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Heart Attack: Know the Warning Signs Chest pain or discomfort such as heaviness, tightness or a squeezing sensation. Discomfort in the upper body such as back, neck or jaw pain that can radiate into the arms. Shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort. If you experience the warning signs of a heart attack, don’t hesitate to call 911. A few minutes could be the difference between life and death.
DON’T WAIT! Fast treatment is the key to surviving a heart attack.
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Danville, Virginia 24541
As the weather begins to get warmer we all begin to venture outside to tackle all those much needed outdoor projects. It is not uncommon during these times for the local health care facility to see an increase in the number of heart attack victims related to physical exertion from these outdoor activities in people with increased risk for heart disease. A heart attack is the result of a decrease in the amount of oxygen and blood that reaches the heart muscle. This can be due to a blockage in one or more of the vessels that carry blood and oxygen to the heart. If the blockage is not treated quickly, the heart muscle can begin to die. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 1.1 million people in the U.S. will suffer from a heart attack each year. Of those, over half will die, many of them within the ﬁrst hour of symptom onset. Many people ignore the initial signs because they may not be aware that what they are experiencing is in fact a heart attack. However, recognizing the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and seeking immediate medical attention can lessen the damage done to the heart—and potentially save your life. That’s why it’s important to know the warning signs. These include: • Chest pain or discomfort. This can be described as a heaviness, tightness or squeezing sensation in the chest. Some people may even experience abdominal pain. The discomfort will last longer than a few minutes and may come and go. • Discomfort in the upper body, such as back, neck or jaw pain that can radiate into the arms. This pain can be associated with nausea, vomiting, and lightheadedness and the person can feel cold and sweaty at the same time. • Shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort. Although the most common symptom of a heart attack in women is chest pain or discomfort, they are more likely than men to experience other symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting and back or jaw pain. If you or someone you know experiences any of these symptoms, do not hesitate to seek medical attention immediately. Don’t wait; call 9-1-1! The American Heart Association recommends that people learn the warning signs of a heart attack so that they can act fast as minutes really do matter! Calling 911 is almost always the quickest way to get lifesaving treatment. In fact, many emergency medical personnel are trained to identify the
symptoms and stabilize the victim before arriving in the Emergency Department. The American Heart Association further recommends that all hospitals have a strategy in place to quickly restore blood ﬂow to the heart. In June 2009, Danville Regional Heart Center, in collaboration with Duke Medicine and our surrounding EMS agencies, implemented a process to improve the identiﬁcation of life-threatening heart blockages and the process for ensuring quicker treatment. As part of this improvement initiative, Danville Regional Heart Center purchased computer software that allows the EMS agencies to send heart tracings directly to the hospital for review and diagnosis before patients with heart attack symptoms arrive. Rapid identiﬁcation enables heart attack victims, upon arrival, to be taken directly to our cardiac treatment area, where physicians and specially trained staff deliver treatments that open blocked vessels to restore circulation to the heart muscle. Danville Regional Heart Center provides treatment options for heart attack patients that present to the hospital including ensuring clot dissolving medication delivery within 30 minutes or catheterization lab procedure within 90 minutes of arrival which are in accordance with the latest national guidelines. Danville Regional Heart Center is committed to quality by participating in national data registries for all of our heart attack patients so we can continue to improve our processes and maintain positive patient outcomes. With these new processes in place, Danville Regional Heart Center is providing high-quality heart care to our community. If you have any questions about the Danville Regional Heart Center or our process for the rapid identiﬁcation and treatment for heart attacks, please contact Tracey Blevins, RN BSN MBA HCM, Cardiovascular Administrative Director, at 434-799-2155 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. And most importantly, don’t forget: “Don’t wait...activate 9-1-1” when experiencing heart attack symptoms. References: To learn more about heart disease and heart attack signs and symptoms, you may visit the links below. www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/ HeartAttack/HeartAttack_WhatIs.html www.heart.org/HEARTORG (American Heart Association)
CARING FOR YOUR HEART
-PublisherAndrew Scott Brooks email@example.com -EditorSharon Moore Leigg firstname.lastname@example.org -Design & MediaDaniel Hairston email@example.com -Public Relations & SalesSelena Lipscomb firstname.lastname@example.org 434.429.9795 -WritersSelena Lipscomb, Fred Motley, Elaine E. Campbell, Maxine C. Jackson, Correll Townes, Tim Keene, Emma Edmunds, Johnnie M. Fullerwinder, Petrina Carter, Pamela Heath, LaSheera Lee, Craft Sutton, Justin D. Ferrell, Immanuel Martin -Photographers & ArtistsJimmy Barksdale, Tim Keene, Jeremy Coleman, Tom Cogill, Jeffrey Jackson -AccountingCindy Astin email@example.com _______________________
emerge\ih-murj\verb 1. to come forth into view 2. to come up or arise 3. to come into existence Editorial Policies: Dan River Emerge! is a quarterly magazine covering all aspects of life in the Dan River region as seen from an African-American perspective. We print and distribute free of charge, due entirely to the backing of our advertisers. Within our pages appear views from across the social spectrum. Although the views expressed may not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, editor, or staff, we all support the freedom of expression. We reserve the right to accept, reject, and edit all submissions and advertisements. Dan River Emerge! Magazine 753 Main Street #3 Danville, Virginia 24541 877.638.8685 www.emergeva.com © 2011 – Andrew Brooks Media Group – All Rights Reserved
FrOM THe EditOr Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
BUILDING FROM A STRONG FOUNDATION. Emerge means, “to become manifest, become known, to come out into view, ” and our first issue is ready to emerge. This issue’s theme is “foundation,”and our desire is to build a strong foundation within our community. Welcome to Emerge!, a magazine about African-American culture and heritage in the Dan River Region written by everyday people for everyday people. Please sit down, turn a page, and let’s get acquainted. As with any culture, African-American culture is diverse and complex. Like looking through a prism, our points of view are varied and many-shaded. But we are ready to share with you the wealth of voices, both literary and artistic, from this sometimes overlooked aspect of our community. In this issue we hope to tickle your fancy with poetry (page 14), move you to remembrance with a dedication to former Danville mayor, wife, mother and educator Mrs. Ruby Archie (cover and page 22), share some tips to help you with emphasis on inspi-
ration and health (page 13) and (page 31) among other things. We hope you like the voices within this issue and look forward to reading the next issue. Like sipping coffee in the living room of a treasured friend’s home, we hope you will come to see Emerge as a place to relax, as we share thoughts, ideas, literature, art, and more. And if you get a chance, holler back; you can accomplish that with our Call and Response forum. We value your feedback. Email me at email@example.com. After all, in order for us to emerge and endure, you will have to embrace us.
Reproduction or use in whole or in part in any medium without written permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited. We encourage you to express yourself. Please email sharon@ emergeva.com with story ideas, poetry, fiction, and any type of content you may feel led to share. This is a labor of love. For the Summer Edition, the deadline for submissions is May 15th. The advertising deadline is June 15th.
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Special Thanks to the wonderful people who volunteered their leadership and helped us develop the vision: Sean Barker, Jackie Barksdale, Jimmy Barksdale, Elaine E. Campbell, Petrina Carter, John Fisher, ShaKeva Frazier, John A. Fullerwinder, Johnnie M. Fullerwinder, Cherie Garland, JoAnn K. Hickson, Bryant Hood, Jeffrey Jackson, Maxine Jackson, LaSheera Lee, Bernie Leigg, Sharon Leigg, Colonel Lipscomb, Selena Lipscomb, John Moody, Larry Oldham, Vincent C. Sutton, Correll Townes, Sheryl Hughes-Walters, David L. Wilson Jr.
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Martin Luther King, Jr. In Danville
COACH Allen & CB Claiborne
PAGE 10 - Thelma And Nephew - A Short Story Page 13 - The Art of letting go Page 14 - The. Lyrics. Of. Life. - Poetry Page 18 - Mapping Local Knowledge PAGE 28 - Educationâ€™s MAGIC WAND Page 31 - What Is Congestive Heart Failure Page 33 - total family care - Business profile Page 34 - Suffer The Little Children PAGE 36 - Music | Book PAGE 38 - 100 And Counting ... PAGE 40 - Call and response Page 42 - Selenadipitous
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Defense & Discipline From Coach Hank Allen to Dr. C.B. Claiborne to Us
- by Selena Lipscomb On January 17, 2011, I woke up excited and ready to attend the Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast hosted by Rho Iota Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. I had no idea that I was about to embark upon a history lesson that would change my life. I was excited to celebrate one of my lifelong Civil Rights heroes, Dr. King. I was excited about supporting the Chapter’s Scholarship Fund, but most of all, I was excited about the opportunity to meet the keynote speaker Dr. C.B Claiborne, a man I consider another hero in Civil Rights. Heroes do not always die in battles; many live to tell the tale. I entered the building and was greeted by a gentle giant named Andrew Lewis. He seemed to be just as excited as me. There was a spirit of pride in the air; the feeling of accomplishment and resilience that is so rich in our heritage. I looked around and saw the smiling faces of the Rho Iota Chapter members and was inspired by the sight of strong black community members leading by example. They were not caught up in their titles and positions. They were not competing to jump in front of the news cameras. They were just humble men carrying out a task. Mr. Lewis seemed to know everything about the many accomplishments of those around us. For example, I met Marty Miller, the Director of Athletics at Norfolk State University, and Lut Williams, the President of his own communications company. However, these accomplished individuals displayed neither arrogance nor boastfulness. Mr. Lewis, out of modesty, failed to tell me that he had once been a professional football player in the NFL. After meeting so many accomplished black Danvillians, all I could think about was how many untold stories were in the room. I thought about the segregation many of them endured. I thought about the challenges they had overcome.
