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April 2015

All In The Name Of


Meet & Greet James Sills CEO / President M&F Bank

THURSDAY APRIL 23, 2015 | 5:30PM - 7:30PM

James Sills


Please join us for our monthly social gathering that provides Triangle business professionals, leaders, and executives the occasion to network & interact in a relaxed, informal atmosphere with live entertainment, hors d’oeuvres, cash bar, & door prizes. In addition, this event offers a great opportunity for making new contacts & meeting prospective clients.


To RSVP, call 919.680.0465 or visit | NEXT BUSINESS AFTER HOURS: May 21, 2015



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TYE SINGLETON, MANAGER ANTONIO “TONY” KENNEDY, SALES REP. Spectacular Magazine enlightens, empowers and entertains with news, features, columns, commentaries and calendars. Spectacular Magazine is published monthly and distributed free in Durham, Wake, Orange, Granville, Vance and Person counties. DEADLINE FOR ALL SUBMISSIONS IS THE 25TH OF EACH MONTH. CONTACT US: or by mail: P.O. Box 361 Durham, NC 27702 919.680.0465



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From The Publisher’s Desk... DO BLACK MEN NEED CAMERA PHONES TO GET JUSTICE? North Charleston, South Carolina Officer Michael Slager shot at 50 year old Walter Scott eight times as the man ran away from the officer during a traffic stop. Scott owed child support and when he took off running, Slager filled his back with bullets. When the news first broke, I almost shed tears; I have no relation to victim Walter Scott, but our shared racial identity is enough familiarity for me to mourn the loss of his life.

media to tell our stories accurately and honestly. I, and millions of other black people, have had to sit back and watch conservative newscasters, colleagues, co-workers, and even friends try to explain why Eric Garner and Tamir Rice had to die. It seems our words alone are still not enough to convince people. Is the smartphone our only resource in order to try to secure justice? By now, millions have seen the footage of Officer Michael Slager shooting Scott in the back. And yet I wouldn’t be surprised if some pundit tried to argue that if only Walter Scott hadn’t run, the officer would not have shot him eight times, handcuffed his dying body, and potentially planted evidence to make sure he got away with the whole thing. The truth is, when it comes down to the word of a black man against a white cop, the white cop wins every time. And dead black men tell no tales. In 2015, I shouldn’t have to shout that black lives matter. But the fact that I have to utter these words is evidence that we still do not matter to many people. Our deaths fall on deaf ears and blind eyes, and boomerang away from willfully ignorant minds.

Ever since Michael Brown’s murder in Aug. 2014, death surrounds African Americans. In the face of this latest incident of brutality -- and the countless others that came before it -- we demand justice. We demand that white people care and sympathize with us in the same way we do for them. It seems like a relatively small concession. After all, when white people are massacred, from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut to Charlie Hebdo in Paris, entire countries, entire continents mourn -- and rightfully so. But when black people in the U.S. tell the world that our so-called trusted police officers use us for target practice, white people too often seek ways to justify the murders, to explain why they were the “right” thing to do. They want to find or create a loophole, any loophole, to avoid one of the harsher realities of the 21st century: we just aren’t as progressive as we like to think, especially when it comes to who receives our attention and collective sympathy. After the emergence of a camera phone video of the incident, proving Slager was not fearing for his life when he shot Scott, Slager was arrested and charged with murder. But what of all the other incidents that weren’t caught on camera? Just a few days ago, on social media, I saw the corpses of the Kenyan college students who were murdered at Garissa University, and I quickly scrolled down. I don’t need to see a dead body to grieve. When white people are murdered, people understand that they don’t need to share photos of the bodies on Facebook in order to arouse sympathy. All that is required is a simple news report and trust me, the journalists will tell the story, presumably in a humane manner. None of us will hear how a white victim used to smoke pot, had a criminal record, or was suspended in high school. There will be no purposeful -- or inadvertent -- diminishing of the awfulness of the situation. The sad truth is that black people have never been able to rely on mainstream

I’m tired of having to mince words because I may discomfort a reader. But more than that, I am frightened. I’m motionless whenever I see a black victim’s family try to keep their composure on television so that no one will be able to use their “unruly behavior” as justification for a loved one’s demise. The psychological wounds don’t have time to fully heal before another black person dies and they open back up again. Today, there are countless videos, statistics, and reports to remind us that black people are being hunted in this country. But we people of color have already known this. It’s white people who have been so maddeningly slow to come around. Honestly I am getting tired of writing and reporting about injustice. I want to write about how great blackness is. But this fear of “who’s next?” is an unrelenting weight. I am exhausted but I refuse to remain quiet. What does it say about America that it in order to be believed, instances of police brutality against blacks must be recorded on camera phones? What does it say about how black lives matter? Adapted from a report at


Phyllis Coley Phyllis Coley CEO/Publisher | April 2015 | SPECTACULAR MAGAZINE



backlash against America’s first two Reconstructions.

The 14th Amendment to the US Constitution was part and parcel of America’s first Reconstruction, guaranteeing for the first time that From Ava people who had been legally codified as DuVernay’s three-fifths persons would enjoy equal awardprotection under the law in this country. winning film The very notion of equal protection to President for black Americans was so offensive Obama’s that it inspired an immediate backlash. speech at Two features of resistance to America’s the Edmund first Reconstruction are essential to Pettus note. First, it was deeply religious. Bridge, to the White preachers led the charge, calling thousands themselves “Redeemers” and framing we crossed equal justice for black Americans as a the Bridge moral danger. and the millions that At the same time, the threat was joined by TV, explicitly sexualized. Black men were America has portrayed in respectable newspapers remembered as “ravishing beasts,” eager to rape Selma this white women. Here in our native North year. We have honored grassroots leaders Carolina, white vigilantes were armed who organized for years, acknowledged and encouraged to defend their women, the sacrifices of civil rights workers, and leading to the “Wilmington Race Riot” celebrated the great achievement of of 1898. Violent demonstrations of the Voting Rights Act. At the same time, white men’s sexual fear led to lynchings we have recalled the throughout the South hatred and fear of and Midwest in the engaged in moral, white supremacy in late 19th and early 1960s Alabama. But we 20th centuries. fusion organizing, may not have looked we say to our fellow closely enough at this When the Civil Rights ugly history. Even as Movement—a Second ministers: “religious we celebrate one of Reconstruction—was freedom” laws are America’s great strides finally able to draw toward freedom, the national attention to an immoral ploy to ugliest ghosts of our the vicious patterns stir up old fears. As past haunt us. of Jim Crow in the 1960s, the challenge people of faith, we Many able to white power was must oppose them.” commentators have again conflated pointed out the with sexual fear. As problem of laws which Danielle McGuire purport to protect has chronicled in her a First Amendment book At the Dark right to religious End of the Street, freedom by creating civil rights workers an opportunity to violate another’s 14th were consistently accused of wanting Amendment right to equal protection interracial sex and/or having homosexual under the law. But little attention has tendencies. We remember Dr. King’s been paid to the struggle out of which “How Long, Not Long” speech from the the 14th Amendment was born—a Alabama state capitol at the end of the struggle which continued to play out in Selma to Montgomery March. But we Selma 50 years ago and is very much often forget that the members of the alive in America’s state houses today. We Alabama state legislature responded cannot understand the new “religious with Act 159, citing evidence of freedom” law in Indiana and others “much fornication” among marchers like it apart from the highly sexualized Extremists remember CONTINUES ON PAGE 8



a fast growing field. The employment growth follows demand growth, which in turn is driven by the aging Baby Boomer population. The company I help to lead, Nurse Care of North Carolina, has increased our employee count by 25% in the past 6 months. This work can ranges from companion care to more strenuous hands-on care. A majority of our clients have some degree of dementia.

I don’t know why I thought I could convince the slumlord to halt the in-process The work our caregivers do is hard. eviction It is also sacred. Families are placing of my caregiver, Beth, from her home. a tremendous amount of trust in our Perhaps it was my naiveté. I tried to paid caregivers. The work is not being reason with him through outsourced to India and there are no the office phone technologies on the horizon on one ear, while that can clean an “ This genera hearing Beth cry elderly person l lack of tears of fear on after toileting respect is de my cell phone on or help an plorable and one con the other ear. The Alzheimer’s patient jecture is bastard would not with eating when that stems fr budge. You see, she has forgotten om the my negotiations how. r e a lity that a ma class at Harvard jo Business School A line I repeat often CNAs are Afr rity ic had focused on to my team is that a n American an cases involving “We are only as d African billion dollar good as our least women.” deals and job good caregiver on his offers worth six her least good day.” - Ari Medoff or seven figures. Every caregiver must There were no show up to work at cases on how to the right place and help an employee avoid eviction or time, with the right what do when an employee’s car is being information and attitude. chased by a repo man. The Challenges Important Work To Do Nursing assistants, or CNAs, are generally Caring for the elderly and disabled is undervalued in our healthcare system. I am a CNA and I can assure you that no one at a hospital, skilled nursing, assisted living facility works harder than a hardworking CNA. This general lack of respect is deplorable and one conjecture is that stems from the reality that a majority CNAs are African American and African women. This leads to low wages (the nationwide average in 2012 was under $12/hr). Direct care workers are starting to organize, and low wages are an important issue to them with a high degree of transparency and resonance with those in the public concerned about inequality. However, low hourly wages is just one employment challenge facing most caregivers. The others that make these Nursing Assistants CONTINUES ON PAGE 8


PUBLIC EDUCATION FUNDING IS INADEQUATE By Brenda Rogers Last month approximately 100 citizens attended an educational program on the impact of state funding on their local public schools. Cosponsored by the League of Women Voters in Orange, Durham and Chatham Counties and NCCU School of Education, the forum featured the four school superintendents in the three counties who, after brief, informative presentations, responded to audience questions. While each superintendent made it clear that local county commissioners are supportive of education and are using whatever means available to shore up inadequate state funds, each also painted a picture of a long term decline in state support that should move all citizens to action. While the issues are complex and deserving of close study, a few highlights help illustrate the urgency of the situation. At the same time charter schools are proliferating, the regular public schools are left to address the needs of all students. In addition to demands related to poverty, a range of exceptional learning and behavioral needs and increasing expectations and aspirations for responsive and personalized services for students and families put pressure on school systems that are already suffering from reductions and diversions of funds. While educators acknowledged the increased salaries for beginning teachers, significant concerns remain about inadequate and uneven funding for recruiting and retaining educational professionals and support staff. Furthermore, funding for instructional materials, educational technology, professional development, and facility maintenance is inadequate. Major renovations of aging and deteriorating facilities are badly needed. Since 1970, the public schools’ share of the state’s General Fund has decreased by 15.2%, from 82.5% in 1969-70 to 37.3% from 2012 to 2014. If public

schools were still funded at the same percentage as in 1969-70, there would be an additional $3.05 billion available to educate students (NC Dept. of Public Instruction). In addition, the change in the funding model, previously based on projected enrollments has, in most cases, had a negative impact on planning for enrollment growth. Planning is also made more difficult by charter schools, because the district has no input in their formation. As students move to charter schools, including charter schools outside of the county, the county funding follows the student, thus reducing the amount available for the local public schools.


