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TURN TO CRIME 1 3 Stages of " TraditionaL Plus " Music!

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merlefest.ORG 800-343-7857 FEBRUARY 15-21, 2017 YES! WEEKLY 1


FebruAry 15-21, 2017



FEBRUARY 15-21, 2017




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5500 Adams Farm Lane Suite 204 Greensboro, NC 27407 Office 336-316-1231 Fax 336-316-1930




UNCOVERS AN ALTERNATE HISTORY MICHAEL ROBINSON was 8 or 9 years old when a friend from the neighborhood confronted him: “Why do you act that way? Why are you trying to be white?” “I’m thinking, What? I was spinning,”...








DISTRIBUTION JANICE GANTT BRANDON COMBS We at YES! Weekly realize that the interest of our readers goes well beyond the boundaries of the Piedmont Triad. Therefore we are dedicated to informing and entertaining with thought-provoking, debate-spurring, in-depth investigative news stories and features of local, national and international scope, and opinion grounded in reason, as well as providing the most comprehensive entertainment and arts coverage in the Triad. YES! Weekly welcomes submissions of all kinds. Efforts will be made to return those with a self-addressed stamped envelope; however YES! Weekly assumes no responsibility for unsolicited submissions. YES! Weekly is published every Wednesday by Womack Newspapers, Inc. No portion may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher. First copy is free, all additional copies are $1.00. Copyright 2017 Womack Newspapers, Inc.


FEBRUARY 15-21, 2017

the lead 8

CAMILIA MAJETTE always had a love for natural health,

nature and being outside. After having children who suffer from eczema, Majette began to make her own natural health products. 10 These are the kinds of dangerous conditions at a NISSAN plant in Canton, Mississippi that drew around 25 protestors to picket outside the Crown Nissan dealership in Greensboro recently. 11 The CENTER FOR VISUAL ARTISTS (CVA) Gallery on North Davie Street in Greensboro is on a mission to demystify art. Many of the CVA gallery’s eight to 10 exhibitions showcase the works of local emerging artists of all ages.

voices 12

Although the Greensboro City Council elections are nine months away, 2017 looks like it might be the YEAR OF THE SHAKE-UP. After the last election, when every incumbent was reelected, new groups and candidates are organizing—early this time—a sign of dissatisfaction with the current council and of serious intentions to make some changes.

arts, entertainment & dining 24

Derek Stanton, of Detroit’s TURN TO CRIME, wrote an excellent song about pie that caps off Secondary, the band’s new record. It’s not exactly what one would expect from an ominous glam/post-punk project with an industrial tinge. 27 Then TAMI LEE HUGHES picked up her first violin at the age of four, she had no idea that 20 years later she would be the instrumental voice for forgotten African-American composers. But that’s exactly where her hard work and long journey has brought her. 30 The sensational response to Timothy Tyson’s new history of the 1955 Emmett Till murder, THE BLOOD OF EMMETT TILL, has centered on the recantation by Carolyn Bryant... 31 In its almost 40-year history, the SUNDANCE Film Festival has become the preeminent independent film festival in the United States. 32 If you asked Mary Haglund 20 years ago where she would be today, one wonders if her answer would’ve been, “I plan to be the BREAKFAST QUEEN of Winston-Salem.” Well….She certainly is.



Inspired by the centennial anniversary of World War I, UNCG and Triad community partners present artists, authors and intellectuals in a year-long series of events, exploring war and peace through the arts and humanities over the past century. ANTIGONE

Opens Feb. 16, Various times Taylor Theatre


Feb. 20, 4:00 p.m. Elliott University Center Auditorium

TIKVAH A multi-arts event

Mar. 7, 7:30 p.m. UNCG Auditorium


GIUSEPPE VERDI: REQUIEM Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m. UNCG Auditorium

Mar. 22 p.m. Elliott University Center, Cone Ballroom



Feb. 26, 3:30 p.m. School of Music Recital Hall

Apr. 21 & 22, 8:00 p.m. Apr. 22, 2:00 p.m. Dance Theatre

UNCG JAZZ ENSEMBLES I & II Prayer, Protest, Peace: Jazz in the Civil Rights Movement Feb. 26, 7:30 p.m. UNCG Auditorium

EXPLORE. ENGAGE. ENVISION. for more information about events, visit: FEBRUARY 15-21, 2017


















WHAT: Join the High Point Arts Council

WHAT: On a magical night, two famous

on Thursday, February 16th at the Centennial Station Arts Center for a night full of dancing and music with the Charlotte based Latin band UltimaNota! Music starts at 7:00PM and doors open at 6:30PM. Tickets for this event are $5 and can only be purchased at the door on the night of the event. WHEN: 7 p.m. WHERE: Centennial Station Arts Center. 121 S. Centennial Street, High Point. MORE: $5 admission.

paintings, PINKIE and THE BLUE BOY are brought to life by the lights of a blue moon. Now they one night fly into all the other paintings around them, and have a oncein-a-blue-moon adventure. Join Pinkie and Blue as they spring in life and travel through the landscapes of some of the most famous paintings in history. WHEN: 7:30 p.m. WHERE: Taylor Theatre. 406 Tate Street, Greensboro. MORE: $9-$18 tickets.

VS. WOFFORD TERRIERS WHAT: Join HRI and enjoy some fam-

ily fun or a date night at the UNCG mens basketball game. Learn more about HRI by visiting our exhibit before the game. WHEN: 7 p.m. WHERE: Greensboro Coliseum Complex. 1921 West Gate City Blvd., Greensboro. MORE: $10-$15 tickets.



Triad’ s Best 2017







WHAT: R.B. Morris is a poet, songwriter, solo performer, and band leader and a sometimes playwright and actor from Knoxville, Tennessee. He has published books of poetry and albums of his songs including Spies Lies and Burning Eyes and his latest solo project, Rich Mountain bound. Joining R. B. will be Hector Qirko on guitar and vocals. WHEN: 8 p.m. WHERE: Muddy Creek Music Hall. 5455 Bethania Road, Winston-Salem. MORE: $10-$12 tickets.

WHAT: Keller Williams, who is best known for performing frenzied guitar-andloop-pedal experiments, is paring down to just an acoustic guitar. Kottke, a cult figure among musicians, will play his trademark blend of Delta blues and folk music with his inimitable and peculiar fingerpicking style. WHEN: 8 p.m. WHERE: Carolina Theatre. 310 S. Greene Street, Greensboro. MORE: $20-$47.50 tickets.




FEBRUARY 15-21, 2017




17 MYQ KAPLAN WhAT: He’s been seen on the Tonight Show, Conan, the Late Show with David Letterman, Late Nite with Seth Meyers and in his own half hour special on Comedy Central. Myq also has his on hour on Netflix titled ‘Small, Dork, and Handsome.’ He has been a finalist on Last Comic Standing and recently appeared on America’s Got Talent. When: 8:30 p.m. WheRe: The Idiot Box Comedy Club. 2134 Lawndale Dr, Greensboro. MoRe: $12-$15 admission.










WELCOME HOME STEVE HAINES, COREY SMITH THE PRICE UNCLE SILKY BRANDON LEE, & WhAT: The way Corey Smith sees it, he WhAT: Two brothers who never speak, ERNEST TURNER owes a debt to his fans. And it’s one he is a woman eager to live the life she never WhAT: Welcome Home Uncle Silky is a comedy written by Ampston Hews & Corey Jones and directed by Morgan Jones. Uncle Silky comes home after 26 years to depend on his nephew he’s never met. His Nephew is forced to take care of his Uncle even through his trials. Uncle just wants to help his Nephew find love. When: 3 p.m. WheRe: Triad Stage UpStage Cabaret. 232 Elm Street, Greensboro. MoRe: $20 tickets.

WhAT: On select Saturdays, you can enjoy vintage craft cocktails and delightful tapas garnished with an eclectic array of jazz artists performing in the styles of contemporary jazz with no cover charge! Steve Haines, Brandon Lee and Ernest Turner performing this week. When: 6:30 p.m. WheRe: O.Henry Hotel. 624 Green Valley Road, Greensboro. MoRe: Free entry.

determined to repay with his 10th album, While the Gettin’ Is Good. The project, released on Sugar Hill Records, marks the first time that the singer-songwriter, a wildly popular touring artist who has produced all of his past efforts, has turned over the reins to a bona fide country music producer in Keith Stegall. When: 7 p.m. WheRe: Cone Denim Entertainment Center. 117 South Elm Street, Greensboro. MoRe: $25-$55 tickets.

had and a retired used furniture dealer looking to get back into the game meet in an antique-filled New York brownstone set to be demolished. The past and present collide as secrets and rivalries shake the foundations of the brothers former home. As the four dig through the remnants, they discover the cost of the choices they made. When: 2 p.m. WheRe: Triad Stage at the Pyrle. 232 S. Elm Street Greensboro. MoRe: $10-$53 tickets.

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Camilia Majette always had a love for natural health, nature and being outside. After having children who suffer from eczema, Majette began to make her own natural health products. “I know there are lots of toxins out there,” said Majette. “I wanted something that doesn’t have any toxins at all and would help soothe the irritations naturally.” Majette’s hand-made soap, shea butter and exfoliating sugar scrubs eventually evolved into her own business. The business, Nailah’s Shea, has now gone on for six years. For the past two years, Majette has been working on Nailah’s Shea fulltime. “Right now... it’s just online,” said Majette. “I also sell at the local Farmers Curb Market in Downtown Greensboro. I’m there on Saturdays and I do little pop-up shops. “In 2016 my goal was getting my products ready for retail shelves and I invested in professional labels and bar codes. This year I would like to get a few retailers to carry my products. I’m also taking my products to a few big shows.” Majette learned how to make her natural products through research and her mother. “I learned from my mom, who is from East Africa,” said Majette. “She always had some natural herbs to make her teas and different foods. We used a lot of those in our home. She was also a nurse in East Africa as well. From there, I learned from


her and also from just researching online from health books.” While Majette plans to expand her business, she said she will always go the Farmer’s Curb Market. “I like the customer feedback,” she said. “I like being able to speak with them to find out how they enjoy the products or how good the product is working for them. I had one lady, she’s a repeat customer, and she always purchases the soaps and the shea. She said she especially loves the soaps too because she would always use just liquid soaps and she never liked hard hand soaps. “After using my Zanzibar Spice soap, she loved it so much because it has some exfoliating ground cinnamon in there and it moisturizes her as well as helps exfoliate the skin too. She said that was the first hand-made soap she ever used that wasn’t liquid.” A percentage of all of Majette’s proceedings go towards helping East African families, particularly part of her family. “My mom is from there, from Zanzibar, I have three siblings back there that I’m trying to petition to come here on my mom’s behalf,” she said. “In Tanzania, they are making less than a dollar a day to survive and Zanzibar Island where my family is, is even less. I’m working on the processing for that, so a percentage in my proceeds goes to help them and eventually help others there too.” Learn more or buy Majette’s products at !