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Before the program began, I had a chance to speak to Barry Mayo about the honoree of the occasion, 92-year-old Dr. Hank Allen, better known as “Coach Allen.” Coach Allen led all-black John M. Langston High School to 19 winning seasons during his tenure. He left Langston in 1969 and went to the University of Virginia to work on the personnel in the school systems for desegregation. As Mr. Mayo talked about Coach Allen, many former basketball players from John M. Langston chimed in to agree that Coach Allen taught them how to not only win a game, but also how to win at life. In other words, basketball was a metaphor for life. According to Mr. Mayo, “back then the teachers did not just pass you because you were part of a winning team. Not only did you have to earn your grades but you had to earn your position on the team.” Players would leave Junior Varsity and have to sit on the bench for one year. Later in life, he realized that Coach Allen used that method to humble the players. Langston was known for winning, but Coach Allen did not want you to play just to win. Noble said that Coach Allen told him something he will never forget, “Anyone can shoot a basketball, but defense and real skill comes from your inner man.” He smiled and said, “It was more than just basketball. It was respect and tradition.”
Left To Right : Dr. CB Claiborne, Marty Miller, And A Former Player
He went on to say that two things Allen stressed most were DEFENSE and DISCIPLINE. The program began and the crowd settled down as Mr. Ralph Polk, my very first Sunday School teacher and emcee for the event, approached the podium. Mr. Polk asked that The Honorable Sherman Saunders come up to give words on behalf of the City of Danville. Then something mind-blowing occurred, an instant PEP RALLY began. Knowing what would happen, Mayor Saunders began his speech by singing the words to his high school alma mater, Southside High School. His voice was instantly overshadowed by all the Langstonians as they all begin to stand up and sing their school song. They sang as if they sung together every day. If you have ever had the honor of meeting and conversing with anyone who attended Langston before desegregation, then you understand their spirit of unity. If you have never been blessed with that opportunity, I urge you to find just one person that attended Langston during that time and have a conversation about those days. You’ll hear amazing tales.
young men to play, even if they had to reserve the tennis courts, the city built four new tennis courts around the city. With one, right in their neighborhood on Cleveland Street. So, if you ever wondered how those tennis courts ended up in those neighborhoods, now you have the inside scoop. He ended his introduction of Dr. Claiborne with a list of some of his accomplishments. If he had read them all, we would still be sitting there.
Mayor Saunders “redeemed” himself before going back to his seat by presenting both keynote speakers, Dr. C.B. Claiborne and honoree Dr. Allen, with keys to the city. After the crowd finished their applause, I looked down at my program to see what I would experience next. My cousin Mr. William T. Flippen, “Flip,” was going to introduce Dr. Claiborne. It was an introduction like no other. Yes, he gave accolades to all the distinguished guests. Flip mentioned that he and C.B. had been friends for over 50 years. He talked about how he and C.B., along with another friend Dwayne Logan, played card games like Bridge and Canasta, instead of poker where they could have gotten rich. He talked about C.B. checking out books from the library as a young man to learn intellectual games such as chess. It was what he said next that drew me to the edge of my seat. Flip began to tell the story about how in the mid 1960s they gained access to play on certain marked and prepared tennis courts owned by the city in the Forest Hills area. They left home as early as 6:30 in the mornings to make the journey from Cedar Place to Virginia Avenue.
Dr. Claiborne’s message to the audience was “The Notion of the Beloved Community.” He began by talking about how Dr. King foresaw a community of reconciled differences. He showed footage of life in Danville in 1963 making a comparison to how, during those times, Danville was very much like Birmingham, Alabama. He went on to reflect on the value of the African-American community in the ‘60s and the impact teachers and coaches had on his life. An amazing speaker, it’s obvious how he has done so well in life.
Despite attempts to keep them off the Ballou Park courts, they started playing there. After the persistence and determination shown by the two
Dr. Claiborne was the first African American to play basketball at Duke University and is now a professor at the Jesse H. Jones School of Business at Texas Southern University. He has a bio that is twelve pages long and that does not even scratch the surface of all of his works. He has earned several degrees, written or co-written some 36 articles, and contributed to at least 24 other articles. He has been the recipient of 23 or more grants and honors. By the time you read this, his list has probably already grown.
He said it did not matter how well he played basketball; they were more concerned about the students getting their education. He stated that one of his teachers would give this reason for never missing, “It does not matter how smart you are if you do not see it, you do not know it.” He talked about his experience at Duke and the realizations he made while playing basketball there when he would listen to the all the boos and obscenities shouted at him by the spectators. Social change was happening to everyone, black and white. Echoing what I had heard from other Coach Allen’s players all morning, Dr. Claiborne said if it had not been for the way that Coach Allen taught him how to play defense, he might not ever have gotten to play at Duke. Although he sat on the sidelines for the first season at Duke, the coaches
used him during practices to teach the other (white) players defense. Dr. Claiborne expressed how instrumental Coach Allen has been throughout his entire life on and off the basketball court. He said that the academic and sports scholarships may have helped him pay for his college education, but the “Support of the Community” is what made it happen. Addressing the young people in the crowd during the closing of his message, he left them with what he titled “Values in the Community,” things such as: be a good student, develop knowledge and skills, develop pride, and find some humor. In closing, Dr. Claiborne left us with a challenge. “The pioneers have taken it as far as we can. Now it’s your time.” It is now our generation’s time to lead; following in the footsteps of these great examples. After our long “year” observing from the sidelines, we’re disciplined enough to play defense.
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Thelma and Nephew Fred Motley
A SHORT STORY BY
It was the worst snowstorm they’d had in six years. Her children wanted her to go home and rest. But, she couldn’t leave her husband in the hospital. They had an oxygen mask on his face. The doctor told her his chances were fifty-fifty. Something clawed deep inside her that her husband was dying. She shuttered and quickly blotted that out of her mind. She looked at her son who was staring out the window, and thought how it was a terrible snowstorm the night he was born. The midwife had gotten there somehow. It’s amazing how nothing seems to stop midwives from coming to deliver babies. Maybe it’s because they are bringing life and they travel with angels. Her husband, his eyes closed, knew she was by his side. He couldn’t speak or move, but he prayed to live for he didn’t want to leave her alone. Yet, he felt his time was near as he was remembering things he hasn’t remembered in years. During their forty-years of marriage, there had been heartaches, cussing, fights, and separations, but they always came back to one another. Why just last week, he got on her nerves so bad she told him to get out and not come back. Now as she sat beside his bed in the hospital she prayed he lived for she didn’t want him to leave her alone. She had loved him from the first time she saw him. Still they have not said I love you to each other in thirty-seven years. She didn’t because he made her so mad not telling her he loved her. He wanted to tell her, but he always got embarrassed. So, he acted like the words did not matter. After all, a man didn’t go in for all that mess. Why did he have to tell her he loved her? He married her, didn’t he? They had nine children, and he came home every night! Didn’t that show her he loved her? That’s what made him so mad with her, always wanting him to say he loved her. Now he wished he could tell her “I love you; I have always loved you.” He needed to say he was sorry but his speech was gone. Everything came out in grunts and muffles. Maybe she could see his thoughts in his eyes. He opened his eyes. He noticed she had grown very pretty. A little plump but, at her age, after all he had put her through over the years and the children, she looked good. He hoped she could see it in his eyes. As the doctor lifted his hand, she saw his fraility. Living with him day in and day out, all those years she never noticed him aging. She looked at her hands and instantly touched her hair. Did she look old and faded to him? She had long forgotten to think about her looks. When she looked in the mirror, she didn’t look for prettiness, youthfulness; she looked for neatness. She liked perfume and used it regularly. Now she wondered how she looks to him. When they were courting, she fussed about how she looked. She would comb and press her hair with Royal Crown, wash and lotion her entire body, then spray Avon’s Midnight Blue perfume on lightly, put on Red Fox stockings, and lastly she put on her favorite lipstick, Passion Red by Avon. Funny she would think of that right then. She was smiling. He thought she must have known he was trying to compliment her beauty. He reached out his hand; he wanted to touch her face. She moved in closer. “What do you want?” She grabbed his hand; he kept pulling her closer. She bent her face close to his to see if she could understand. He lifted his hand and touched her face. It had been much too long since he touched her face, but not too late he thought. She placed her hand on top of his hand and held it tight to her cheek. She pressed her bronze lips into the ashy white palm of his hand. His hand is cold, she thought. Her lips are warm, he thought. He wanted words to come out of his mouth. He could smell Midnight Blue perfume. The doctor called her into the hallway. “We will keep him overnight. His vital signs do not look good. If there are any changes, we will call you. Please, just go home and rest.” She put her coat on slowly, got her purse, and kissed him on the forehead. She hadn’t kissed him in nearly thirty-some years. Her lips felt soft on his forehead. He reached for her hand. Why hadn’t he held her hands more often? Why hadn’t he kissed her lips more often? He kept trying to pull her to him and mumbling something she couldn’t understand. “What do you want?” she asked. “I can’t understand!” His eyes were begging her not to go. “I’ll be back tomorrow. The doctor thinks I should go home. You’ll be fine.” He wouldn’t let go of her hand. He was trying to tell her something. “What?” she asked. “He wants you to kiss him again,” their son said. She kissed his forehead passionately. He remembered the first day he saw her some forty-years ago. She was the prettiest woman he had ever seen. Her hair was shiny and thick. Her skin was velvety black, smooth, and clear. Her lips lingered on his forehead. She felt embarrassed when she opened her eyes. She was blushing like a school girl. He held onto her hand as she moved from the bed, until only the tips of their fingers touched. Their son, his arms around her shoulders walked her out the room. She was moving but it was like she was standing still. Love memories danced through her soul as midwives and angels echoed to her heart to turn her feet around. “Momma, what’s the matter? Where are you going? Momma!” her son called to her. Watching her walk down the hall he could see, really see what love looked like. Perhaps love will make it through the snow and bring life and angels this time. Outside, the angelic white snow continued to fall from the black midnight blue sky.
