OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE NCCU ALUMNI ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE & CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION
Magazine April - M a y 2 0 1 0 MAGIC OF AFRICAN RHYTHMS
Bridging a Gap
STEVE SATTERFIELD Precious Memories
COLLAGE DANCE COMPANY
Celebrates 25 Years
JAMES STEPHENS III THE PERSONAL SIDE OF ‘DA FUNNY MAN’
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because of a pre-existing condition through a temporary high-risk pool. This program will end when the Health Insurance Exchanges become effective in 2014; effective 90 days after enactment. _Requires health plans to allow young people up to their 27th birthday to remain on their parents’ insurance policy, at the parents’ choice regardless of marital status. This provision will be APRIL-MAY ‘10 LEGISLATIVE REPORT effective 6 months after enactment. _Prohibits new group health plans from establishing any eligibility rules for health care coverage that have the effect of discriminating in favor of higher wage employees. This provision will be effective 6 months after enactment. The recently passed federal health _Provides aid to states in establishing offices of health insurance consumer care reform bill has attracted much assistance in order to help individuals with the filing of complaints and talk and speculation over the past appeals. This provision will be effective beginning in fiscal year 2010. several months. Still, many questions remain about what these new laws TAX CREDITS - Small Business Tax Credits – Offers tax credits to small will mean to individuals, small busibusinesses to make employee coverage more affordable. Tax credits of up nesses and others. Parts of the law to 35 percent of premiums will be immediately available to firms that will not go into place for several choose to offer coverage. This provision will be effective beginning calendar years, but some key provisions will year 2010. Beginning in 2014, the small business tax credits will cover 50 go into effect before the end of the percent of premiums. year. MEDICARE - Begins to phase-out the Medicare Part D donut hole – WHAT’S UP Health Editor Dr. Sharon ElliottProvides a $250 rebate to Medicare beneficiaries who hit the donut hole in Bynum and I thought it would be 2010. This provision will be effective calendar year 2010. Beginning in 2011, DOC? helpful for us to work together on institutes a 50% discount on brand-name drugs in the donut hole; also comby Dr. Sharon Elliott- this issue to provide information pletely closes the donut hole by 2020. Bynum about what is ahead so that you and _Eliminates co-payments for preventive services and exempts preventive RN, BSN, MA, PhD your family can prepare and better services from deductibles under the Medicare program. This provision will understand the health system. be effective January 1, 2011. The information below is provided by the National Conference of State HEALTH CARE INFRASTRUCTURE AND WORKFORCE - Community Health Legislatures, a national, bipartisan organization that provides information, Centers – Increases funding for Community Health Centers to allow for resources and technical assistance to lawmakers and their staffs in all 50 nearly a doubling of the number of patients seen by the centers over the states (http://www.ncsl.org) and Health Care for All NC, a 501c3 non-profit next 5 years. This provision will be effective beginning in fiscal year 2010. educational organization based in Chapel Hill, NC (http://www.healthcare_Provides new investment in training programs to increase the number forallnc.org). of primary care doctors, nurses, and public health professionals. This proINSURANCE REFORMS - Insurance plans will be prohibited from imposing vision will be effective beginning in fiscal year 2010. pre-existing condition exclusions on children. This provision will be effective LONG TERM CARE - Establishes a national voluntary insurance program 6 months after enactment. Beginning in 2014, this prohibition would apply for purchasing Community Living Assistance Services and Support (CLASS to all persons. program), a long-term care insurance program to be financed by volun_Companies will no longer be allowed to impose lifetime limits on covertary payroll deductions to provide benefits to adults who are actively age. This provision will be effective 6 months after enactment. employed and become functionally disabled. The program allows for an _ Tightly restricts new plans’ use of annual limits to ensure access to needopt-out by employees, and a five year vesting period. This provision will ed care. These tight restrictions will be defined by the US Department of be effective on January 1, 2011. Health and Human Services. This provision will be effective 6 months after enactment. Beginning in 2014, the use of annual limits would be prohibited email@example.com Larry D. Hall for all plans. Sharon Elliott-Bynum firstname.lastname@example.org _Eliminates co-payments and deductibles for preventive care under new private plans. This provision will be effective 6 months after enactment. We, the undersigned healthcare providers, thank Congress for putting Beginning in 2018, this requirement applies to all plans. patients before politics. We stand committed to making sure patients are _Establishes a temporary reinsurance program (until the Exchanges are aware of how health reform will benefit all of us, as individuals and as a available) to help offset the costs of expensive health claims for employers nation. that provide health benefits for retirees age 55-64. This provision will be Cedric Bright, MD (Durham, NC) effective 90 days after enactment. Alex Cho, MD, MBA (Durham, NC) _Ensures that consumers in new plans have access to an effective internal Gary Greenberg, MD, MPH (Durham, NC) and external appeals process to appeal decisions by their health insurance Frank Keefe, PhD (Durham, NC) plan. This provision will be effective 6 months after enactment. Jonathan Kotch, MD, MPH (Chapel Hill, NC) _Requires plans in the individual and small group market to spend 80 perClaudia Prose, MD (Greensboro, NC) cent of premium dollars on medical services, and plans in the large group James Tulsky, MD, MS (Durham, NC) market to spend 85 percent. Insurers that do not meet these thresholds must Gina Upchurch, PharmD (Durham, NC) provide rebates to policyholders. This provision will be effective Jan. 1, 2011. Charles Van der Horst, MD (Chapel Hill, NC) _Provides immediate access to insurance for Americans who are uninsured Sharon Elliott-Bynum, PhD (Durham,NC) 4 SPECTACULAR April/May 2010 www.spectacularmag.com FRO M THE OFFICES
HEALTH CARE REFORM BILL
From The Publisher’s Desk... TRAPPED IN THE TYRANNY OF SLAVERY ...ON JULY 4, 1776 The words of Frederick Douglass, a former slave, brilliantly written in "What to the American Slave is your 4th of July?", continues as the best historic reminder of why the "4th of July" should never be celebrated without being reminded of the significance of the "19th of June" in America. Douglass wrote: As the "4th of July", 1776, American Independence Day, comes around again, let us not forget that the ancestors of Americans of African descent were Phyllis D. Coley trapped in the tyranny of slavery. Juneteenth, the "19th of June", 1865, African-American Independence Day, America's 2nd Independence Day, recognizing the end of enslavement, did not occur until over 88 years after the first "4th of July." (www.juneteenth.us/douglass/index.html) "Juneteenth" or "19th of June", is considered the date when slavery ended in America. Although rumors of freedom were widespread prior to this, the announcement of emancipation did not come until Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas to read General Order No. 3, on the "19th of June", 1865. This was more than two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. In 1997, during the 105th Congress, a historic joint Juneteenth resolution was passed by the Congress of the United States through Senate Joint Resolution 11, introduced by Senator Trent Lott (R-MS), and House Joint Resolution 56, introduced by Congressman J. C. Watts, Jr. (R-OK), recognizing the "19th of June" as Juneteenth Independence Day in America. Juneteenth is now recognized as a state holiday or state holiday observance in over 35 states including North Carolina. People of all races, nationalities and religions are joining hands to truthfully acknowledge a period in our history that shaped and continues to influence our society today. On June 19, 2009, after a unanimous vote in Congress to apologize for slavery and segregation, President Obama issued a Statement on the Occasion of Juneteenth saying...”Nearly a century and a half later descendants of slaves and slave owners can commemorate the day together and celebrate the rights and freedoms we all share in this great nation.” Triangle Cultural Awareness Foundation and Spectacular Magazine will present the 6th Annual NC Juneteenth Celebration & Unity March in Durham, NC on June 18-19, 2010. The kick-off event is the Spectacular Magazine Man of the Year Awards Banquet (info on right) on Friday night June 18th recognizing African American men. On Saturday June 19th the day begins with the Juneteenth Bridge Builders Youth Luncheon at 11am at NC Mutual Life Insurance Company. The Luncheon is designed to “build a bridge” between youth and positive African American men on the day before Father’s Day. Youth will write an essay on “The Importance of Juneteenth” to be able to participate in this event that will include motivational speeches, entertainment, giveaways and more. After the Luncheon, the men and youth will participate in the Unity March from NC Mutual to the CCB Plaza, the site of the Juneteenth Celebration. The Unity March is for eradication of modern-day forms of bondage www.spectacularmag.com
drugs, gangs, abuse, poverty, etc. The Juneteenth Celebration includes entertainment, food, vendors, kid’s activities, health fair, information booth, exhibits, car & bike show and, of course, information about the importance of Juneteenth - African American Independence Day. Now that you know about Juneteenth, how can you ever again celebrate July 4th recognizing that your ancestors were trapped in the tyranny of slavery on that day? At least celebrate both!
TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
SPECTACULAR MAGAZINE www.spectacularmag.com
PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF PHYLLIS COLEY
FEATURES EDITOR GRACE GRAHAM
DR. SHARON ELLIOTT-BYNUM
ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR GARY JONES
LARRY HALL, ESQ. LAMONT LILLY IRVING JOYNER, ESQ. DEL MATTIOLI REV. JAMES SMITH
MARKIA MOSH’A CHAPPELLE APRIL MIAL LENTONIA MOYE BRITNEY ROOKS
MEL BROWN - STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER CHRIS HINTON ROBERT LAWSON
LAWRENCE DAVIS III
In This Issue Another Perspective Ear to the Streets Entertainment Features James Stephens III Magic of African Rhythms NCCU Hall of Fame Steve Satterfield From The Publisher’s Desk FYI Health Legal Eagle Advisor Lifestyles News Briefs Political & Civic Affairs Religion Rightchus Truth State & National Talkback, Too This Is Your Life Unsigned Arist of the Month What’s Up Doc?