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[SCUTTLEBUTT] Items from across the Triad and beyond


Preservation Greensboro Development Fund, Inc. and The Christman Company (Christman) are providing images illustrating the current raw nature of the interior of the building set to become the North Carolina home of Christman, parent company to Rentenbach Constructors Incorporated (Rentenbach.) They include various artifacts, found in clearing the space for renovations, which provide a unique glimpse into the past lives of the structure. A schematic rendering has also been furnished to roughly reflect one potential view of the finished project expected to be move-in ready by year’s end. The former Cascade Saloon, located in Greensboro’s S. Elm Street Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places, is planned for use as the regional offices of Rentenbach (in the process of transitioning to the Christman name), a North Carolina and Tennessee-based construction management and contracting firm which was acquired in 2013 by Christman, a 120+ year-old nationally-ranked commercial construction leader. “We’re finally on track to salvage the ‘unsalvageable,’ as the project was once referenced by some,” said Benjamin Briggs, executive director for Preservation Greensboro, Inc. “Preservation Greensboro is truly excited to partner with the talented team that’s resuscitating and giving this functionally obsolete old building a new life as a modern office while respecting its historic character and significance in our local heritage.” “We are also pleased to be hosting Ron Staley, Christman senior vice president and national director of historic preservation, at Preservation Greensboro’s upcoming 51st annual meeting on February 15th at The Morehead Foundry,” said Briggs. “He will be addressing attendees on the topic of ‘Community Reinvestment Through Historic Preservation,’ and highlighting several major preservation and redevelopment successes achieved by Christman’s nationally recognized historic preservation group. Any community members with an interest in this topic are welcome to attend. (For more information on the event, visit preservationgreensboro. org and click on the Events tab.) “The clearing process to facilitate design finalization is helping us dramatically expose how much work there is to be done,” said Tim Gray, Rentenbach senior vice president. “Come second quarter, the project site will really be buzzing.” Future updates, including release of design plans and images, are anticipated for mid-spring.



Revolution Mill is excited to announce the occupancy of their newly completed apartments. This milestone signifies completion of major phase of redevelopment at the 50-acre historic textile campus. Revolution Mill Apartments includes 142 one, two, and three-bedroom units which feature original hardwood flooring, timber beams, exposed brick walls, and twelve-foot windows. Resident amenities include a theater room, fitness center with yoga studio, grilling terrace, outdoor courtyards, dog park, 1 Gbps fiber internet, and electric vehicle chargers. In addition, residents will be just steps away from Natty Greene’s Kitchen + Market, Cugino Forno Pizzeria, and a planned coffee shop – all opening this spring. “We’re thrilled to welcome our first residents to Revolution Mill,” says Development Manager Micah Kordsmeier. “There’s something transformative about a place once people call it home. Having this kind of 24/7 activity on campus is an integral part of truly making this one of Greensboro’s most authentic, vibrant spaces.” Redevelopment of this 230,000 square foot building began in 2013, with a major stabilization investment that included a new roof and replacement of hundreds of windows. Pre-leasing began in November of 2016, and the first residents moved in on February 1. Over the next six weeks, more than 60 new residents will move into Revolution, with leasing continuing at a brisk pace. Revolution Mill Apartments is leased and managed by Kane Residential, a full-service firm well-known for the redevelopment of North Hills; an active, mixed-use district in Raleigh’s midtown. “The vibrant space at Revolution Mill is sure to provide the city of Greensboro an exciting place to live, work, and gather,” says Frances Dunn, Regional Manager for Kane Residential. “We are very excited to bring Kane’s perspective and expertise to this beautiful, one-of-a-kind project.” The building’s unique character allows Revolution Mill Apartments to offer something for everyone, with 26 different floor plans from which to choose. Units generally range in size from 700-1300 square feet, with rents ranging from $750-$1700 per month. In addition, a limited number of units are reserved for low and moderate income households. For additional information please visit !


6 2 3 2 . B FE Evening shows at 7:30 p.m. Weekend matinees at 2 p.m. And don’t miss ... Much Ado About Nothing March 30-April 2 Tonin’ April 28-30 336-217-7220 or FEBRUARY 15-21, 2017



the lead


Groups demonstrate at local Nissan dealerships to highlight factory working conditions BY ERIC WALLACE


mployees with missing fingers. A man lying at the bottom of a pit with a broken ankle. Unsanitary work conditions and floor spills pooling across the floor with no one cleaning them up. These are the kinds of dangerous conditions at a Nissan plant in Canton, Mississippi that drew around 25 protestors to picket outside the Crown Nissan dealership in Greensboro recently. Robin Moore, an employee at the Canton plant, came to outline the series of abuses that workers face and to draw attention to what she claims are civil rights abuses that the predominately African American staff face. “People get hurt too often at Nissan and these injuries can rob us of our ability to provide for our families,” Moore said. “We’re forced to decide if we should work with an injury, or report it and risk losing our jobs.” Moore’s job at the plant involves working with, and replacing, the oil tips on the robotic arms that assist in the development of the cars. Beneath the series of mechanical structures is a pit. She described a fellow coworker falling in and injuring himself. His injury left him unable to climb out. “Had we not eventually heard him calling out, I’m not sure what would have happened.” Moore said. The Canton plant opened in 2003 according to Nissan’s website. It brought auto manufacturing to the state for the first time ever and created thousands of jobs as a result. The plant sports a 5,0006,400 person work force. The plant was charged in late 2015 by the National Labor Relations Board for violating workers’ rights. The complaint states that supervisors unfairly restricted the ability of the employees to wear prounion or anti-union clothing, according to The Detroit News. The workers have faced bullying from senior management, long hours, increased production rates and little pay, according to a flier for the event. Some of the workers have tried to form a union to protect their rights but have been met with “threats, intimidation and coercion.” The Canton plant employees are 80 percent African American according to


FEBRUARY 15-21, 2017

Robin Moore, an employee at Nissan’s plant in Canton, Miss. speaks at the rally. organizers for the event. Nissan’s website puts that number closer to 60 percent. To Rev. Nelson Johnson, who spoke at the event, this kind of treatment in the Deep South facility is reminiscent of the Jim Crow era when African Americans faced similar treatment. “Nissan spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year marketing itself as a socially responsible carmaker,” Johnson said. “It is unacceptable in 2017 for the civil rights of African American workers to be violated in this way.” Johnson and Moore were at the dealership in order to deliver a letter to the management that would outline workers’ complaints. It described concerns over low wages, unsafe working conditions and prevention of workers forming a union. “Nissan can help because they can talk to the owners. They could not suppress the voice of the workers by honoring their voice and listening to them,” Johnson said. The customer service representative that they spoke to inside the dealership declined to take the letter. At one point, a Nissan employee came out to tell protestors to stay on the sidewalk after a few had wandered onto a grassy median that separates the sidewalk and the Nissan parking lot. He also declined to accept the letter from Johnson.

Many of the protestors who turned out to the event were union workers or passionate about the issues who wished to stand in solidarity with the Canton workers. One of them, Brian Watkins, came to spend his Saturday morning outside the dealership protesting after he heard about the treatment workers received at the plant. “People need to wake up,” Watkins said. “Half this country voted for an anti-union president. Labor issues need to remain an important topic in America.” Jared Marsh, a union worker with the Triad CLC, a local labor group, came to voice his support for the Canton employees. He hopes that they will be able to unionize someday. “We’re all brothers and sisters in the labor movement.” Marsh said in describing why he came out. The organizers were made up of a broad coalition of groups that seek workers’ rights and social justice. Representatives for the Beloved Community Center, Change to Win, NAACP, Raise Up for $15, North Carolina’s public employees’ union (UE150) and the Mississippi Alliance for Fairness at Nissan all played a part in the staging of the protests. They marched in a variety of cities across the U.S., including Raleigh, Charlotte, Atlanta, Birmingham,

Ala., Nashville, Tenn., and New Orleans. Many of the dealerships in those cities sell the cars manufactured at the Canton plant, according to a press release. Johnson encouraged the protestors to continue to stand with the employees in Canton and called for a “GreensboroCanton Axis.” He encouraged protestors in all the cities the marches took place in to form a united front to ignite social change. “There is an energy growing out of this time period,” Johnson said. “We must continue to fight for the workers in Canton to have economic justice and be able to take care of their family. We must continue to build on our legacy. Never be told that it can’t be done.” Matthew Painter, a member of the organization Change to Win, a group of labor unions, echoed Johnson’s calls. “What is happening across the country isn’t right,” Painter said. “We are going to keep going to other Nissans’ across the country.” Moore, the Canton employee, just wants to see the situation at her plant rectified. She hopes to see the policies at Nissan become more employee oriented and the dangerous conditions at the plant eliminated. She also hopes for better health benefits, fair compensation for the long hours and improved equipment. Nissan disputes what has been said about the Canton facility. After the protest in Nashville, Nissan released the following statement to The (Nashville) Tennessean: “Nissan’s history reflects that we truly value our employees and respect their right to decide who should represent them. Nissan Canton employees enjoy good, stable, safe jobs with some of the highest wages and strongest benefits in Mississippi. The allegations being made against Nissan are completely unfounded.” As the protestors marched along West Wendover Avenue, they began to chant. “The people united will never be defeated.” Moore watched all of this while vowing to never give up her fight for employee rights. “It has been a long road,” Moore said. “Nothing happens in a day. Even if I get fired tomorrow, I’m still going to fight for others.” !


Center for Visual Artists offers arts education for all BY MIA OSBORN The Center for Visual Artists (CVA) Gallery on North Davie Street in Greensboro is on a mission to demystify art. Many of the CVA gallery’s eight to 10 exhibitions showcase the works of local emerging artists of all ages. In addition, the membership-based gallery holds classes and camps to nurture the creative spark in everyone , even those who wouldn’t call themselves artists. “Most decisions we make are based on the idea of emerging,” said CVA Executive Director Katie Lank. “That ranges from the kid taking their first summer camp and playing with clay to the university student having their first exhibition in our space, to the older adult who decides, hey, I wanna do some watercolors.” The support of emerging artists guides Lank’s decisions as she coordinates the CVA’s three-branch mission: exhibitions, education and community outreach. For the first branch, exhibitions, Lank works closely with Curator Kristy Thomas. Thomas chooses the works that will be displayed at each exhibition, and to show each piece to its best effect, she actually arranges the gallery around the art. For the CVA gallery’s abstract Spectrum exhibition, which opened Feb. 3, Thomas rolled moveable walls around the gallery space to create impressions of openness or intimacy, and to accommodate the crowd. “We’ve got some new members that have joined specifically for this show,” said Thomas. “It makes me happy when we put out a call for artists and we get new people. It means we’re doing something right.” Sometimes exhibitions overlap with community outreach. That’s the case with the CVA’s annual 100 for 100 Fundraiser. 100 canvases in 10x10 size are given to area artists, who make a piece of art limited only by their imaginations. The canvases are donated back to the gallery and sold for $100 each during the one night fundraiser. The point is not only to raise money, but also to give the average person a chance to own an affordable piece of locally made art. “It’s a way for people to bridge their WWW.YESWEEKLY.COM

The Center for Visual Arts in Greensboro works with emerging artists. fear of going to a gallery, the formality of it,” said Lank. Other upcoming exhibitions will focus on street art, fiber art, and ceramics, as well as the annual juried members show and a solo exhibition from abstract painter Sallie White. August will see the return of Dirty Fingernails, an exhibition of art from children who attend the CVA’s summer camp. The show gives Greensboro’s young artists the thrill of seeing their artwork on display, and has also proven to be a draw for the public. “I’ve noticed we have a lot of established artists who come to our student and kid shows because they find inspiration in these young minds and what they’re expressing,” said Lank. The CVA has other offerings for young creatives, including after school programs in ceramics and photography. One new program, Los Artistas, is set to debut at local schools in 2017. Los Artistas started at Glenwood Recreation Center as a way to help Spanish-speaking teens express themselves through art, but it will soon expand to include immigrant teens of all backgrounds. “When you immigrate, wherever you come from, it’s a culture shock,” said Lank. “You have to find your identity in this new world. We find the arts are such

an easy way to communicate that, and to express feelings that are a bit jumbled up, especially in teens.” The CVA Gallery is always searching for new ways to make the self-expression that comes with art accessible to the community. They pop up at festivals and public events throughout the year with free activities to get people involved in art. “The idea is that people can just come up and have that simple enjoyment of the art making process that maybe they’ve never done before because maybe they don’t have the opportunity to go to classes,” said Lank. For those people who decide they are interested in classes, the CVA has a variety, including one or two session “flash classes” designed to fit the hectic pace of everyday life. “You don’t have to commit your whole week to it,” said Thomas. “People are so busy these days. This way you don’t have to pay for a bunch of supplies without knowing if you’ll like it or be any good at it.” In the future, Lank and Thomas plan to keep inspiring — and in some cases, hiring — emerging artists from the Triad. “We have university students who have so much talent, and what do they do when they’re done? They leave the city. We don’t want that,” said Lank. “A lot of why we hire recent graduates is to keep that energy in our community. That’s how our arts will grow.” The Spectrum exhibition will be displayed at the CVA Gallery through Mar. 17. For more information about the gallery

or to become a CVA member, visit www. ! MIA OSBORN is a Greensboro-based freelance writer who hails from Birmingham, Alabama.