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It is yet January at the time of this writing. My first reflections are of 2010, the year having just come to an end with its memories and sentiments. For many, 2010 proved to be a most successful and productive year, ending on an uphill swing; you accomplished much; you ended the year with a bang; you had every reason to celebrate—and you did. Life as we know it, is normally filled with vicissitudes, and no one is exempt. While some celebrated, others found no cause to share in the celebration. The year didn’t end as anticipated. Instead of a bang, you had a boom. You suffered many setbacks, disappointments and losses. You wanted to retreat, pull the covers over your head, close the blinds, put the phone on silent, and not answer the door. It doesn’t matter where you find yourself in this scenario; please keep in mind that we are not all at the same place at the same time. While it seems that the sun shines ever so brightly on some, the rain beats most vehemently on the lives of others. The good news is that if you refuse to quit, just as sure as the earth continues to rotate, your days of sunshine will come. The negative cycles and circumstances will come to an end.
Some things to remember : (a) Never quit when you suffer a loss; it gives you the opportunity to replenish yourself and begin again. (b) Some things and people must exit your life. (c) Life itself is a process of comings and goings, beginnings and endings, wins and losses. (d) It’s all a part of the bigger plan whether we immediately understand it or not. (e) The key is learning when to let go and accept the things you can’t change. Let’s look at the earth for instance. It has a magnificent way of replenishing itself after coming through a blistery, cold winter. The trees let go of the dismal, lifeless leaves to make room for the new growth of Spring. The grass produces fresh new flourishing green blades to spring up and overshadow the withered blades of the year gone past. Oh what excitement to see the sprays and spreads of flowers as they adorn the plush, grassy meadows. The buzzing sounds from the fruit blossoms seem to hum in the breeze. The crisp, sweet aroma of a brand new season is in the air. Seasons come and seasons go. You must let go of the old in order to embrace the new. Letting go of the “stuff” liberates the soul, gives you peace of mind, and a brand new outlook on life. So, if by chance you find yourself with that closet filled with unused garments, an attic filled with clutter, a mind filled with hurts and disappointments, a heart filled with bruised emotions, broken dreams and promises, broken relationships, and resolutions that never materialized, finding ways to relinquish the old means simply letting go. Letting go does not mean that you are giving up, but you are ready to move on ready for a brand new start. If you want to live long and finish strong, learn the art of letting go. “…but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” (Philippians 3:13) KJV.
! e g r e m E E___R_ ____ N ___I__V A _____R D ____ ____
THE ART OF LETTING GO
- by Elaine E. Campbell -
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THE.LYRICS.OF.LIFE. Artwork By Tim Keene And Jeremy Coleman
Ode to My Mother I miss you more than words can say; I sometimes have to question why you had to go away. You were so very kind and good, so brave, so strong, so well understood. I often wonder what better world this would be if you were a model for the entire world to see. Oh, what a lesson we all could learn from you, so soft-spoken, so warm, so caring. I never saw you angry, or heard you say a mean word. I never heard you speak ill of others.
How did you do it? I often asked. With God on your side, you made miracles happen. You raised nine children, you and God alone. You made all of us proud, and we always had a home. Just walking into a room where you were was worth more than gold. You never made excuses for what we did not have. Whatever you gave us, we treasured. I thank God for you and every moment He gave us. I will always treasure and pray that with His help, I will measure up to you. I remember your smile, your determination, the way you said my name. When I sometimes question why, I remember your last days of pain.
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“Traditionally, poets are lyric historians. From the days of the bards and troubadours, the songs of the poets have been not only songs, but often records of the most moving events, the deepest thoughts and most profound emotional currents of their times...Poetry can both delight and disturb. It can interest folks. It can upset folks. Poetry can convey both pleasure and pain. And poetry can make people think. If poetry makes people think, it might make them think constructive thoughts, even thoughts about how to change themselves, their town and their state for the better.”
Yes, you were the best mother ever. I would say, Dear Lord, my mother does not deserve this. She does not deserve to suffer. God in His wisdom indeed agreed. Someone as good as you deserved to be in a better place. He called you home to be with Him. You had done your best here on Earth. You taught us well, and left us with many happy memories. My only prayer is that one day we will meet again and never shall we part. So long for now, my dear mother. I will love you forever. I know that one day we will always be together.
Maxine C. Jackson
- Langston Hughes
That’s Why I Love You
Black, brown, vanilla, tan, and all hues between, descendents of tribal chiefs and kings. The heritage I boast is rich and proud. Some wish to whisper it; I prefer to shout it out loud! The Pyramids my forefathers built and designed are still mysteries to the world. We’re doctors, lawyers, inventors, politicians, educators, artists, musicians, directors, comedians, sportsmen, astronauts, sportswomen, business owners, scientists, priceless gems, all precious pearls. I embrace my country, though not my chosen land. I serve it proudly, yet often others still seem not to understand this land belongs to us all, the rich, the poor, large and small. I stand for justice though injustice too long abounds. I’m unwavering, hopeful, seeking my inalienable rights; for those I stand tall. I’m Martin, Malcolm, DuBois, Rosa Parks, Arsenio, Cosby, Whoopie, Spike, Wilder, Oprah, Dinkins, Edelman, Brown, Shaquille, Thurgood, The Jacksons (Michael, Jesse, & Bo), Jordan, Tiger, Fannie Lou Hamer and countless others, you all should know. A kaleidoscope of creativity, talent, and intellect—triumphant against the odds, still proudly doing my part, to keep America strong and truly the land of the free! Do you see me, hear me, recognize me, do you know me? I am a citizen; I’m everywhere you turn.... I AM AFRICAN–AMERICAN!
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Not only for what you have made of yourself but for what you are making of me, I love you. Because you have done more than anyone or anything to make me happy. You have done it without a word, without a touch, without a sign. You have done it just by being yourself, and after all, perhaps that is what love truly means. Because you have done so much to make my life happy, I want to let you know how very much you mean to me, how very much you are loved.
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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Danville It was 1963 and after 100 years, the United States was finally dealing with the end of the Civil War. For a century, the South which had begrudgingly given up slavery, continued to discriminate and oppress African Americans. The Civil Rights movement was in full swing. At the center of the movement was Danville, Virginia.
Inspired by the events in Birmingham, Alabama, the Danville Christian Progressive Association (an affiliate of the Southern Christian Leadership Council) organized a series of protests of their own. Three years had passed since Rev. Lawrence G. Campbell, Rev. Alexander I. Dunlap, Julius E. Adams, and Arthur Pinchback founded the DCPA along with its president, Rev. Lendall W. Chase, the organization took the lead in promoting civil rights in Danville. During those years, the group repeatedly appeared before City Council demanding representation on city boards and the end to segregation. In 1962, Campbell, Dunlap, Adams, and Chase filed a federal lawsuit demanding desegregation. On January 1, 1963, all five leaders were arrested, at the segregated Howard Johnson Restaurant, for doing what we all take for granted now; eating in peace irrespective of race. By March, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had taken notice of Danville, and spoke at a meeting at the Danville SCLC.