It’s easy to imagine what the conservative Republicans who rule North Carolina’s legislative roost were thinking: “Here we’ve gone to all the trouble to take control of the General The panel members spoke to the even Assembly. We appoint the University greater burden that has fallen on some of of North Carolina system’s Board of the poorer districts in the state because Governors. We set the system’s budget. of their lack of sufficient supplementary So why should we have to put up with funds to offset the reductions in state the jibes of an impudent Democrat law funding. Whereas Orange County professor who uses his university job provides over $4,000 per pupil, to accuse us of ignoring poverty? What some poor counties in NC provide no do he and his liberal pals know about supplement, yet their schools are being putting more money in poor people’s held to the same standards. All of these pockets? They don’t even understand factors have negatively impacted our that tax cuts are the way to boost the traditional schools. economy.” For North Carolina students to compete in the 21st century, it is imperative that our public schools provide up-to-date technology and instructional resources. In addition, the public must demand that, at minimum, our students have a learning environment that is safe, secure and healthy. The League of Women Voters supports quality education for all students, and adequate funding of our public schools is a necessary though not sufficient condition. An educated citizenry is the foundation upon which our democratic society is based. Therefore, it is imperative that the public support our public schools by demanding that the state provide adequate funding, as required in the North Carolina Constitution. Toward this end, we urge all citizens to access the expertise and experience of district administrators and board of education members in order to remain informed and to hold their elected officials accountable for supporting the public schools. Brenda Rogers, President League of Women Voters of Orange, Durham and Chatham Counties


Submission must include your full name, address and phone number. By e-mail to:

“We may not be able to shut this guy up completely, but we’re counting on our minions on the Board of Governors to knock him down to size. After all, we didn’t put those folks on the board just because we liked their looks!” There’s no telling what sort of signals Republican legislators may actually have sent to board members regarding the fate of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Gene Nichol and the anti-poverty center he has headed since 2008. But after a monthslong evaluation of 240 scholarly centers and institutes across the UNC system – an evaluation ordered up by those same legislators – a grand total of three flunked the test. Nobody could have been the least bit surprised that among the trio hit with an administrative death sentence was Nichol’s Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity. That organization must close by Sept. 1, as must NC Central University’s Center for Civic Engagement and Social Change and East Carolina University’s Center for Biodiversity. Of course, if there hadn’t been such an obvious desire to whack the poverty center, the other two might have avoided being dragged down with it. But with their emphasis on social justice issues and environmental protection, they proved to be expedient targets as well.

social justice and encouraging the study of the effects of climate change and other environmental threats are good things, zapping those two centers rubs salt in an already painful wound. Certainly, it reflects conservative animosity toward agendas that are commonly assigned a liberal label – even if encouraging people to vote and following the paths of science where they lead are activities that should appeal across ideological lines. Freedom flummoxed There’s no getting around the fact that the poverty center, for all of Nichol’s important efforts to rouse North Carolinians to the scale and consequences of poverty in their midst, has operated with a certain Democratic flavor. Nichol himself, during an earlier phase of his career in Colorado, ran in Democratic primaries for the US Senate and House, losing both times. Fast-forward to 2005, when as UNC’s law school dean he helped recruit former US Sen. John Edwards as the center’s first, part-time director. The center thus gave Edwards, the Democratic candidate for vice president in 2004, a temporary base of operations as he geared up for what became his failed populist bid for the party’s presidential nomination in 2008. Republicans were not amused. After Nichol was named to the director’s job, he became a thorn in the side of state leaders who he insisted were not doing enough to fight the poverty that plagued North Carolina’s inner cities, struggling small towns and rural outback. Republicans’ patience might well have snapped during 2013, when the Moral Monday protests led by the NAACP focused national attention on the state’s rightward lurch. Nichol and the NC NAACP chapter under the Rev. William Barber had teamed to explore and expose the poverty problem, with Nichol contributing a series of op-ed articles that ran in The News & Observer. Although Nichol was justifiably proud of those articles – listing them as among the poverty center’s accomplishments in his attempt to convince the Board of Governors to keep the center alive – his message was clear: Republican leaders, including Gov. Pat McCrory, were doing nothing of substance to alleviate the poverty in which many thousands of North Carolinians were ensnared, and

To those of us who think that promoting civic engagement in pursuit of Doomed UNC Centers CONTINUES ON PAGE 8 | April 2015 | SPECTACULAR MAGAZINE


Nursing Assistants CONTINUES jobs difficult include i) uncertain, variable hours and therefore, uncertain, variable pay, ii) a lack of opportunities for career development, iii) few benefits, such as paid time off or health insurance, and iv) isolated work environment. My experience has taught me that addressing these issues is every bit as important as increasing the base wage. For example, it does not help our caregivers much if we increase their base rate of pay from $10/hr. to $11/ hr. if their number of hours they work fluctuates every week between 25 to 50 hours. When a client passes away or moves to a facility, a caregiver suffers an emotional loss compounded by the worry about the next week’s paycheck. That’s unconscionable and as employers, Doomed UNC Centers CONTINUES indeed were making matters worse. In a separate piece, Nichol went so far as to compare McCrory to old-line segregationist figures such as George Wallace and Lester Maddox after the governor signed a bill making it harder for some people, especially the poor, to vote. Perhaps that was the last straw. Still, Nichol’s outspokenness was not among the reasons cited by the Board of Governors committee in recommending that the poverty center be closed. Free market solutions? The committee noted that UNCChapel Hill “is working on other, multidisciplinary poverty efforts” – as if that would eliminate the value of a center Extremists remember CONTINUES and claiming that “young women are returning to their respective states apparently as unwed expectant mothers.” When Sheriff Jim Clark of Selma published his popular memoir the next year, he pointedly titled it The Jim Clark Story: I Saw Selma Raped. The pattern is clear: whenever established power brokers have felt threatened in America’s history, they have responded by stirring up sexual fears. But we who know this history can see that public expressions of concern about the “gay lifestyle” are not about religious freedom. They are about dividing an increasingly diverse electorate that has twice elected a black president. Fear of gay rights has proven to be the most effective strategy for extremists determined to take over America’s state houses.


we owe our caregivers better during these transition periods. A Path Forward There is no magic bullet to fix the challenges described above – the structure of the industry, companies’ business models (including Nurse Care’s), are built around variable hour employment. Furthermore, unlike most of healthcare, we are in the most capitalist part of the system whereby consumers have full price transparency. This limits the rates that we can charge our clients and hence the rates we can pay our caregivers. We need to innovate on the business model of home care and healthcare staffing to offer options that are not straight ‘fee for service’ based on the number of hours. Large third party

payers, such as the Medicaid and VA, should help lead the way in this regard. Hospitals and other institutional staffing clients should also think about ways to encourage staffing vendors to offer solid employment to their caregivers. The biggest change needs to be cultural. Instead of being frustrated with a caregiver when her car breaks down or her child is sick, we need to ask “How can we help you?” We ask our caregivers to be reliable and treat our clients with tremendous compassion. Our caregivers deserve respect and support from their employers. At Nurse Care, most of our office staff carries a CNA certification or nursing license. Anything we ask our caregivers to do, we are willing to do and typically have done ourselves. We spend tremendous time and creative energy thinking about how to say “Thank

you” – we know that a little bit of welldeserved appreciation goes a long way. We build supportive relationships with our caregivers that last. Let’s start to recognize the hard work that direct caregivers perform on a daily basis. Ari Medoff is the CEO and Owner of Nurse Care of North Carolina. He earned an MBA/MPP at the Harvard Business School and Kennedy School of Government with Rubenstein and George Fellowships, and graduated from Duke University as a BN Duke Scholar. He went to Durham Tech to become a CNA in 2013.

focused solely on examining poverty’s reach, causes and remedies.

work that often simply isn’t there. It he intends to do – the board’s action didn’t favor blaming poor people for their hampers work that’s entirely consistent own predicament. with the mission of a public university Perhaps it was fair for the panel to system. question the poverty center’s tie to Among the steps the poverty center has the law school as opposed to, say, the conspicuously, and properly, favored is a That’s especially so in the case of the university’s School of Social Work or robust investment in public education – UNC system, which over the decades has Department of Public Policy – although a the kind of investment that’s made even spearheaded so much of North Carolina’s fair response would be that it was a law more difficult by the legislature’s fixation social and economic progress. All those professor who figured out how to make on lower taxes. who want that progress to continue – the concept work and secured outside and to be shared by our neighbors who funding to run it. Now the Board of Governors, in cracking still find themselves on the outside of the down on three university centers prosperity window, looking in – should But the most telling critique was that the whose agendas challenge Republican be sad to see the universities’ legacy center “did not provide a wide-range (sic) dogma, moves to enforce a needlessly of activism in behalf of positive social of alternatives for addressing poverty.” In constricted view of how public change now being eroded. other words, the center didn’t favor tax universities can serve the people in cuts to help the “job creators” of whom whose name they operate. Steve Ford, former editorial page editor Republicans are so solicitous. at Raleigh’s News & Observer, is now Even when the affected personnel such a Volunteer Program Associate at the It didn’t favor cutting back on as Nichol hold tenured posts and thus North Carolina Council of Churches. unemployment benefits so that people have a degree of job protection if they would be even more desperate to find continue to speak out – as Nichol says As Southern preachers engaged in moral, fusion organizing, we say to our fellow ministers: “religious freedom” laws are an immoral ploy to stir up old fears. As people of faith, we must oppose them. But in light of this ugly history, we also say to our progressive sisters and brothers: it’s not enough to simply stand with the LGBTQ community. We who are concerned about LGBTQ sisters and brothers must see that the attack against them is also an attack on voting rights. While it is heartening to see business leaders and even the NCAA challenge Indiana’s law, we need the same forces to stand together against ALEC-backed voter ID laws, voter suppression bills and redistricting plans aimed at restricting voting rights. Right here in North Carolina, the proposed “religious freedom” bill goes so

far as to say that government employees could choose not to carry out their duties because of a religious objection. While conservatives’ concern today may be a religious objection to issuing a marriage license to gay couples, we remember well the religious reasons our neighbors in the South gave for segregation, the subjugation of women, and race-based slavery. Freedom of religion, a bedrock of American democracy, cannot mean a license to condemn others. 50 years ago, thousands marched in Selma as part of a faith-rooted, moral campaign to secure an expansion of voting rights. Extremists who couldn’t deny their cause sought to distract and divide the country by using moral and religious language to stir up old sexual fears. The mystery money and secretive organizing behind today’s “religious


freedom” bills seek to do the same. We who preach the good news of “freedom to captives” in the Easter season must make clear, as Dr. King did, that religion serves the common good when it cries out against injustice, not when it fuels culture wars by dictating personal morality. Extremists in our state houses are echoing George Wallace and Jim Clark of Selma when they pretend to talk about morality in order to hold onto power. We would do well to pay attention to the moral witness of those who most now agree were on the right side of history. Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II is the Pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church, Architect of the Forward Together Moral Monday Movement, and NC NAACP President. Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove is the Director of the School for Conversion.