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FEBRUARY 15-21, 2017





Shake it up: Greensboro City Council elections getting interesting - early

Rock Smith Jr.

Editor’s note: The online version of this story includes contact information for the people and groups mentioned: www.yesweekly. com/rs0217.

Although the Greensboro City Contibutor Council elections are nine months away, 2017 looks like it might be the year of the shake-up. After the last election, when every incumbent was reelected, new groups and candidates are organizing—early this time—a sign of dissatisfaction with the current council and of serious intentions to make some changes. Several candidates are ready to run and new groups are on the scene. Democracy Greensboro Democracy Greensboro informally began last fall with a handful of people at the Glenwood Bookstore. The group has now officially filed as a political action committee and is holding public meetings throughout the city every other week to gather ideas and expand its reach. Its last meeting in northeast Greensboro was attended by over 50 people. With an unapologetic orientation towards progressive issues, the group has among its goals to elect a city council that will govern on behalf of “all people” with “greater transparency and honesty in all areas of government,” according to its platform. John Brown John Brown is ready to shake things up in his run for mayor. The 55 year-old entrepreneur is co-owner of Jessup Services

Company in Greensboro, a plumbing, electrical, heating and air company. Brown holds nine state professional licenses and is the inventor of a device that autonomously mows grass along highway guard rails 24 hours a day. He is high energy, full of ideas and eager to take a hands-on approach to the job of mayor. He says he wants to be “the voice of the taxpayer.” Brown says economic development efforts are focused too much on the region and not enough on Greensboro itself. He wants to give preference to Greensboro companies on city contracts. He also wants to sit down with established local companies, find out who their suppliers are and then recruit those companies to Greensboro. He sees such an active approach as the job of the mayor. Brown says he’d take an active role in other issues too. He says disparities in minority hiring for city contracts are less about race and more about a good ol’ boy network which he says he has experienced first hand. He says contractors try to help their buddies get work on projects even if they have promised to hire minority subcontractors. Brown says he would address this as mayor by personally making unannounced visits to city-funded projects to see if promised minority participation is actually happening. Eric Fink Eric Fink is a law professor at Elon University. He says he is “leaning strongly towards running” for an at-large seat. He too thinks the city could do better at economic development. He says it’s good to see projects downtown but that those are happening at the “near exclusion” of the other parts of the city. He would like to see the city do more to support smaller projects in other areas of the city. Those, he says, “can have a real impact on

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FEBRUARY 15-21, 2017

people’s lives.” He cites projects like the new co-op grocery store in east Greensboro which he helped shepherd to fruition. Fink would also like to see Greensboro band together with other cities to stand up to the state legislature as they try to usurp local control from cities. That is a view shared by another likely candidate, Gary Kenton. Gary Kenton Kenton is a communication scholar who says he is “putting himself at the service of Democracy Greensboro” and that he will run, most likely in district four, possibly at-large, if he gets the group’s endorsement. Kenton says “there is a movement afoot in Greensboro that is demanding more forward-thinking and transparent action.” Kenton says a council person cannot be effective if all they have is an agenda. “You have to be able to work with people,” he says. At the same time, he says, “You sometime have to take a stand on principle,” and there he thinks the current council falls short. He cites council’s unwillingness to stand up to the state legislature’s actions targeting North Carolina cities as an example. “The current council has failed to provide the leadership that is called for,” he says. On economic development, Kenton says businesses are encumbered by needless red tape. If elected, he would look to streamline doing business in the city. GSO Operation Transparency Lamar Gibson is a fundraiser for a nonprofit organization and a member of the new group GSO Operation Transparency. He too thinks the current city council has come up short on leadership. GSO Operation Transparency recently staged a sit-in at city hall in an attempt to get the city council to release details of an internal investigation into an incident of police misconduct. Council refused. Gibson says GSO Operation Transparency hasn’t made any decisions yet on upcoming elections, but as he sees it, efforts to address accountability and ethics in Greensboro have been confined to advocacy and moral appeals that are not always effective. He says, “Direct action has been missing.” It won’t be surprising then to see GSO Operation Transparency become active in the upcoming elections. Gibson says, “Incumbents have allowed the gears to keep

grinding in a way that is not working for a lot of people and if they keep allowing that, they might feel the consequences in an election in a way they have not felt before.” Transparency a Big Issue Increased transparency is a big issue for Brown, Kenton and Fink. City staff routinely flout the law in obstructing access to government documents and city council allows it. Although Brown, Fink and Kenton agree that more transparency is needed, they each come to that conclusion from different angles. Kenton’s concern is primarily related to transparency into the police who, he says, because they act on our behalf, must be accountable to us. Without transparency, there is no accountability, he says. He supports the idea of a citizen police review board with subpoena power. Fink supports that idea too, but, as one might expect from a law professor, he sees a larger reason for government transparency—as a pillar of democracy. He is troubled by what he calls a “pattern of decisions being made behind a veil—a reluctance to make clear who is involved in decisions and who is influencing those decisions.” He says, “Transparency is the only way to see if everybody is being treated fairly” and, if elected, he says he will push to remove barriers to transparency. Brown too is big on transparency. For him, it’s a pragmatic necessity for citizens to understand what their government is doing and expose unwarranted secrecy. He cites an example where he had to fight bureaucratic red tape to learn that the city engages in a practice whereby taxpayers are lead to believe funds are being allocated to fire and police, but which really is a scheme to cycle money back into the general fund for other purposes. Deception and Malfeasance Brown explains what he says he discovered like this: He says the city buys vehicles it then “leases” to the police and fire departments at a rate above their cost. He says the police pay $92,000 into the general fund to lease a patrol car for five years. In this way, according to Brown, the public is deceived: Taxpayers are told money is being spent on public safety, but it is being passed through public safety PAGE 14 ]


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budgets in the form of excessive vehicle charges to the police and fire departments only to be shunted to other expenditures, says Brown. The upward spiraling cost of the downtown Performing Arts Center is another area where Brown thinks the public was misled. In addition to the escalating cost of the center itself, Brown finds it dishonest that concerns about parking were waived off as unimportant when the center was being debated and, now that we are committed, the city says it needs $30 million for a new parking deck next to the center. It was a “bait and switch,” Brown says of the project that was initially described as costing $55 million and is now over $108 million counting the new parking deck. If Brown has a blind spot, it may be to the diversity that is Greensboro. He responded to a question about greater police accountability by saying, “There’s a few that don’t like rules and regulations. 10 to 15 at city council meetings that are always screaming about something and will never be satisfied.” He also says he wants “to stand up for the hard working middle class that doesn’t


get a day off or have time to stand at a council meeting. These people are the backbone of Greensboro that pull the wagon.” Voters could find Brown’s energy, critical eye and attention to detail appealing. Let’s hope they don’t also come with an incomplete understanding of the varied interests of Greensboro’s residents. Good for Greensboro Other candidates remain waiting in the wings. Although the biggest challenge for them may be name recognition, they asked to remain unnamed for now. Should they run, they will bring greater gender and racial diversity to the pool of candidates. Last year, voters approved changing city council terms from two to four years with this election. That’s going to make it harder for the public to hold sway over council members. So this election is more important than ever. Early indications are that Greensboro will get to choose from a robust slate of qualified candidates. That’s good. ! ROCH SMITH Jr. is the creator and curator of Greensboro 101. He can be reached at

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On Jan. 31, doctors at Stanley Medical College and Hospital in Chennai, India, removed a live, fullgrown cockroach from the nasal cavity of a 42-year-old woman whose nose Chuck Shepherd had been “itchy” earlier in the day. Two hospitals were unable to help her, but at Stanley, Dr. M N Shankar, chief of ear-nosethroat, used an endoscope, forceps, and, for 45 minutes, a suction device — because, he said, the roach “didn’t seem to want to come out.” Another doctor on the team noted that they’ve removed beads and similar items from the nasal cavity (demonstrating the splayed-out trespasser in full wingspan), “but not a cockroach, especially not one this large.” [Times of India, 2-3-2017]


Zachary Bennett and Karen Nourse have found Manhattan quite affordable, reported the New York Post in January — by simply not paying, for six years now, the $4,750 monthly rent on their loft-style apartment in the Chelsea neighborhood, citing New York state’s “loft law,” which they say technically forbids the landlord from collecting. Since the other eight units of their building are “commercial,” the landlord believes it doesn’t need a “residential certificate of occupancy,” but Bennett and Nourse believe the law only exempts buildings with at least two residences, and for some reason, the landlord has obstinately declined to initiate eviction or, until recently, to sue (for back rent, fees, and electricity). [New York Post, 1-8-2017]


The colossus PornHub dot com, in its annual January rundown, reported its several sites had 23 billion “visits” in 2016 (about one-fourth from females), during which time its videos were viewed 91 billion times. In all, earthlings spent 4.6 billion hours watching PornHub’s inventory (that is 5.2 centuries’ time doing whatever people do when viewing porn). USA took home the gold for the most “page views” per capita, just nipping Iceland. Online visitors from the Philippines, for the third straight year, remained (per capita) on the sites the longest per visit. The top search term on PornHub from U.S. computers was “step mom.” [The Daily Dot, 1-5-2017]


— Late last year, Oxford University pro-


fessor Joshua Silver accused Britain’s Home Secretary of a “hate” crime merely because the Secretary had made a speech urging that unemployed Britons be given preference for jobs over people recruited from overseas. Silver denounced this “discrimination” against “foreigners” and made a formal complaint to West Midlands police, which, after evaluation, absolved Secretary Amber Rudd but acknowledged that, under the law, the police were required to record the Secretary’s unemployment speech as a “non-crime hate incident.” [BBC News, 1-12-2017] — The British Medical Association issued a formal caution to its staff in January not to use the term “expectant mothers” when referring to pregnancy — because it might offend transgender people. Instead, the Association’s memo (reported by the Daily Telegraph) suggested using “pregnant people.” The BMA acknowledged that a “large majority” of such people are, in fact, “mothers,” but wrote that there may be “intersex” and “trans men” who also could get pregnant. [Daily Telegraph, 1-29-2017]

simply a “bleak, flavorless, gluten-free wasteland.” [, 1-31-2017]

of the country’s hallowed fascination with cowbells — that make, according to Holten, “hundred decibel,” “pneumatic drill”-type sounds (though a hit song, “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper,” by the group Blue Oyster Cult, skillfully employed the cowbell — before it was satirized in an epic “Saturday Night Live” sketch starring Christopher Walken). [The Independent (London), 1-19-2017] !