22 31 31 11 13 15 21 5 26 4 9 27 23 9 21 7 28 4 27 31 4
COVER PHOTO: Mel Brown
Gary N. Jones
Britney Rooks www.spectacularmag.com
LAWRENCE DAVIS III
Spectacular Magazine enlightens, empowers and entertains African Americans with features, columns, commentaries and calendars. Spectacular Magazine is published monthly and distributed free in Durham, Wake, Guilford, Orange, Granville, Vance and Person counties. Deadline for all submissions is the 18th of each month. Contact us at: email@example.com or by mail at: Post Office 361 Durham, NC 27702 919-680-0465 Mail subscriptions are available for $29.95 per year. Second class postage is paid in Durham, NC. Subscription form available at www.spectacularmag.com
PRESIDENT - CEO Phyllis D. Coley
VICE PRESIDENT - OPERATIONS Gary N. Jones, MBA
The Rightchus Truth by Lamont Lilly aka ‘Rightchus’
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Dr. Mark Anthony Neal
THE POST-SOUL AESTHETIC, THE [N] WORD, THE DEATH OF HIP HOP, SPIKE LEE AND BLACK FEMINISM Mark Anthony Neal is a professor of Black Popular Culture in the Department of African and African American Studies at Duke University. He is the author of four books including, That’s the Joint!: The Hip-Hop Studies Reader (2004) and one of my personal new favorites, New Black Man: Rethinking Black Masculinity (2005). Most importantly, he’s active and visible. [Bro. Rightchus]: Dr. Neal, in your book New Black Man, you describe how you were first tagged a black male feminist on the BET Tonight Show. Being that you embrace this tag, can you share with us what exactly is…a Black Male Feminist? [Dr. Mark Anthony Neal]: [-laughing-] Well, when I first began graduate school I was introduced to something called Feminist Theory, a body of work that attempted to intervene in both political discourse and everyday realities regarding the notions of equity between men and women. The idea that men inherited a certain amount of privilege from their maleness was a privilege even more complicated when factoring race into the equation. I was taking classes in the English Department and became curious to the question, “where are all the Black women writing about this?” There I was, reading Barbara Christen and Barbara Smith, and on my own I began to seek out sisters like bell hooks. I remember purchasing my first bell hooks reading on me and my wife’s first wedding anniversary. It was my first attempt at critically engaging that type of material. hooks is one of the most important figures out there on studies of gender, sexuality, and race in the last 20 years. She’s written 15 or so books, and none of them with footnotes. She was taking this high theoretical language and writing it in a way that was both applicable and accessible to everyday folks. It was under this context that I was introduced to not just Feminism, but Black Feminism. I realized at that moment that I wasn’t taking women (Black or white) seriously. I wasn’t walking around calling sistahs “B’s” and resorting to violence—I was more of the Casanova—the romantic cat. However, it became clear that just because I was “nice” to women, didn’t mean that I valued them intellectually, politically, or even spiritually. From bell hooks, I linked up with Alexis Deveaux for my doctoral studies. I was the only male, sitting for my first Feminist Theory class—this 25 year old hip hop kid consuming the likes of Patricia Hill Collins, Angela Davis, and male writers like Fredrick Douglass. In turn, from pop-culture to Hip Hop, I was beginning to reflect upon various social, cultural, and historical dynamics through the lens of Black Feminism. [Bro. Rightchus]: Speaking of Hip Hop Dr. Neal, what do you think about the current “state” of Hip Hop? As Bro. Nasir Jones (aka Nas) suggested, is Hip Hop really dead? [MAN]: Lamont, I think Bro. Nas was mainly being provocative, and necessarily so, while at the same time raising a very pertinent question. There’s no doubt he was introducing a conversation we needed to have. And I think he possesses and demands the kind of respect from the Hip Hop community, young and old, where he could make that claim, and people had to listen. With that said, I think we romanticize the early days. From the period of 1986 thru 1992/93, grew a generation of young peowww.spectacularmag.com
Lamont Lilly (right) and Dr. Mark Anthony Neal
ple who were suddenly connecting Hip Hop with an on-the-ground grassroots political movement; largely stimulated by the presidential runs of Jesse Jackson in 1984/88 (respectively), and the reemergence of the Nation of Islam via Louis Farrakhan. This is also the first wave born after the hey-day of the Civil Rights and Black Power Movement who are now in college. On the university level, there were Black Studies programs popping up all over the country—Jesse, Farrakhan and Sister Souljah were on television programs and news interviews. Mixed with Hip Hop, it was the perfect storm. You had this new generation of folk taking political and artistic energy, creating a subset movement of socially and politically conscious Hip Hop. It became the approved preference for this particular era. You had Public Enemy and the X-Clan rhyming Afrocentrism & Black Nationalism—K RS One introducing complicated intellectual spins on Caribbean politics— Five-Percenter MC’s like Brand Nubian, and abstract thinkers like A Tribe Called Quest. It was an entire generation’s way of becoming politicized, and Hip Hop was the muse. However, it very quickly got rendered a style, and when a new style emerged, political Hip Hop somehow became less popular. Whether this decision was made by the Black community or by the labels and industry, conscious Hip Hop got pushed to the side (as it does today). So when we think about Hip Hop now, we get nostalgic for that 7 year period. We fail to understand that those 5-7 years were just snap shots of a 35 year old genre. If we reflect correctly, Hip Hop has always possessed some elements of violence, sexism, misogyny, and drug narrative. But these constructs haven’t just occurred within the vacuum of Hip Hop. “Gangsta Rap” first evolved out of the context of the Prison Industrial Complex, Three-Strikes, and Crack Cocaine. Police brutality and unemployment doesn’t just happen in the vacuum of Hip Hop. The music was telling us something, and still is. In many ways, Hip Hop simply reflects what’s going on in our communities. Whether the rappers speak critically or not, is a different issue. But even the stuff we deem problematic is reflective enough to be taken serious. Good or bad, there’s still something there to be learned. [Bro. Rightchus]: Dr. Neal, what’s up with the Hip Hop community and the “N” word? On one hand, you got Hip Hop legThe Rightchus Truth continues on page 29
STUDENT NONVIOLENT COORDINATING COMMITTEE (SNCC) A FIFTY YEAR REUNION AND CELEBRATION
RALEIGH, NC - North Carolina will forever be known as the home of the “1960 Greensboro Sit-In” which represented the official or publicly proclaimed beginning of the “SitIn” movement in the United States. On February 1, 1960, four students at North Carolina A&T State University went to the local Woolworth Department Store, sat by Professor its racially segreIrving Joyner at gated lunch counter and refused to leave NCCU School of Law until they were allowed to purchase food. LEGAL EAGLE The four students who participated in this effort were not a part of any organization ADVISOR nor did their actions result from prior planning by an organization. They simply decided, as individuals, to challenge a racially designated practice which demeaned and humiliated African-Americans in Greensboro. After being refused service that day, they returned to the store for the next several weeks to demand that African-Americans have the same opportunity to eat at the lunch counter as was afforded to Whites. Within days, and without any official leadership, AfricanAmerican students from historically Black college campuses throughout the south followed the lead of the Greensboro Four by organizing and participating in sit-in demonstrations at segregated eating, entertainment and public facilities located around their campuses. ..thus marking the inception of the “sit-in” movement. Inspired by the foresight and leadership of Ella Baker, a North Carolina native, a Shaw University graduate and a veteran civil rights organizer and activist, the students involved in these unconnected efforts Ella Baker met at Shaw University in April 1960 to discuss a future direction and strategies. At that meeting, student delegates from twelve (12) southern states met from delegates from northern colleges, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) and Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). The conference was largely financed by an $800 grant from SCLC and the organizing efforts of Ella Baker, who was the “matron saint” of the Civil Rights movement. During the conference, students decided to form a separate organization rather than to associate as an adjunct of one of the existing Civil Rights organizations and to continue their aggressive direct action efforts which were primarily aimed at dismantling segregation. Although the student led and inspired activities were just beginning, SNCC was able to attract capable and dedicated leadership into the organization, yet the organization was student led. Many
student leaders faced opposition from traditional Civil Rights organizations, college administrators and many A f r i c a n American religious leaders because they deemed the students to be too militant. As a result, students, who were involved in the movement, withdrew from colleges to devote their time and energies to Civil Rights activities. The thinking was that obtaining a college education was not a primary focus when racial discrimination and bias were the primary tools being used to oppress AfricanAmericans. SNCC members and activities developed the foundation upon which the modern Civil Rights movement was built. New and aggressive strategies were adopted as students demonstrated that they were not afraid to directly challenge racist actions by anyone. As a result, SNCC members participated in the Freedom Rides to challenge segregated seating requirements on public and private buses even after mobs of Klu Klux Klan members violently attacked and firebombed buses which carried integrated groups of bus passengers during the spring and summer of 1961. SNCC members launched aggressive efforts to register African-Americans Among notables confirmed as voters in southern states where to attend the SNCC 50th concerted efforts were underway to Anniversary Conference utilize economic and physical intimi- are (pictured top to botdation to prevent African-Americans tom) Congressman John Lewis and from exercising the right to vote. SNCC also created alternative entertainer/activist Harry educational institutions which were Belafonte, former NAACP designed to correct the inferior and Chairman Julian Bond and inadequate education which African- US Attorney General Eric Holder. American students received. This effort resulted in the opening of Afro-centric educational institutions along with active efforts, at the high school and college levels, to create Black Studies programs in colleges and include African and SNCC - Legal Eagle Advisor continues on page 10
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SNCC - Legal Eagle Advisor continues African-American history and culture into the education curricular. In a very real sense, the modern day political movement, which resulted in the election of a record number of African-American representatives at the local, state and national levels and the ultimate election of President Barack Obama in 2008, sprung from SNCC’s political empowerment agenda. SNCC was the first national organization to give voice and focus to the concept of “Black Power,” a concept which terrified the white establishment and incurred the wrath and animus of J. Edgar Hoover and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) The “Black Power” campaign also cause consternation and alarm by some traditional Civil Rights organizations because it promoted the notion that African-American had to be able to fight against racial and political oppression without being led or sanctioned by liberal Whites. This rallying cry led organizing efforts that resulted in the formation of the Lowndes County and Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and the ascension of Fannie Lou Hamer which eventually successfully challenged the Democratic Party to allow African-Americans to participate as delegates in its local, state and national party activities and leadership. In furtherance of its political agenda during the 1960s, SNCC mobilized teams of students from colleges and universities around the country to come into the south to assist in efforts to register African-Americans to vote. Students were also mobilized to join in efforts to challenge other racist policies, laws and practices which
were prevalent in the south. Eventually, SNCC’s leadership determined that Whites could better contribute to our struggle by organizing Whites to recognize and combat racism and to leave the organization of African-Americans to other African-Americans. SNCC’s struggles to define and elevate the acceptable roles and functions of women led directly to the women or feminist movement. After its own internal struggle with the issue, SNCC promoted the notion that women should be equal to men in the organization as leaders and that prejudice and discrimination based on either race or gender should be abolished. This political and organizational platform undergirded the feminist movement which grew from the Civil Rights movement and its struggles. As an example, all of the congressional candidates of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party in 1965 were African-American women. Continuing its direct action vision and activities, SNCC was the first African-American Civil Rights organization to publicly oppose the Vietnam War in 1966. SNCC’s opposition to the war again put it at odds with traditional Civil Rights organizations and church leaders. Later, these groups also became opponents of the war. In addition, SNCC took forceful positions in opposition to police misconduct, the use of the criminal justice system and prison-industrial complex to unjustly convict and imprison African-American men, the use of violence by the Klu Klux Klan and other White racist groups and organizations and various other efforts to exploit and SNCC - Legal Eagle Advisor continues on page 30
WHO’S DA FUNNY MAN?