Boxer manager Banky Eubanks walking down to ring with his amateur boxer Marko #teamprinceonehit.

Female pro boxer Ebony Rivera from Fayetteville, NC in the ring.


DURHAM, NC - One Hit Promotions presented “The ShowDown” Professional Boxing match on April 4, 2015 at the Downtown Durham Armory. (Photos: Renaldo Jackson)

Former undisputed world heavyweight boxing champion Buster Douglas in the ring with boxer Michael Glasscox.


BOSTON – The North Carolina Central University baseball team will be a part of history when the Eagles play Florida A&M University at Fenway Park, the legendary home of the Boston Red Sox, on April 25 during the first-ever HBCU Legacy Weekend Celebration (April 23-25), presented by the City of Boston, the Boston Red Sox and the Boston Area Church League, Inc. (l-r) President/CEO of the Boston Red Sox, Larry Lucchino; Mayor Marty Walsh; Chancellor of North Carolina Central University Dr. Debra Saunders-White; Red Sox Special Advisor, Frank Jordan; President of Florida A&M University, Dr. Elmira Mangum; Chairman of the Board of the Boston Red Sox, Tom Werner; Boston Superintendent in Chief, William Gross; and Wally the Green Monster. (submitted photo) | April 2015 | SPECTACULAR MAGAZINE



RALEIGH, NC – U.S. Representative James E. Clyburn (D-SC) served as the keynote speaker for Shaw University’s CASES Seminar on Tuesday, March 31st. The seminar took place at Shaw’s Thomas J. Boyd Chapel. Following the seminar, Congressman Clyburn signed copies of his bestselling memoir “Blessed Experiences: Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black” which gives his own account of how an African American boy from the Jim Crow-era South was able to beat the odds to achieve great success. Congressman Clyburn, a Democrat who represents South Carolina’s 6th Congressional District, is the Assistant Democratic Leader in the 114th Congress, the number three Democrat in the House, the leadership liaison to the Appropriations Committee and a noted Civil Rights activist. (PHOTOS: Olen Kelley III)

Rep. Clyburn with Shaw University Interim President Dr. Gaddis Faulcon (r) and student Adrian Cacho-Perdue

DURHAM ROTARY CLUB PRESENTS CLASSROOMS WITHOUT BORDERS DURHAM, NC - Y.E. Smith Elementary School students gathered at Duke Corporate Education’s offices in at American Tobacco Campus on March 20th to hold the second annual video conference with eight students and teachers from Red Bricks School in Ahmedabad, India, where Duke CE has offices. The cultural exchange was part of Durham Rotary Club’s “Reading Ranger” program, a contributor to the club’s ultimate goal of promoting literacy in Durham. The video conference was part of the Durham Rotary Club’s year-long Centennial celebration encouraging Durham citizens to carry out “100 Acts of Service Above Self.” (Submitted Photo)





By Jaymes Powell Jr.

Slavery…Jews and Muslims killed during the Crusades…The Holocaust…Denial of women’s rights, African-American rights, human rights and even dignity… Denial of freedom from pain – all done in the name of some religion. Welcome to the world which has seen many persecuted in the name of God…no matter what he’s called. Think of the Christian-affiliated Ku Klux Klan or I.S.I.L, which burns and beheads people in the name of a peaceful religion named for submission to God. Many religious people in North Carolina feel like the Word of God is unfairly being used against them and others around the country in an effort to destroy their rights. It’s happened to many people, from AfricanAmericans to women in the past. It’s happening to homosexual and bi-sexual Americans today – all in the name of religion – which is supposed to be absent from this country’s political system. But still, even some freedom-fighting religious people believe faith should sometimes trump rights – for the good of all – even if all beliefs are not the same. North Carolina’s House Bill 348, in the name of God, would restrict many Tar Heels from having the same rights as other Americans and create an oozily-slippery slope in the Old North State. A slope that could affect every person living in a state once known for lynching and now known for truncating minority voting rights. This is God and country. Like similar legislation being passed, and then modified around the country, HB 348 allows business to decline certain services to homosexual or bisexual customers on the basis of the business owner’s religious beliefs. As similar laws have been considered around the nation, including Indiana, many African-Americans are

considering what these laws could mean for them, the community’s view of religion and civil rights. Former North Carolina state representative Marcus Brandon is African-American, very religious, and openly gay. Not a wonderful concoction for some folks either sharing or departing from any of his descriptions.

for North Carolina’s Campaign for Achievement Now.

The devout Christian and former lawmaker said he thinks the laws are discriminatory and can be used against anyone. “[The bill] perverts Christianity,” said Brandon, former state Assemblyman from Greensboro. “A lot of things are up for interpretation in the Bible. One thing the Bible clearly says, Jesus said ‘come as you are’…that’s clear.”

Brandon said even after North Carolina’s Amendment 1 passed, banning homosexual and other unions, times and morals have changed in the nation and state. “To those in power, you have lost this fight,” he said. “Four years ago people were having the conversation about banning marriage equality. Now people who previously couldn’t are getting married across the country…The Bible has always been used to discriminate against people,” said Brandon, who added that Christ never mentioned homosexuality in any Gospel. “Christian conservatives have helped hold up progress up in this country by perverting the Bible. I don’t know what Sunday school they went to?”

Brandon continued that the Good Books of the world have frequently been used to oppress people. “African-Americans cannot get bogged down by this…there’s nothing Biblical about the bill,” said Brandon, currently executive director

Maryland Pastor Aaron Pankey, a fellow Christian and AfricanAmerican, agreed with Brandon that religions, from Christianity to Islam, are often corrupted for the sake of oppression. Panky also said he stands against all injustice. The Christian

reverend is not homophobic (keeping friendships with homosexuals he met years ago) but he believes in bills like HB 348, Amendment 1 and many of the other religiously-based laws floating the nation are the best way to keep America going. “My primary allegiance ahead of my culture is to my God… my understanding of community issues, legal issues is filtered through our view of the scriptures, do for me,” said Pankey, who thinks concerns over the Indiana law have been sensationalized. “That’s not the politically correct answer, but some sometimes the politically correct thought doesn’t always lead us to the right decision and often the wrong decision.” The “Word” apparently got introduced to the public en masse in Indiana, where lawmakers pushed state Senate Bill 101. Based on one’s interpretation of religion it, “Prohibits a governmental entity from substantially burdening a person’s exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, unless the governmental entity can demonstrate that the burden: (1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering the compelling governmental interest; provides a procedure for remedying a violation; specifies that the religious freedom law applies to the implementation or application of a law regardless of whether the state or any other governmental entity or official is a party to a proceeding implementing or applying…” That’s the beginning of politicalspeak that means if a person or business-owner is uncomfortable with a situation because of religious beliefs, they do not necessarily have to give service – or other considerations. That language has jumped across United States’ statehouses, threatening to limit what people can do. In most cases, like an Indiana pizza shop saying it




would serve any customer, but not allow a same-sex couple to marry in their store, forced the separation of

church and state into many minds. Indiana Lawmakers have faced praise and ridicule for further injecting religion into the nation’s political debate. But as the Constitution of the United States separates any religion from government, some religious people around the state and country are debating the potential slide these laws

could throw America’s minorities into. Anti-miscegenation laws were once pushed by religious practitioners, who sited God to keep races apart until Loving vs. Virginia ended laws stopping lovers from marrying – a religious practice. Growing-up a Christian in central North Carolina and attending a major in-state university, one gay man said the possible laws being developed around the country will hurt the LGBT community, but likely also other minority groups like AfricanAmericans as well. “They don’t know the Constitution,” said the man, who did not want his name mentioned. “It’s easy, equality is important,” the man, who studied political said, before saying the United States is about protecting the rights of minorities against “… The tyranny of the masses…gay

people are a minority. Most lawmakers are heterosexual. Most people are heterosexual. Minority groups of all types need to be protected.” Pankey, who leads Infinity Church’s two campuses, said he believes all people should be free from humiliation, but laws reflecting religion keep societies functional. But laws based upon religion are based upon religion. Whose religion is it? The Methodists or the Southern Baptists? The Sunni or the Shia? Those Christians, like the Nazi’s, who believed Jewish people should die or other Christians that saved them? Speaking on the history of religious oppression, Christian Pastor Pankey even speaks to violent Muslim terrorists misinterpreting the Koran to hold people down. The Christian, gay gentleman who asked for anonymity, said America’s Constitution was set up to protect the rights of minorities, making the United States the world’s best country. Making the Constitution one of the God’s best gifts, the deeply religious man said.

in child sacrifice as part of their religious principals, we’re not going to allow that.” The North Carolina gay man said marriage does nothing to affect supposedly invaluable heterosexual marriages. Citing new figures, the gentleman pointed out that the most heavily conservative Christian states are in the Old South, yet divorce rates are higher in Old Dixie than in most states allowing marriage equality. Marriage equality has been around, in effect - despite Amendment 1 - since North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said he would not enforce the amendment because of a federal appeals court ruling last summer. “Ask some of these people here. Gay marriage has been legal for months. How has any heterosexual marriage changed? I don’t even think a lot of the people here know gay marriage is legal here. Those are some of the first people to stand up against it. People keep saying it’s going to destroy society. What’s different than a year ago? Nothing.” The gay gentleman said it would unfair to blame any race or religion for excessive religious polarization by oppressing people, because all do it. “We all have to start treating each other fairly,” he said. “That’s what Jesus would want. Nobody can debate that.” Actually, a lot of people debate what Jesus, The Prophet, Moses or even Budda meant. It’s all open to debate.