Applicants for passports in Switzerland are evaluated in part by neighbors of the applicant, and animal-rights campaigner Nancy Holten, 42, was rejected in January because townspeople view her as obnoxious, with, said a Swiss People’s Party spokesperson, a “big mouth.” Among Holten’s “sins” was her constant criticism

© 2017 Chuck Shepherd. Universal Press Syndicate.



— In 2001, Questcor Pharmaceuticals bought the rights to make Acthar Gel, a hormone injection to treat a rare form of infantile epilepsy, and gradually raised the price from $40 a vial to $28,000 a vial. The British company Mallinckrodt bought Questcor in 2014 and apparently figured the vials were still too cheap, raising the price to $34,000. However, the Federal Trade Commission noticed that Mallinckrodt also during the latter period bought out — and closed down — the only company manufacturing a similar, cheaper version of the product, thus ensuring that Mallinckrodt had totally cornered the market. In January, the FTC announced that Mallinckrodt agreed to a $100 million settlement of the agency’s charge of illegal anti-competitive practices. (“$100 million” is only slightly more than the price of giving one vial to each infant expected to need it in the next year.) [Futurism, 1-18-2017] — Precocious: Girl Scout Charlotte McCourt, 11, of South Orange, New Jersey, saw her sales zoom recently when she posted “brutally honest” reviews of the Scouts’ cookies she was selling — giving none of them a “10” and labeling some with dour descriptions. She was hoping to sell 300 boxes, but as of the end of January, had registered 16,430. For the record, the best cookie was — of course — the Samoa, rated 9, but longtime favorites like the Trefoil (“boring”) rated 6 and the Do-SiDo (“bland”) 5. The new Toffee-tastic was




*Based on resistance to gravel and severe wear testing compared to MICHELIN® LTX® M/S2. Copyright © 2016 Michelin North America, Inc. All rights reserved.







an alternate HISTORY By Steve Mitchell & Deonna Kelli Sayed Photos by Todd Turner Storybooth: Skin is a four part series about negotiating color in the Contemporary South by Steve Mitchell and Deonna Kelli Sayed. Both Mitchell and Sayed are white.


ichael Robinson was 8 or 9 years old when a friend from the neighborhood confronted him: “Why do you act that way? Why are you trying to be white?” “I’m thinking, What? I was spinning,” Michael remembers, “and I go talk to my uncle. He’d lived in New York so he had this mystique, you know, he was worldly, and I told him what the kid had said. He told me, Next time someone tells you that, you ask them, what does being black mean? He said, it can mean anything you want it to mean.” The cultural connotations of race are deeply embedded in American culture. While being black can mean anything you want it to mean, it’s never that simple. In the 1960’s, film of an experiment FebruAry 15-21, 2017

by Dr. Kenneth Clark was shown as part of the proceedings in Brown vs. Board of Education, a landmark Civil Rights case. In the film, black children, ages 3-7, were presented with four dolls, identical except for color, then asked to identify their race and which one they preferred. Most of the children chose the white doll. In 2007, filmmaker Kiri Davis repeated the experiment with the same results. In addition, she asked which doll was ‘good’ and which was ‘bad’. Most of the children chose the white doll as the ‘good’ one. In the 1960’s, this experiment was seen as proof of the negative effects of racism, but the interpretation has changed over the years. One current perspective is that white constructs of beauty and validity, thus ‘goodness’, are so pervasive that they are accepted as objective. Other-ness is always placed in opposition to Whiteness. The dichotomy in the American awareness between the Good Negro and the Bad Negro, the Good Muslim and the Bad, is subtle and slippery, affecting the way each member of our


Michael Robinson is a Success Coach at High Point University. Originally from Fuquay-Varina in Wake County, Robinson came to UNCG and graduated in 2005. society views themselves. All operate in relation to whiteness. Each of us subconsciously navigates these determinations every day. They develop and reinforce expectations. Trayvon Martin shouldn’t have worn his hoodie up, but it’s okay for white college freshmen. The thing is, Michael didn’t want to be the Good Negro. He wanted to step outside of that dichotomy. He wanted to be white. And what being white meant to him was that his race wouldn’t be an issue. At all. “The way I sound to you right now---no one in my family sounds like this---so I had to practice it. I had to make it happen.” Michael was a gifted student and, due to this designation, he was segmented off in middle school with other gifted students, all of them white. For a long time, he didn’t think about it. “I just wanted to be Michael. Here I was, hanging out with all these white kids. I thought to be accepted I had to like certain things, I had to be with certain people.” Michael is 29 and grew up in Fuquay WWW.YESWEEKLY.COM

Varina. He’s 6’2”, a big guy, with a deep, booming laugh. His voice goes quieter when he’s thoughtful, when he’s remembering an experience, or trying to put thoughts to words. His eyes dance when he’s excited and he’s the kind of person who’s excited a lot. “I can be obsessive,” he tells me, with a low chuckle. He graduated from UNCG in 2005. He has a bachelor’s degree in English and a Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies. He taught high school English for seven years and began to realize he was more interested in teaching about questions and issues relating directly to his student’s lives. He wanted to find ways to make what he was teaching relevant and those questions---his questions---took him out of the Public School system. He’s now a Success Coach at High Point University, where he helps students transition from high school to college, guides them through course work and career questions, and helps them find their place in the world.

Visit the online version of this article to hear a podcast by Deonna Kelli Sayed and hear Robinson discuss his experience with otherness on both sides of the racial divide. Visit for our full collection of podcasts.

“I always wanted to be the good kid,” he recalls. “I wanted to be people’s favorite, but at the same time, I wanted what I wanted. And, I wanted to be the best at whatever I did.” Most of what he wanted, what he saw in the culture around him, was the white world. The history of black people in that world dilates wildly between the Good Negro on one side and the Bad Negro on the other with very little between and has since the beginning of mass media. From the appearance of George Siegman as Silas Lynch, the mulatto who lusts after a white woman in DW Griffith’s 1915 film The Birth of a Nation through Stepin Fetchit as the Yass sah, massah!

wide-eyed comic relief in countless films of the 30’s and 40’s, there haven’t been many constructive role models in popular culture. People like Sidney Poitier and Denzel Washington filled the Good Negro roles but, usually, any other black character was a drug addict or a gangbanger. Bill Cosby seemed good, due to the way he talked and the fact that he wore sweaters. And then, there was Michael Jackson, becoming lighter and lighter. But none of that mattered as much when Michael Robinson was growing up watching Wishbone, a PBS series about a talking dog who lived with a TV-middle class boy and his mother and was always getting into literary adventures. “I wanted these pieces of the kind of life I saw on TV. A pizzeria to hang out in, a grandfather to take me fishing. I wanted to be like all my peers at school and they were white. There’s a way in which I didn’t even know I was changing, adapting. It was easier just to do away with parts of myself. I could say, well, I like that stuff FEBRUARY 15-21, 2017



“For the first time in my adult life, I was really proud to be black. I could take it upon myself to rebuild my identity from what I was learning from my history. There’s an immense pride I have in wanting to share that history.” too and I’d fit in with my friends. I just didn’t want things assumed about me because I was black. Like, I’m tall right? I didn’t play basketball in high school because I didn’t want people to say, Look at you, you must play ball. I didn’t want to be that kind of black kid.” He was a good student. He read the classics. He learned to talk, even think, in a particular way. It was a way that, to him, seemed to step outside of race. “My best friend in high school, he said to me one day after band practice, he said, You know, Mike, you’re not a nigger. At first I thought, Whoa! What did you just say to me? But a part of me felt validated.” Michael was raised in a stable, middle class family. His father worked at Guilford Mills, his mother stayed home. They lived in a rural area where the houses of his grandmother and uncle were close by. Until he went to elementary school, he mostly played with his cousins and other black kids nearby. On the surface, Michael wanted to be white so he could fit in at school, but there was more going on. He had a curiosity and ambition, as well as an early insight that, as he was, he might not have the opportunities he desperately wanted. “I knew race was something important but it didn’t really connect with me.” His family never talked about it at home yet, now and then, Michael would notice a simmering anger in his mother concerning race which flared occasionally.


FEBRUARY 15-21, 2017

“I’d actually pray at night to wake up in the morning and be white. I just wanted to know what it would be like to go to school and be a white kid. Just for one day. ‘Cause there were things I knew I couldn’t do. I couldn’t like a white girl. I couldn’t go to a sleepover at a friend’s house, not once his parents found out I was black.” His face changes as he speaks. There’s no anger, just an old longing which he remembers perhaps too well. “But, you know, after that talk with my uncle, I became like a social scientist. I was always watching, you know, how in the lunchroom all the black kids sat together, recognizing how I’m often the only black kid in the classroom. I started modeling my behavior on the white kids around. After a while, I could sit at any table in the lunchroom. All of this, though, was the beginning of a pathology that’s carried through the rest of my life about being accepted by black people. It alienated me from others, sometimes my own family. I had this selfstigma.” Eventually, Michael came to the painful understanding that he would never be seen as white. He would always simply be the Good Negro. “I came to realize that no matter how I spoke or who I was, my blackness always preceded me.” What he means is this: To a stranger, he is always black before he is Michael.

“We go to school with the assumption that we are being taught the real story, right? We believe we’re being told what really happened. Before college, I actually believed Langston Hughes and Martin Luther King were the only black people who wrote anything. So, when a professor suggested I take some African American Literature classes, I thought, What is there to learn? Once in the class, though, my world just exploded. Suddenly there was all this history I never knew about, this beautiful writing, these amazing rhetoricians. There were all these things that happened, things people did, this whole alternate history that had been hidden.” A grin spreads over Michael’s face while his eyes remain serious. “It’s crazy, right? It’s like The Matrix. My Public School teachers taught me a narrative about how the world was and I trusted that narrative. I felt hoodwinked, you know? When I found everything that had been left out. I felt like knowledge had been withheld from me---about people like me---I was offended, really. Upset. But it helped me to understand better where the pressures came from that drove me to want to be white.” He devoured black literature and black history, discovering the writings of James Baldwin and Jean Toomer, the speeches of Malcolm X. “All these people, there’s an unapologetic-ness to their writing that was thrilling.