The More Personal Side James Stephens III By April Mial Contributing Writer CARY, NC - James Stephens III has gone through some trials and tribulations, but he continues to persevere. Born in poverty, he didn’t allow his surroundings to dictate who he would become, instead he surrounded himself with people and places that would help him dictate his future. Growing up, he always wanted to become a singer, so he started a “vocal group in high school, very influenced by Michael Jackson and James Brown,” he begins, “we called ourselves the Junior Isley Brothers.” They performed at local high schools, often singing to the instrumental side of the small sized record. He’s the first to admit that he’s telling his age, 50, but proud of it, when he talks about how “back in the day when I was growing up, the 45 had one side with the artist performing to the music and the other side just had the instrumental. We used that instrumental side when we performed.” Stephens wanted so desperately to be a singer in the business, that at that age, he carried on many roles, while a student with responsibilities – he was the lead singer, choreographer and even booked performances. As graduation from high school approached, though, the group fizzled because he says that, “the guys wouldn’t show up for practice.” But that phase didn’t discourage Stephens, as he took the time to develop his own talent, teaching himself how to play the piano, while he continued singing solo. From there, he went to college and learned how to play the piano. Even though he had a passion for law, graduating with a degree in Political Science and Criminal Law from Seattle University and Georgetown, the bug for performing lead him to different talent competitions in the area. One of those competitions, while in Seattle for law school, was the “Seattle Stand Up Comedian” audition. This was a huge event because it was a competition where people from all over the country would compete for a chance to win. Comedians like Robin Harris would find their big break… and so did Stephens… he won the competition! He remembers his segment, as if it was yesterday, “I talked about goofy things… Saying that Tacoma, the city, sounded like a disease – and would say that [he knew a man] who’s got that disease. I would also do impressions like Red Foxx and Michael Jackson.” That win set the pace for the jumpstart of his career – Showtime chose him, along with nine other comedians for a television special, then he performed at the Apollo Theatre. In 1987, he moved to Los Angeles, where he studied at The Comedy Store. There, he met Eddie Murphy and Robert Townsend, among other now famous comedians. Four years later, in 1991, he got the opportunity to perform at a Ray Charles Anniversary Special, loaded with celebrities. This was a big opportunity because it allowed him to meet and befriend fellow comedian Paul Rodriguez. Paul turned out to be a significant ally, giving Stephens his first big break. Rodriguez, known at that time for his television show, “Special at San Quentin,” gave Stephens the opportunity to perform on the show. That show, catapulted his next move - signing a deal with FOX television to produce a show,
James Stephens III “The Edge” that show would star he and Jennifer Anniston. The show was comparable to “Saturday Night Live,” running for a year before losing its Executive Producer, Wayne Knight. But his career didn’t stop there. Stephens continued to strive and reach for the stars, often performing at many night clubs and shows. Stephens doesn’t normally get overwhelmed with meeting other celebrities (and he’s met a lot of them), but he is the first to admit that, “after a performance at The Comedy Store, when I walked off the stage, I was told that someone wanted to meet me. It was Richard Pryor. He grabbed my hand and said that You are a funny M-F-… I kept saying Oh my god! I couldn’t believe it!” To date, his celebrity roster includes David Foster, Baby Face, Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder. But one performer he has not gotten a chance to meet, but wants to so desperately, is Lionel Richie. He says that he missed the opportunity before, but is now looking forward the opportunity when he flies to Las Vegas this year. Just as Stephens transitioned himself to performing, while in high school and college, and even finding a way to incorporate his singing and playing the piano into his comedy act, he has also transitioned his life from one of worldly to that of following God. He Da Funny Man continues on page 12
Da Funny Man continues says that the “old James has died and that he wants to be more Christ-like.” This transition didn’t come over night, but it was a series of events that lead to his decision to follow God and incorporate Him first into his life. Stephens says that his marriage to a prominent doctor in Raleigh “brought him to settle down in North Carolina.” He briefly talks about how his “marriage made him happy and the marriage allowed him to break his promise of ever living in the south again.” He was married for years, James “Da Funny Man” but the marriage eventually fell Stephens is serious about apart. He talks about how he was his commitment to helping devastated. “I was in so much pain children striving for excelbecause my divorce was abrupt lence. He hosts an annual fundraiser to provide schol- and tragic. I called out to arships and computers to God…and I found Him. I decided to choose God and was prepped for deserving students. the pain I went through. One Photo: Mel Brown minute I was homeless, the next I’m buying a Porsche to show how God can give you so much...bringing me out of darkness into the light.” That moment in his life, he continued following God. He calls himself a minister of God, wanting to learn everything about His Word and incorporating it into his life. He’s proud to announce that in May 2010, he will graduate with a Masters of Theology from Northwestern Theological School, with plans of pursuing a doctorate in Theology. He wants to open up a church and school in South Carolina to teach excellence to Black children, where he can be close to his mother who is now 81. His closeness with his mother resonates in the closeness with his three children and grandson. His daughter, 30, is one of the top 40 women in the Washington State area. She works for a Fortune 500 company and works as a Lobbyist for the state. She has a Masters in Public Administration. She is the proud mother of his only grandson. His oldest son, 18, plays football on scholarship at Western Oregon University. He plans to be a chiropractor. And his youngest son, 14, is an honors student at a private school in Beverly Hills. He’s also a ball boy for the LA Clippers. In closing, Stephens appreciates how the old comedians were articulate and respected, paving the way for his career. He hasn’t forgotten that and wants to do the same to help others. He helps children striving for excellence through his Foundation, having a show every year to raise money for it. This coming year may be the last year, since he’s moving to South Carolina, but he hasn’t made any concrete plans as of yet. The event is May 15, 2010 at The Progress Energy Center (Raleigh); 8pm. Tickets can be purchased by calling 919.303.0857. It promises to be filled with celebrities, silent auctions, and even a performance by James Stephens III! For more information about James Stephens and his Foundation, visit his websites: jamesstephensfoundation.org or jamesstephensfoundation.com or dafunnyman.com April Mial is a writer, producer, director and president of Lilac Films (www.lilacfilms.com). She is now the author of “Out on a Limb…and Still Standing”, an inspirational book about her journey of becoming a respected filmmaker. The book can be purchased at Amazon.com or BarnesNoble.com. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BRIDGING A GAP
BUILDING BOND BETWEEN AFRICA
AND THE AFRICAN DIASPORA By April Mial
Ejembe Fire!, then moved into an administrative position as Managing Director of their company, The Magic of African Contributing Writer Rhythms. The Magic of African Rhythms tours various schools, comRALEIGH, NC - In my interview with Aya, the Managing munity centers, churches and festivals, performing African dance, Director of The Magic of African Rhythms, I discovered my drums and song. Their first mission is to improve the perception bridge, after discovering the bridge. The bridge, I soon learned, of Africa and its arts through the quality of the performances. The was the relationship between Africa and the African Diaspora, second mission is to revitalize the negative self images corroding which in my case, was almost non-existent. through the minds of at-risk youth and students in alternative I felt ashamed, as I asked for help in spelling African names schools. Aya states that, “Alternative stuand various cities, to even the clarificadents are not conventional learners” and tion of various cultures in Africa. But Aya must learn how to appreciate their worth assured me that I was not alone in my through a different means of teaching. journey, and that was the reason the Ways to improve the perception of Shabu family, an African family, has been Africa and their self image is by really instrumental in bridging the gap between exposing Africa, teaching students how Africa and African Diaspora. their ancestors created melodic sounds About ten years ago, they had a through creative and impressive instruvision to build a cultural arts center in ments. In addition to drums, for which Liberia and have seen that vision into Africans are known for, Aya points out fruition. Now they are looking forward that there are, “koras, which is the ancesto building temporary homes at the cultor to the harp and the balans, which is the ture center for guests, particularly of African descent, with the purpose of Baba Shabu looks on as Mama Shabu (above) ancestor to the piano and the maimba.” experiencing Africa…experiencing their reads from the Shabu book “Kpawo: The Bridge: She further explains that “both melodic Finding Your Ancestral Connection in Africa.” instruments are also griot instruments.” roots. Aya, a pleasant woman with a strong “Kpawo…” is an inspirational book about going Griot instruments, I later learned, are used and vast knowledge of African culture, home and strengthening a bond with African as part of the art of storytelling. The introduction of the instruments, started her career as a professional dancer roots. The Shabu family hosts an annual event in 2003, working with the African- “Taking It To The Bridge!” to raise funds for their the dance performances and the exposure work in Liberia. Mama Shabu (top photo - in blue) American Dance Ensemble, where she walks across the 20 foot long bridge at the to African culture to students allows them met the Shabu family. Later, she accept- entrance to the event that takes you into the to build their bridge, their connection, with ed their offer for an artist position in beauty of Africa. Submitted photos Bridge continues on page 14
Last year’s Taking It To The Bridge Fundraiser
Africa. This bridge helps them develop strong, positive images of where they come from and who they are. The measurement of the company success, as Aya points, out, “is shown by the tons of thank you cards we receive about what [students and teachers] learned and what they appreciate from the performances.” She concludes that, “(and we are glad) that we were able to expose (students and teachers) to something (different).” The idea of the bridge then brought us to discuss the second annual fund-raising event, “Taking it to the Bridge! II Tribute and Silent Auction”, sponsored by Shabutaso, which literally translates to the ‘house of Shabu’, which is the 501c3, non-profit organization of The Magic of African Rhythms. The non-profit’s purpose is to fulfill the second part of the Shabu family vision of building guest houses at the cultural arts center in Gbanka, Liberia for a 1014 day experience. Through community support, they plan to raise $30,000, the cost of each home. The event will be held at the Healing with CAARE, located at 214 Broadway , downtown Durham on April 18, 2010; 3-7pm. Hosted by Dasan Ahanu, a poet and member of the Bull City Slam Team, this event is sure to entice the appetite with delectable African staple, move to the rhythm with performances from The Healing Form and Elikem (African dance and drum companies) and present lasting experiences with work from artists. This event promises to be joyous and enlightening! Last year, audiences walked across the 20 foot long bridge as soon as they entered the building. Artists and performances from African and those of African Diaspora decorated the bridge with themes that reminded audiences of the journey of African ancestors. On the other side of the bridge, audiences walked into the beauty of Africa!