So while the religious agree, they also disagree. Whose religion is it? Should law be based on religion? While people like Brandon think the new bills could hurt religious society and differences of opinion, others debate. Many, like North Carolina State Rep. Skip Stam (R) from Wake County, have said otherwise, telling Raleigh’s WNCN he thought the measure would make life better for religious people. “It’s the first freedom. It’s what a lot of people came to North Carolina for originally, was to have religious freedom, at that time from the Church of England,” Stam said. “If you had a person who believes



Jaymes Powell Jr. Vice President for Communications of the North Carolina Democratic Party AfricanAmerican Caucus. (ACC)




HENDERSON, NC - A grand three-day celebration of Mrs. Queen Esther Mae Milon Johnson’s 100th birthday was held March 6-8, 2015, when relatives, friends, neighbors and fellow church members gathered to express their joy and appreciation to her for being a part of their lives. Despite several of Mrs. Johnson’s descendants in the northeast leaving home with as much as a foot of snow on the ground, and many flights canceled, all of her family—including those from New York, New Jersey, Maryland, northern Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Texas and California, arrived in Henderson to attend what was for them a once-in-a-lifetime event that few get to experience. Born March 6, 1915 in Dendron, Virginia to Early and Gatha Crews Milon during Woodrow Wilson’s presidency, Mrs. Johnson and her family lived briefly in Waverly, Virginia before moving in the early 1920’s to her mother’s hometown of Henderson. There they lived with

Mrs. Johnson’s widowed maternal grandmother, Mrs. Della Dunston Crews – who herself, lived to age 101. Mrs. Johnson has lived in Henderson for more than ninety years. It was here that she met her late husband, Richard A. Johnson, Sr. of Vaughan, NC. They were married for more than 54 years and were parents of eight children, of whom two survive. Mrs. Johnson’s immediate family gathered at her residence of 43 years on Friday evening. Saturday morning began with a family photo session in Mrs. Johnson’s back yard where she stood with the group attired in denim blue jeans and white top, the chosen attire for the photo. The photo session was followed later in the day by a festive, activity-filled celebration at Aycock Recreation Complex in Henderson where more than 140 guests were introduced to each of Mrs. Johnson’s descendants. Through a strong show of teamwork, cooperation and togetherness, they conceived of, planned, sponsored and carried out the gala event. Reginald Paris Johnson masterfully emceed his grandmother’s gala. Each child, grandchild and great grandchild of Mrs. Johnson’s had an active role in the program. Tributes, toasts, resolutions, proclamations and personal expressions of gratitude, affection and appreciation

to Mrs. Johnson abounded, beginning with the reading of a framed tribute from President and Mrs. Barack Obama. Next, Henderson’s Mayor James D. “Pete” O’Geary made warm remarks, read, and presented a framed proclamation from the City of Henderson. Attired in full regalia, Mrs. Johnson’s sisters in the Goodwill Baxter Chapter of Order of Eastern Star – of which Mrs. Johnson is a lifetime member, read and presented a framed resolution. A member of the contingent of Mrs. Johnson’s mother’s relatives – the Crews Family, presented a toast on behalf of the group, which recalled the high regard in which she has always been held over the decades by her huge extended family. A tribute from a fellow church member, Alfreda McKnight, disclosed how her friendship with Mrs. Johnson helped ease her and her husband’s return to Henderson following their retirement in suburban Maryland. A former neighbor, Rev. Adrian Davis, was greatly moved when recalling how Mrs. Johnson decades ago, literally saved his life when

he was badly injured as a very young child. The poignant recollection of the rare, impenetrable 96-year bond that existed between Mrs. Johnson and her only sister, Mrs. Ola Milon Thorpe, who passed away four years ago at age 97, was told by Mrs. Thorpe’s daughter, Ola Matlean Thorpe

Cooper. Other family members and many local residents recall a familiar sight in Henderson for many years was that of the two sisters, even when both were past ninety years, still riding to a local senior citizens’ center together with Mrs. Johnson at the wheel, after she had picked





Mrs.Queen Johnson CONTINUES up Mrs. Thorpe. Inspiring remarks were made by Rev. Anthony Vickers, Pastor of Spring Street Missionary Baptist Church, which “Mother Queen Johnson” continues to attend, and where she has been a member since 1938 when she moved her church membership to join her husband.

Mrs. Johnson began her formal education at Sandy Grove Elementary School, but dropped out at age nine to work to help support her family. She is equally talented as a cook and seamstress. In her adulthood and after her youngest child was independent, she returned to night classes at Henderson Institute High School, the alma mater of her children and where she had contributed so much as a parent. Her descendants have followed her example of valuing education and continuing to learn. Mrs. Johnson’s two daughters paid tribute to their mother during Saturday’s program through chosen poems. “Mother, A Cradle to Hold Me,” by Maya Angelou, was selected by Lillian Johnson Allen; and “Queen,” author unknown, was the choice of her youngest, Mozella Johnson Harris.

Special features of the day included a photo display of Mrs. Johnson’s family life through the decades; period artifacts, including antique household items, vintage model cars and cast-iron cookware. An audience-interactive “journey” through the past century by decade was led by a granddaughter, Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan, during which music from each of the ten decades of

Mrs. Johnson’s life was played, and guests were asked to stand when the decade of their birth was called. Two stunning praise dances were performed by Lynnita Dawn Henderson to “I Know I’ve Been Changed” by LaShaun Pace Rhodes, and “Still Standing Tall” by The Williams Brothers. Guests were treated to a delicious full-course, catered meal consisting of Mrs. Johnson’s favorite menu. They later joined in the spirited singing of a contemporary birthday tune, followed by the cutting of the birthday cake, which was color-coordinated with table and room decorations- -red, black and white. Mrs. Johnson’s two daughters joined her in blowing out the three candles which showed 100 years. The third and final day of the Grand 100th Birthday Celebration found all of Mrs. Johnson’s descendants and immediate family, as well as out-of-town guests worshipping with her at Spring Street Missionary Baptist Church. In her church, Mrs. Johnson continued her spiritual growth, serving as a Sunday School teacher, member of the Usher Board, President of the

Missionary Board, Member of the Deaconess Board, and member of the building fund committee. She also served as a member of the “Season Seniors,” a group of church members 55+ years and older. Following the worship service, the family hosted a reception in the Fellowship Hall of the Church, where a second birthday cake was served and a beautifully decorated “money tree” and giant birthday card were presented to “Mother Johnson” by the congregation. At the conclusion of the church reception, Mrs. Johnson joined her family for dinner at a local restaurant. Later, as her descendants reflected on their wonderful

and rare weekend and its meaning, they headed home to their respective states of residence feeling a strong sense of gratitude, and reminiscing about sharing with their beloved mother/grandmother/ great grandmother the beginning of her second century. (Photos: Christopher Burwell) | April 2015 | SPECTACULAR MAGAZINE






Sheraton Europa Hotel ( 1 Europa Dr, Chapel Hill, NC)

Wednesday May 6, 2015 Reception: 6:00 pm Awards Banquet: 7:00 pm For ticket information call (919) 680.0465 or visit



SPECTACULAR MAGAZINE 2015 MAN OF YEAR AWARDS DURHAM, NC – On May 6, 2105 Spectacular Magazine will recognize and honor the achievements of African American men with the Spectacular Magazine 2015 Man of the Year Awards. From nominations received from the community via an on-line nomination process, twentyone African American men in six categories were selected by the Man of the Year Selection Committee (Committee) as Semi-Finalists for Spectacular Magazine Man of the Year


category, Lifetime Achievement, is named exclusively by the Based on the results of on-line Selection Committee. This year, voting process that runs from for the first time, Spectacular Monday April 13th until Sunday Magazine will present three (3) April 26th, seven men will Lifetime Achievement Awards. receive the title at the black-tie The recipients are Mr. R. Kelly Spectacular Magazine Man of the Bryant, Dr. George Debnam Year Awards Banquet to be held and Dr. John Lucas. Each of at the Sheraton Europa Hotel in these men strongly exemplify Chapel Hill, NC. (Due to the large the criteria for the Lifetime number of nominations in the Achievement Award which is a Community Service category, two man who has made outstanding awards were presented.) and significant contributions to the African-American community The recipient of the seventh throughout his lifetime; he must

have demonstrated dedication, leadership and commitment to the advancement, promotion and development of the cultural, educational, social, economic, political welfare and/or in any other areas that impact the lives of people in the African-American community; must be of African heritage. Spectacular Magazine 2015 Man of the Year Awards semi-finalists in the remaining six categories are:

Category: Business & Economic Development Dennis Gaskin

Warrick Scott

R. Edward Stewart

President, Icon Reality & Management (Wake Forest)

Founder/ President, Wendell Scott Foundation (Danville, VA)

President/CEO, UDI Community Development Corp. (Durham)

Has grown firm to three locations in 2 years through strategic partnering with local businesses; firm is largest African American owned real estate firm in the Triangle.

Runs a youth program offering mentoring, job readiness and concrete steps towards becoming self-sufficient, self-fulfilled, and productive citizens.

All photos by Olen Kelley, III unless otherwise indicated with an (*).

Has 40+ years of developing shopping centers/commercial/ housing in Durham’s distressed areas; developed one of Durham’s first industrial parks.




Category: Civil & Human Rights

Robert Crouch

Dr. Jarvis Hall

Assistant Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Office of Institutional Equity-Duke University (Durham)

Director, Institute for Civic Engagement & Social Change, North Carolina Central University (Durham)

Advocate for exfelons employment (a campaign to Ban the Box), better care/services for prisoners families, and a better justice system; he trains inmates in conflict resolution.

Advocate for both poor and the underserved; works to ensure students have a voice in elections.

Rev. Dr. Warren Herndon Founder/ President, Social Justice Ministries (Durham)

Annual MLK Good Neighbor Breakfast convener, creator, facilitator for diverse community leaders; MLK Annual March/ Rally Coordinator (20+ years); MLK Keeper of Dream Award recipient.

Category: Community Service Harold Chestnut

Antonio Knox, Sr.

President, District 4 Partners Against Crime (PAC); Facilitator, Durham City Wide PAC (Durham)

CEO, Garner Road Community Center; 40th Grand Basileus, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity (Raleigh)

45+ years of community service including development of community center & park, organized community watch, and 1st city-county truancy board for DPS.

30+ years coaching youth sports teams, mentoring black youth; assisting young black men with college admissions & obtaining scholarships.

Rev. Thomas O’Neal Nixon

*Rev. Larry Thomas

Micheal T. Wilson

Sr. Pastor, St. Paul A.M.E. Church; Visionary, St. Paul Community Village (Chapel Hill)

Founder/ Executive Director, Thomas Mentor Leadership Academy (Durham)

Program Coordinator, Rites of Passage Program, North Carolina Central University (Durham)

Mentors young black males with focus on education, decision making, conflict resolution, respect for others, and service to community; empowers them to become leaders.

Community advocate and volunteers time encouraging, empowering and education young men at NCCU and the community.

Addressing unmet needs in Chapel Hill by building on 20 acres, along w/ church, worship community including Sr. housing, health facility, affordable housing complex, day care center, etc.

Kelsey Lodge Youth Minister, Antioch Baptist Church; Human Resources, Durham Public Schools (Durham)

Guided young black men through personal growth, educational attainment, positive social Interaction to achieve success.





Dr. Stanley Elliott

Director, Center for Alternative Programs in Education (CAPE) Adult Degree Program, Shaw University (Raleigh)

Educator for 17+ years; volunteers to assists youth in college admissions, SAT prep, tutoring, acquiring scholarships with his funds.

Category: Education Dr. Freddie Parker

Rodriquez Teal

Professor, Julius L. Chambers Endowed Professor of History, North Carolina Central University (Durham)

Principal, Peartown Elementary School; Founder, Brother to Brother (B2B) (Durham)

Educator for 40+ years; Historian; rec’d awards for teaching, researching and preservation of NC history.

