimately failed to make it through the Senate. After the attack, Cassell said she was hypervigilant when she was running errands and would be hyperaware of other people. “I knew he lived in Summerfield so if I was on the north side of Greensboro and I saw an older white man, my whole body would go into panic,” she said. Part of the issue, as Usey sees it, is a white supremacist but also hypermasculine ideology that is pervading a lot of right-wing movements, like the anti-abortion movement. Particularly the most aggressive protesters that come out to the clinic, Usey said, fall within a certain kind of masculinity. He’s witnessed Bracken use hate speech against some of the LGBTQ+ volunteers of the clinic, too. “It’s this kind of toxic masculinity that’s very predatory,” said Usey, who is a 64-year-old white male. “It’s misogyny and these white, well off people that are yelling at young women, a lot of them are women of color.” Usey said that when he saw Bracken hit Cassell with his car, he also was reminded of Charlottesville. “It was a shocking moment that he would just hit her, like, ‘If you’re not getting out of the way, I’m just going to hit you,’” Usey said. “It wasn’t as violent as what took place in Charlottesville, but it’s the same kind of thing. It’s the ultimate expression of their privilege.” Like Ten H., Usey said that he wants to see Bracken banned from the clinic and be found guilty for his crimes. Cassell, who is an abolitionist, said that she wants him banned from the clinic too, but she doesn’t have faith in the justice system to get Bracken the help he needs to really reflect on his actions. “I know that whatever he needs to be a person, he’s not going to get from the court,” Cassell said. “But it’s my only available way forward to create some safety for the clinic…. What I would really want for him is whatever kind of healing he needs so he doesn’t create harm again.” As for her, she hasn’t taken much time off from volunteering even after she got hit. “I’m going to do what I can,” she said. “And I know that I’m going to continue to do what I’ve been doing so that I can create calm for the patients.” Calls to a number listed online for Bracken went unreturned for this story.
The next court hearing is scheduled for Friday at the Guilford County Courthouse.
CHROME DREAMS AND INFINITE REFLECTIONS American Photorealism
July 15–December 31, 2022 Precision and Soul: A Conversation about Photorealism Valerie Hillings, director of the North Carolina Museum of Art will lead a discussion about the exhibition Chrome Dreams and Infinite Reflections: American Photorealism. Advance registration encouraged. September 27
Chrome Dreams Major Sponsor
reynolda.org Robert Bechtle (1932–2020), Kona Kai, 1967, Oil on canvas, Image Courtesy of the Gibbes Museum of Art/Carolina Art Association. © Robert Bechtle and Whitney Chadwick Trust. Courtesy of the Robert Bechtle and Whitney Chadwick Trust and Gladstone Gallery.
nation looked on case against DeSantis, discoverin shock last week ing, among other charges, that the when Florida Gov. migrants were told they would be Ron DeSantis roundgiven housing and employment ed up more than 50 Venezuelan upon their arrival, and were told migrants who came to the country inaccurate information regarding looking for asylum, fed them false the agency in charge. information and then loaded them “Accounts from the migrants on two airplanes bound for Marwho arrived last night make it clear tha’s Vineyard. that they were lied to again and DeSantis, who is the actual govagain and fraudulently induced ernor of an entire US state, claimed to board the planes,” she told the it was retaliation for Martha’s Vineyard President Biden’s Times. DeSantis, who is the border policy. Even more: MarUnspoken was his tha’s Vineyard is a actual governor of desire to own the tiny island with a an entire US state, libs, which he unyear-round popclaimed it was doubtedly did. But ulation of 15,000 it also looks a lot people, accessible retaliation for like a crime against only by boat or President Biden’s humanity, which plane. This means border policy. bothers his base that resources are not one whit. extremely limited, Let’s unpack this thing. bed space is at a premium and it For one, these workers and their is impossible to get thousands of families were seeking asylum in people off the island at once. the US — “asylum” is a legal term In other words, it’s a total dick for a protection extended by the move. US to foreign nationals; asyAnother: He spent more than lum-seekers, therefore, are not “il$600,000 chartering these planes, legal” immigrants until they get de- and has vowed to exhaust a fund nied asylum, and even then there of more than $12 million, which he are options for protection that do says has been earmarked for this not include being kidnapped by the purpose. governor of a Southern state. And what purpose is that? TrafFor another, these Venezuelan ficking? Kidnapping? An abuse of nationals were given fraudulent human rights? information in order to get them “Deplorable” doesn’t quite cover onto the plane. Rachel Self, an isthe actions of Florida’s governor land attorney specializing in immilast week, or the toxic Americans gration issues, has been gathering who continue to cheer him on. evidence to support a kidnapping