Presentation at Taking It to the Bridge Fundraiser
This event, “Taking It To The Bridge!,” was taken from the Shabu book, Kpawo (pronounced ‘pow’, which means ‘the bridge’), The Bridge: Finding Your Ancestral Connection in Africa” Kpawo is an inspirational book about going home and strengthening a bond with African roots. The book encourages travels from African to America, thus creating a bridge, a bond, between the two worlds. The bridge is also symbolic of sharing culturally continentally and giving tribute to building more bridges. The book is also a workbook that encourages readers to slow down, so that they can become in rhythm with the African community. It explains that staying in the country part of Liberia, versus the city, is one of the keys to the culture life center… and unlike the city, which has become more commercialized, the country is more indicative of the way African ancestors lived (slowing life down and relishing in the positive of quietness). The nominees for this year’s event are people who have found their bridge and are helping others to find their bridge. They are Thomasi McDonald, a beat reporter for The News and Observer; Dr. Lawrence Clark, a NCSU professor who has a cultural retreat center in Virginia; Noni Davis, owner of St. Cyr Academy in Durham; Jomo Goodson, a long standing community leader committed to African liberation and Bruce Bridges, owner of The Know Bookstore in Durham and author of Recapturing the African Mind. Shabutaso offered a few free events to get audiences in the mood for the African experience with performances by Balankora (the combination of the words balan and kora, words discovered earlier in this article) at The Know Bookstore (March 12th) and The Nightlight in Chapel Hill (March 17th). Both performances were held in the evening. There are more performances scheduled. Nominees for this A silent auction will allow bidders to year’s Taking It To purchase items, such as a week stay in the the Bridge Award luxurious lodging at the Legacy Villa in include Bruce Barbados! The winner can take up to seven Bridges (top) and Thomasi Mcdonald. people on this trip. Aya concludes that “every journey is Other nominees are different based upon their connection with Dr. Lawrence Clark, Africa...some might be missing that con- Noni Davis and nection, for others there may be a connec- Jomo Goodson. tion.” History has proven that the experience of the slave trade allowed African descendents to disperse to various places in the world, but the existence of the bridge confirms a longing for the beauty of Africa that brings people together. For me, this interview has educated and excited me about Africa, my bridge to my ancestral roots. By the time this interview was over, I learned about the various African instruments, the need for my bridge, while encouraging others to find their bridge and learning about various African performers. But most importantly, I had connected with my African roots and was proud to call myself an African American and a product of the African Diaspora. For more information, go to the website: www.kpawo.com. April Mial is a writer, producer, director and president of Lilac Films (www.lilacfilms.com). She is the author of “Out on a Limb… and Still Standing”, an inspirational book about her journey of becoming a respected filmmaker. This book can be purchased at Amazon.com or BarnesNoble.com. She can also be emailed at email@example.com.
NCCU RALEIGH-WAKE CHAPTER ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
“Soaring on the NCCU Legacy”
RALEIGH, NC - The Raleigh Wake Chapter of NCCU Alumni Association will host its Hall of Fame Scholarship Gala on April 24, 2010 at 6:00 pm at the North Raleigh Hilton on Wake Forest Road, Raleigh, North Carolina. The purpose of the event is to raise scholarship funds for NCCU students as well as celebrate the accomplishments of exceptional alumni who have made substantial and unique contributions to society and the university. The honorees were recommended/nominated by members of the Raleigh Wake Chapter of the NCCU alumni association. Those who nominated someone presented information on their activities and gave details about why they thought their nominee should be selected. The committee made the final selection from information presented. Their selection was based on outstanding contributions made in their professions, the community, and to NCCU. In the year of NCCU’s centennial celebration, the NCCU Raleigh-Wake Alumni Association is extremely grateful for the special contributions this year’s Honorees have made to their community and to the Hall of Fame Gala. The NCCU Raleigh Wake Alumni Association is committed to helping students “Soar on the Legacy” of North Carolina Central University, in its 100th year by helping to provide financial support to student throughscholarships. Its goal is to give the next generations the opportunities all alumni of NCCU have had of an excellent educationalgrounded in “truth and service” so that they may Kenneth Ray Diggins continue the examples before them as a distinguished and honored alumnus. This year’s honorees are: Floyd Wicker, V. LaVerne Lane, Dr. E.B. Palmer, John Wall, The Honorable Lindy Brown, The Honorable Vincent Rozier, The Honorable Milton “Toby” Fitch, The Reverend Cicero Williams, The Reverend Dr. William J. Barber, II, and Kenneth Ray Diggins posthumously. These distinguished alumni, have made significant contributions in the areas of community service, leadership, politics Lindy Brown and/or their dedication to North Carolina Central University. The alumni association look forward to celebrating their accomplishments with many fellow alumni and friends during this elegant evening of ceremony, dining and dancing. Congratulations are extended to all the distinguished alumni for their amazing accomplishments and it is indeed a great privilege to talk with three of the honorees: The Honorable Milton
“Toby” Fitch, Rev. Dr. William Barber, and Mr. John Wall. We begin with The Honorable Milton Fitch; Grace Graham (GG). What do you consider your most significant con tribution to society or NCCU? Milton Fitch (MF): My most significant contribution to society or NCCU was my service in the General Assembly of North Carolina. The fashioning of legislation after Milton Fitch the Hamlet fire to make the workplace in North Carolina the most safe work place within the nation such that we would not ever again have to take profitability over safety; and my contribution by being the chairman of redistricting effort that allowed me the opportunity to be able to draw districts both legislatively and congressionally that would allow people of color, African Americans, to be able to participate in a meaningful way in election process to elect candidates of their choice. This allowed 2 congresspersons that are African Americans to be elected to United States Congress and in fact the first such in 100 years with Eva Clayton’s election and then Mel Watts’ election. All of these are significant situations that cannot in my opinion be overlooked. They are of historical proportion. The most significant contribution to NCCU also came up in the legislature because I was in a position as a majority leader to be able to help Speaker Dan Blue and Mickey Michaux to fashion legislature that allowed NCCU to take off and grow by receiving money for planning, design and construction of the new buildings now on campus. GG: Upon receiving notification that you were one of the persons selected to be honored, what was your initial reaction? MF: Upon being notified that I had been selected, my first reaction or response was that they must have gotten me mixed up with someone else. But then, after reflecting upon it and thinking about it and talking to some individuals, I then felt a great deal of humility and thankfulness about being selected. That someone had seen something I that I had done in the community service arena or political arena that would bestow this honor upon. I am most appreciative for it. I have tried to live a life that was full of service and helping others. I am most thankful that somebody has seen that something I have done makes some sense. Again, I am most thankful and honored for having been selected. GG: Do you have future plans or words of wisdom in the areas of community service, leadership, politics or any other area that you would like to share? MF: My words of wisdom for others in the area of community service, leadership, politics or any other area is that if one is going to do community service they must have a truly willing heart and willing to serve with out looking for something back in return for NCCU continues on page 16
NCCU continues themselves because the greatest reward for community service is the fact that you have done by all your fellowman. As for leadership, a person has to be bold in that leadership and not be afraid to do what you know to be right and don’t be afraid to take that step if you know it internally to be the right thing because all humans know the difference between right and wrong. If you stay on the right side, you don’t have a problem. As far as politics is concerned, the words of wisdom are pretty much the same. A combination of being willing to lead for the right reasons with out taking anything for what you do. Just follow the leadership purpose. Politics is truly the engine that pushes us all based off of education, a willing heart and a spirit to do right by your fellowman. These are things that were instilled in me both through my childhood, through my parents and re-nurtured while I was a student at NCCU by the faculty and staff. I think these are the things worth while giving on to others. The motto of “Truth and Service” that was given by Dr. Shepard is just as true today as it was at the time he coined it. I am just thankful for the opportunity that I have had to attend North Carolina Central. I wish it all the best in the world. It is truly a beacon of light and hope for all people. The Reverend Dr. William J. Barber (WB): GG: What do you consider your most significant contri bution to society or NCCU? WB: Self-assessment especially when you are still in the midst of attempting to leave a meaningful contribution is somewhat difficult. But, what I do hope is that in some ways my life has maintained the fundamental mandates of service, Dr. William Barber caring for the least of these and standing up for justice which are supreme tenets of my faith. As a graduate of North Carolina Central University, I have tried, as a servant of the community and civil rights agenda, when fighting for educational equality, equal protection under the law, economic justice, and health care reform to always maintain the principles of truth and justice that were instilled in me more than 25 years ago as a student at N.C.C.U. GG: Upon receiving notification that you were one of the persons selected to be honored, what was your initial reaction? WB: I was humbled and deeply reflective. I grew up shaped in a philosophy that service is an essential component of a meaningful life. Service - period. Service, not for awards or accolades, but simply as an appreciation for the life that God has given us and the opportunity to give back to God by blessing the lives of others. My thank you for such a distinguished honor will be to make every effort to continue to walk the path of service and social concern. GG: Do you have future plans or words of wisdom in the areas of community service, leadership, politics or any other area that you would like to share? WB: I would say that we are living in complex, celebratory, and challenging times all in the same moment which requires us as to engage in socio/political multitasking. On the one hand, we have seen the historic election of President Barack Obama which clearly is the result of sacrifice, suffering, and standing up for jusNCCU continues on page 17
NCCU continues tice from the slave house to the White House. His election and the opportunity for change represent a partial accomplishment of the goals of the continuing civil rights movement. This is so not merely because he is black but because he is black with a sense of social consciousness that informs his political philosophy in ways that foster a concern for government to help address the misery of the masses. This election means so much and yet its meaning can not be misinterpreted. Inaugural euphoria cannot mean movement or social disengagement. It does not mean the end of the Civil Rightâ€™s Movement, or an end to the need for activism. Every social indicator from education to housing to economics to criminal justice to political action glaringly reveals inequities and challenges still exist. Efforts to resegregate our schools, stop health care reform, under fund HBCUs, over fund prisons, and address glaring racial disparities in economics/joblessness must remind us that change is not easy, our work is not complete, the security of our posterity and children has not been settled and nothing would be more tragic than for us to stop the work of building a more equitable society. Mr. John Wall (JW): GG: What do you consider your most significant contribution to society or NCCU? JW: My most significant contribution to society is the number of students I have positively impacted in my 22 years in public education. I am very proud whenever a former student seeks me out in public and thanks me for helping them along the way when they were in middle school. GG: Upon being notified that you were one of the persons being selected to be honored, what was your initial reaction? JW: I was honored that my work in public education over the
years was noticed by my fellow Eagles. After looking at the list of people who are being honored and being included in that list of prestigious Eagles I was also humbled. GG: Do you have future plans or words of wis dom in the areas of com munity service, leader ship, politics or any other area that you would like to share? JW: I believe all of us John Wall should give back to others in our communities. It is important to reach back and help others, especially young people, find their way in life. Be positive, not negative, whenever dealing with children because you never know the impact your words will have on a child. North Carolina Central University is the first publicly supported liberal arts college for African-Americans and this year, U.S. News & World Report ranked NCCU among the top ten HBCUs in the country. As NCCU celebrates its Centennial Year, a diverse student body of more than 8,500 students is enrolled in programs such as law, business, library science, nursing, education, and biotechnology. The NCCU National Alumni Association will hold its Annual Conference and Centennial Celebration July 7-10, 2010. For more info: www.nccualumni.org
FOR YOUR INFORMATION DURHAM ALUMNAE DELTA HOUSE HOSTS ANNUAL GOLF TOURNAMENT
RTP BLACK DIVERSITY NETWORK GROUP SCHOLARSHIP
Research Triangle Park, NC - The RTP Black Diversity Network Group is now accepting applications for the 2010 Scholarship. This scholarship has been established to provide opportunities for graduating African American high school students in the Wake, Durham, and Orange Counties to make a difference through the achievement of their educational goals. The recipient of this award will be granted a $500.00 scholarship to be used at any accredited two or four year college or university. The application form for the RTP Black Diversity Network Group Scholarship is available at http://worldpointe.com/bdng/scholarship2010.pdf This application is to be completed in full and returned to the RTP Black Diversity Network Group on or before May 21, 2010. Applications received after this deadline will not be considered. If you have any questions related to the application process, please contact the RTP BDNG committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictured with members of Durham Alumnae Golf Committee are Hendrick Durham Auto Mall personnel Skip Sartor, Sales consultant (front far left); Jamar Brinkley, General Sales Manager (front far right), and Jennifer McCallum, Marketing Manager (front center) kneeling between two of the junior golfers participating in the tournament, Todd and Taylor Bond.