Provides academic readiness, social development and cultural support to prepare young black/ Latino men to be leaders; also a coach, mentor, and an administrator.

Category: Emerging Leader DeVonte M. Jenkins

Carmelo Montalvo

Brandon A. Robinson

Student Ambassador, St. Augustine’s University (Raleigh)

Teacher, Teach for America (Durham)

Attorney; Member, Western Carolina University Board of Visitors (RTP)

On Dean’s List for six semesters; Student Leader of Year 2013- 2014; track & field athlete (NCAA AllAcademic Team); studied abroad in China (2013).

One of the fivemember team that authored NCCU SGA constitution (2011-13); only two-term SGA Vice President in NCCU history.

Worked on the UNC Campus Security Initiative to address campus safety, sexual assaults, due process of law in student disciplinary processes.

Category: Health Dr. James R. Brown

Philip Harewood

Dr. Dwight D. Perry

Chiropractor, Clarahope Chiropractic Center (Durham)

CEO, Lincoln Community Center (Durham)


1st AfricanAmerican Chiropractic Physician appointed to state licensing board; Boy Scout leader since 1993.

20+ years in senior leadership at Lincoln which operates clinic for un- and under insured and for Homeless at Urban Ministries Shelter; Two terms as President of NC Community Health Center Assn.

Cataract & Refractive Surgery Specialist, NC eye, Ear, Nose & Throat (Durham)

Practicing for 35+ years; first in Durham to perform laser eye surgery; President of practice with 21 doctors; provided eye care at Lincoln Community Health Center. | April 2015 | SPECTACULAR MAGAZINE




NEWS BRIEFS DR. EVERETT B. WARD SELECTED 11TH PRESIDENT OF SAINT AUGUSTINE’S UNIVERSITY RALEIGH, NC – The Saint Augustine’s University Board of Trustees voted unanimously on April 10th to remove the interim status from Dr. Everett B. Ward’s title and name him the 11th president of Saint Augustine’s University effective immediately.

North Carolina State University and a Ph.D. from North Carolina A&T State University.

Ward is the third alumnus to hold the post in the 147-year history of Saint Augustine’s University.

As a dedicated servant leader, Dr. Ward serves on several national, regional and statewide boards to advance opportunities for citizens throughout the nation. He is a member of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) where he serves as vice chairman of the DNC Black Caucus. He is also former co-chairman of the Credentials Committee and a former member of the DNC Rules and By-Laws Committee. As a result of his political achievements, Dr. Ward made history in 1989 as the first African-American executive director of the North Carolina Democratic Party.

Dr. Everett B. Ward was appointed interim president on April 23, 2014. Under his leadership, the university has identified and focused on four academic areas: Mass Communication and Journalism, Criminal Justice, Public Health and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). In addition to his undergraduate degree from Saint Augustine’s University, Ward holds a master’s degree from

Prior to Saint Augustine’s University, Dr. Ward served as the director of the Historically Black Colleges and University/Minority Institutions of Higher Education Program for the North Carolina Department of Transportation. In that role, he worked with university chancellors and presidents, faculty and staff in the areas of transportation curriculum development, research initiatives and student development.

WASHINGTON, DC – As America celebrates the remarkable achievements of women during Women’s History Month, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has named the childhood home of Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray, in Durham, NC, its newest National Treasure. A leader in the American civil and women’s rights movements, Murray was also co-founder of the National Organization for Women, and lauded by the first African American women to be ordained an Episcopal priest. The Trust Tabelog, a Japan-based named the Murray house a national international treasure to ensure her rich legacy is upheld and to assist in its preservation food so the site can operate as a center for blog that social justice programming. established a New York City website The residence was built in 1898 by her grandfather, Robert Fitzgerald, in 2013. in the West End neighborhood. Today, it stands threatened by “Crisp deferred maintenance and increased exterior, deterioration. As part of the National moist Treasures portfolio, the Murray interior, house will benefit from the Trust’s juicy, considerable experience with historic flavorful, and just excellent, excellent, sites throughout the country to lead excellent fried chicken,” the blogger a restoration plan that will stabilize writes of Mama Dip’s. And of Bullock’s: the home and prepare it for reuse. Partnering on the campaign is the “I think the fried chicken gets a butter National Collaborative for Women’s rubdown prior to flouring and frying, History Sites (NCWHS), who will assist and it shows.”


Two Triangle restaurants have landed on a New York City food blog’s list of the “11 Best Fried Chicken Places in America.” Mama Dip’s Kitchen in Chapel Hill and Bullock’s Bar-B-Q in Durham are


with interpretation of the home. Descendant of both slaves and slave owners, Murray credited her childhood home as the place where her values were first instilled. In her memoir, Proud Shoes: the Story of An American Family, she noted that the house was “a monument to my Grandfather’s courage and tenacity.” Murray’s accomplishments as a human rights activist and attorney were numerous. Following the completion of the restoration work, the Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice (PMCHSJ), a nonprofit organization based in Durham, will reopen the home to allow for educational programming on pressing issues of our time. The PMCHJ actively works, through its programming and operations, to increase engagement across divisions such as race, class, sexual & gender identity, and spiritual practice to address enduring inequities and injustice in our local, national and global communities. To learn more about the Pauli Murray House, visit or check out the blog, “Childhood Home of Civil Pioneer Now a National Treasure.” To donate to the Pauli Murray House restoration, visit www. | April 2015 | SPECTACULAR MAGAZINE


NORTH CAROLINA’S NEWEST ROYALTY from Liberty University. Diatra is currently employed at her alma mater and also serves as a ministry leader at her church, Mount Zion Baptist Church, Inc., in Greensboro, NC. As Ms. Black North Carolina USA 2015, Ms. Langford will travel the state of North Carolina with her platform ‘B.Aware’, which brings awareness to invisible illnesses such as Lupus, Fibromyalgia, and Depression. Capturing the crown of Mrs. Black North Carolina USA 2015 is Mia Harvey-Mintz, a licensed minister. Mia is no stranger to the spotlight. She was afforded the opportunity to work with the My Black is Beautiful Campaign

(l-r) Mrs. Black North Carolina USA 2015 Mia Harvey-Mintz, Mr. Black North Carolina USA 2015 Courtney Turner, Ms. Black North Carolina USA 2015 Diatra T. Langford. RALEIGH, NC - A new group of royals in North Carolina were escorted in on March 29, 2015 as the 8th Annual Mr./ Ms./ Black North Carolina competition was held at the Garner Performing Arts Center. Contestants from around the state ascended on the Capitol City to vie for the chance of becoming the next Ambassadors for the African-American community. The Mr./Ms./ Black North Carolina competition was founded and sponsored by Noire Productions, Inc. The competition was founded to promote and honor women and men of AfricanAmerican descent. This competition showcases the talents, and celebrates the accomplishments of AfricanAmericans throughout the state of North Carolina. Noire Productions, Inc. founder, Dr. Anthony O. Vann, says “Our contestants use the crown for a purpose. We support and encourage involvement in social and humanitarian causes across our state.” Sandra Dubose, former Mrs. Black North Carolina, and the Bald Beauty Queen of Self-Esteem, served as the Mistress of Ceremony for the evening. Other special entertainment included Mr. Marcel Anderson, Author and Recording Artist; and Kennedy Byrd, National Jr. Miss Black USA. The contestants started the competition earlier that day with private interviews with an esteemed panel of judges representing a wide variety of professional sectors. Promptly at 4 pm it was lights, camera,


action…as the contestants entertained the audience with an upbeat, fun routine to “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars. This routine was choreographed by Bernard Leak, Director for the Mr./Ms./ Black North Carolina USA competition. The evening continued as the contestants competed in fitness-wear competition, talent competition, evening-wear competition, and final on-stage question competition. At the end of the evening, the new Royal court was announced. Courtney Turner captured the title of Mr. Black North Carolina USA 2015. Courtney, originally from Reidsville NC, is a sophomore at NC A&T State University majoring in Mass Communication and Journalism. His platform is ‘Reconstructing The Black Male Image.’ Over the next year he plans to partner with Dapper Distinguished Men Society establish a program entitled “Fitted Suits, Polished Shoes” - a program that will donate suits to young males that are tailored precisely for them. Courtney also plans on hosting a series of etiquette workshops, and seminars throughout NC for males. Courtney strongly believes that ‘Reconstructing the Black Male’ image will create men that have selfconfidence, self-respect, and men that are role models to the next generation. Diatra T. Langford, a native of Rich Square NC, is the newly crowned Ms. Black North Carolina USA 2015. She graduated from NC A&T State University where she received a BFA in professional theatre. She also received a graduate certificate in Worship Studies


and work with artists such as Queen Latifah, Lalah Hathaway, and Tasha Smith just to name a few. She currently resides in Charlotte, NC with her husband Clanton Mintz, and two sons Quinton and Josiah. Her platform ‘Baby S.T.E.P.S’ will work in collaboration with the March of Dimes NC to provide support to women that have experienced the loss or premature birth of a child. For more information on the Mr./Ms./ Black North Carolina USA competition, visit To book one of the members of the royal family email us at MrMsMrsblacknc@aol. com. (Photo: Artije Photography)



across the breadth and width of the Americas.

Durham residents regardless of their ability to pay. Today, LCHC serves more than 40,000 men, women and children each year and is the community’s main provider of primary care for low-income and uninsured patients. As the number of uninsured residents of our community continues to rise, LCHC’s resources are strained. Yet, the center remains committed to serving the healthcare needs of our community. In comparison to other federally qualified health centers in North Carolina, LCHC serves a disproportionate number of uninsured patients below the federal poverty level. More than 70 percent of LCHC patients are uninsured, compared with an average of 52 percent at North Carolina health centers.

NEW YORK, NY - The slave trade was the cause of death for millions of Africans who perished under the inhumane savagery they had to endure during the transatlantic crossing. Those that survived it went on to contribute immensely to the history of the world as we know it today. In honor of those that had to undergo the voyage and suffer under the brutality of slavery, the United Nations held a solemn ceremony to unveil a monument installed its headquarters in New York.

The America of today, a leading power and a vibrant global capitalistic economic force, was built on the backs of those Black men, women, and children who suffered and died to create the very capital that would lead to the country’s rise in wealth. The monument, named The Ark of Return (pictured), stands as a symbol for those very people who died for the prosperity America enjoys today. “I hope descendants of the transatlantic slave trade will feel empowered as they remember those who overcame this brutal system and passed their rich cultural heritage from Africa on to their children,” Ki-moon said. In memory of the Black women – who made an estimated one-third of those sold into slavery – he added, “In addition to enduring the harsh conditions of forced labor as slaves, they experienced extreme forms of discrimination and exploitation as a result of their gender.”

Speeches made during the ceremony brought up the somber memories of the estimated 15 million African men, women, and children who are thought to have died during the journey over, and The U.N. also declared the 2015-2024 to the millions more who were subjugated be the International Decade for People to lives of cruel servitude on plantations of African Descent.