On July 11, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke at High Street Baptist Church and summed it all up very succinctly when he said, “I’ve seen some brutal things on the part of policemen all across the South, but very seldom if ever have I heard of a police force being as brutal and vicious as the police have been here in Danville, Virginia.” Dr. King repeated a saying made famous by him a few months earlier when he himself wrote from behind bars and said, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” He returned a week later and despite requests from local civil rights leaders, Dr. King did not lead a march. But by September at the SCLC conference in Richmond, in at least one instance, Dr. King expressed a preference for a massive campaign in Danville or in Birmingham. Our local civil rights leaders not only influenced national leaders, but were truly people who made a difference on a national scale.
In 1963, Danville was home to 46,577 residents, of 24.81% were black. The median family income was $4,883 lagging behind Alexandria ($7,027), Richmond ($6,037), and Lynchburg ($5,483). The median income of nonwhites was only $2,578. No city councilmen or police officers were African American. In 2011, Danville is home to 44,400 residents, of which 45.7% are black. The median family income is $30,696 lagging behind the rest of the state’s $62,210 average. The Chief of Police, the Mayor, and three city councilmen are African American.
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“Let no man pull you low enough to hate him.”
Over the summer, things rapidly became increasingly confrontational. The police and local judge Archibald Aiken, began to jail hundreds of local African Americans. Many arrested under a slavery-era law called “John Brown’s Law”, which made inciting “the colored populations to acts of violence or war against the white population” illegal (John Brown led the raid on Harper’s Ferry in 1859; one of the events that sparked the Civil War.). By mid-July, 250 people had been arrested on charges ranging from contempt and trespassing, to disorderly conduct, assault, parading without a permit, and resisting arrest. Parents were even arrested when they went to bail out their children because they hadn’t provided adequate supervision.
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Mapping Local Knowledge Project Provides Excellent Resource for Citizens and Educators Information Provided By Ms. Emma Edmunds. Photography By Mr. Tom Cogill
Halifax County native, Emma Edmunds, is the creator of a wonderful resource called Mapping Local Knowledge. Along with her team of collaborators, she has compiled a history of our area during the Civil Rights Movement. This project is immense in its scope. This extensive and well-executed ongoing work is available at three of our local libraries. Ms. Edmunds is the Director of Editorial and Design in the Office of Development and Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. Her passion for Civil Rights-era history is fascinating and the work that she has produced is extremely impressive. She sums up our community succinctly, “Danville has a very rich, complex African-American history.” Of that, there is no doubt. We were honored to speak with her about her project.
One on One with Emma Edmunds Emerge Magazine: What was your intended topic and how do you define the “scope” of this project? Emma Edmunds: The purpose of the project is to show through oral histories and local narratives how longtime black and white residents of Danville, Virginia, understood citizenship and the community in the post-World War II era, and the nature of residents’ connections and interactions with local, state, and national places and people. One overall goal is to bridge the divide between universities and local communities. Storytelling has always been part of family and community life. By telling our personal stories—and hearing those of others—we come to a better understanding not only of others but also of ourselves and our community. One of the challenges in the years ahead is to ensure that local African-American history is integral to the public history of the community, the region, and the state—as much a part of the understanding of whites as it is of black citizens. EM: What was your inspiration? EE: I grew up in the small town of Halifax, Virginia, but went to Atlanta to pursue my career as a journalist in a city that seemed to exemplify a progressive approach to the Civil Rights struggle. The epiphany that drove me back to Virginia to pursue this project occurred in 1996 when the Atlanta History Center displayed an exhibit called “The American South: Past, Present, Future.” I went with the subliminal notion that I would enter familiar, not uncomfortable territory. Not far into the exhibit I came across a display case where a map showed Danville as one of the stops on the 1961 Civil Rights Freedom Rides – I had no idea this occurred even though I was thirty miles away. Curious to learn more, I sought out the exhibit curator who told me that, in fact, in June 1963 Danville was beset with Civil Rights demonstrations and violence. I was seventeen, a graduating high school student in 1963, living one hour from Danville when the unrest occurred. Yet I knew nothing of any of these events. Danville, to me, was the place recalled from my fourth grade history book as the last capital of the Confederacy and remembered, from my girlhood, as the city where I went to have my braces tightened. My lack of knowledge of the events in Danville, I believe, is illustrative of the gulf of ignorance that still separates black and white Southerner’s knowledge of each other’s lives and histories. In 1998, I decided to leave my job as an editor at Atlanta Magazine, and return to Virginia to research and recreate the story of my family in Halifax in 1963 and the stories of black and white longtime residents in Danville of that same year.
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EM: What were your results and what we can look forward to in the future? EE: The Mapping Local Knowledge exhibit was first shown at the Carter Woodson Institute [for AfricanAmerican & African Studies] at the University of Virginia in 2005; it opened with an event honoring the individuals featured. After being displayed at the Woodson Institute in 2005, the exhibit traveled to Averett University, Danville, 2007; Virginia Black Expo: A Cultural and Commerce Exposition, Hampton, on the 400th anniversary of Jamestown, 2007; Danville Public Library, 2008; and the Southern Higher Education Center, South Boston, Virginia, 2010. The website is an online, expanded version of the exhibit. I have also collected more than thirty oral histories, twelve of which have been processed and are available at Danville libraries. I held a scanning session in the Holbrook-Ross neighborhood in Loyal Baptist Church. I compiled a small booklet of interview excerpts, plus a booklet on First State Bank, and a booklet compiled by University of Virginia students—a timeline of African-American history in Danville, 1945-75. All of this has been made possible with support of the Elizabeth Stuart James Grant Trust of Danville, and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, plus the people, local historians, and institutions of Danville. One key idea of the project is that the local people, the local community, and its knowledge should inform and shape the scholarship at the University and vice versa. With continued support, I hope to process the remaining oral histories and make them public; develop another exhibit; augment the website; and create related publications. EM: How has the community supported your efforts? EE: Many local residents and institutions serve as partners in this ongoing project—including the residents of the Holbrook-Ross neighborhood, the congregation of Loyal Baptist Church, First State Bank, Averett University, Danville Public Library, Danville Community College; the staff at Danville Circuit Court. The project complements the work of local historians and collectors, including Fred Motley, Dr. Lawrence Clark, the Rev. Thurman Echols, Avicia Thorpe, the late Ruth W. Isley, the late Cleophia Fitzgerald, Gary Grant, Fannie Owens, Velma Thomas, and many others. The late Ruby Archie also deserves a special thanks for introducing [MLK photographer] Tom Cogill and I to the Loyal Baptist Church and encouraging members to share their stories, documents, and photos. EM: How should students and teachers utilize the Mapping Local Knowledge project? EE: Last year, I participated in two teacher workshops—both for history teachers from the city of Danville, Pittsylvania County, Halifax County, and Charlotte County, to share the information, hoping some would be useful in giving local context to the national Civil Rights story. The teachers in the workshops were conducting their own local oral history projects—so I hoped my project could serve as a resource and perhaps an inspiration. Then I would hope, that students themselves would research their family, neighborhood, and hometown histories, and use my research as context and inspiration for their work. At the University of Virginia, I’d like to see more students engaged in independent research projects on African-American history in Virginia—and I’d like to partner with a team of students on this project. I have worked with students at U.Va., some of whom went on to write papers on related topics. One law student, for instance, wrote a paper on Ruth Harvey, an African-American NAACP attorney in Danville.
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DANVILLE PUBLIC LIBRARY DANVILLE COMMUNITY COLLEGE AVERETT UNIVERSITY
Where You Can Find Mapping Local Knowledge At the Danville Public Library, Reference Information Specialist Diane Moore is the principal contact for the project. She said, “I think it’s a great project because it educates people about the history in Danville, and especially African-American history. Just picking up one of the books, is about more than just the person featured, but also about everything, every organization that person was involved with. I don’t know of any other source right now that focuses on the African-American community like Mapping Local Knowledge.
Danville Community College’s Learning Resource Center, Mapping Local Knowledge is available for viewing in the Regional Room, which is directly across from the front
desk. The manuscripts are available for reading and photocopying during the library’s hours of operations, but one cannot check them out. Librarian Barbara Grether can assist you with all of your researching needs!
At Averett University’s Blount Library, Elaine Day can not only direct you to the project, but she can tell you more about its history, its previous exhibition at the library, and future events that are currently in the works featuring Mapping Local Knowledge at Averett. Day said, “We’re just really pleased that we can support the project, and that it is widely available now. This is a wonderful example of how libraries are stewards of print and oral histories as well as digital histories. The exhibit was a wonderful opportunity for participants to come together.”