DURHAM - Durham Alumnae Delta House (DADH) Inc. will be hosting its annual golf tournament/fundraiser on Saturday, April 17, 2010 at Hillandale Golf Course (located at 1600 Hillandale Road). DADH, Inc., a subsidiary of the Durham Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., is a public service organization. This yearâ€™s tournament will be dedicated to the memory of Mr. Chester Jenkins, the first black Mayor of Durham and an avid golfer. Chester and the entire Jenkins family have participated enthusiastically in this tournament since its inception. Therefore, we are dedicating this tournament to a true hero of the entire Durham community. As a special feature of the tournament, Hendrick Durham Auto Mall located at 409 S. Roxboro Street, is sponsoring a hole in one contest. The prize is a 2010 Cadillac CTS. For more information contact Carol Johnson at email@example.com
CALLING ALL SINGERS, DANCERS & COMEDIANS!
DETAILS AVAILABLE AT www.spectacularmag.com CONTACT GARY JONES
May 1, 2010 10am Hayti Heritage Center, Durham Talented acts selected will perform on stage at:
EVENING OF THE RISING STARS May 15, 2010 - Hayti Heritage Performance Hall &
NC JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION & UNITY MARCH June 19, 2010 - CCB Plaza Downtown Durham 18
African Americans and other people of color in the Triangle and throughout North Carolina are hitting the doors, calling long lists of their neighbors, making announcements in their churches and other faith institutions, and reaching out to radio stations and local newspapers, with all the urgency and fervor of a big election year campaign. Unlike a City Council race, a State House race, or even the race for who would become President, this particular race happens only once per decade, and there’s no “recall” option. This high stakes campaign is to get every single person counted in 2010 U.S. Census. By now, most residents will have received a letter explaining the process, and March 15-17, the actual Census forms will be arriving in mailboxes. And the stakes are very high: over $400 billion is distributed every year by the federal government to states and local municipalities based on Census data, and redistricting (from local school board districts on up to Congressional Districts) are all based on Census data. www.spectacularmag.com
“For every person that isn’t counted in a given community, each year, that community loses out on $1,500,” said Michael Byrd, who works at the Southside Neighborhood Association (SNA) Community Center in Durham.. If a mere 100 people go uncounted in a neighborhood, $1.5 million that should be coming to that community goes somewhere else. “This is very real in this neighborhood, where the response rate last time in 2000 was between 42% and just over 50%,” Byrd added, noting the issues of joblessness, deteriorating housing, and high crime that have all been exacerbated by decreases in programs like Community Development Block Grants because of past undercounts. Low wealth communities of color see a disproportionately high undercount, decade after decade. Demertrius Hunter, CEO of Southeast Raleigh Vicinity Emerging (SERVE), described similarly drastic impacts of past Census undercounts in his community. “The biggest things are education and health care,” said Hunter. “At the nearest hospitals, you sometimes have to wait 5-7 hours in the emergency room before getting care.” Medicaid reimbursement to states represents almost $200 billion of the total Census-based funding distributed federally, and Census data is frequently used in the decisions of where to site hospitals and clinics. “As everyone knows, Wake County is going through a lot with regards to education,” Hunter added. “We need an accurate count, so our children can all have access to a fair education, in terms of resources and in terms of who ends up representing our communities on the School Board as a result of redistricting.” Undercounted communities are frequently disenfranchised when political lines are redrawn without official acknowledgement of their existence. SERVE and the SNA and many others are doing everything they can to make sure their communities are fully counted. Rev. Brenda Peace, a City Councilwoman in Henderson in Vance County, described the importance of neighbors talking to neighbors: “People have a lot of paranoia about filling out government forms. They’re worried the government is going to come track them down for something, or go after them for unpaid bills. I talk to them about the jobs and infrastructure that would be improved with a full count. When they see my sincerity, they believe me” SNA and SERVE also plan to implement a peer-to-peer approach, with upcoming door-to-door outreach by paid and volunteer canvassers from the neighborhood. There are also plans to reach out at community events, to the Black press, and to local radio stations. “If we really want to better ourselves, our city, and our county, we need to all fill out these forms,” concluded Peace. April/May 2010
RELIGION STEVE SATTERFIELD: PRECIOUS MEMORIES By Britney Rooks Contributing Writer
DURHAM - Milton Steve Satterfield was a legend. Many people knew him as a kind hearted selfless man who loved to entertain, whether it was with his outgoing personality floating over the airwaves or his unique ability to conjure up his very own delicious recipes. “I remember one year in the early 90’s, it was still cold outside, but Steve lit that grill and made one of the best hog heads I’ve ever tasted,” says mother, Steve Satterfield Rebecca Satterfield. “Steve could take a pack of Oodles of Noodles and by the time he was finished with it, you’d think it was a fancy Chinese dinner.” On May 23, 1959 Steve was born in North Durham and grew up there with his older brother and younger sister. “I called them my three little darlings. All three were very close,” Rebecca explains. Every Sunday Steve’s grandfather would take them to Union Baptist Church for Sunday school. “Steve used to have a green chain and ball he would play with. One Sunday in the middle of church he shoved it right up his nose and just kept picking and picking and picking. I thought, ‘boy what will you do next?’” At the age of nine, Steve’s passion for music and broadSteve and his mother, Rebecca cast became prevalent. “He Satterfield would walk around the house with a broom pretending that it was a microphone and he was on the radio.” says his wife, Carolyn Satterfield. “That was his dream.” There was a lot of music in the Satterfield household. Rebecca recalls radios being in just about every room and they would play old Fats Domino records. “My mother sang a lot of hymns” says Carolyn. “And Steve loved his uncle’s old saxophone.” Childhood friend, Michael Linton remembers attending Sheppard Jr. High with Steve. “We were sort of nerds, we were the band kids so people tended to ignore us because they thought we were weird. Steve stood out in particular because he always liked the oldies but goodies,” says Linton. “But Steve always had a connection to the radio station. And even though people thought he was weird in school, when they heard him on the radio suddenly Steve was cool. He was like a local celebrity.”
Like many of the other families in Steve’s neighborhood, finances were low. And the majority of young men, including Steve, enlisted into the military after high school. “I knew he wasn’t going stay in there. But I told him to go anyway,” says Rebecca. “He called me everyday and said ‘Ma, what you doin? Just wanted to know what you doin’. Finally one day he said ‘Ma, I had enough of this.’ I knew he didn’t like it in there. So I told him ‘you come out first chance you get.’” Upon returning to Durham, Steve jumped right back into the swing of radio, broadcasting his voice over stations all across the triangle. Steve announced on WSSB AM, Durham Foxy 107 FM, WSRC Love 1410AM, At a young age, Steve knew he wanted to be and WDUR. “I met Steve around ’71,” Harold in radio. Smith recalls. “I was a radio announcer at WRSC. He was really sincere about broadcast, you could tell by the way he talked. He would always try to entertain listeners, make them laugh, say something positive to the community and make them forget about problems they were going through.” Steve was well known for playing great gospel music, but he is also remembered as a man who was not afraid to give new artists a chance. He would play their records before anyone else, one group being the Sensational Nightingales. “He was the first to play my music,” Nightingale singer Darrell Luster exclaims.
Steve and Carolyn Satterfield
“He always played my music, sometimes just because I wrote it he’d play it. He was really supportive…a very, very good friend.” Upon attending a Nightingales concert, Steve met his wife Carolyn. “The Sensational Nightingales were singing,” says Carolyn, “and at the end of the program he walked me to my car and asked if he could hug me and, of course, I said yes. So from Steve Satterfield continues on page 22
STEVE SATTERFIELD continues
Steve (center) with his fellow radio announcer friends (left to right) Michael Reese, Harold Smith, Melissa Wade and Bobby Parker.
then on we would tell everyone about our hug and Jo Jo Wallace of the Nightingales would call it the Sensational Nightingale Hug and we would too.” That Sensational hug turned into a sensational wedding. “I was there when he proposed.” Bobby Parker, radio announcer at
Steve Satterfield at WNCU 90.7FM on the campus of NCCU where he hosted the Sunday morning gospel radio show “Precious Memories and More.”
WSRE 1410 recalls. “It was late in the afternoon, we were both off the air and Carolyn had come by the studio. He had been telling me that this was someone he was truly in love with. And right then and there he got on his knee. I was like ‘are you serious? You’re gonna do this in front of me? Should I leave?’ But he In addition to radio broadcasting gave her the ring and I Steve's job history also included being a bus driver for Durham Area Transit was really honored to be there. I was the first to Authority.
congratulate him. He was truly one of my best friends.” In addition to radio broadcasting Steve's job history also included Durham Public Schools, Durham Area Transit Authority, and Duke University Hospital Patient Transporting where he touched many hearts, old and young. He was also a diehard Wa s h i n g t o n Redskins fan. Finally, Steve came to work as a radio announcer at WNCU 90.7 FM Jazz Radio. You could hear him every Sunday morning blaring Steve and Carolyn Satterfield, hand in traditional gospel hand, as she sings at a fundraiser for Steve music on the held at a local church. His friends organP r e c i o u s ized several benefits for Steve after he was Memories and diagnosed with stomach cancer. More program. “He’d been in radio for over 30 something years,” says fellow announcer Carolyn Ryals. “He knew the history of the music, came up with different segments on how to organize it, and he really knew how to make things happen. The man was smart.” Unfortunately, Steve was later diagnosed with stomach cancer. “Even though he was feeling bad,” says Ryals. “He was still committed to the show. He continued to do his job and that was so inspiring to me, I loved him for that.” On January 14, 2010 Steve passed away at Durham VA Medical Center. His mother Rebecca says she misses him so much. “I really do. I’m so happy I have tapes and DVD’s of him from when he MC’d different Steve Satterfield with programs because now whenever I his sister Anita S. Torain want to hear his voice all I have to do is put one in the machine. According to Rebecca, she refused to have Steve’s home-going announced as a funeral. “I told them to have music and singing, that’s what he loved. He would want people to come and enjoy themselves instead of all that talking.” The home-going service was held at Union Baptist Church in Durham on Wednesday January 20th. “He liked helping people,” said Harold Smith. “He was an all around outgoing, outspoken, very pleasing person and he will be missed.”
ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE by Rev. Dr. James W. Smith
Will return soon We wish Rev. Smith a speedy recovery! www.spectacularmag.com
NEWSBRIEFS NC BLACK SUMMIT CELEBRATES 5TH YEAR:
FOCUSES ON RECOVERY, GREEN ECONOMY Event planned for April 29- May 1 RALEIGH - The Alliance of North Carolina Black Elected Officials will observe the 5th Anniversary of the Annual North Carolina Black Summit on April 29-May 1, 2010 at the Crabtree Marriott in Raleigh North Carolina. Organizers say that this year’s Summit, with an expected attendance of between 300 and 350, will provide the opportunity to reflect on how well the organization has met its goals. “It is essential that we focus on policy achievement as a measure of our effectiveness,” says Alliance Executive Director Brad T h o m p s o n . Thompson says the Alliance has built upon the collective knowledge shared Thompson over the past 4 years by member and partner organizations. “The Alliance will sharpen its focus and build upon the shared agenda and commitment to information-sharing that has become a hallmark of the organization’s success,” he says. Keynote speakers for this year’s S u m m i t include former Vi rg i n i a Governor L. D o u g l a s W i l d e r , America’s first Black elected governor and luncheon speaker Bernie M a z y c k , Wilder President of the South Carolina CDC Association. Former Governor Wilder will keynote the Annual Banquet and talk on “The Challenges Facing Emerging African American Leaders.” Mr. Mazyck, who will focus on “The Green Economy: Real Opportunity or Pipe Dream” as the luncheon speaker on Friday, April 30th. Break-out sessions will focus on gangs and youth violence in communities of color, the importance of parental participation in
education effectiveness, the role of local Political Action Committees in improving political representation, how younger people can emerge as the primary representatives of African American interests, and the Pandemic Flu and preparedness in the Black community. Rev. Kenneth Hammond, will be keynote speaker during the Inspirational Breakfast scheduled on Saturday, May 1st. After the S a t u r d a y Inspirational Breakfast, a panel of Black elected officials will discuss: “From Where Have We Come and Where Hammond are We Now?” “This panel, made up of the Alliance leadership, will take a look at our advocacy over the past 4 years,” says Alliance Chairman Fred Yates, who also is mayor of Winfall, NC. “We will discuss where we have been effective and where we may Yates need to make adjustments in order to strengthen our collective voice,” he says. The Alliance of North Carolina Black Elected Officials’ goal is to more effectively advance the political agenda that provides improvements for Black North Carolinians. Member organizations include The NC Legislative Black Caucus Foundation, the NC Conference of Black Mayors, the NC Black Elected Municipal Officials, the NC Caucus of Black School Board Members, and the NC Black County Officials. The Alliance’s partners are The North Carolina State NAACP Council of Branches, the North Carolina Black Leadership Caucus, the North Carolina Association of CDCs, the NC AFL-CIO, the Prince Hall Masons, the NC AARP, the NC Association of Educators, the North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development, the State
Briefly... MARSHALL INSTALLED AS NC CHAMBER’S FIRST BLACK CHAIRWOMAN RALEIGH - Cynthia Marshall, president of AT&T North Carolina, made history on April 1st when she becomes the first African-American to serve as chair of the NC Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber’s board of directors elected Marshall to the position in March. “I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the Marshall North Carolina Chamber at such a critical time for our state and nation,” Marshall said. “The Chamber’s focus will continue to be on economic recovery, job creation and improving our schools so students graduate prepared to lead and succeed in the global economy.” Marshall, who lives in Cary, has led the North Carolina operations of AT&T since January 2007.
ADAMS JOINS STAFF OF HUD’S NATIONBriefly continues on page 26
NC Black Summit continues on page 30
COLLAGE DANCE COMPANY CELEBRATES 25 YEARS OF PERFORMANCE DURHAM - Two generations of mothers and daughters presented the joy of African and modern dance on Saturday, March 27th to commemorate Collage Dance Company’s 25th anniversary. The spring concert recognized founder and artistic director, Sadiyah Shakur, former member of the Chuck Davis Dance Company in New York City. Held at the N.C. School of Science and Math in Durham, the concert featured traditional dance and drumming from West Africa, performed by youth ages 9 – 20 years. This year’s anniversary performance was entitled SANKOFA: reaching back to go forward. Alumni of the Collage Dance Company returned to the stage for the spring concert and special salute to Sadiyah, a widely-recognized educator and performance artist. “Sadiyah has created an important avenue for young women to experience, know and learn the culture of traditional West African dance and music. She has boosted the self-esteem and confidence of young girls and boys who perform with the company.” says Toni K. Hall, assistant artistic director of Collage Dance Company.
Collage Dance Company has established a significant track record of boosting youth academic achievement. Members must maintain a C average and commitment to meet the rigorous weekly rehearsal and performance schedule. Over 90% of Collage Dance Company members graduate from high school and attend college. Graduating seniors choreographed and performed a special tribute to Sadiyah during the annual spring concert. Proceeds from the concert will support scholarships for graduating seniors who will attend college in the fall. Collage Dance Company is one of the oldest African American youth dance and drum performance groups operating in the Triangle area of North Carolina. The company is based at Hayti Heritage Center. Members include youth from across the Triangle including Cary, Raleigh, Garner, and Durham. Company members serve as role models of self-determination and unity for other African American youth.
COLLAGE DANCE COMPANY
Visit the website to learn more at www.collagedancecompany.org
BROADWAY ACTRESS AND TELEVISION STAR HOSTS AWARDS PROGRAM HONORING BLACK WOMEN DURHAM - The Seventh Annual Mahogany Dime Awards is Saturday, April 17, 2010 at 8:00 pm at the Carolina Theatre of Durham. The ceremony honors phenomenal African American women in North Carolina. Roz Ryan, known for her role as Amelia Hetebrink on the hit sitcom Amen, will host the program. Some of Ryan’s other credits include All About the Andersons, Good News, and I think I love my wife. Ryan She is currently starring in the hit musical, Chicago. Cora Cole McFadden, the Mayor Pro Tem of Durham, is this year’s honorary chair. This year’s recipients are Dr. Bertha Maxwell Roddey, Sadiyah Shakur-Saleem, Joselyn Williams, Mary Ann Black, Doris Ann Shipman, and Nnenna Freelon. In addition to the awards, the evening will also be filled with great entertainment with performances by the national award winning Bouncing Bulldogs, Comedienne Simpli Net, Singer Jennifer Evans, and Collage Dance Company. Angela Ray, the producer, established the awards in 2004, drawing upon North Carolina’s rich African American heritage and culture as the backdrop for the awards. The proceeds from the Mahogany Dime Awards will benefit the Mahogany Dime Foundation an organization designed to foster healthy self esteem in African American girls. Dr. Bertha Maxwell Roddey of Charlotte will receive the Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole Living Legend Award. Dr. Roddey is the co-founder of the Afro-American Cultural Center in Charlotte,
which recently reopened as the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture. Six-time GRAMMY® Award-nominee Nnenna Freelon of Durham is hailed as the “international voice of Jazz.” She has performed around the world, from Carnegie Hall to The Hollywood Bowl, the Monterey Jazz Festival to the Newport Jazz Festival, and from Montreaux to London. Sadiyah Shakur-Saleem of Durham will receive the Service Award for her work with young dancers as founder and director of Collage Dance Company. One of the original members of The Chuck Davis Dance Company in New York, Shakur is also an educator, working with the gifted program at Glenn Elementary School in Durham. Doris Ann Shipman of Fayetteville will receive the Mozella Lambert McLaughlin Unsung Hero Award. Shipman has been a teacher for more than 45 years for exceptional children. Shipman has also been involved in the civil rights movement for a number of years as her late husband Raymond Shipman, was the president of the NAACP Fayetteville Branch. Both she and her husband worked with the organization and she has remained active even today. Mary Ann Black of Durham will receive the Mahogany Dime Award for Leadership. Black is a leading health advocate for health and human services with a background as a social worker specializing in psychotherapy with children and their families. Currently she is the Associate Vice President for Community Relations at Duke University. Joselyn Williams of Raleigh will receive the Mahogany Dime Award for Entrepreneurship. Williams is the principal of JMG Marketing. For more information, please visit, www.mahoganydime.com
BRIEFLY continues AL FAIR HOUSING TRAINING ACADEMY
WASHINGTON, DC - Stella Adams has joined the staff and will serve as the Program Director of Curriculum and Instruction of the Patricia Roberts Harris National Fair Housing Training Academy. Adams is a fair housing and fair lending consultant, and the former Executive Director of the award-winning North Carolina Fair Housing Center. She has testified before Adams Congress on many occasions and is the recipient of the 2006 Individual Achievement Award of the International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies, 2005 Civil Rights Award granted by the National Association of Human Rights Workers and has received the 2004 HUD FHEO Pioneer Award for her work in fighting predatory lending and the 2004 National Fair Housing Alliance Fair Lending Advocacy Award. Named in memory of Patricia Roberts Harris, former HUD Secretary and the first African-American woman appointed to a Cabinet post, the National Fair Housing Training Academy is the first and only governmental institution in the nation that provides fair housing training for advocates and lawyers responsible for enforcing Federal and state fair housing laws.
math and technology field. Alex is an intern at Shodor, an organization that seeks to broaden students’ math and science education. . His team put their programming knowledge to use by integrating maps of historic Durham with maps of present-day Durham. By doing so, his team showed how technology could make the history of Durham more accessible to the community. Alex also works with the Durham Bulls’ Post 50, a video production team of Durham youth that work to broadcast Durham Bulls baseball games. Alex will attend North Carolina A&T State University this fall. Alex will be honored at the Celebration of Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education in Cary on April 17.