James Baldwin is a patron saint to me, he changed my whole way of thinking. The way he unpacks the whole race thing piece by piece, race as a systematic social construction. And the idea that racism has damaged white people even more than black folks, because they must carry this constant lie within them. The Autobiography of Malcolm X was liberating. You see the full spectrum of an individual’s development around ideas of inclusion and acceptance and love. Love for self. How he gained that through the Nation of Islam. I mean, no one had ever talked about Malcolm around me as anything other than the Great Satan. And Their Eyes Were Watching God was the first time I ever heard characters in literature who talked like my aunts and uncles. It really spoke to me. That’s Fuquay---I know those people. It helped me go back home and actually respect them in a way I hadn’t before, because the people I was taught to respect didn’t speak that way. It helped to reintroduce my self to myself.” Michael read relentlessly and began to talk about what he read. This eased him back into a black world he had been isolated from. It began to change his ideas about education, what it was for, who and what he wanted to teach. “I had to discover so much on my own. No one handed me Malcolm X. I had to go out and find it. I’d been shown a gateway, and given the tools I needed to search on my own. So, all of this really started to


“There’s a point where people say, Why do we have to keep talking about the past?” He spreads his arms wide to include the room, the building, the city: “But we carry the past with us. All those things are still right here. They’re not going away.”

transform the way I saw teaching at a very basic level, both for me and my students.” Michael would ask his high school students, Would you come to class if you didn’t have to? Most would say no. They had a difficult time seeing how the things they were being taught related to their actual lives. It was that engagement with the life around them that he wanted to foster. His immersion in his own history and culture had given him a new kind of confidence. “For the first time in my adult life, I was really proud to be black. I could take it upon myself to rebuild my identity from what I was learning from my history. There’s an immense pride I have in wanting to share that history. To know that, even in spite of having the spirit of an entire people broken for the economic gain of another, that even in spite of that, we created art, music, produced great thinkers. Slaves were freed and became councillors to Presidents in their lifetime. I mean, Old Dude was a slave and then twenty years later, he’s advising the President. Being black to me is creating beauty, even in the face of destruction.”

That destruction is never too far away. The recent shifts in the cultural landscape, the rise in White Nationalism, Immigration bans, “Get Tough on Crime” programs (even though the crime rate has steadily decreased over the last eight years) are WWW.YESWEEKLY.COM

all indications that things might get very difficult for a lot of people. For all of us. “Up until a couple of years ago, I was much more comfortable walking into a room full of white people. I got nervous walking into a room full of black people. I believed I couldn’t connect with them, that we didn’t have anything in common. Of course, that’s just wrong. On a day to day level, I don’t think about being black unless a circumstance arises to remind me. When I was a kid, I’d go in white stores in Fuquay with my mom and I could see she’d get nervous. As I grew older I’d say, Oh, Mom, no one feels that way anymore. That’s so 1950’s. But she’d say, I know these people. I grew up with these people. See, I always thought I could talk to people. I was comfortable around white people, I knew how to talk to cops. That’s what I thought. Now, I see that doesn’t matter.” The last two years have changed Michael’s perspective. The high-profile police shootings in Ferguson and Charlotte. The Sandra Bland case. Incidents closer to home: the Greensboro Police Department’s treatment of the Scales Brothers and Dejuan Yourse. “Up until about two years ago, I was really---maybe not in denial---but I wasn’t an activist. The last couple of years I’ve really grown to be scared, paranoid, in ways I wasn’t before. I was living in Durham, in a pretty wellto-do neighborhood, and I’d walk my dog every day with my hood up. It was my

neighborhood, right? One day, I felt like I couldn’t do that anymore. I felt like I threatened people in a way I’d never considered myself to be threatening. ‘Cause I thought I’d figured out how to be around white people. All that didn’t matter anymore. I was a big, black guy in a hoodie. My blackness stood in front of everything I think I am. With the neighbors, with the police.”

“I think we all decide at some point whether we’re just going to go headlong into the narrative that’s supplied to us, or we’re going to maybe about-face and see if we can do our life in a way that feels right to us. I’m teaching. My wife and I are having a baby. I have my world, I don’t have to fit into anyone else’s. I’m going to rush in and do something, I’m that kind of guy. So I thought I’d try this series. It all came out of this opinion piece I wrote a number of months ago and the way people responded to it. I thought, I’ve learned some things and I have a few tools I can give people that might be helpful. I mean, I always tell my students: I can’t teach you anything. It’s not like I’m holding some box of secrets here that I’m going to dole out to the good ones. No, I can give you tools, show you where a few doors are, the rest is up to you. That’s what Shifting Lenses is, a way to get into the conversation, predominantly about

race, but not just.” Shifting Lenses is “a community discussion series designed to help citizens develop the skills necessary to engage in meaningful dialogue around tough issues.” A typical session involves presentation, small group work, and general discussion. Meetings have been held at Scuppernong Books in Greensboro. The next is scheduled for Saturday, March 18 at 7pm. “Education is the most important part of our social contract. Without it, everything else begins to fall away. Education, and finding ways to talk with each other.” Michael laughs: “There’s a point where people say, Why do we have to keep talking about the past?” He spreads his arms wide to include the room, the building, the city: “But we carry the past with us. All those things are still right here. They’re not going away.” Michael settles back into his chair, thoughtful for a moment, his expression both serious and hopeful. “We’ll always talk about race in America because it’s a part of who we are as Americans. It’s in our DNA. It’s this chronic disease America has---it flares up now and then, gets better, gets worse---but it’s always going to be a part of the body. That’s just the way it is.” ! STEVE MITCHELL is co-owner of Scuppernong Books in Greensboro, NC. Deonna Kelli Sayed,, is a writer, podcast producer, and storyteller. Their joint website is FEBRUARY 15-21, 2017



Submissions should be sent to by Friday at 5 p.m., prior to the week’s publication. Visit and click on calendar to list your event online. home grown muSic Scene | compiled by Austin Kindley



218 South Fayetteville St. | 336.610.3722 Feb 15: Traditional Irish/Celtic Music Feb 18: Shane Key Feb 25: Emma Lee and Tyler Millard Feb 25: Earleine Mar 3: Wolfie Calhoin Mar 4: Heads Up Penny


RIvER RIdGE TAPHOUSE 1480 River Ridge Dr | 336.712.1883 Feb 15: Karaoke Feb 17: Big daddy Mojo Feb 23: Seth Williams Feb 24: Southern Eyes



2900 Patterson St #A | 336.632.9889 Feb 17: 1-2-3 Friday Feb 24: 1-2-3 Friday


523 S Elm St | 336.271.2686 Feb 17: dJ dan the Player Feb 18: dJ Paco and dJ dan the Player


812 Olive St. | 336.302.3728


GREEN HERON ALE HOUSE 1110 Flinchum Rd | 336.593.4733


1819 Spring Garden St | 336.272.9888 Feb 15: Twiztid w/ Blaze Ya dead Homie, Boondox, Lex The Hexmaster, The Roc, G Mo Skee Feb 18: dirty dozen Brass Band w/ The Get Right Band Feb 20: The Record Co. Jamestown Revival

Feb 22: The Movement w/ Elusive Groove Feb 24: Big Something w/ Aqueous Feb 28: TAUK


1720 Battleground Ave | 336.272.9884 Feb 17: Jukebox Revolver Feb 18: Stereo doll Fe 24: Back@ya Feb 26: Bad Romeo


213 S Elm St | 336.275.6367 Feb 18: Jack Long Old School Jam


1700 Spring Garden St | 336.272.5559 Feb 16: Michael Lewis Feb 23: dC Carter Mar 2: Jim Mayberry Mar 9: Bradley Steele Mar 16: Jon Montgomery(Norlina)


1126 S Holden Rd | 336.333.1034 Feb 17: Jodi White Feb 18: Jodi White Feb 24: Shaun Jones Feb 25: Shaun Jones Mar 3: Burpie Mar 4: Burpie Mar 10: Mike Gardner Mar 11: Mike Gardner

COMMON GROUNdS 11602 S Elm Ave | 336.698.3888 Mar 11: Bernardus Apr 4: Tamara Hansson


117 S Elm St | 336.378.9646 Feb 18: Corey Smith Mar 4: Appetite For destruction Mar 18: Jeezy Mar 26: Chris d’Elia Apr 1: The dan Band Apr 5: Kehlani Apr 6: Jojo


341 S. Elm St | 336.691.9990


113 N Greene St | 336.273.4111 Feb 18: Soultriii EP Release Party Mar 16: Riff Raff LIvE Mar 23: #NastyNightOWT - A Pretty Nasty Affair


Having Our Say



3017 Gate City Blvd | 336.851.4800 Feb 17: Michael bennett Feb 24: Sahara


1635 New Garden Rd | 336.288.4544 Feb 18: Low Key Band Feb 24: Second Glance


5710 W Gate City Blvd | 336.292.6496

2 0 9 N . S P R U C E S T. | W I N S T O N - S A L E M | 3 3 6 . 2 7 2 . 0 1 6 0 | T R I A D S TA G E . O R G


FebruAry 15-21, 2017


print workS biStro

702 Green Valley Rd | 336.379.0699 Feb 15: Evan olsen & Jessica Mashburn

SoMEwhErE ElSE tavErn

5713 W Friendly Ave | 336.292.5464 Feb 16: lost Elysium Feb 18: Scars of the Forsaken, Mimic, trailer park orchestra, a light Divided, the Devil’s notebook Feb 24: the Damn bruners Feb 25: Desired redemption, novarium, nevernauts Mar 4: Divine treachery, Mechabull, Fan the Flames, written in Gray Mar 10: thundering herd Mar 11: Zestrah Mar 18: Snake & the plisskens, the Dick richards, Sibannac, nevernauts, Grim Details, i, atlas Mar 25: ozone Jones, october, terminal resistance, Dirtyfoot, Candlelit, aftermath

thE iDiot box CoMEDY Club

2134 Lawndale Dr | 336.274.2699 Feb 17: Myq kaplan Feb 24: batman roast

villaGE tavErn

1903 Westridge Rd | 336.282.3063

worlD oF bEEr

1210 Westover Terrace | 336.897.0031

high point

aFtEr hourS tavErn 1614 N Main St | 336.883.4113

bluE bourbon JaCk’S

1310 N Main St | 336.882.2583 Feb 18: Jukebox revolver Mar 3: too Much toni Mar 24: Southern Eyes apr 24: Jukebox revolver

ClaDDaGh rEStaurant & pub

130 E Parris Ave | 336.841.0521 Feb 15: Craig baldwin Feb 16: buzzard holler boys Feb 17: Midnight Gypsys Feb 18: Jamie leigh Feb 20: open Mic with lydia Feb 21: Julian Jackson Feb 22: Craig baldwin Feb 23: Sam Foster Feb 24: David & Joel | paris avenue Feb 25: Midnight Gypsys Feb 27: open Mic with lydia Feb 28: Sam Foster

haM’S pallaDiuM 5840 Samet Dr | 336.887.2434 Feb 17: tyler Millard band Feb 24: brothers pearl

libErtY brEwErY

914 Mall Loop Rd | 336.882.4677


thE DECk

118 E Main St | 336.207.1999 Feb 18: the plaids Feb 25: norlina


DanCE hall DaZE

612 Edgewood St | 336.558.7204 Feb 17: Skyryder Feb 18: time bandits Feb 24: the Delmonicos Feb 25: Silverhawk


221 N Main St | 336.497.4822

thE EMpouriuM

734 E. Mountain St. | 336.671.9159


olD niCk’S pub

191 Lowes Foods Dr | 336.747.3059 Feb 18: karaoke w/ tyler perkins Feb 24: karaoke w/ tyler perkins Feb 25: the usual Suspects