OPINION | SEPT. 22 - 28, 2022
EDITORIAL A governor and a crime against humanity
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CULTURE | SEPT. 22 - 28, 2022
CULTURE Maya Brooks is the first Black curator at SECCA and NCMA by Sayaka Matsuoka
aya Brooks is the new assistant curator for contemporary art at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art. She will serve both the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh and SECCA, which is an affiliate of NCMA. The new position builds on the past two years of Brooks’ experience as the Mellon Foundation Assistant Curator at NCMA. space as much as anyone else does. Since I was hired, people who would not normally come to the programming, who would not feel comfortable have come and said, ‘We just wanted to meet you,’ and that’s what it’s about. In the past, people have told our stories without us being at the table and oftentimes it’s wrong or it’s said in a way that’s not connecting to our experiences. I can tell when a white person is writing something for a Black audience; there’s not that spark. I want to be able to speak from my own experience and the experience that the community has, and my family has and put it into the exhibitions, the programming, the entire museum experience if I can.
Tell me about your background in art. My background in art started a long time ago. When I was 14, I decided I wanted to be a curator, so I started looking up careers and learned about the job of museum curator. I’m actually a historian more than I am an art historian. I got my undergraduate degree from UNC Chapel Hill in anthropology and masters in history from UNCG. As far as my love of art, I grew up in Atlanta and they used to take us to the Hyde Museum all the time. One of my favorite artists was Annie Greene. So this job really combines my love of art and history.
How will you balance representing two museums? So I just joined SECCA in June. I’m primarily at the NCMA; that’s where our home base will be. That’s where I have been doing my exhibition work for the most part. I have been at NCMA since 2020. I’ll be able to bring that experience to SECCA and I’ll try to be there once a week. Originally I was hired to help with reinstallation at NCMA, but then I got this promotion. This new position started as a way to combine the roles that I have at the NCMA with a reincorporation of SECCA. SECCA has been a part of the NCMA for years but there hasn’t been a really strong relationship between the two.
Tell me how your background in history will impact your work as an art curator. Because of my background in anthropology and history, I’m able to think about the social structures that surround the art. It’s not just about the art itself. We are not creating art in a vacuum here. So being able to talk about that part, being able to to talk about the transition through art phases, mediums, how the field has grown in and developed. That’s how the history comes through for me.
Q A 8
see that in communities where people are calling themselves curators, and I think that’s fine. It’s different, but it’s a beautiful thing.
After the uprisings of 2020 many institutions took a hard look at themselves when it comes to race. Do you think your hiring is a reflection of SECCA and the NCMA’s own reckoning? I’m the first and only at the NCMA as far as Black curators go. I never thought I’d be the first at any kind of stuff, so it does weigh on you. I have a really personal connection to the African American History Commission with the state and I work with Black organizations and HBCUs which I bring to my work, but it is also kind of thinking, Who is doing this beyond me? I know that there are others but being reminded of that is really heavy. I talk about this openly and I’m outspoken, but I’ve encountered a lot of microaggressions at the job that have impacted me in a way that sometimes my coworkers don’t understand. It’s been interesting.
Who are some of your favorite artists? Ms. Annie Greene is up there for me. It’s a nostalgia thing. The idea that you could freely talk about the Black experience and freely do that for herself. She was categorized as a folk museum at the Hyde museum, but it’s fine art. She’s using yarn and taking it and making this huge scene. I’m just like, How does your brain work like that? I also love photography and documentary photography, being able to capture real scenes from life. I love hip-hop photography. Brother Ernie is a big inspiration for me too.