DURHAM, NC – The Lincoln Community Health Center Foundation Inc. will host its third annual Legacy Luncheon at 11:30 am May 14 at the Washington Duke Inn and Golf Club. The luncheon will honor the late John Sylvester “Shag” Stewart, a community activist and philanthropist who raised more than $2 million dollars for the Lincoln Community Health Center’s Building Fund Project in the early 1980s. For more than 40 years, Lincoln Community Health Center has been a vital pillar in the community, providing quality, compassionate primary care to

With its theme of “Reaching Out, Touching Lives,” the Foundation serves as the primary fundraising entity for the Lincoln Community Health Center which seeks to improve access to quality health care in Durham and surrounding areas. The nonprofit organization’s 2015 fundraising goal is $40,000. This year’s Legacy Luncheon will raise funds to provide critical services to patients battling diabetes. Preventive care, education and supplies are desperately needed to help these patients maximize their quality of life. Invitations for the luncheon are available by calling (919) 956-4003. Corporate sponsorships are also available. For more information, call Mabel Hart Mitchell at (919) 956-4002. | April 2015 | SPECTACULAR MAGAZINE



Photo: Members of the Shaw University Divinity School and AARPNC gather for check presentation. Holding check from left to right: Dr. David C. Forbes, interim dean, Shaw University Divinity School; James Dotson, AARP manager of multicultural markets and Dr. Gaddis J. Faulcon, interim president, Shaw University. (Submitted photo) RALEIGH, NC – In a first-of-its-kind effort, AARP North Carolina and Shaw University’s Divinity School announced a pilot program on financial literacy. This effort is being implemented to improve the savings rates of individuals of all ages so people can be better prepared to meet the financial demands of the future. In addition, AARP-NC presented the Divinity School with a $10,000 donation. Beginning this fall, AARP’s Financial Freedom Program will be an on-going requirement for all of Shaw University’s divinity students through ADM 501: Church Administration and AARPPrinciples of Financial Stewardship. The course will equip church leaders with the skills necessary to develop short


and long term strategies that empower them to make solid financial decisions for their organizations. The ultimate objective of the course is to provide participants with the essential tools to implement a Financial Education Ministry for their church, thereby enhancing the financial literacy of its congregants. The partnership will also include faculty written articles and blogs, university led research on financial planning through a theological lens, intergenerational programs and financial planning workshops for young adults, and outreach to 20 local churches to help create programs supporting financial literacy.


RALEIGH, NC – Saint Augustine’s University (SAU) Assistant Professor of English Chris Massenburg has been chosen for the Nasir Jones Fellowship at Harvard University for the 2015-2016 academic year. The fellowship is at the Hip Hop Archive & Research Institute at the Hutchins Center. Massenburg is also one of two Distinguished Writing Fellows with the Center for Community Change for a six-month appointment. Known in the arts world as Dasan Ahanu, Massenburg is a public speaker, organizer, workshop facilitator, poet, spoken word performer, songwriter, writer and emcee born and raised in Raleigh, N.C. Currently, he serves as president of the Black Jedi Chapter of the Universal Zulu Nation and a resident artist at the Hayti Heritage Center in Durham, NC. The team has finished as high as third in the country and has won two regional championships (2010, 2014). Massenburg earned his bachelor’s degree in organizational management from SAU and a master’s of library science degree in art & culture with a creative writing concentration from the University of Denver.


DURHAM, NC – North Carolina Central University volleyball head coach Nicki Holmes has announced the hiring of Jennifer Charles as assistant coach for the Lady Eagles volleyball program with an immediate appointment date of April 1, 2015. Charles brings a wealth of volleyball experience to NCCU and most recently spent the past two seasons as a volunteer assistant coach at the University of North Carolina. In her leadership role with the Tar Heels, Charles was part of a volleyball program that has been nationally ranked as high as seventh, won the ACC championship title, advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Volleyball Tournament and posted a combined 54-10 record. Prior to her time in Chapel Hill, Charles served as the first assistant coach at Kennesaw State University. She also spent one year as assistant coach at both Midland College and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Charles is a 2007 graduate of Georgia Southern University. She was a four-year letter winner on the Eagles volleyball team. Charles, who finished her collegiate career as the top blocker in GSU history with 462 total blocks, was a team captain, a pre-season All-Conference honoree, team defensive player of the year and a member of a Southern Conference championship squad in her rookie season of 2003. The sports management major and business minor graduated from GSU with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in 2007 and went on to obtain her Master’s in Sports Administration from California University of Pennsylvania in 2013. Her academic achievements also included being a Scholar Athletic Award winner and a member of the GSU Presidential Honor Roll. Charles, who resides in Durham, is a member of the AVCA and AVAC Minority Coaches and is a Minority Coaches Award recipient.


PI CHAPTER OF CHI ETA PHI SORORITY, INC. HONORS NURSING LEGENDS the 2015 Pi Chapter Scholarship awards. The presentations were made by Betty Reed, Chairperson of Pi Chapter’s Scholarship Committee. She was assisted by Foretta Davis and Dr. Robbin Harmon. Pi Chapter is an affiliate of Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc., a professional organization for registered nurses and nursing students. The purpose of the sorority is: To encourage the pursuit of continuing education among members of the nursing profession; To have a continuous recruitment program for nursing and other health professionals; To stimulate a close and friendly relationship among members; DURHAM, NC - The 8th Annual Scholarship Luncheon of Pi Chapter of Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc. was held recently at the Millennium Hotel. With the theme was “A Celebration of Nursing Legends,” eleven Nursing Legends, Licensed Practical Nurses and Registered Nurses were recognized for providing many years of outstanding service to the profession and the

To develop working relationships with other professional groups for the improvement and delivery of health services; and To constantly identify a corps of nursing leaders within the membership who will function as agents of social change on the national, regional and local levels. The motto is “Service for Humanity”. Pi Chapter members are diligent in their efforts to promote the objectives of Chi Eta Phi Sorority. They are engaged in several community service projects, and thousands of dollars in scholarships have been provided for deserving nursing students.

community. The nursing legends recognized were: Lt. Col. Elmontenal Allens, Elizabeth Burkett, Roger L. Collins, Ernest Grant, Gayle B. Harris, Gloria Taylor King, Sylvia O. Richardson, Mary Rogers Taylor, Lillian Thompson (Charter member of Pi Chapter), Ernestine K. Turner and Riley B. Walters, Jr. A plaque and a long stem red rose were presented to each honoree. Racquel Covington, a junior nursing major at North Carolina Central University, and Roxanna King, a second quarter nursing student in the Associate Degree Nursing Program at Durham Technical Community College, were recipients of | April 2015 | SPECTACULAR MAGAZINE




LISTEN UP, SPEAK UP: NEGOTIATION WORKSHOP SERIES FOR GIRLS include Tammy Baggett, Durham Shields, local attorney and former County Library director; Karen Bethea- District Court Judge for the state of North Carolina; Darlene Deberry, an entrepreneur and adjunct professor at Durham Technical Community College; and Tamara Gibbs, a broadcast journalist with more than 20 years of experience. Registration is required, and space is limited. Participants are expected to attend all three workshops. For more information, call 919-5600184.

DURHAM, NC - Girls between the ages of 11 and 13 are invited to participate in Listen Up, Speak Up!, a workshop series teaching the power of negotiation.

Psychologists reports peer negotiation as a necessary social skill and states that good social skills help to promote positive behavior, academic success and school safety. The series, which is funded by the Friends of the Durham The workshops will be held Saturdays, Library, is based on the PROGRESS April 18 and 25, from 9:30 am to 1 program created by Professor Linda pm and Saturday, May 2, from 9:30 to C. Babcock, author of Women Don’t 11 am. There will be a pizza party for Ask: Negotiation and the Gender those who complete the series on May Divide. PROGRESS helps young people 2 at 12 noon. Workshops will be held at see negotiation as an alternative to Main Library, 300 N. Roxboro St. engaging in conflict, accepting the status quo or simply giving up. The National Association of School Listen Up, Speak Up! will help girls learn how to improve relationships with peers, siblings and adults; recognize more situations as negotiable; and develop an understanding of and confidence in using negotiation basics including, position versus interests, collaboration, goal setting, logrolling and win/win, lose/lose and win/lose strategies. Guest speakers will | April 2015 | SPECTACULAR MAGAZINE



ARNE DUNCAN, U.S. SECRETARY OF EDUCATION TO DELIVER NCCU COMMENCEMENT SPEECH DURHAM, N.C. — North Carolina Central University (NCCU) has announced that U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will deliver the keynote address to graduates during the 125th Baccalaureate Ceremony at 8 am, Saturday, May 9th in O’KellyRiddick Stadium on the campus.

PHOTO: Raymond Frolander (right), after police say he was beaten by the father of an 11-year-old boy Frolander was allegedly molesting and some time later. Only a small injury to his eye remains. (Photo: AP/Volusia County Sheriff's Office) DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. ( AP) - A teenager who was beaten unconscious after a Daytona Beach father says he found him sexually abusing his 11-yearold son has been sentenced to 25 years in prison. A Volusia County judge sentenced the child’s 18-year-old male babysitter Raymond Frolander in March after he pleaded no contest to lewd and lascivious molestation of a child. The father of the 11-year-old told police that he walked in on Frolander abusing his son last July and immediately attacked the teen. The father called 911 and said at one point, “He is nice and

knocked out on the floor for you.” When officers arrived, they found Frolander motionless on the living room floor. He had several knots on his face from bruising and was bleeding from the mouth. Frolander admitted to the abuse, which had allegedly been going on for three years. Multiple Florida news outlets are failing to properly identify the rapist as black and a homosexual. The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that no charges were ever filed against the father who beat up the teen.

N.C. CHAMPIONSHIP STEP SHOWCAROLINA STOMP FEST Saturday, May 2, 2015, from 2:00-6:00 pm, featuring the best elementary, middle school and high school step teams from Raleigh , Cary, Clinton , Fayetteville , Raeford, Durham, & Rocky Mount. This show will feature East Millbrook, Cary High, E. E. Smith, Carrington, Ferndale Middle, Fox Road, Merrick Moore, Bugg Elementary, West Hoke Elementary, & many, many more! RALEIGH, NC - The “N.C. Championship Step Show-*Carolina Stomp Fest” will be held at the East Millbrook Middle School Gym (3801 Spring Forest Road, Raleigh) on


Secretary Duncan, the ninth U.S. secretary of education, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2009 following his nomination by President Barack Obama. His tenure in the U.S. Department of Education has been marked by a number of significant accomplishments on behalf of American students and teachers. He helped secure congressional support for President Barack Obama’s education programs, including $100 billion to

Doors open at 1:30 pm. This event is for the youth, family, and entire community.

fund 325,000 teaching jobs through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act; increases in Federal Pell Grants; reform efforts, such as Race to the Top and Investing in Innovation; and interventions in low-performing schools. In addition, the secretary has made strides in ensuring that colleges and universities provide more transparency around graduation, job placement, and student loan default rates. With the income-based repayment program introduced during Secretary Duncan’s tenure, student loan payments are being reduced for college graduates in low-paying jobs, and loans will be forgiven after 10 years for persons in certain public service occupations, such as teachers, police officers and firefighters. More than 650 undergraduate degrees will be awarded during the May 9th ceremony, according to preliminary estimates from NCCU Registrar’s Office. A separate ceremony for graduate and professional students will take place May 8th.