Jp loonEY’S

2213 E Oak Ridge Rd | 336.643.1570 Feb 16: trivia

Mardi Gras Party

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1 7PM - 10PM Karaoke with DJ Tyler Perkins CAJUN FOOD / CLASSIC NEW ORLEANS COCKTAILS / MASKS & BEADS / KING'S CAKE Best Mardi Gras Costume Contest with Prizes 1480 River Ridge Dr, Clemmons, NC 336-712-1883 /

You Will Be Pleased

Mediterranean · Sandwiches · Vegetarian Lunch & Dinner CATERING · OUTDOOR SEATING · TAKE-OUT 310 S. Elm Street · Greensboro · (336) 279-7025 · /JmartOnElm · FebruAry 15-21, 2017 YES! WEEKLY



ridEr’S in thE countrY 5701 Randleman Rd | 336.674.5111 Feb 25: darrell harwood



2nd and grEEn

207 N Green St | 336.631.3143 Feb 18: dJ hek Yeh

6th & vinE

209 W 6th St | 336.725.5577

bull’S tavErn


r e s tauran t we ek F E B R U A R Y

2 0 - 2 6

2 0 1 7

408 West 4th St | 336.331.3431 Feb 16: little Stranger Feb 17: Stereo doll Feb 18: Soul Jam Feb 23: travis griggs & Friends Feb 24: Music club hosted by doug davis Feb 25: Fruit Smoothie trio

cb’S tavErn

3870 Bethania Station Rd | 336.815.1664

Finnigan’S wakE

620 Trade St | 336.723.0322

FoothillS brEwing 638 W 4th St | 336.777.3348 Feb 15: Eversole brothers Feb 18: cc3 Feb 19: Sunday Jazz Feb 22: redleg husky Feb 25: Stray local Feb 26: Sunday Jazz

thE garagE


110 W 7th St | 336.777.1127 Mar 3: all them witches with irata Mar 24: big thief

Whatever hunger craving you have, you can satisfy during Restaurant Week. Enjoy prix fixe meals at participating downtown restaurants. $20 - $30. Great food? Memorable evenings? Find it here. fo r

d e ta i l s

vi s it

d ow ntow n Branding 22Garage YES! WEEKLY FebruAry 15-21, 2017

JohnnY & JunE’S Saloon

2105 Peters Creek Pkwy | 336.724.0546 Mar 18: Muscadine bloodline Mar 24: them dirty roses Mar 31: daniel Johnson

Mac & nElli’S

4926 Country Club Rd | 336.529.6230

MEllinniuM cEntEr

101 West 5th Street | 336.723.3700 Feb 24: Perpetual groove w/ Marvelous Funkshun Mar 11: the Stranger billy Joel tribute Mar 17: Envision Mar 18: ZoSo led Zepplin tribute Mar 24: James McMurtry apr 14: Satisfaction rolling Stones tribute


630 S Stratford Rd | 336.768.2221 Feb 19: live Jazz

MuddY crEEk caFE

5455 Bethania Rd | 336.923.8623 Feb 16: open Mic

MuddY crEEk MuSic hall

5455 Bethania Rd | 336.923.8623 Feb 16: Sarah Mae chilton, dan dockery, Emily Stewart Feb 17: r.b. Morris Feb 18: neptune’s car Feb 19: albert lee Feb 23: redleg husky Feb 24: wonderwall the tribute (the beatles) Feb 25: tom Young and taylor vaden Feb 26: across the blue ridge w/ Paul brown

QualitY inn

2008 S. Hawthorne Rd | 336-765-6670 Feb 18: Motown revue

thE QuiEt Pint

1420 W 1st St | 336.893.6881

tEE tiME SPortS & SPiritS 3040 Healy Dr | 336.760.4010

wErEhouSE/krankiE’S coFFEE 211 E 3rd St | 336.722.3016

laughing gaS coMEdY club 2105 Peters Creek Pkwy


FebruAry 15-21, 2017 YES! WEEKLY




Detroit’s Turn To Crime play Winston-Salem

BY JOHN ADAMIAN | @johnradamian


aybe pie is the secret. It’s not every artist that can get away with writing a song about pie. But those that do sometimes hit a sweet spot. Derek Stanton, of Detroit’s Turn To Crime, wrote an excellent song about pie that caps off Secondary, the band’s new record. It’s not exactly what one would expect from an ominous glam/post-punk project with an industrial tinge. There’s no foolproof formula for writing a solid song. You can fixate on beatsper-minute, on keeping things under the three-minute-15-second mark, on certain chord changes, on melodic arcs, a wellplaced tambourine, and all kinds of other things. But, at the end of listening to the new record from Turn To Crime, it struck me that maybe writing lyrics about pie was as good of a template for success as anything else. Bear with me. Think about it: Dylan had “Country Pie,” Zeppelin had “Custard Pie,” and there’s Don McLean’s “American Pie” (which isn’t entirely a pie song, per se), and Warrant had a hairmetal-hit with “Cherry Pie.” There seems to be something there. (I guess some pretty good cake songs exist too, like “MacArthur Park,” at least, but somehow it’s different.) In pop songs, pie often stands in for female genitals. (This can’t be news to you.) But just about everything in pop music is a stand-in for genitals, sex acts, orgasms or lust. Turn To Crime, who play the Garage in Winston-Salem on Tuesday,


FEBRUARY 15-21, 2017

Feb. 21, and their excellent pie song is called “Mary Jean’s Chocolate Pie.” One could easily assume that it too was of the “pie as sex” variety. But listen a few times and it starts to seem that, well, this is a song that’s actually about pie, a celebration of a dessert item. I spoke to Stanton recently about Turn To Crime and the new record. And that pie song, it turns out, is just a sort of twitchy percolating Lou Reedflavored art-rock ode to his “grandma’s secret recipe.” “I been waiting all year/now the time is almost here/for another slice/of Mary Jean’s chocolate pie,” sings Stanton. Explaining the inspiration: “She would make it for me on my birthdays or Christmas,” says Stanton. Some people think that music is best when expressing some deep personal emotion. But, as with any aesthetic position, there are others who think that’s total BS, and that music doesn’t need any baggage of feelings in order to be effective. Stanton, the main songwriter and creative force behind Detroit’s Turn To Crime, isn’t that interested in writing about his feelings. That’s a feeling, of course -- not wanting to share one’s feelings -- but it’s one that guides Stanton toward songs that have an enigmatic charm, like with the pie song. “I’m into not being super serious,” says Stanton. “I’m into not writing about my

feelings -- like ‘I broke up with somebody’ or ‘my life sucks,’ I think every song is like that, and it sucks.” So Stanton pushes into non-standard subject matter and perspectives, you might say. There’s also a catchy little song called “Get Your Pills From Tony,” which is, as Stanton says, “about a guy named Tony who always had some weird pills.” The song has a crunchy stomp to it, like if the Pixies and Gary Glitter had decided to write a pep anthem about their dealer. (Drug dealers are probably another good song subject for aspiring songwriters: Love, the Velvet Underground and the Small Faces all did it.) Stanton, 38, is one of those restless musicians who is around bands, songs and instruments all the time. He does sound in a couple Detroit clubs, and he runs his own studio out of his home. He hears a lot of music. And he doesn’t like it all. He notices a lot of details, styles and techniques that he’d just as soon avoid. “I see a lot of things that I’d rather not do,” he says. “I see a lot of trends in music. I see what makes a band successful. Usually I don’t agree with any of it. My heart’s set on being unique and true to myself.” Stanton plays everything on the record, which often brings to mind Tubeway Army, the Silver Apples, Wall of Voodoo, T Rex, Psychedelic Furs and the Jesus and Mary Chain. Whiffs of Trans-era Neil Young or “Don’t Come Around Here No More”period Tom Petty come through too. These songs are repetitive and semisynthetic, with patterns that keep cycling around and don’t stop or pause for a cheap sense of space. This is all by design. “I’m obsessed with pop and hooks,” says Stanton. “I think that that technique for me -- the repetition -- will really expose the subtleties of the extra hooks you throw in. I’m working with more simple

hypnotic repetitions, with lots of hidden hooks and weird parts.” Listen to “Chasing,” the second song on the record. It has a wonderfully nasty guitar sound with a riff that has that addictive caveman appeal that rewards believers in the power of bar chords and distortion. The drumming on the record sounds like a vintage drum machine, but most of it is in fact Stanton. “I do play kind of tight and repetitive drums. I don’t go too crazy on ‘em,” he says. “My own style of drumming is very much like a drum machine.” Stanton says he writes and records practically every day, and that there was a lot of material set aside, cut out or put on hold for a future record while making this one. Another aspect of his recent writing involves a series of alternate guitar tunings. Stanton says the switch to semimathematical non-standard tunings opens up a whole different world of guitar playing and songwriting possibilities, sometimes letting the ear take the lead where the routine muscle-memory of the hands would have provided simple solutions before. Turn To Crime turns into a four-piece with guitar, bass, keyboards and drums when Stanton and his friends hit the road. Some of the songs on this album were written after Stanton had a harrowing medical experience, a tumor that was pressing up against his ear and required an eight-hour surgery to deal with. He almost lost his hearing. It’s strange, there’s very little about Secondary that would suggest someone coming to terms with a dire health problem. (The title track is actually about the “secondary” role that anyone romantically involved with a creative person must have to play in relationship to the making of art, which is primary.) The weird sense of humor and deadpan humor in the songs is its own kind of defiance and statement of purpose. “I have to do this now,” says Stanton of his frame of mind about music making after confronting a health scare. “I love doing this.” !



Turn To Crime play The Garage (110 W. 7th St., Winston-Salem) at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21. Visit for more information.



your help!

Together, we have raised $16M of our $16.3M commitment to the community—we’re almost there, but your help is critical to helping us cross the finish line and reach our goal. Every year, the money United Way raises goes straight back into this community to support programs and agencies in hundreds of ways. Last year your donation helped to improve the lives of over 78,000 residents in Forsyth County– this is why your continued support is so important! Together, we can LIVE UNITED and make our community stronger.