What You Will Find Online The following is one of the ten oral histories that can be found online at http://www.vcdh.virginia.edu/cslk/danville/ as part of the project. Robert A. Williams, Attorney, Williams, Luck & Williams, Martinsville, Virginia (b. 1944) On February 1, 1960, four African-American students at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College in Greensboro, North Carolina, staged a successful sit-in at a Woolworth’s lunch counter. Not long afterward, Robert A. Williams and high school students in Danville debated how to attack segregation in their own community. Williams, whose father, Jerry Williams, was a local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) attorney, prevailed upon them to target a public facility. “Based on dinner conversations with my father and his conversations with other friends about what we could accomplish through the law, I was able to convince the other students and our adviser that the first attack we should have was against the public parks and the public library.” On April 2, 1960, Mr. Williams and fifteen youth from the Loyal Baptist Church appeared at the all-white Danville Memorial Library, located in a mansion memorialized as the “Last Confederate Capitol.” The black students asked to take out books; the librarian refused, saying the library was closed. The students sat down briefly then left. The next week, they requested reading cards and privileges at the white library, only to be directed to the poorly equipped African-American branch. The students then held a mass meeting at Loyal Baptist Church, attended by 350 people. The local NAACP voted to seek a federal court order to integrate the library and an injunction to prohibit the segregation of public facilities. “My father was well aware of what was going on. We had discussions about the legal aspects of the sit-in demonstrations and what we could use [the NAACP attorneys] for and what type of support we could garner from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in suing if [city authorities] denied us access.” —Robert A. Williams
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She had a voice that could silence the room. She had a smile that would light up the room. She had a flare of grace and elegance that would take command of the room. She had the brilliance that owned the room. Most of all, she had the hearts of all those in the room.
From the school halls, to City Hall, to the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority House that she loved so dear. Ruby Archie left an impact on this community that is irreplaceable, and will never be measured again. All that knew her grew from her strength. Not just the strength in her voice that would check you when you were wrong and praise you when you were right, but from the Godly example of the life she lived. She not only talked the talk, but she walked the walk! All who knew her grew from the love and compassion that she extended through her discipline and mentorship. She may have been small in stature, but to many of us she was a giant that would kindly bend down, let you climb on her shoulders, and even stand on her tip toes just so you could reach a little higher. It was not possible to leave the presence of Mrs. Ruby Archie without learning something. Although a stickler for education, her lessons reached far beyond the English classrooms of John M. Langston High School and George Washington High School. They stretched into your life. Ruby Archie would educate you on values and integrity, not just politics and guidelines. She ingrained success and leadership strategies into every fiber of your being, in such a way, that you knew your self worth, and you knew how to demand that others recognize it too. Ruby Archie set the bar very high for all of those yet to come. There was no mountain too high, nor river to wide she couldn’t tackle with determination, dignity, honor, class, and of course the traditional, Alpha Kappa Alpha call, “SKEE WEE!”
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Local Educators Reflect On Mrs. Archie’s Legacy
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Ruby B. Archie was a phenomenally impressive woman. She was short in stature, but an intellectual giant. The outstanding expertise, love and dedication she demonstrated for our sisterhood, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated was above reproach. She brought much pride to our local chapter when she was elected and served four years as the 16th MidAtlantic Regional Director of our international service oriented organization presiding over 140 chapters of college trained women in North Carolina and Virginia. -Johnnie M. Fullerwinder,
AKA Executive Assistant to Ruby B. Archie
Ruby was given the gift of service for her lifeâ€™s pilgrimage. As she journeyed along, she constantly looked for ways that her gift could be manifested regardless of the daunting tasks. Many who met her on this pilgrimage - friends, students, church members, sorority sisters, colleagues, and citizens of the city of Danville- are the better for the meeting. We thank God for giving us Ruby and the servantheart that He gave her. She served us well and we are the greater. - Carrie Ashe former Danville Schools Administrator
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When my conscience speaks to me it uses Archie’s voice. When I think of wisdom, grace, courage and integrity, I see Archie’s face. When I want a teacher to emulate, I see Archie teaching. - Bernard Leigg, retired Danville educator
Educator, Philanthropist, Trendsetter, Leader, Friend. Those of us fortunate enough to have had her in our lives in an “up close and personal” way can readily declare that Ruby was all that and more. She was truly a jewel. From the moment she came to serve Danville and its area of influence, Ruby gave selflessly of her time and talent. - Gayle H. Breakley Administrator at John M. Langston Focus School
Mrs. Archie was a dedicated educator. She taught with great enthusiasm. Her enthusiasm for teaching was matched by her interest in helping guide young people toward realizing their full potential. She continues to have a positive influence on countless people. -Jay Dorman, GWHS teacher My first encounter with Mrs. Archie was in 1987. We had gathered at the City Auditorium for a program for the students of the Danville City Schools. This young lady approached the stage and began to address the audience with a voice larger than life. I sat mesmerized as she spoke to the crowd of noisy students with her voice sounding like a mighty roar of thunder, overpowering the chatter of students. Silence followed as she continued to speak. I will always remember her as that gentle giant who did not mind taking on issues of human interest, a friend, an advisor, a Sister Girl Friend, and the mighty voice of our community that was silenced too soon. - Virginia E. Motley, Danville educator
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The quality and tone of voice and her demeanor gave her such a presence not only in the hallways of GWHS but all over southern Virginia. Her tough love for our cityâ€™s students and her colleagues made an impact on our region that will last for many years. - Cary Wright, Danville educator
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“What Is Congestive Heart Failure and What Are the Early Warning Signs?” By Dr. Pamela Heath There are several different clinically diagnosed symptoms that are all known as congestive heart failure (CHF). Basically the heart loses its ability to efficiently pump blood from one or both systems (left and/or right) for one or more reasons. For example, there may not be enough fuel supply for the heart to function well, as in coronary artery disease that can lead to heart attack(s). The heart’s speed, rhythm, or electrical function may not allow it to fill and empty properly. The blood vessels (think of rubber hoses) or heart valves (1-way flaps like swinging double doors) may become weak, thick, stiff, stretched, or blocked (from high blood pressure, age, diabetes, cholesterol, smoking, lack of exercise, or excessive weight) and increase the heart’s workload. There can be a problem with the heart’s ability to squeeze blood out of one or both pumping chambers, or relax to allow its chamber(s) to fill with blood before the next contraction. Reasons include: too much, too little, or anemic blood in the chambers or system; a leaky valve or septum (dividing wall between the left and right sides of the heart); or a change in the size, shape, strength, or thickness of the heart walls from being stretched too far, worn too thin, or worked too much (like a body-builder’s muscles, tendons, and joints). Triggers in susceptible people can include: high salt and/or fluid intake, not taking medications properly, heart attack, respiratory illness, alcohol binges, or drug use. Symptoms mainly consist of: shortness of breath at rest or with decreasing activity, especially when lying flat; fluid buildup in the legs (and lungs); fatigue; and generalized weakness. CHF can suddenly appear out of the blue, or it can develop slowly until the body reaches a tipping point. The body can’t compensate for too rapid or unlimited gradually worsening conditions. Things quickly become dangerous for the patient (acute). If the precipitating medical problems are severe enough or have been present long enough, the immediate episode of, or danger from, heart failure may be successfully treated, but permanent changes to the heart may remain. Such changes may predispose the survivor to having acute problems again, or prevent them from ever fully recovering (chronic CHF). What readers need to know is that this condition usually results from other medical problems that may themselves not initially have any obvious symptoms (e.g., sleep apnea, stress, chronic sleep deprivation, thyroid/hormone problems, infections, asthma, liver or kidney failure, pregnancy or surgical complications, hereditary diseases, accidents, and alcoholism, in addition to the above). That is why it is so important for children, adults of all ages, and both genders to see a medical provider regularly for prevention and chronic disease management before heart failure develops. Some heart problems begin in the womb but can’t be detected on ultrasound or at birth. Meanwhile diseases that use to only occur in older adults are now being seen in increasingly younger children. Dr. Pam Heath has just opened her family medicine practice. You can read about it on page 33
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Take Care of Yourself ! It is very important to take care of yourself and
pay close attention to your blood pressure and other warning signs. Congestive Heart Failure affects almost five million Americans, with about 500,000 new cases reported each year. Overall, the condition affects 1% of people aged 50 years and older and about 5% of those aged 75 years and older. African-Americans are 50% more likely to experience heart failure than Caucasians. The disease often occurs at an earlier age, with rates for African-Americans in their 30s and 40s being equivalent to white Americans in their 50s and 60s, according to the New England Journal of Medicine. In fact, One in 100 AfricanAmerican men and women developed heart failure at an average age of 39, 20 times the rate in Caucasians. Heart failure in African Americans was associated with risk factors such as hypertension and obesity that were already present when these adults were in their 20s.