SUBER APPOINTED TO HBCU FINANCING ADVISORY BOARD
RALEIGH - Saint Augustine’s College President Dianne Boardley Suber has been appointed to serve on the U.S. Department of Education’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities Capital Financing Advisory Board. The board advises the secretary of education and the designated bonding authority on the most efficient and effective means of impleSuber RICHARDS RECEIVES NATIONAL menting construction financing VOLUNTEER AWARD on historically black college and university campuses DURHAM - Moses Richards, a junior at Hillside High and advises Congress regarding the progress made in School, has been honored for his implementing the program. Suber’s term ends exemplary service with a September 30, 2013. President’s Volunteer Service Award. HILLSIDE ATHLETIC DIRECTOR NATIONALLY The award, which recognizes RECOGNIZED Americans of all ages who have DURHAM - Hillside High School Athletic Director Bob Hill volunteered significant amounts has been awarded the State Award of Merit from the National Interscholastic Athletic of their time to serve their comAdministrators Association. The munities and their country, was Richards State Award of Merit is the highest presented by the Prudential the organization gives to an indiSpirit of Community Awards program on behalf of vidual on the state level. President Barack Obama. Moses participated in the Spirit of the Community program this year as a repreThe National Interscholastic sentative of Hillside. Athletic Administrators Association Board of Directors Hill Moses earned his award primarily by volunteering as a selects this recipient. The award counselor and mentor for the BOOST program at Duke University. This program encourages elementary and is given only in those years when the board deems middle school students to become interested in science there is a candidate worthy of this honor. It is an and technology. Moses also volunteers with the award presented by the state to a National Serteen Club, which performs many service projects Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association and raises funds to address a variety of community member who demonstrates outstanding leadership and meritorious service and achievement in the vocaneeds. tion of interscholastic athletic administration. REVELLE AWARDED STUDENT LEADERSHIP Coach Hill recently received his award at the Annual NC AWARD Athletic Directors Association (NCADA) conference in DURHAM - Alex Revelle, a senior at Durham School of Asheville. the Arts, has been awarded the Student Leadership Award in Science, Mathematics, and Submit announcements Technology Education by the North Carolina Science, with color photo as a jpg to: Mathematics, and Technology firstname.lastname@example.org (STM) Education Center. The award includes a $1,000 scholarship helping him to continue Revelle his education in the science,
NCCU STUDENT NEWSPAPER TAKES TOP HONORS
Campus Echo Staff: (front row left to right) Sports editor Aaron Saunders; Copy editor Lakela Atkinson; Opinions editor Britney Rooks; Middle row left to right: Staff reporter Chris Hess; Editor-in-chief Carlton Koonce; Back row: Staff photographer Chi Brown; Assistant editor Ashley Griffin; Online editor David Fitts, Jr.
DURHAM (staff reports) — The Campus Echo, North Carolina Central University’s student newspaper, has won nine Excellence in Journalism awards from the Black College Communications Association. The Echo won Best Overall HBCU Student Newspaper, Best Headline Writing, Best Individual Page Design, Best Editorial Cartoon and Best HBCU Online Student Newspaper. The paper also took second place in Best Overall Design, Best Opinion/Editorial Section and Best Multimedia Package, and Honorable Mention for Best Photo Essay. Led by faculty advisor Dr. Bruce dePyssler, the publication has won more than 134 national awards, including the Mark of Excellence award from the Society of Professional Journalists for best allaround online student newspaper. “These awards, which are given by industry professionals, are a testament to the hard work of our students,” said dePyssler. “Their commitment to the Campus Echo and to learning how to produce a professional newspaper has inspired me since the day I began advising the Echo 10 years ago.” With a staff of 15 that includes reporters, copy editors, photographers and a cartoonist, the print publication has a circulation of 4,000 to 30 campus newsstands.
This is Your Life... BY
TEARING YOUR FAMILY APART Sisters and brothers, cousins, family members play, fuss, argue, laugh, go to school together, and enjoy lots of group time together including church. Upon adulthood, they move out, go to far off places with their careers, some may stay close around and even move in with their older parents. Even participating in family businesses isn’t uncommon. Many times adult children rarely visit or may come for special events - in reality they make their own decisions about their lives. The fussing, fighting and battling could repeat itself in a very harsh, unethical, painful and “taxing way” if proper plans aren’t in place before the death of the parents. The estranged heirs start all over again but this time - very mean! Sometimes no longer EVER speaking to each other and carrying this unforgiving attitude to the “grave.” Having such negative feelings over a lifetime amongst each other may also attribute to unhealthy lifestyles, disease shorten the life span. Happiness, faith, hopes and fulfillment seems to enhance healthy wellbeing. This situation could have been avoided by the deceased parents. Why did it happen in the first place? Why, because little or no preparation were done to keep a
successful happy family together. Suggested solution: l. Die with a valid will in place and file it appropriately/using a professional is an added benefit. 2. Talk over what is desired with loved ones or someone you trust. 3. Choose an “overseer” to carry out your wishes after your death. 4. Leave more than 1 copy so that it can be located. It is risky business to leave this world without leaving “the house in order”. Consider having a facilitator to assist in coordinating your estate issues. Using a folio to keep the contracts, will and other important documents are a must. Funding the requests of the will is also recommended. These funds made available after death should include a current life insurance policy so that the family has liquidity for clearance funds. The funds may alleviate further burdens on the family such as estate taxes. State law makes decisions for those who choose to die intestate. Probate could be very ugly. All of the personal possessions and investment distribution could be decided by the state with the exception of contracted beneficiaries. The tax laws are positioned right now to benefit many in reference to federal estate taxes but the real stress is what dying without the will can do on the family’s emotional state. This becomes what is called a “bitter tax”; it then taxes the heirs because of so much anger. This is the repeat of the growing up years but in a very disheartening way...all because of money!
Contact: Del Mattioli, MBA, CLTC, LUTCF, MDRT, established agent with New York Life Insurance Company www.delmattioli.com 919 401 9988 4213 Hope Valley Road, Durham, NC 27707
STATE AND NATIONAL NEWS ROSLYN M. BROCK NAMED NAACP CHAIRMAN NEW YORK, NY (www.naacp.org) - The NAACP selected health-care administrator Roslyn M. Brock as its chairman on Saturday February 20th, marking the culmination of a generational Brock shift for the historic civil rights organization. For the first time in the NAACP’s history, both its president and chairman are too young to have personally experienced legalized segregation. Brock, 44, takes the helm from civil rights pioneer Julian Bond. She will guide the association along with Benjamin Jealous, who, at 37, is the youngest president in the NAACP’s history.
CHARTER SCHOOL IN TOUGH NEIGHBORHOOD GETS ALL ITS SENIORS INTO COLLEGE
CHICAGO, IL. - Urban Prep Academy senior Keith Greer, along with his classmates, celebrates the news they will receive a free prom in Chicago because the entire senior class at Chicago's only public all-male, all-African-American high school has been accepted to four-year colleges or universities. At last count, the 107 seniors had earned spots at 72 schools across the nation. Source: Chicago Tribune
PRESIDENT OBAMA TO SPEAK AT HAMPTON GRADUATION HAMPTON, VA. - President Barack Obama (left) will be the commencement speaker at Hampton University on May 9th. “We are honored that President Obama has accepted Hampton’s invitation to speak to our 2010 graduates during our commencement exercises,” HU President William R. Harvey said in a statement. Of the president, Harvey said, “his commitment to leadership, education and service is parallel to Hampton’s mission from our beginning in 1868. “He is an inspiration for our students to make the world a better place by becoming the very best leaders, educators, doctors, lawyers, financial analysts and scientists that they can be.” — Newport News, Va., Daily Press
MARTIN LUTHER KING PLAY SET TO RUN ON BROADWAY NEW YORK (AP) - Broadway's spring has just started but new shows are already being announced for next season, including an acclaimed drama from London about Martin Luther King Jr. that received a 2010 Olivier best new play nomination. "The Mountaintop" by Katori Hall re-imagines the events that take place the night before King's assassination in Memphis in 1968. No casting was announced yet by producers Jean Doumanian and Sonia Friedman, but they are negotiating with Kenny Leon to direct the production. The play is set to open this fall. 28 SPECTACULAR April/May 2010
GREENSBORO, NC BLACK LEADERS CONTINUE TO PUSH FOR MAYOR'S APOLOGY
GREENSBORO, NC - Greensboro residents spoke before city council on April 6th to ask Greensboro Mayor Bill Knight for a public apology in regards to a statement he made during the 2009 mayoral campaign about the selection of Greensboro Police Chief Tim Bellamy. Knight allegedly told the people attending a political forum that current Police Chief Bellamy obtained his position because he is Black. He made the statement at a 2009 campaign forum hosted by the League of Women Voters. At that time, Knight expressed his belief based on reports of continuous controversies within the police department. Those issues such as the discovery of a Black Book containing photographs of several Black GPD officers, led to the firing of former Police Chief David Wray, who is White. Mayor Knight said on March 16th that he has spoken with Bellamy since the statement at the political forum was made. Knight made no public apology at that council meeting and did not indicate whether he did so privately with Bellamy. "I don't know what else I can say. I wish him the absolute best," said Knight. Rev. Cardes Brown, president of the Greensboro chapter of the NAACP and pastor of New Light Missionary Baptist Church is calling on the city council to denounce the Mayor's comments. He said the clergy and community plan to take further action based on the reaction of the city council. Brown explained that by other council members remaining silent on this issue it shows that they are in agreement with the mayor. Bellamy announced his early retirement last January, and later stated that the mayor's comment did play a part in his decision to retire. Bellamy became the interim chief on January 9, 2006 and chief on March 22, 2007. He is a 26-year veteran of the Greensboro Police Department. www.spectacularmag.com