Help make a difference today by donating at:





Sat Feb 18

[CHOICE BEATS] Upcoming shows you should check out FEBRUARY

Perpetual Groove

Th 16 PULSE: Electronic Dance Party 8p Fr 17 ILL DIGITZ & DSCVRY (90’s) 7p Sa 18 PERPETUAL GROOVE w/Groove Fetish / ELM 8p


w/Hank Sinatra/ Jive Mother Mary /Automatic Slim 6:30p


w/Imad Royal / Manila Killa 7p Fr 24 THE LACS w/Almost Kings 8p

Sa 25 LAST BAND STANDING 6:30p w/After Party feat: INDECISION Sa 25 CHERUB/FLOOZIES @ THE RITZ Su 26 JOE HERO (Foo Fighters Tribute) w/Amuse (Muse Tribute) 6:30p MARCH

T h 2 JAZZ IS PHSH 7:30p F r 3 WHO’S BAD Michael Jackson Trib Sa 4 LOS LONELY BOYS We 8 Fr 10 Sa 11 Su 12 Th 16 Fr 17 Sa 18 Su 19 We 22 Th 23 Fr 24 Sa 25 Su 26 We 29 Th 30 Sa 1 Su 2 Th 6 Su 9 Sa 15 Fr 21 Sa 22 Fr 28 Sa 29 5-13 5-15 5-17

w/ Sugar Dirt & Sand 7p


w/Unknown Hinson / BirdCloud + WHISKEY MYERS w/Steel Woods LOX w/Uncle Murda 7p




Tue Feb 21

Muddy Creek Music Hall (5455 Bethania Rd. Winston-Salem) Friday Feb. 17 8 p.m. “RB Morris is a poet and songwriter, solo performer and band leader, and a sometimes playwright and actor from Knoxville, Tennessee. He has published books of poetry including Early Fires (Iris Press), Keeping The Bees Employed, and The Mockingbird Poems (Rich Mountain Bound), and music albums including Spies Lies and Burning Eyes, and his most recent solo project Rich Mountain Bound. He wrote and acted in The Man Who Lives Here Is Looney, a one-man play taken from the life and work of James Agee, and was instrumental in founding a park dedicated to Agee in Knoxville. Morris served as the Jack E. Reese Writer-inResidence at The University of Tennessee from 2004-2008, and was inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame in 2009. He currently lives in Knoxville with his wife and daughter.” - via Facebook

Thu Feb 23

Louis The Child Fri Feb 24

Adv. Tickets & Schoolkids Records All Shows All Ages

126 E. Cabarrus 919-821-4111



FEBRUARY 15-21, 2017

Compiled by Alex Eldridge



1000 NC Music Factory Blvd | 704.916.8970 Feb 16: Big Gigantic Feb 17: Dashboard Confessional Feb 18: DJ Fannie Mae Feb 21: Us the Duo Feb 22: Louis The Child Feb 23: Less Than Jake & Pepper Feb 24: Cherub & The Floozies Feb 24: Daya Feb 25: Juicy J


2700 E Independence Blvd | 704.372.3600 Feb 22: The Piano Guys Feb 24: Nu Soul Revival Tour


333 E Trade St | 704.688.9000 Feb 19: Winter Jam



309 W Morgan St | 919.560.3030 Feb 16: Keller Williams & Leo Kottke Feb 23: Tommy Emmanuel


123 Vivian St | 919.680.2787 Feb 19: Tony Bennett

The Lacs Sat Feb 25





New York Pizza (337 Tate St. Greensboro) Saturday Feb. 18 10 p.m. “On Saturday the 18th of February Strange Famous Record’s own Dope Knife, Savannah GA based Emcee/Producer, blesses New York Pizza with dope beats and rhymes while on his NineteenEightyFour tour. Also taking place that night he will be joined by local favorite and open mic killer Dopey Graham. The night will also consist of the in your face enlightened yet disorderly Greensboro trio Bloody Molly. Could go further into this description, but we rather let the music speak for itself. Dope KNife [] Bloody Molly [] Dopey Graham [] Cover: $3 Doors: 9:30pm Show: 10pm Good Hip Hop, beer, and pizza….why not.” - via Facebook !

@ The Ritz

Who’s Bad Fri Mar 3



310 S Greene St | 336.333.2605 Feb 17: Leo Kottke & Keller Williams Feb 23: Arlo Guthrie Feb 24: Rockin’ Road to Dublin Feb 26: UNC Clef Hangers’

GREENSBORO COLISEUM 1921 W Gate City Blvd | 336.373.7400 Feb 24: Brantley Gilbert Feb 25: Twenty Øne Piløts



220 E Commerce Ave | 336.883.3401 Feb 25: Manhattan Transfer & Take 6





Famed violinist tells the story of forgotten composers for Black History at NC A&T

by Lenise Willis


hen Tami Lee Hughes picked up her first violin at the age of four, she had no idea that 20 years later she would be the instrumental voice for forgotten AfricanAmerican composers. But that’s exactly where her hard work and long journey has brought her. After playing with her first “toy,” training with a master teacher at the age of 12 Lenise Willis and majoring in music at the University of Minnesota, famed violinist Hughes (who has Contributing since debuted with the National Symphony Orchestra) went on a journey to find her voice columnist as a musician. And what she found was not only her own voice, but the voice of more than a dozen African-American composers who have been “lost in the folds of history.” “I started to wonder if there were pieces that had been written by African-American composers (after college) because I had encountered maybe two during my entire 20-something years of studies,” Hughes said. “I ran across some really interesting things that had literally been forgotten.” Hughes initially searched for forgotten works for about nine months, but says it’s become a continual, lifetime journey. The earliest composer Hughes encountered was Francis Johnson. “He was extremely famous during his time (1792-1844) and he was like the Michael Jackson of his time,” Hughes said. “He was a huge star. He was part of the first American band to tour overseas, period. This person is a pivotal figure in American music, and was the first African-American to have sheet music published, and yet he’s been completely forgotten. I had never even heard his name before.” Hughes said she found a lot of “treasures,” like Francis Johnson on her search and her goal became to create an album of her performing their music so that she could bring their stories to the forefront, and also to record their music so that there would be a record of their work that would last even beyond herself. And so her first solo album, Legacy: Violin Music of African Composers, was born and recorded by Albany Records in 2011. Next week, Hughes will perform the Legacy show, a visual concert of her album, at North Carolina A&T State University in honor of Black History month and as part of the school’s Lyceum Series, which is dedicated to bringing the most provocative, culturally diverse programs to the university campus and surrounding community. “Tami brings several things to the table that make her a good fit for our Lyceum Series,” said Carl Baker, who runs the program. “She is an African-American female that has risen to the top of the music world in her debut with the National Symphony Orchestra playing the violin. She has extensively toured the United States, Europe, and Central America, championing the music of AfricanAmerican composers. And her solo album, Legacy: Violin Music of African Composers, was heralded as one of the top 10 albums of 2011 by all Music Guides.” Baker said he is especially excited about including the concert as part of the school’s celebration of Black History Month because many of the university students “simply have not been exposed to this type of cultural experience.” WWW.YESWEEKLY.COM

The show highlights African-American composers from the Antebellum Period, the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights Movement and modern times. Hughes also introduces each composer and their story, and reads a poem from an African-American artist before each composition. Hughes describes the concert as classical music infused with blues, gospel, hip-hop and jazz, all influences she grew up with in Louisiana. “It’s music that people don’t know,” Hughes said. “They probably won’t hear it anywhere else…there is a richness of colors and sounds that come from these composers.” To complement the musical performance of Hughes and her accompanying pianist Byron Sean, images of the people, places and events related to the African-American experience are projected on a backdrop. “It’s so rewarding (to be able to perform this show),” Hughes said. “It takes years and years of training to get to the point in which an artist can do something like this. I feel very grateful to have the opportunity to do something like this, and I’m so excited to bring this history to life.” ! LENISE WILLIS, a graduate from UNC Chapel Hill’s journalism school, has experience in acting and ballet, and has been covering live performances since 2010.



North Carolina A&T State University will present Tami Lee Hughes in her rendition of “The Legacy Show,” at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 23, in the Richard B. Harrison Auditorium on the university’s campus. The show is free and open to the public. For more information call 336-334-7571 or visit

If you’re looking for a thought-provoking production this week, you’re in luck. There are several performances that ask their audiences to immerse themselves in a story and contemplate the message within. For starters, Triad Stage continues its production of Arthur Miller’s The Price this week through Sunday. In the intimate family drama, two brothers are reunited to settle their late father’s estate. But the reunion is one filled with regret and resentment. As the brother’s discuss their versions of the past—and their two very different lives—it becomes clear that there is always a price to pay for our decisions. Make a decision for yourself and it comes with guilt and isolation; abandon your own needs and base your choice on morality and pay the price with a life of lost dreams and resentment. Ultimately, the choice is yours, but what cost are you willing to pay? Speaking of making decisions, Open Space Café Theatre will finish its run this week of a dark comedy, Company, in which a sworn bachelor weighs the pros and cons of marriage as he approaches his 35th birthday. The performance is a Stephen Sondheim musical. As a side note, next week North Carolina A&T University challenges its audiences with an inspiring concert on the life and experiences of forgotten African-American composers, including music from the Antebellum Period through the Civil Rights Movement and modern times. On a more light-hearted note, Friday through Feb. 26, Theatre Alliance continues its electric production of Rock of Ages, which includes the hits from such 80s rock bands as Pat Benatar, Journey, Poison and Bon Jovi. The musical, or rather rock concert, follows a wannabe rock star who must save a legendary venue from being turned into a strip mall. Another fun production continuing its runs this week is Barn Dinner Theatre’s The Kitchen Witches, in which two competitive TV hosts are paired together for a dramatic cooking show that likens to Martha Stewart combined with Jerry Springer. Productions run this week through Feb. 26. New this week is Helen Simoueau Dance’s 7th season kick-off with a coscreening of Mr. Gaga at A/perture Cinema on Thursday in Winston-Salem. The unique documentary tells the story of an internationally renowned choreographer who created “Gaga,” a form of dance. ! FEBRUARY 15-21, 2017





Mark Burger

Contributing columnist

Scares run scarce in Rings It all began with Koji Suzuki’s best-selling 1991novel Ringu. Then came a 1995 Japanese film, followed by a TV series and several film sequels. Such success does not go unnoticed in Hollywood, hence the 2002 American version of The Ring, which was both a critical and

financial success. Things came to a rather screeching

halt with The Ring Two (2005), but after a decade of dormancy comes Rings, the latest (and least) of the big-screen franchise, seemingly designed for the express purpose of wringing a few more box-office bucks from the genre faithful. Johnny Galecki plays a pot-smoking college professor and the latest recipient of the nefarious VHS tape. No sooner has he viewed it than in comes the phone call informing him he will die in seven days, followed by a CGI fly that emerges from the smoldering embers of his joint. Then the rain outside his apartment begins falling upward. None of this is particularly scary, although Sharone Meir’s cinematography is appropriately murky and spooky.

Toni Erdmann: Father knows best Writer/producer/director Maren Ade’s art-house smash Toni Erdmann has been a worldwide success, reaping countless accolades and awards along the way – including an Oscar nomination as Best Foreign Language Film.


FEBRUARY 15-21, 2017

This offbeat character comedy is definitely on the quirky side, but the performances of Peter Simonischek and Sandra Huller are well nigh irresistible, with the former playing practical joker Winfried and the latter his uptight daughter Ines, whose affection for her father is heavily tinged with embarrassment and disdain. After all, she’s a high-powered career woman engaged in million-dollar deals and he’s simply an incorrigible prankster who tends not to take much of anything seriously, although he is clearly trying to make amends with her. It’s during an impetuous visit to Ines in Bucharest where things come to a head, and that’s when “Toni Erdmann” is born. Donning his trademark false teeth and a fright wig, Winfried manages to insinuate himself into Ines’ life as a business consultant and life coach – a ruse that infuriates Ines but somehow convinces and impresses her friends and colleagues. Reportedly, an American remake of Toni Erdmann is in the works with Jack Nicholson and Kristen Wiig in the leads, although Simonischek more resembles a shaggier version of Billy Bob Thornton in Bad Santa mode. He’s effortlessly lovable shambling through the proceedings, an excellent contrast to Huller’s slowburning offspring, whose (mostly silent) reactions are priceless. At 162 minutes, an exceedingly long running time for a comedy, Toni Erdmann manages to never be boring, but it might have benefited from a few trims. An awkward sex scene between Ines and a co-worker (Trystan Putter) seems designed merely to shock (it succeeds) more than anything else, although the

The main characters in Rings are Holt (Alex Roe), a hunky college freshman who evidently watched the tape the very first day of college, and Holt’s girlfriend Julia (Emilia Clarke lookalike Matilda Lutz), who rushes to his aid. Galecki’s Prof. Brown theorizes that the tape may somehow unlock the secrets of life after death, which is not an uninteresting idea but is dropped in favor of Julia and Holt delving into the backstory of Samara (Bonnie Morgan), the vengeful specter seen on the tape. Those who remember The Ring Two will doubtless recall that that film’s storyline was also concerned with Samara’s backstory, so there’s really nothing new

here, although one can now download the deadly video in question, thereby keeping up with current technology. With the exception of M. Night Shymalan’s Split, the new year hasn’t exactly been welcoming to horror films. The latest installments of proven franchises Underworld: Blood Wars and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (we can only hope), and a potential franchise in The Bye Bye Man, have all underperformed at the box-office. There’s no reason to expect that Rings won’t follow suit. It’s clearly time to retire Samara once and for all. This ghost is busted. !