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Introducing Total Family Care, PLLC. and Dr. Pamela Heath Tucked away behind Commonwealth Pharmacy at 949 Piney Forest Road—in the facility that once housed Immediate Care—is a new black-owned medical practice called, Total Family Care, PLLC. The business is the end result of an arduous and lengthy process, not to mention a substantial investment of financial resources and hard work by its owners: Dr. Pamela J. A. Heath and her husband Roland. Total Family Care opened its doors in February of this year, and currently features Dr. Heath as its sole physician. Dr. Heath is medical doctor, as well as a D.O., or Doctor of Osteopathy. Osteopathy (pronounced: os’te-op’a-thy) is a field of medicine that integrates holistic philosophies and approaches with conventional practice, and focuses particularly on the relationship between the muscular/skeletal system and overall health. In the Executive Summary for Total Family Care, Dr. Heath explains as follows: “Osteopathic physicians receive specialized training in the neuromuscular skeletal system, which provides them with a better understanding of the ways that an injury or illness in one part of the body can affect another. This training gives them a therapeutic and diagnostic advantage.” She goes on to explain, that “osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM), also known as osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT), is incorporated in the training and practices of D.O.’s so that they may use their hands to diagnose injury and illness and encourage the body’s natural tendency toward good health.”
When asked about her work, Dr. Heath notes that she has wanted to be in the medical field since the age of four, and that osteopathy is a niche that satisfies both her professional objectives and her personal inclinations. “I feel that it is a good fit for me because it provides me both the mental exercise of prescribing medicines, and the instant gratification of physically solving a mechanical problem.” Osteopathic medicine also fulfills Dr. Heath’s unique professional orientation, in that it “bridges a certain gap by maintaining a simultaneous respect for the mainstream of the medical industry and holistic healing. I see the usefulness of both fields, and enjoy that I have the ability to employ either or both of them in the treatment of my patients.“ Dr. Heath has been practicing medicine since 2003, though she has at times taken breaks from the industry for maternity leave and to care for her family. Originally from Fayetteville, North Carolina, she earned her Doctor of Osteopathy degree at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2000, and later completed her post-graduate training at the Shenandoah Valley Family Practice Residency Program in Front Royal, VA (a program administered by Virginia Commonwealth University and Medical College of Virginia). She moved to Danville in May 2009 to work with Piedmont Access To Health Services (PATHS), but both parties felt that she would be more successful in an environment better suited to her practice style. Not long after, she began to pursue the vision that has now culminated into Total Family Care. Dr. Heath and her family appreciate our community, and she considers that “Danville seems uniquely capable of allowing us the kind of professional life and home life with our children that we’d envisioned while they’re young.” As one who is habitually inclined toward philanthropic pursuits and volunteerism, Heath has much to offer our community in turn. Though the challenges and demands of launching a new private practice while maintaining the persistent duties of motherhood are presently formidable, she looks forward to being able to contribute her talents and her vision to those who are most in need: “Once things settle down, I do intend to volunteer at the Free Clinic, and maybe give health talks to small groups.” Consistent with this aspect of her character is her commitment to the ideal of equitable access to healthcare. “I actually view [health care] as a basic human right as an extension of Thomas Jefferson’s “inalienable right to life,”she explains. For Dr. Heath, this is more than just a lofty notion, and she has incorporated into the financial structure of Total Family Care special provisions for patients whose only option is to pay in cash. Being a new business, however, makes it difficult to be as generous as she would prefer, and she acknowledges this: “We do have discounts for uninsured patients in the office, but of course we’re not as affordable as the local Community Health Center.” She is thankful for the availability of programs such as PATHS and the FREE CLINIC here locally, because they are able to offer a wide range of quality services to a large number of individuals who otherwise would not be able to afford health care of any kind. Beyond her expertise, Heath expresses that her greatest intellectual contributions to our community could include, “an interest in and openness to complementary and alternative medicine, healthy idealism, a different outlook on life, a fresh pair of eyes, warmth, openness in general, and humility, I hope.” Keep your eyes on Dr. Heath, as she brings to our area her much-needed light in the field of health care.
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Suffer tHe Little CHildren
-A short story by Sharon Leigg -
Pastor Harlow was preaching hard about obedience; he was sweating, bellowing out various scriptures, and he was at the part about “suffer the little children,” and his eyes landed on me. Now, some say that his sermon was directed at me. That he wanted me to suffer. There were rumors, just rumors I say, that backsliding Lucas Washington and his pals placed a bet on just how long it would take before Pastor Harlow would come out of that pulpit and paddle my behind for all my misdeeds. I think that would be extreme. I mean, just because I put chicken feathers in his study, and chewed gum loudly as a junior usher, and sang and snored during many of his sermons…. Well, looking back, we had a farther/ doubter relationship. Meaning the farther away I managed to stay from him, the less Pastor Harlow doubted his calling. Anyway, I am prone to disagree that the sermon was for me. I mean who would preach a sermon to someone so young. And I was that, about 8 or 9, dark-packed brown with those two big afro puffs on each side of my head and wearing a canary yellow jumper with a white crocheted sweater. I admit I wasn’t as interested in a sermon on obedience as I should have been. In my defense, my cousin, Linda, sitting beside me, wasn’t interested either, and she was almost my age. We both kept fiddling with my cloth purse, me trying to keep it closed and she trying to loosen the button snap that kept it from opening. I suppose in retrospect I caught the key word—suffer,( as Pastor Harlow said it three times looking directly at me) maybe a portent to the future I should have heeded. Either way I didn’t listen. The sermon didn’t stop and my cloth purse kept wiggling. Let me add that I was not technically disobedient, because Mama didn’t say I couldn’t bring Sherman when I asked, only that I shouldn’t, that it wouldn’t be a good idea. She was cooking downstairs in the kitchen with the other sisters and technically she didn’t say no. So, Sherman, the albino hamster, came to the eleven o’clock Sunday morning service of the [church name deleted to protect the guilty, namely me] church on Viner Street. Another fact of life. My cousin Linda, while sweet 34 | EMERGE! | SPRING 2011 | WWW.EMERGEVA.COM
at seven, was not the sharpest pencil in the box, you understand. I often blamed her youth and general kindness for her not thinking of the afterconsequences of her actions. For example, if you pick at the German Sheppard behind Old Man Teller’s gate, make sure the gate is closed. We had to run on that one. If you put glue in George Leon’s chair in Sunday school, don’t giggle so much that you give yourself away. You guessed it. George was a big eight-year-old and we had to run on that one too. Suffice it to say, I thought I was older and the brains of this operation and Cousin Linda just the assistant to my mastermind. Too bad it’s hard to get good help some days.
Linda, for the record, Linda I say again accidentally let him out right around “Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior.” Right at the altar call. Imagine if you will everyone holding hands, singing and Sherman racing up the aisles. Now imagine Linda chasing after him, me in hot pursuit of Linda, and Sherman loping faster into the congregation, the congregation swelling and surging with emotion. And Sherman on the loose until I snatch him just before Sister Patterson moves two inches from squashing him, while Pastor Harlow prays when suddenly both his eyes bug out as he sees Sherman in all his pink ensemble and me with Sherman cupped in my small brown fingers.
In my eight almost nine-year-old opinion, that meant that Sherman the hamster was to stay in the purse until after service when he could be displayed in all his finery to the other children. Yes, I dressed (as much as a hamster will allow) my hamster. What of it?
“While on others Thou art calling…” The congregation sings. And our eyes meet, Pastor Harlow and mine. All I can say now is that vengeance may be the Lord’s but Pastor Harlow was giving it some powerful consideration. Sherman and I slunk to our pew. Even Sherman seemed grateful to go back to purse. Would that I could have crawled inside with him? Instead I sat with my head held high, knowing I was going to get it when I got home. I thought about putting my seventy-five cents in the offering plate, but to do so I would have had to walk right by Pastor Harlow who was praying about Revelation and some untoward generation, whatever that meant. He looked right at me and Sherman when he said these things.
Linda was the one who let him out, just to “take a peek” she said. Her mother wouldn’t let her have pets, and couldn’t she just play with him in the purse. She put her hands up in supplication and I firmly said no. I want that on the record. Everything after that was pretty much a blur. See, Sherman was a dumb hamster. I also had a pet cat and Sherman crawled all over Lefty, and Lefty, an outside/inside cat always looked at me like, you know he would be lunch if you weren’t here, right? But Sherman never caught on. He would run straight to Lefty every time away from me. In fact, Sherman was always running away from me. You would think he didn’t like the little hats I made for him with rubber bands and scraps of cloth, the pink beauty secrets Barbie doll jogging suit I carefully cut up to dress him in. I never understood why…anyway, I digress.
I decided to keep my seventy-five cents.