“Behind Every Woman is a Fabulous Pair of Shoes”

Saturday, May 16, 2015 12:00 NOON Tickets: $50 (includes

Sheraton Chapel Hill One Europa Drive Chapel Hill, NC 27517

The Ivy Hill Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, therefore $20 of each ticket purchased is tax-deductible.

Shoes provided by Rangoni Firenze Hosted by Mu Omicron Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Benefiting scholarships and community programs in Chapel Hill & Carrboro For Ticket contact Frances Graham at

For Information, Call: (919)616-8694.




By Lawrence “King Law” Davis


The Duke Department of Athletics held a ‘Welcome Back’ event for the 2015 National Champion men’s basketball team on Tuesday April 7th at Cameron Indoor Stadium. (Photo: Greg Coats) Duke posted a 35-4 record in 2014-15 with the campaign culminating in the program’s fifth NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship as the Blue Devils overcame a nine-point second half deficit en route to a 68-63 win over Wisconsin. Duke’s remarkable season featured several historical milestones including head coach Mike Krzyzewski becoming the first NCAA Division I men’s basketball coach to record 1,000 career victories and Jahlil Okafor becoming the first freshman in ACC history to claim conference player of the year accolades. Okafor, who also earned consensus first team All-America and National Freshman of the Year accolades, will enter the 2015 NBA Draft, Krzyzewski announced the week after the championship win. Senior captain Quinn Cook was the catalyst for the Blue Devils setting careerhighs in nearly every major category while securing Sporting News second team All-America honors.

While the freshman trio of Jones, Okafor and Winslow along with Cook garnering much of the national attention, Duke outstanding season would not have been possible without the steady and often spectacular contributions of Grayson Allen, Amile Jefferson, Matt Jones and Marshall Plumlee. Allen’s star shone brightest on the biggest stage as the freshman guard scored 18 points in the title game to earn Final Four All-Tournament team honors. Jefferson was also outstanding in the championship game spearheading a late game surge with tremendous defense on National Player of the Year Frank Kaminsky. Matt Jones started the final 14 games of the year for the Blue Devils and earned NCAA South Regional All-Tournament Team honors. His intangibles are toughness where on display throughout the year. Plumlee played his best basketball over the final six weeks of the season providing a consistent interior presence on both ends of the floor. Walk-ons Sean Kelly and Nick Pagliuca did not see a lot of game time throughout the year but the duo along with transfer Sean Obi aided the Blue Devil championship by providing consistent effort and scouting looks all season. The Duke Department of Athletics held a ‘Welcome Back’ event for the 2015 National Champion men’s basketball team on Tuesday April 7th at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau, Downtown Durham Inc., The Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce, The City of Durham, and Durham County honored the team at the American Tobacco Campus lawn and amphitheater on April 14th. Together they recognized and thanked the team for bringing such tremendous honor to Durham through their excellence as a team. Fans are welcome to experience a piece of history by visiting the Duke Basketball Museum located adjacent to Cameron Indoor Stadium in the Schwartz/Butters Athletic Center, where, for a limited time, the 2015 NCAA National Championship trophy and National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) trophy are each on display. In addition to the trophies, fans can also relive the excitement from the national championship run through highlights and celebration videos, which also appear in the museum and hall of fame sections of the building. The Duke Basketball Museum and Duke Athletics Hall of Fame is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Admission into the museum is free of charge for all visitors.




For the first time in ACC history, Duke University women’s basketball senior Elizabeth Williams was named Associated Press All-America for the fourth straight year, after a vote of 35 Associated Press media members. A native of Virginia Beach, Va., Williams is the first ACC player to receive AP honors each of her four years and just the eighth overall player since 1995 to earn the award four times.

The Blue Devils also received All-America caliber performances throughout the year from Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow. Both freshmen were at their best in NCAA Tournament play, securing Final Four all-tournament team honors with Jones taking home Most Outstanding Player recognition. Okafor, Jones and Winslow combined to average 41.7 points per game, the most by a freshman trio One of the best all-around in Duke history.




student-athletes to attend Duke, Williams was both an All-America on the court and in the classroom as she received Capital One Academic All-America honors as a senior. Williams received the Kay Yow Award in 2014-15 as the ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year as well. She is majoring in psychology, while being a member of the College Athletic Pre-Medical Experience (CAPE) program. Williams plans on becoming a doctor following her professional playing career. The 6-3 center averaged 14.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 3.0 blocks per contest as the Blue Devils advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in Spokane, Wash., this season. She posted a career-best 10 double-doubles on the year and scored 20 or more points five times. Williams led the ACC and is tied for 12th nationally with her 3.0 blocks per game average. Over her career, she tallied 1,955 points, 1,078 rebounds, 426 blocks, 256 assists and 185 steals. She ranked fourth in points, second in rebounds and second in blocked shots on the Duke all-time charts. Williams is the first four-time AllAmerica in Blue Devil history and is the first four-time ACC Defensive Player of the Year selection.



percentage (48.3%), while ranking 18th in the league in scoring (12.0 ppg). In his sixth season as head coach at NCCU, Moton guided the Eagles to a 25-8 overall record, including a 19-3 mark during the final three-and-a-half months, as well as the school’s first appearance in the National Invitation Tournament. The 2014-15 squad made history by becoming the first men’s basketball team in school history to post an unbeaten regular-season conference record at 16-0 to repeat as MEAC regular-season champions. The Eagles are among the top five defenses in Division I, ranking second in field goal percentage defense (behind Kentucky), fourth in three-point field goal percentage defense and fifth in scoring defense. NCCU also owns the second-longest home win streak in Division I at 35 victories in-a-row (behind Arizona). Moton joins hall of fame coach John McLendon and national championship coach Michael Bernard as the only coaches in NCCU men’s basketball history to lead the Eagles to three straight 20-win seasons. As a credit to the program’s recent success, NCCU boasts the best regular-season conference record during the last three seasons at 46-2, a winning percentage of .958. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



North Carolina Central University men’s basketball senior forward Jordan Parks and senior point guard Nimrod Hilliard have been named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division I All-District Team, while NCCU head coach LeVelle Moton has been selected as the NABC District 15 Coach of the Year, the National Association of Basketball Coaches announced Friday, March 27. Voted on by member coaches of the NABC, Parks (Queens, N.Y.) is a member of the NABC All-District First Team, while Hilliard (Madison, Wisc.) received Second Team honors. Parks was named MEAC Player of the Year by College Hoops Daily and Breitbart Sports, and was chosen to the Lou Henson Award Watch List, an award honoring the Division I mid-major player of the year. He was also voted to the MEAC AllTournament Team and received All-Conference Second Team honors by the MEAC. The 6-7, 200-pound high-flyer ranks third in nation in field goal percentage (66.0%), and is the MEAC’s thirdleading rebounder (8.3 rpg) and seventh-leading scorer (15.6 ppg), including a game-high 25 points versus Miami in first round of NIT. Parks finished the season with 13 double-doubles. Hilliard was voted All-MEAC First Team as top playmaker in the conference with 196 assists, ranking 10th in NCAA Division I with 6.3 assists per game. He also leads the MEAC and ranks 24th in the nation with a free throw percentage of 86.9 percent. The 6-0, 155-pound point guard also ranks second in the conference in three-point field goal percentage (41.8%) and ninth in field goal


The Shaw University Cheerleaders competed and placed second overall in the 2015 HBCU National All-Star Cheerleading and Dance competition in Landover, MD, on Saturday, April 4. The Chi Chi’s competed against nine other HBCU cheerleading teams including Bowie State University, Lincoln University (PA), Virginia State University, and Winston-Salem State University; as well as schools from the MEAC. The Chi Chi’s are guided by Head Cheerleading Coach Tia Long and Cheer Coach Christina Jackson.


Shaw University will not renew the contract of Men’s Basketball Head Coach Cleo Hill, Jr., school athletic officials announced on March 16th. Hill’s contract expires on June 30, 2015. Hill guided the Bears to a 13-16 record this season, including a 6-10 mark in the CIAA. He has a 116-67 career record in seven seasons as the head coach. Prior to being named head coach at Shaw, Hill served for five years as the men’s head basketball coach at Cheyney University in Pennsylvania. A search for Hill’s successor will begin immediately. Lawrence “King Law” Davis III

King Law

Lawrence “King Law” Davis is a Business Administration major and Asst. Varsity Lacrosse Coach at Sanderson High School in Raleigh. He can be reached at





By Del Mattioli

END OF LIFE DIRECTIVES – IS IT ETHICAL? Who decides or makes those decisions upon death? What happens just prior to death or during the last months, days, minutes of the final heart beat? Is there a second chance to state or direct your own path? NO the end has come! Data is scarce about this subject. It is an area of great need (American Journal of Public Health). Adult individuals do want their wishes to be respected but haven’t told anyone. Reasons: Incomplete forms, don’t know where to start, don’t know about them, uncomfortable about the conversation, procrastination, don’t know whom to trust, misconceptions about the expenses involved, irresponsibility and culture. Attitudes towards this subject are not so good. Culture plays a great role inducing lack of communication. The study states that there is a significant difference among ethnic and racial groups of completing the process. About half as many Whites as African Americans have completed End Of Life Directives. Several factors attribute to cultural differences in family-centered decision-making, distrust of the health care systems and communication between patients and professionals. During earlier times senior Americans avoided the issue because of the feeling of being “let go” by loved ones and society. Family members sometimes discover papers, insurance policies and last wish information hidden away. This represented love, caring in their own way! Adults that are confronting end-of-life and long term care issues: nursing homes, senior centers, oncology and ICU services still choose to avoid addressing directives because family and friends choose not want to bring it up! Feelings of guilt, family feuds , silence, fearful or scared, minimum communication, confusion and “the sit and wait” not realizing that someone else WILL make the decision. Feelings of being overwhelmed is usually present. People choose to obtain information on advance directives from health care providers. Choosing to seek information about this subject prior to facing illnesses benefits everyone. Feeling healthy and relaxed while making decisions about such a morbid subject is more rewarding! Facing reality is a better choice. The process (END OF LIFE DIRECTIVES) can be done and a continued long healthy lifestyle is possible. Revocable decisions may enable the donor to change their minds along the way, update, modify or add to the paperwork that has been completed. (Legal advice is requested).