Any big projects you’re excited about? I’m excited that our new curator for 20th Century art and contemporary art, Jared Ledesma, is also a person of color. He’s Latino, and I’m excited to be working with him. We’re talking about doing a fiber arts show, a show about Southern religiosity. I also really love animation. I want to explore different mediums. Beyond the exhibitions, I’m excited to be working with the space itself. I’m exploring different ways to think about the history of the Hanes House and their legacy and their family. I also want to start a new library. We have a library, but it needs a little revamping for people to use. I would love to make a music library. I collect records and I want a record library in there so bad. It would be great to be able to have a cup of coffee and listen to music while looking at the art. I want to really use it as a place of leisure and art at the same time so no matter where you turn there’s something for you to see.
The press release talked about your passion for bringing diverse audiences and artists to the museums. Talk about that. What I think about is an intracommunity lens. I’m from the community that I plan to serve and want to serve. I want little black and Latinx kids to come and I’m telling them that they need to be in these spaces and they deserve to be in the
In your opinion, what does the future of art museums look like? What should it look like? I feel like people want it to be this push for more diverse people and it’s just not been. The hard truth is that there’s still a lot of gatekeeping. There are still a lot of people who are at the table who refuse to leave. They’re still influencing what’s happening in museums. Until that is solved, we won’t see the change we want to. It just feels like slow progress to get more people of color, more sexualities in these spaces, but I’m hopeful. I think people are trying their best and we’ve been seeing a lot of counterculture where people are creating their own spaces. I
To Their Own Beat: Annual Guilford Native American Association Pow Wow is a celebration of resilience
CULTURE | SEPT. 22 - 28, 2022
by Autumn Karen
or three days in September, this is our sacred ground,” says Pow Wow chairperson Jennifer Baxter Revels as she stands under a burgundy fabric shelter on a mild Saturday afternoon at Jaycee Park in Greensboro. Meandering up a winding path through dappled sunlight, visitors to the 45th annual Guilford Native American Association Pow Wow follow the echoing sounds of drumming in the distance. Along the way, golf carts buzz by those on foot, ferrying people to and from the parking lot at the edge of the park. Nestled in the grove of trees at the top of the hill is a wide central circle outlined by benches. Surrounding this heart of the gathering are vendor tables filled with handmade goods from Indigenous artisans and tents sheltering intricately adorned dancers. The entire scene is strikingly isolated from the bustling traffic on Battleground Avenue and Lawndale Drive that border this haven of green. Over the last almost half century, GNAA has grown its annual Pow Wow into a treasured gathering for native peoples from across the Southeast and beyond. This year, 28 tribes are represented and the vendor spots are completely booked. “You gotta get some fry bread, and they’re giving away mango pepper jelly,” says a woman in a bright pink GNAA T-shirt as she tugs on the arm of a friend, leading her towards the line of food trucks. Everywhere around the rows of bleachers and the blankets on the ground near the center circle, people sit with heaping plates of Indian tacos or fry bread smothered in jam, smiling and laughing. This year’s Pow Wow holds special significance as it’s dedicated to longtime GNAA executive director Rick Oxendine, a member of the Lumbee tribe who is stepping down after 22 years with the organization. He speaks with a deep affection about the history and strength of Indigenous people in the Triad, but also with candor about the past and present challenges
CAROLYN DE BERRY
facing this vibrant but often invisibilized community. “We are always on the lookout for volunteers,” he says when asked what’s needed. Non-natives can contact GNAA about how to support the annual Pow Wow, but also about other opportunities to partner throughout the year. Donations are also welcomed, as government funding for Urban Indian Centers like GNAA is constantly being challenged. Central to today’s gathering is the role of veterans, who are considered honored at Native functions. Perry Hunt, Jr. is a member of the GNAA Pow Wow Committee and is himself a combat veteran of both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. “The Eagle Staff is our flag. It represents our culture as a people,” he says. He points to a looped staff that’s adorned with feathers that are gifted from Native tribes or in memory of those who have passed on. It’s mounted at the center of the platform at the head of the circle, bordered by the American, North Carolina, Tribal, and POW/MIA flags on either side of the dais. During the grand entrance at the start of the Pow Wow, all five are ceremonially brought into the space by an Honor Guard. While every step and garment here has layers of meaning, the people of the GNAA like Baxter, Oxendine, and Hunt are joyful about sharing the space with non-natives who come to celebrate alongside them. The Pow Wow pulses with joy and community, even when the circle is empty and the drums are quiet. As the crowd mills around, stopping for hugs and impromptu reunions, children dressed in rainbow-colored fringe dance in the open spaces to a beat that none of the visitors can hear. At home within their community, the bells wrapped around their legs jingle in time to their laughter. Learn more about the Guilford Native American Association at guilfordnative.com.