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BOOK REVIEW San Culberson’s
The Nick of Time
Spotlight on Stayhood Productions: Art and the Artists ~Hip Hop Summit~ On Friday, February 4, 2011, Stayhood Productions made history. They hosted their first annual Hip Hop Summit. It was an event which boasted seven panel members from the music industry sharing their first-hand knowledge of the hip hop arena from the perspective of artists, managers, producers, and independent businessmen. Bryant Hood, owner of Stayhood, wanted the event to serve as an outlet for inner city kids and aspiring artists to not only share their talents, but also network with and learn from seasoned members of the industry. It also served as a method of embracing the culture of hip hop: the music, the industry, and the business. Audience members were given valuable information. They were told that reading and staying abreast of current issues and events is essential to gaining knowledge; faith (regardless of what particular religion) is key to peace and focus; and maintaining a steady fulltime job until the music career takes off and becomes lucrative is imperative for financial survival. All artists were reminded to be creative and true to their art form. Most importantly, aspiring artists were told to protect their work; copyrighting and publishing material is the foundation for getting started.
~Poetic Infusion~ Stayhood Productions has recently started a weekly, local social outlet for persons seeking relaxation in a mature atmosphere. “Poetic Infusion” is the newest addition to the Danville Social scene. Taking place weekly, everyone is welcome to stop by Stayhood on Thursday evening from 6:30-9:00 pm. The atmosphere is conducive to warmth and relaxation. Smooth R & B sounds with a mix of neo-soul can be found coming from the deejay booth. A movie such as Love Jones might be shown on the big screen while those with a creative nature for poetic expressions are afforded an opportunity to share their spoken word. With an admission of only $5.00 and free refreshments, it’s an opportunity too good to pass up.
36 | EMERGE! | SPRING 2011 | WWW.EMERGEVA.COM
- Reviewed by La Sheera Lee
San Culberson, where have you been? The Nick of Time is truly one of the wittiest and sassiest books I have read in a minute.
Fiona Daniels is claiming a new lease on life. She has a new wardrobe, new attitude, and a new take on love; guard your heart at all cost. Fiona has devised her own list of rules. She throws herself a divorce party to officially start her new life. During her party, she meets Nick, master chef and restauranter. Fiona quickly learns that Nick is not only a master in the kitchen, but also burns in the bedroom. Initially, she tries to convince herself that she does not need love. However, Nick keeps simmering down her defenses. Nick is a brother that works hard and loves hard. He has an ex and two kids. His kids are the apples of his eye. However, Fiona’s hard stance may cause Nick’s kids’ attitudes to go a little sour. He learns to navigate through Fiona’s junk to find her hidden treasure. Fiona’s mother is one of the funniest moms you will have the pleasure to read about in any book. She is a mixture of Florida Evans, Dr. Ruth, and Rosanne Barr. In short, she can literally and figuratively knock you off your feet. The mom’s antics will have you laughing out loud. Fiona’s sister is a one woman wrecking crew. She and Fiona have never been friends. However, Fiona tries to forge a relationship to assist her sister during a crisis. Well, Fiona ends up getting the short end of the stick. Her sister’s betrayal and misleading events lead Fiona to SNAP! She recovers in time to set the record straight. The Nick of Time will have you laughing and crying. It is full of good dialogue and characters. The book has enough sass and class to keep you turning pages all during the night. It is a must read for anyone who just wants “that” good book to read.
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“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” - Psalm 91:14-16
100 & Counting
Avicia Beatrice Hooper Thorpe
On April 16 of this year this sharp-minded, smartly-dressed, former English teacher
will celebrate her 103rd Birthday. That’s right 103! She is already preparing a poem to recite for the occasion as she has done each year since her 100th birthday. Not only does she still write poetry, but she can still recite “Stand Your Ground”, a poem that she wrote back in 1948 to President Harry Truman. She was born in 1908 in what was then known as Schoolfield, Pittsylvania County. After a fall last June, she now resides at Emeritus Assistant Living Facility. However prior to her fall she lived and maintained a home, alone, after the death of her husband. If you happen to go visit her and can not find her in her room she will more than likely be hanging out with her three cohorts, all former educators, chatting or attending Bible Study.
Mrs. Thorpe’s daily routine includes a walk, reading the Bible, and some other type of book. Not, Message to Garcia, as some of her former students may think. “If you took my class you read Message to Garcia,” she said with a soft laugh. Mrs. Thorpe has been a member of Trinity Baptist Church in Danville for 88 years where her husband, the late Rev. Charles Manley Thorpe, served as pastor for 19 years. She also holds lifetime memberships to several organizations in the area. She and her husband never had children, but she has a niece that is very dear to her. Dorothy Edmonds, along with many other relatives, friends, and former students visit her regularly. When asked her secret to longevity she will flash you that beautiful smile and refer to her favorite sweatshirt which reads “GOD IS THE ANSWER.”
Raleigh Williams On March 17th, this tall, handsome gentleman turned 107. Hard to believe, but true. The Social Security office didn’t believe it until they sent agents out to see first hand. Mr. Williams’s daughter and live-in caregiver Paulette Malory, told us that they have come out to visit him every year since his 100th birthday. He was born March 17, 1904 in Pelham, North Carolina. His father moved him and his family to Danville when he was very young. As an adult, Mr. Williams raised 150 hogs and numerous goats to take care of his wife of 70 years, the late Elisie Mae Harris Williams, and their ten children, five boys and five girls. “She was the love of my life,” he said. Mr. Williams has held several other jobs in his life time, some that only paid twelve cents an hour, including putting down street car tracks with a pick and shovel. He worked to lay down the gas and water pipes that we still use today. He recalls that, as a child, he worked his first job for William Grecy Betts. A job that forced him to only receive a 2nd grade education. But, his resourcefulness eventually got him into the United States Army. Knowing the importance of education he made sure all of his children received a proper education. Mr. Williams daily routine consists of smoking a cigar (which he can recall use to cost five cents), drinking Pepsi Colas, eating two slices of lemon pound cake with warm milk as a snack twice a day, and let’s not forget his liver pudding with one slice of bread, that is a MUST! He ends his day with a rub down in Ben Gay before bed which is usually between 6-7pm. Over the past 107 years Mr. Williams has seen quite a few things but witnessing President Barrack Obama’s election, the man that Mr. Williams will gladly tell you he put in office, was one of the best things he has ever experienced. He refers to him as “My President.” When asked what he contributes his longevity to, he said, “It is nothing but God and the way you treat people, I have always treated everybody right and it has followed me.” 38 | EMERGE! | SPRING 2011 | WWW.EMERGEVA.COM
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In future issues, our Call and Response will be two opinions on the same topic. The topic for our next issue is: What is one topic you feel today’s leaders should address? If you would like to represent, please email your pieces to email@example.com and we will select the two most well presented points of view to publish in the Summer edition.
Is Danville The Foundation We Should Rebuild ? - by Craft Sutton -
There are periods in the history of America where many Americans consisted of either the wealthy class or the impoverished class. Now imagine Danville’s society today with only these two classes but, instead of using financial definitions (maybe a few financial hints here and there), the use of age groups will take that place. The wealthy will be the older individuals of Danville, people age 40+, and those in poverty will be the young adults, individuals 21-34 and the youth. When the wealthy build a foundation it will be easily done because of the wealth of experience that is had, not to mention the wealthy are more easily able to persuade those in control of decisions. The impoverished are going to have a more difficult time to do the same foundation because of the lack of funds that are being invested, not to mention that this group does not have the same experience but do have the knowledge. What connection does this have on the experience of young AfricanAmerican’s in Danville? Simply put, everything.
The 2000 census of Danville listed persons ages 20-34 as 11.5%. In 2009, African-Americans made up 45.7% of the population of Danville. Unfortunately, we don’t have the statistics to break down how many African-Americans are part of that 11.5%, but it is still quite a discouraging thought that this age group is so small; especially when in 2009 persons under the age of 18 made up 21% of the Danville population. So where lies the problem with this age group building a foundation to a “successful” future for themselves? The materials and colleagues are not here. There are about three different types of people in this age group (21-35); the college scholar, military personnel, and the workers. The college scholar who was born and raised in Danville will choose to attend school outside of Danville, become engulfed by the area in which they attend school, and stay or move to a place better suited for them to achieve their definition of success. The military person that joins right after or soon after high school will have opportunities to travel the world and share in some of the same experiences that a college student will, if so chosen. The hard worker will start a job in high school or afterwards possibly doing something they enjoy or maybe not. This person may have left Danville to move to a place with better opportunity and flourished just as the military and college person did but just took longer to do so. Even though each type chose a different path they all say the same thing about the place they once called or currently call home; there is very little here for us!
Here is a thought to ponder for all ages. Is there really nothing here or has this become a crutch or excuse for those of us that left, to stay gone? It is both, very little is here to entertain, employ , or give opportunity to young adults to further pursue dreams and goals of grandeur. This is also an excuse for those who have left to stay gone because there are metropolitan areas that give a chance to experience the high life of entertainment, employment, and dreams/goals of grandeur. It can be argued that these “big time” opportunities to become successful in a “big time” way can be found in Danville, but that is to be determined by whom you ask. What materials do the young people in Danville need to build that foundation of success. Let’s start with acknowledgment in a positive light, support, better means to an end, a voice, and a chance. So the best question to ask is no longer what is needed to build the best foundation, or what is missing, but “is Danville the foundation that we should rebuild?”