THE RIGHTCHUS TRUTH continues ends like Nas & KRS One, beefing with members of the old guard like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton who say, “Let’s bury the “N” word—this historical slice of verbal misery.” Can you share some insight on why black folk so afraid of the word….NIGGA (or as Mr. Charlie would pronounce “niggER”)? What exactly are the dynamics of conflict between the two generations? [MAN]: First of all…it’s a word! To what extent WE choose to decide the relevance of a word in the conversation of Black Life in America, both historically and contemporarily speaking, is up to us. For the Hip Hop generation, they’ve taken a word that’s always been used in many diverse ways. Folks wanna claim that Hip Hop was the first to embrace the word in terms of endearment or brotherhood, or even in resistance, but let the record speak otherwise. If you read James Weldon Johnson’s, The Autobiography of An Ex-Colored Man, in that text, he uses the word nigger in a way that affirms. And in the work, Nigger in the Window (by Helen Jackson Lee), Lee herself discusses how she had developed a multi-layered understanding of the word nigger by the time she was 3 years old. She reflects on how “in the Black community, you could pull it out to describe many things and people, in both a positive and negative light.” If we look at the Civil Rights mainstream - i.e. Dr. King & Company - even they were using the word nigger in loving terms. Listen for yourself…it’s on the [FBI] tapes! Michael Eric Dyson actually details in, Is Bill Cosby Right, Cosby’s public use of the word in his younger days. I think what the debate is about— this theoretical and philosophical attack on…a word - is in hindsight about the eradication of “real niggers.” There is a segment of Black political discourse that is not only concerned with the popular masses of Black American’s usage of the word, but that they themselves could possibly still be viewed as niggers, in a literal sense. What they actually want to eradicate is “Those Kind of Folk” and the “You People.” That’s part of what Bill’s (2004) Pound Cake Speech was, in essence. It really refers back to Randall Kennedy’s book, Nigger. But Greg Tate makes the point that he’s “less concerned with the word nigger, as opposed to the type of white supremacist activity that underscores the word.” What’s worse…being called a niggER or being treated like one? I think Aaron McGruder articulates this point quite well through his controversial, yet iconic television series, The Boondocks. And what about The Last Poets who said, “Niggers are Scared of Revolution,” or folk like N.W.A. who were rapping in 91’ that, “Real Niggaz Don’t Die.” How ‘bout Richard Pryor, who in 1971 was joking, but insightfully stated that, “If you really wanna know who niggas are, niggas are the ones who survived the Middle Passage!” Here, Richard was using the word as a mode of resistance—as an expression of resilience—defiance. Personally, I’m always gonna to want to protect my right as both an intellectual and writer, to use whatever language necessary to converse and connect. So that’s where I stand on the “N” word. I think the word possesses an incredible amount of historical, artistic, and creative relevance. [Bro. Rightchus]: For the Fall Semester of 2009, you taught a class entitled, Black Popular Culture: The Spike Lee Aesthetic. What were some of the ideas and substantive elements you were hoping to drive home to the class in reference to Spike’s cultural and artistic contributions within the Black community? [MAN]: The first thing I must state is that no matter how you feel about Spike’s films (good or bad), he’s one of the most important, if not THE most important Black artist of the 20th & 21st century. His do-it-yourself efforts and obvious commitment to use his art in the service of addresswww.spectacularmag.com
ing race, class, and the disparaging conditions of Blackness in America, is unparalleled. And in doing so, it hasn’t always translated into a moneymaking process. Whether it’s a film about Malcolm X or a documentary on Jim Brown—whether it’s race in Brooklyn in Do the Right Thing or Spike’s daring masterpiece, Bamboozled, the “brotha” comes correct! With works like When the Levees Broke and 4 Little Girls (the historical documentary on the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church), he’s paid his price to speak…literally. So I thought it was important to celebrate him and the experiences and realities he articulates for our community. If we don’t celebrate him, we’re not going to generate the next generation of young folk who’ll also reflect through art. Because his work has function largely in the world of abstract appreciation, as opposed to mainstream Hollywood, you have a whole generation of people who aren’t familiar with Spike Lee—particularly our young Black students. They may have seen Inside Man, only because it crossed over. So it was important to place his films in the proper context, and as a class, to examine the Black political, social, and cultural discourse of the mid 1980’s that helped produce a Spike Lee in the first place. Nelson George referred to this era as the [Post-Soul Aesthetic]. It was this generation of young people who were just coming of age with a public voice—using their art to continue the ongoing conversation of economic disparity and racial inequality. They were also speaking back to this conservative channeled view of Blackness—you know, what it “meant” to be Black. In the mid 80’s, that meant speaking back to the Black church, the old Civil Rights guard, our models of leadership, and to the few Blacks within The Academy (note: the figurative institutional body of higher learning). The challenge was to engage a cultural history of Spike’s films within a framework of the social and political implications ahead. In many ways, there’s no Barack Obama without this particular period’s artistic contributions. This was just a portion of the conversation. ???? For additional commentary, visit Dr. Neal @ www.newblackman.blogspot.com
~ ~ ~ SAVE THE DATE ~ ~ ~
6TH ANNUAL N.C. JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION & UNITY MARCH CCB Plaza - Downtown Durham, NC June 19, 2010 1pm-8pm www.spectacularmag.com April/May 2010 SPECTACULAR
Legal Eagle Advisor continues oppress African-Americans. SNCC and its members were never afraid to speak up and speak out.. In many of its efforts, SNCC was joined by CORE in its militant efforts and activities. These two groups were two of the forceful and moving voices for the organization of the 1963 March on Washington. The purpose of the march was to demand the enactment of laws which would protect African-Americans against the widespread discrimination that was being practiced throughout America. Even though SNCC was a major organizer of the march, the traditional Civil Rights organizations sought to control its influence and voice during the march. It was known that SNCC’s leaders were very critical of the failures of the United States government to protect civil rights workers and organizers in the south. For example, the March on Washington’s executive committee forced SNCC’s Chairperson, John Lewis, to revise the speech which he gave during the March because they deemed it to be too anti-government, fiery and militant. SNCC members and other African-American political activist increasingly became disenchanted with America’s political leadership and saw them as allies or enablers of efforts by the government, the KKK and others to oppress African-Americans, in particular, and other racial minorities around the world. Many SNCC members began to see the struggle in the United States as merely an extension of similar efforts and struggles by people of color around the world, particularly in Africa and the Caribbean, for freedom, justice and equality. As this progressive and leftleaning world view emerged, the FBI and other governmental forces increased its efforts to destroy SNCC and other progressive activists and organizations. Overt and covert attacks on SNCC leaders and other organizations under the FBI’s Cointelpro efforts resulted in the destruction of these organizations. By 1970, SNCC had lost a lot of its effectiveness and muster as its organizational impact diminished and it ceased ultimately operations. Without a doubt, SNCC was an energizing and inspirational force within and on behalf of the Civil Rights/Black Empowerment movement. Strategies developed by the organization, which seemed to be radical in the struggle’s early days, are now widely used by protesting groups and organizations, including right-wing groups. On April 15-18, 2010, SNCC members, supporters, college students and other activists will gather at Shaw University in Raleigh to celebrate and commemorate the many contributions and achievements of the organization and its members. With the exception of official luncheon and dinner sessions, there is no cost to attend the reunion. Former SNCC members and supporters who are confirmed as participants include United States Attorney General Eric Holder, Julian Bond, Harry Belafonte, Bernice Reagon, Representative John Lewis, Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton, Dr. William Barber, Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Diane Nash, Danny Glover, Dr. David Forbes, former D.C.
For more info about the conference, contact: www.sncc50thanniversary.org or Pastor Kenneth Cooper at (919)833-5834.
Political & Civic Affairs www.spectacularmag.com
NC Black Summit continues Employees Association of NC, the NC Black Publishers Association and Old North State Medical Association. Yates says that clear communication among the network of elected officials, partners and advocates in the empowerment of Black communities has resulted in positive changes in North Carolina. He points to the Alliances’ support of important issues such as the increase in the State’s minimum wage and the enactment of Early Voting and Same Day Registration. “These were key victories for the citizens of North Carolina, and our organization joined committed leadership on these issues and other prominent organizations from across the state and the nation to support their passage.” Registration for the Summit is $150. On site registration is $175. To register or learn more about the Summit go to www.ncblacksummit.org or call (919) 8336394, or toll-free at 1-888-833-5003.
Mayor Marion Barry, Charlayne HunterGault, Kathleen Cleaver, former Congressman and United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young, Sonya Sanchez, Amiri Baraka and a host of others. The public is invited to demonstrate its appreciation for the SNCC’s history and accomplishments and to meet, mix and mingle with its former members.
ENTERTAINMENT E AR T O T H E S TREETS unsigned artist of the month
As a child, Sandra DuBose-Gibson loved to sing out loud all throughout her family’s Parkchester apartment in the Bronx, New York where she was born and raised. During elementary school, Sandra embraced every opportunity to perform on stage…school chorus, talent shows, school plays and even in the church choir. Being raised as a Pentecostal Christian, Gospel music became her first love, and it
GARY “SPECIAL GEE” JONES
TOP 20 PLAYLIST ARTIST 1. MONICA
2. LUDACRIS (F) NICKI MINAJ My Chick Bad
3. MARY J. BLIGE
4. USHER (F) PLIES
Hey Daddy (Daddy’s Home) LAFACE
6. TRINA (F) DIDDY & KERI HILSON
Million Dollar Girl
7. YOUNG MONEY
Soldier Of Love
9. T. PAIN (F) YOUNG JEEZY
Reverse Cow Girl
11. PARTY BOYZ
12. WALE (F) GUCCI MANE
13. LYFE JENNINGS
Ain’t Leaving Without You ATLANTIC
15. SNOOP DOG
I Want To Rock
To accompany the film, Sandra DuBose-Gibson created a mini soundtrack of songs that she wrote and performed. She collaborated with some super talented music producers and together they created songs of empowerment, like “I’m Beautiful” and “It’s You” which are currently available for digital download on many on-line record stores including ITunes and CD Baby.com.
16. JAY-Z & SWISS BEATZ
On To The Next One
17. ERYKAH BADU
Fist Full of Tears
19. TREY SONGZ
Neighbor’s Know My Name ATLANTIC
Today, as an advocate for Alopecia Areata awareness, Sandra lifts her voice as a singer and inspirational speaker to encourage others who are dealing with the loss of their self esteem and confidence due to hair loss or for any other reason. To further this mission, in September 2009, she founded the Alopecia Community of the Triangle. This support group is a place of empowerment, support and fellowship for the Alopecia Community in the Raleigh, NC area.
20. DJ KHALED (F) T. PAIN, LUDACRIS, RICK ROSS, & SNOOP DOGG
All We Do Is Win
Today, as a believer beyond denominations, Sandra expresses love through all genres of music - Gospel, R & B, Jazz, Pop, Hip- Hop, Soul and even a little Reggae. What is consistent is her lyrical content. Sandra attended the prestigious High School for Performing Arts in New York City and majored in Drama. After high school, she worked as a studio vocalist, writing and performing her original songs at popular NY night clubs. As a lover of musical theatre, in 2002, Sandra had the pleasure of performing with Edwin Hawkins, Tony Terry, El Debarge and Robin S. in the stage play, “When a Man Cries” which was produced by J.D. Lawrence. Sandra started her own production company, Dubose Entertainment, in 2003 . She produced her own music video for her song, “Thank You” that she wrote and performed on the gospel compilation album, The Tehilla Project. In 2004, she toured in New York and Chicago with the gospel play, “Mama, I Want to Sing.” Most recently, Sandra completed her first independent film, a personal documentary called, “Project Liberation- My Alopecia Experience”. It is an educational tool and a source of inspiration for anyone struggling with low self esteem. It is currently available in public libraries throughout the U.S. and available for purchase through her website.
Her personal goal is to create artistic works that will entertain, inform and inspire all people. Whether it is through the form of singing, inspirational speaking, advocating or filmmaking, Sandra DuBose-Gibson hope and prayer ultimately is for lives to be blessed. Website: www.duboseentertainment.com
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Artist selection is at the sole discretion of Gary Jones, Entertainment Editor.