Del Mattioli

Del Mattioli MBA, LUTCF, CLUTCH, CSA—Financial Services Professional/ LifeBridgesmMassMutual’s FREE LIFE INSURANCE /FOR ELIGIBLE PARENTS 919 401 9988, Telephone 919 201 2404 email

One obstacle that many young women in developing regions face is access to consistent and clean feminine hygiene products. This not only causes issues for their health, but it can keep some girls home from school during the week of their cycle. Wash United, sponsors of Menstrual Hygiene Day, say that this is a barrier for their educational goals. Ghana actually makes a 5-day allowance for females to miss classes every month because of the many girls that cannot access proper feminine materials. SHEVA has launched a program as part of their business model — for every product that is purchased, they will supply a month’s worth of sanitary pads for a girl in need. The company will also provide resources for menstruation education to those who receive their services. There is a wide variety of products available for purchase from SHEVA’s company, including pads, tampons, pregnancy tests, condoms, lubricants, and as well as other items. Some items can be purchased for as little as $5. “I believe girls are the most powerful forces in changing a community,” Marisabel Ruiz, CEO and founder of SHEVA, said. “But a lot of girls in developing countries do not have access to basic sanitary protection. Every time they have their periods, they miss school or don’t go to work. Every month, it’s like their lives stop.” Lack of feminine care for these young girls also leads to negative effects on their physical health. Many are uninformed about cleanliness and repeatedly use dirty rags. Some live in superstitious villages that keep them from using the safest methods during their menstrual cycles. This can lead to female complications and disease. “According to a 2012 WaterAid survey, 48% of girls in Iran and 10% of girls in India thought menstruation was a disease. UNICEF found that 66% of girls in South Asia didn’t know anything about menstruation before their first period,” wrote Matt Petronzio, editor for Mashable. According to Ruiz, health education for these women will lead to better and prolonged lives. SHEVA is partnered with NGOs like the anti-poverty organization, Asopuente; and Congregación Marta y Maria, a girls’ home in Jalapa. Through these partnerships, Ruiz has established classes for basic hygiene, explanation of menstruation, and teaching the concept of self worth. “My mission is to help these girls succeed by giving them the tools and information they need to continue their education, and continue their lives,” Ruiz said. (Source: | April 2015 | SPECTACULAR MAGAZINE




Ladies (and gents, too) believe it or not, but the fountain of youth can be found at ZIEN SALON. You can purchase yet another antioxidant rich, antiaging serum, or take a budget breaking trip to the Medi-spa for noninvasive injections…. then wait for what feels like an eternity to see if the results are gratifying. But before you do this check out the expert hair cutters and hair colorist at ZIEN SALON. In mere moments we can transcend the appearance of any guest back in time.

Jessica, a very busy college student with a parttime job and active social life, is a young fashionista. She wants a high fashion, no maintenance haircut that will alter her round facial features. Jessica feels the roundness of her face structure makes her look more mature than she would like. She received a fauxhawk( not shaved, just tapered) accented with off centered side swept bangs. This contrasts breaks up the fullness of her face and gives her the youthful, playful, yet chic appearance she desires. Pravana’s Chromasilk Very Light Golden Ash Blonde highlights are a great addition for the spring.

Sue is a wife, mom and elementary school teacher; this leaves very little time for Sue. During the consultation Sue explained she wanted a younger appearance with slimming effects. I shortened and thinned her long dark strands into a beautiful layered inverted bob. The layers framed Sue’s face to give the illusion of a narrow frame. Pravana’s Chromasilk Golden Light Copper Blonde flatters Sue’s Celtic (very light pink undertones) complexion with a Gold tone instantly producing a youthful appearance.

Julie has a very physical and active lifestyle. So when it comes to caring for her hair she is a wash and go kind of girl. Her curly crop top locks are one length throughout the entire tress. Although that is the design of choice, it can appear to look ungroomed and unkept. I tapered the exterior(the sides and the back) of Julie’s crop top to add softness and a modern edge Pravana’s Chromasilk Mahogany Violet Brown is the perfect complement and contrast to refresh and rejuvenate Julie’s very light, olive skin tone. The transformation is amazing!

Samantha Huntley

Visit ZIEN SALON and let the professionals get you ready for spring with the prefect color formula. Mention this article and receive 15% off of any color service. ZIEN SALON is located at 323 West Main Street in Durham, NC. Phone #: 919-667-1752 32



April is Minority Health Month. Since 1989, the Community Health Coalition (CHC) has been working to reduce health disparities of African Americans and other minorities in Durham and the surrounding communities.

or gender identity; geographic location; or other characteristics historically linked to discrimination or exclusion.”

According to Dr. Elaine HartBrothers, MPH, and Chair of Community Health Coalition, Inc., “It is no longer acceptable to have health disparities based on race. It is imperative that we are equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to seek and demand better health. We must continue to be vigilant in our efforts to gain equality in health. I am asking community members and leaders to join in the effort to reduce health disparities and inequalities. I am also asking you to please help us continue in our mission by donating to CHC.”

Eliminating health disparities will require a team approach, and require knowledge about the determinants of disease, causes of health disparities, and effective interventions for prevention and treatment. It will also require improving access to the benefits, including quality preventive and treatment services.

Healthy People 2020 defines health equity as the “attainment of the highest level of health for all people. Achieving health equity requires valuing everyone equally with focused and ongoing societal efforts to address avoidable inequalities, historical and contemporary injustices, and the elimination of health and health care disparities.” Healthy People 2020 defines a health disparity as “a particular type of health difference that is closely linked with social, economic, and/or environmental disadvantage. Health disparities adversely affect groups of people who have systematically experienced greater obstacles to health based on their racial or ethnic group; religion; socioeconomic status; gender; age; mental health; cognitive, sensory, or physical disability; sexual orientation

How To Eliminate Health Disparities

Be active; Balance calories and healthy meals; Cut salt; Choose for portion sizes; REMEMBER Healthy People 2020: A Clear Vision to Healthy Living! For more information, please visit, www., and/or www. , or call 1-800444-6472. Health Tip is a message from Community Health Coalition, Inc. and is written in partnership with Durham Academy of Medicine, Dentistry & Pharmacy, Central Carolina Black Nurses’ Council Inc., NC Mutual Life Insurance Company, The Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Durham and Vicinity, and Duke Regional Hospital.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) national insurance program under President Obama has made a terrific positive impact on the uninsured, lack of care and poor health of millions of Americans. For more information about enrolling or signing up for health coverage, call Project Access of Durham County at 919-470-7266; NC Mutual Insurance Company at 919698-9065; Lincoln Community Health Center at 919- 956-4000. Healthy People 2020 and Community Health Coalition create innovative ways of working in partnership with health care systems, state and local governments, academia, national and community-based organizations, and communities.

What Can We Do? • Bring together professionals from a range of sectors (e.g., transportation, health, environment, labor, education, and housing) with community representatives to ensure that community health needs are identified and that needs and barriers are addressed; • Provide internet access and skillbuilding courses to help people find reliable health information and services; • Participate in community-led prevention efforts such as health fairs, focus groups, workshops and walkathons; • Use community resources (e.g., libraries, literacy programs, doctor offices) to improve knowledge on health.





Kandi Burruss is chasing that paper. According to reports, Burruss and her husband Todd Tucker have snared another spin-off series called, Meet The Tuckers. The show will center around the couple’s attempts to rejuvenate their marriage. In the current season of the Real Housewives of Atlanta, viewers received a front-row-seatview of the two trying to work through their issues and keep their marriage fresh. The new series will mirror the previous spin-off, Kandi’s Wedding and will have about four episodes air for television, with a potential for more. This marks Burruss’ third solo series with Bravo. In addition to Kandi’s Wedding, the former member of the girl-group Xscape also starred in The Kandi Factory. The now-defunct reality show featured Kandi and her team at the Kandi Factory help 16 aspiring singers try to break into the music industry.


Mary J. Blige and husband Kendu Isaacs have been hit with a lawsuit as a result of defaulting on a bank loan of 2.2 million dollars. According to documents that Reuters obtained, Signature Bank is seeking to recover the amount of the loan plus $58,000 interest. The documents were filed in the New York State Supreme Court. The debt goes back to an advance that the Grammy Award winning singer and film actress took out in October of 2011. Blige failed to meet her deadline for payment of July 2012. Also mentioned, in the lawsuit is Blige’s production company, Mary Jane Productions. Earlier this year, Blige’s foundation, The Mary J. Blige and Steve Stoute Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now Inc, was said to be under fire, as well. The foundation was allegedly accused of mishandling funds and cheating students out of scholarship money. Blige’s publicist has not released a statement regarding the matter.


Rene Moore, Rufftown Entertainment founder and owner, has filed the lawsuit for more than $100 million against the R&B girl group En Vogue claiming that they failed to abide by a deal. According to legal documents, Moore alleges to have spent an amount of nearly $200,000 in 2010 to fund the major comeback of En Vogue, and it included three originals members— Cindy Heron, Maxine Jones and Terry Ellis. The deal included a new album and a tour. Sources confirmed that in 2011, video footage showed the trio asserting that they were working on the album. But as it turns out, the ’90s group never managed to complete


the album, nor did they execute a tour that was planned to promote their come back. Unfortunately for Rufftown Entertainment, the money was pledged in vain, as En Vogue abandoned the project while in the middle of working on it. Sadly, not only did they abandon the project, but they went on to sign with another label, Pyramid Records, in 2014. Rene Moore (of Rene & Angela fame) says that the ladies’ improper decision has cost him a fortune, so he waged the beginning of a legal battle against En Vogue, as well as their new label ‘Pyramid Records’. The lawsuit claims that since the singing group failed to honor the deal with Rufftown Entertainment, they will have to pay for the losses that their former label incurred.



“Servicing Auto Dealerships in Durham, NC & Detroit, MI”

ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS HERE Contact Tony Kennedy 919-680-0465 | April 2015 | SPECTACULAR MAGAZINE


Back By Popular Demand!

Presenting Sponsor Media Sponsor

ZimSculpt, the sensational international sculpture exhibit, is coming back to Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

Open May 1 to July 12

by popular demand. ZimSculpt features the work of some of the world’s best artists practicing the art of Shona sculpture. It features more than 100 sculptures on display, plus two of Zimbabwe’s artists will make the Garden their home for this very special exhibition. Minutes west of Charlotte, NC: 800-849-9994 704-825-4044 For affordable accomodations:

6500 S. New Hope Rd. Belmont, NC 28012 (704) 825-4490

Spectacular Magazine (April 2015)  

Featuring...Slavery, Holocaust, Denial of Women's Rights, Jews & Muslims Killed, No LBGT's Served: All In the Name of Religious Freedom?; Sp...

Spectacular Magazine (April 2015)  

Featuring...Slavery, Holocaust, Denial of Women's Rights, Jews & Muslims Killed, No LBGT's Served: All In the Name of Religious Freedom?; Sp...