40 | EMERGE! | SPRING 2011 | WWW.EMERGEVA.COM
There Is Still Hope for Danville.
- by Justin D. Ferrell -
In 2008, President Bush declared the federal government’s economy a “State of Economic Emergency”
that more so became known as “the Great Recession”; however, for the City of Danville and Pittsylvania County there was a recession before the actual declaration. Along with the downfall of Danville’s economy, came many issues that would impact the lives of every citizen; whether it’s violence and crime, home foreclosures, or loss of jobs, all of Danville felt the effects of a torched economy. While we may recall the good ole’ days when Danville was the heartbeat to the South and caterwaul because of the realization of our losses due to present issues, we still have a sense of hope for the future! Why Hope? It’s simple: we hope for a more loving community, hope for better education, hope for a growing effective population, hope for more jobs, and ultimately hope for our children. Some would question the citizens of Danville for having the audacity to hope, I say hope is an understatement. It’s no longer time to just hope, for now it’s time to understand that the City of Danville stands among many cities that have begun the transition from ancient to innovative. Yes, Innovation! Something shocking and unbelievable to many but ultimately needed, Innovation. How did the innovation start and where exactly is it happening within the city limits?
We must look at Danville through a microscope in order to understand macroscopically this tragic history lesson that has been presented, which will lead to the growth of the Danville Metropolitan Area. First, we all know the synopsis for the current conditions, the failure of the manufacturing industry; however, what is the remedy? The remedy began in March 2004 with Dan River Mills Inc. filing for Chapter 11. In 2005 Danville suffered one of the biggest lay-offs in its history. As 1100 more jobs slipped overseas in 2006, Danville Community College saw its enrollment increase dramatically. Without the shackles of Dan River Mills Inc. holding the members of this prestigious community back any longer, the intellectual healing began. Because of the enormous enrollment at DCC, with help from the Trade-Act, we can understand that educating an under-educated community was the first step in the remedy. After beginning the education process, the second part of the remedy is finding and recruiting jobs to complement the city’s academe and work force. This is why in 2007 the City of Danville sought to find an Economic Development Director to take a proactive stance in fighting the high unemployment ratings. The city found Jeremy Stratton, who’s office plays a major role in attracting, attaining, and retaining companies to the Danville area. Even with a strong Economic Development Office in place, there is still more help needed in order to make this Danville area strong and to make an impact or to receive attention on a state and federal level. That help has come from your local politicians: State Delegate Danny Marshall, who chairs the Tobacco Commission; Don Merricks; and former State Senator current Congressman Robert Hurt. Not to exclude former Congressmen Virgil Goode and Tom Perriello, because without these honorable men, the Danville area’s getting known on a grand scale would not be possible. These representatives, past and present, did their part. I challenge the reader to also get involved and learn the facets of Economic Development in order to gain a true understanding of your community’s condition.
Last but not least, are the community environs. In 2009 with ten homicides, and after coming off a record year in 2008 with eleven homicides, Danville adopted the title “Little Big City” and inscribed to a crime rate comparable to New York City. Upon the killing of fourteen year old, Lamonte “CoCo” Stone in 2009, a few of our community leaders: Councilman Larry Campbell and Don Nodtvedt, Director of Danville Boys and Girls Club, came together and formed the Danville Safe Coalition. This coalition was created as a networking hub to bring collaboration for existing community organizations to form a union that would allow for a “take-it-to-the-streets” grassroots approach that would entice everyone to become involved in his or her community and children’s lives. The question is, did it work? There is evidence around every corner from churches creating outreach programs for their youth, to community members launching mentoring programs, from Stayhood Productions creating a positive buzz for the poverty-stricken North Main Street area, to True Holiness Tabernacle creating a positive night-life for youth. As the list continues, there is only hope for the progress of Danville. Will you be a part of making the city better and in turn making your life better? In order for a city to have a complete turn around, there are many cause and effect scenarios that tend to play a part, but in this case, if the citizens of Danville can tackle one, their lives will be tremendously better. That one is EDUCATION! When the city is educated the chances of a company locating here increase and make the city more competitive. This in turn makes the job of the Economic Development Office easier, and then you will see a decrease in crime. At the end of the day whether you’re old or young, male or female, education is the key to a better future. Empower yourself and your community will rise from these efforts.
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s u o t i p i d a len
Selfless & self-empowering, she’s “Simply Selena”. She’s a motivational speaker & workshop facilitator and founder of Inside~Out Self Esteem Services, an outreach program that works with teens, women and domestic violence victims. Her son, Immanuel “Man Man” Martin is an Honor Roll Student at North Elementary, who wants to grow up and start an organization that will help people with special needs.
BUILDING FROM BROKENNESS - By Selena Lipscomb
At some point over the course of life, we will all experience some place of brokenness. If this has not happened to you yet, let
me begin by saying this is your warning that it will one day happen. Get ready! Being in a state of brokenness is not a bad thing. Sounds crazy, right? Sure it does not feel good and often it does not look good; however, when we are broken it gives us a chance to rebuild ourselves. No matter what area of your life your spirit has been broken, the rebuilding of your self and your spirit is the key to determine if you will be able to withstand your next level of breaking. I know from personal experience it feels that each level is more intensified with pain, yet having a good blueprint to build from and a strong foundation makes the process a little easier. The broken place inside you may seem different than everyone else’s break, but really only the perception is different. It looks and feels uncomfortable to you because you have just moved out of your comfort zone. On that same note even though experiences may be the same, the rebuilding process is different for us all. The sad reality is that some people choose to die broken; some choose to make others around them miserable because they are broken, while others lose their mind, self control, self respect, self worth and any other word you can place SELF in front of. Then there is the other side of the coin. Some of us come out of the broken place, look around to see what can be salvaged out of the wreck and begin to build from what is left. It is important to realize that regardless of whatever you lose, who leaves, what you cannot pay, even what the doctors have given up on; there will be something that is left for you to pick up and build upon. Think about how many organizations, foundations, grants that have been founded and funded because of someone’s brokenness. How many books, seminars, lectures, movies, plays, and musicals have developed from the brokenness of another person? Do you know why? It is because these individuals made the decision to use their place of brokenness not only to rebuild but remodel their lives to the capacity that would allow others to come in and grow from their experience. Of course, there is a process to get to the rebuilding phase of your life. As with any building project you need a blueprint. Your blueprint will be unique to your ordained path in this life. I would strongly advise you not to build from someone else’s blueprint, because you don’t know what they had to go through to get theirs to look like it does. Just because their floor plan looks nice, you still need to consider the materials they used to build it. Your plan based on their model might be useless. Let’s get to the blueprint. Take a deep breath, because the first step will get you every time.
First, you must FIND IT! Search within, look around and find your strengths, as well as your weaknesses. Yes, you must acknowledge both so that you know what tools you are working with. Have you ever seen a carpenter sawing wood with a hammer? Define what it is that you are building from. Second, you must FACE IT! You have to find that private moment, get in the mirror and acknowledge the issue, and give yourself permission to leave the broken pieces right where they are.
Next? FORGIVE IT! Forget and Forgive whoever for whatever and guess what? Sometimes the person we need to forgive first is ourselves.
Fourth, FORWARD IT! Once you know from which type of foundation you are building, you must go forward and do life. This part is the hardest of the blueprint because it requires some sweat equity. Developers don’t just make a blueprint and instantly the structure is up. No, the land has to be cleared; materials have to be purchased, and the right people must be in place to get the work done. In order for you to play life forward, you have to go down the checklist make sure 1-4 are covered.
HONESTLY! If you do these steps, you give yourself permission to succeed in the building process. Forget about who told you that you could not do it. Forget about who told you that you could not have it. The only person’s permission you need to succeed in building your life back up is Y-O-U-R-S. Giving yourself the permission allows two things to happen; it brings you to the realization that you are ready for greatness. And most importantly, it gives you a strong foundation on which to build. When your foundation is strong, it will not matter how many storms come in your life, how many shutters and shingles fall off. You will have to replace the roof, and remodel again in your lifetime; Things change and life happens. But when your foundation is strong, and you can refer back to the blueprint, you can always leave that place of brokenness better, knowing you have something from which to build. I look forward to seeing your mansions.
Man Man’s Me Moment by Immanuel Martin What my mom said was good but let me break it down. You can learn a lot from three pigs. 1. Just because your friends are using something does not mean you have to. 2. You have to make sure your environment can be safe from any wolf. 3. Be there for your friends when the wolf tears their houses up. Take care Of yOurself sO yOu can Help OtHers! 42 | EMERGE! | SPRING 2011 | WWW.EMERGEVA.COM
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