SHOT IN THE TRIAD | SEPT. 22 - 28, 2022
SHOT IN THE TRIAD BY CAROLYN DE BERRY
South Elm Street, Greensboro
The 2022 Greensboro Pride Festival.
by Matt Jones
‘Singularity’ — because we reached #1111.
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1. Without help 5. Lay’s variety 10. ___ Danger (MAC lipstick shade) 14. Jazz trumpeter Baker 15. Rammy or lamby? 16. I can’t believe it’s not rice (well, unless you told me) 17. Future doc’s subj. 18. Made over 19. Egg repository 20. Art student who passed all the Impressionist courses? 23. Ancient Jordanian city 24. Went slowly 26. “Equal” prefix 27. “Mr. Robot” actor’s cousin who’s part of an influential punk band? 33. Go toe to toe in the ring, maybe 34. Trancelike look 35. Inkling 38. Anesthetized 40. “Good golly” 41. She debated Biden in 2008 43. Get over (with) 45. Like writers of Seth Rogen comedies, maybe? 47. Airport code at the 2002 Olympics 50. Singer Day who played Billie Holiday 51. Word before crust or hand 53. “Have a sample, Mr. Clooney”?
58. Squished circle 60. Type of column 61. Slangy “name” for COVID-19 62. Facebook’s parent company 63. Sly meeting 64. Alternative to 1% 65. Author Zane 66. Casual approvals 67. Watchers
30. Partner of wiser 31. “___ lift?” 32. Encryption element 33. Ball game interruption 35. Online IDs 36. Number cruncher’s stuff 37. Stretch 39. “Frasier” producer 42. “I, Claudius” emperor 44. Stooge’s laugh 46. Collector’s item Down 1. Dish prepared with garlic butter and 47. Like a lot of October content 48. “Of Mice and Men” man wine 49. Coffee additives 2. Comedic “That’s a disaster!” 52. By its nature 3. Simple shack 54. “It’s My Party” singer Lesley 4. Cute carnivore 5. Bjorn with five straight Wimbledon 55. Irish New Age singer 56. “The Addams Family” nickname wins 57. Opera divisions 6. Affirm 58. Text exclamation 7. Radiohead album of 2000 59. Software abbr. 8. Oklahoma town 9. Figure out 10. Entreaty to a monster in a scary dream 11. Arcade game reward, sometimes 12. Abbr. in a birth announcement 13. Go bad in the fridge 21. Skater Lipinski 22. Starfish features 25. School time 28. Grand Canyon State sch. 29. Rachel Maddow’s network
PUZZLES | SEPT. 22 - 28, 2022
LAST WEEK’S ANSWERS:
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Celebrate o Greensbor Heroines This powerful World Premiere production follows four Bennett Belles through the Sit-in Movement.
BY MIKE WILEY
Buy tickets now
As they work to deﬁne who they are in this crucial moment in time, they must decide if and how they will take a stand and be REBELLIOUS.
OCTOBER 4 - 23, 2022 232 S. Elm Street | 336.272.0160 | www.triadstage.org