De Niro takes center stage in The Comedian Jackie Burke (nee Jacob Berkowitz) is a New York-based stand-up comedian whose major claim to fame was starring in the title role of the ‘70s sitcom “Eddie’s Home.” As played by Robert De Niro in The Comedian, Jackie Burke is something of a spiritual cousin to Rupert Pupkin, the immortal – and immortally hapless – wannabe comic he played in Martin Scorsese’s 1983 classic The King of Comedy. Jackie’s specialties are insults and putdowns, and when he gets rolling his anger and bitterness come to the fore, often to the detriment of his career. With every failed gag and each failed gig, he tends to lash out at those around them, whether the audience or his long-suffering agent, Miller (Edie Falco, nicely understated). The Comedian is directed by Taylor Hackford, whose previous credits (An Officer and a Gentleman, Dolores Claiborne, Ray, et al) could scarcely be called lighthearted and whose tendency toward overstatement is again in evidence here. Yet the film captures well the stand-up milieu – both the good and the not-sogood – and Terrence Blachard’s jazzy score adds as much flavor as the wintry

climactic sequence, a birthday party at Ines’ apartment, is an eye-opener in more ways than one. (In English, German and Romanian with English subtitles) – Toni Erdmann opens Friday !

Gotham locations. Redemption can be found in the strangest places, and for Jackie it’s when he meets Harmony Schiltz (Leslie Mann) at a homeless shelter where both are serving community service (he for assaulting a heckler). Mann brings a scatter-brained, screwball fervor to her role, which is sometimes at odds with the tone of the story but appealing nevertheless. A good cast includes long-time De Niro co-star Harvey Keitel (as Harmony’s obnoxious father), Charles Grodin, Cloris Leachman, Lois Smith, and a slew of stand-up notables (Billy Crystal, Jimmie Walker, Brett Butler, Gilbert Gottfried and Freddie Roman among them). Danny DeVito plays Jackie’s younger brother Jimmy, whose wife Florence (Patti LuPone, simmering with anger) loathes Jackie. The film’s highlight is the wedding of Jimmy’s daughter Brittany (Lucy DeVito, Danny’s real-life daughter), which Eddie reluctantly attends, with Harmony as his date. It should be noted that it’s a lesbian wedding, and when Brittany calls upon Eddie to do his routine, one can’t help but cringe in trepidation at what could – and indeed does – transpire. !




Feb 17 - 23

20TH CENTURY WOMEN (R) – 10:05 A DOG’S PURPOSE (PG) – 12:15, 2:35, 4:55, 7:15, 9:35 ARRIVAL (PG-13) – 4:00, 9:20 CURE FOR WELLNESS (R) – 12:15, 3:25, 6:35, 9:45 FENCES (PG-13) – 1:00 FIFTY SHADES DARKER (R) – 1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00 FIST FIGHT (R) – 12:45, 3:00, 5:15, 7:30, 9:45 HACKSAW RIDGE (R) – 11:45 HIDDEN FIGURES (PG) – 1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00 JOHN WICK CHAPTER 2 (R) – 1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 9:45 LA LA LAND (PG-13) – 1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00 LEGO BATMAN MOVIE 2D (PG) – 12:15, 1:30, 2:35, 4:00, 4:55, 6:15, 7:15, 8:30, 9:30 LEGO BATMAN MOVIE 3D (PG) – 12:45, 3:05, 5:25, 7:45, 10:00 LION (PG-13) – 1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00 MOONLIGHT (R) – 6:45 PASSENGERS (PG-13) – 7:30 SPACE BETWEEN US (PG-13) – 1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00 SPLIT (PG-13) – 11:45, 2:20, 4:55, 7:30, 10:05 THE FOUNDER (PG-13) – 2:30, 5:00 THE GREAT WALL 2D (PG-13) – 11:45, 1:05, 2:10, 4:35, 6:00, 7:00, 8:25, 9:25 THE GREAT WALL 3D (PG-13) – 12:25, 2:50, 5:15, 7:40, 10:05 XXX: THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE 2D (R) – 3:30

Feb 17 - 23

FIFTY SHADES DARKER (R) LUXURY SEATING Fri - Thu: 11:30 AM, 2:15, 5:00, 7:45, 10:15 HIDDEN FIGURES (PG) LUXURY SEATING Fri & Sat: 11:55 AM, 2:40, 5:25, 8:10, 11:00 Sun - Thu: 11:55 AM, 2:40, 5:25, 8:10 MANCHESTER BY THE SEA (R) LUXURY SEATING Fri & Sat: 11:50 AM, 2:45, 5:35, 8:25, 11:15 Sun - Thu: 11:50 AM, 2:45, 5:35, 8:25 A CURE FOR WELLNESS (R) Fri & Sat: 11:45 AM, 2:40, 5:40, 8:35, 11:30 Sun - Thu: 11:45 AM, 2:40, 5:40, 8:35 FIST FIGHT (R) Fri & Sat: 12:40, 2:45, 4:50, 7:15, 9:30, 11:45 Sun - Thu: 12:40, 2:45, 4:50, 7:15, 9:30 THE GREAT WALL (PG-13) Fri & Sat: 11:50 AM, 2:10, 4:35, 7:00, 9:20, 11:40 Sun - Thu: 11:50 AM, 2:10, 4:35, 7:00, 9:20 2017 OSCAR NOMINATED SHORTS ANIMATED (NR) Fri & Sat: 12:20, 5:05, 9:50, 11:50 Sun - Thu: 12:20, 5:05, 9:50 2017 OSCAR NOMINATED SHORTS LIVE ACTION (NR) Fri - Thu: 2:20, 7:05 ALONE IN BERLIN (R) Fri - Thu: 12:35, 2:55, 5:15, 7:35, 9:55



JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 (R) Fri - Thu: 11:40 AM, 2:10, 4:40, 7:25, 10:00 RINGS (PG-13) Fri & Sat: 5:00, 9:45, 11:55 Sun: 5:00, 9:45 A DOG’S PURPOSE (PG) Fri - Wed: 12:15, 2:30, 4:45, 7:00, 9:15 Thu: 12:15, 2:30, 4:45 SPLIT (PG-13) Fri - Thu: 11:40 AM, 2:20, 4:55, 7:20, 9:55 La La Land (PG-13) Fri - Wed: 11:30 AM, 2:10, 4:50, 7:30, 10:10 Thu: 11:30 AM, 2:10, 4:50 JACKIE (R) Fri & Sat: 11:35 AM, 2:05, 4:30, 7:10, 9:25, 11:45 Sun - Thu: 11:35 AM, 2:05, 4:30, 7:10, 9:25 ARRIVAL (PG-13) Fri - Sun: 11:55 AM, 2:30, 7:15 COLLIDE (AUTOBAHN) (PG-13) Thu: 7:00, 9:15 GET OUT (R) Thu: 7:15, 9:40

Feb 17 - 23

2017 OSCAR NOMINATED DOCUMENTARY SHORTS: PROGRAM A (NR) Fri: 4:00 PM, Sat & Sun: 11:00 AM, 4:00 Mon - Thu: 9:00 PM 2017 OSCAR NOMINATED DOCUMENTARY SHORTS: PROGRAM B (NR) Fri: 6:30 PM, Sat & Sun: 1:30, 6:30 Mon - Thu: 6:30 PM 2017 OSCAR NOMINATED SHORTS LIVE ACTION (NR) Fri & Sat: 9:00 PM, Tue: 3:45 PM PATERSON (R) Fri: 3:15, 6:00, 8:45, Sat & Sun: 9:45 AM, 12:30, 3:15, 6:00, 8:45, Mon: 6:00, 8:45, Tue: 3:15, 6:00, 8:45, Wed & Thu: 6:00, 8:45 FENCES (PG-13) Fri: 2:30, 5:30, 8:30, Sat & Sun: 11:30 AM, 2:30, 5:30, 8:30, Mon: 5:30, 8:30, Tue: 2:30, 5:30, 8:30, Wed & Thu: 5:30, 8:30 TONI ERDMANN (R) Fri: 4:30, 7:45, Sat: 1:15, 4:30, 7:45 Sun: 10:00 AM, 1:15, 4:30, 7:45 Mon: 5:00, 8:15, Tue: 2:00, 5:00, 8:15 Wed & Thu: 5:00, 8:15 SECRET SUNSHINE (MILYANG) (NR) Sat: 9:30 AM

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FEBRUARY 15-21, 2017





Home of the Brave BY BRIAN LAMPKIN A Review of The Blood of Emmett Till, by Timothy Tyson (Simon & Schuster, 2017. $27.00)


he sensational response to Timothy Tyson’s new history of the 1955 Emmett Till murder, The Blood of Emmett Till, has centered on the recantation by Carolyn Bryant—the white woman who accused Till of the verbal and physical offense that led to his murder—of her testimony. It may be surprising to find out how little of the book is actually concerned with Bryant and her lies. Tyson has more important things to consider. No one can realistically be surprised to find out that Bryant lied; it’s a revelation, I guess, that she copped to it, but hardly news. The Blood of Emmett Till is less concerned with the historical cowardice of Bryant and the white men who effectively lynched Till, and much

more invested in the bravery of Emmett Till’s mother, Mamie, and of the courage of the black activists who worked for voting rights and justice amidst the violent horror of life in Mississippi. Emmett Till’s body was recovered from the Tallahatchie River on August 31, 1955, three days after he was sadistically tortured (I know that “sadistically tortured” is redundant, but the emphasis makes clear the sanctioned, normalized sadism that permeated a culture) by white men protecting a social order that deemed murder an appropriate response to a 14-year-old boy whistling at a white woman. Mamie Till’s first act of courage was to insist upon an open casket and a public viewing of her son’s mutilated body. She had to fight the State of Mississippi to even get Emmett’s body returned to his family in Chicago, and that return came

Scuppernong Books

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with a locked casket and an insistence that it not be opened or the body displayed. It’s courage of one kind to resist the state; it’s another level of courage to see your son’s body so destroyed and to then have it photographically distributed around the world. (Greensboro’s International Civil Rights Museum has a powerfully presented image of Till’s body on display in its Hall of Shame). Without Mamie Till’s insistence, Emmett’s murder would have been largely forgotten in the welter of racial violence of the time. Ms. Till eventually testifies in the trial and Tyson reports on the abuses and accusations of the defense counsel, and even the indignities of the prosecution as they insist on referring to her as “Mamie” so as not to offend the all-white jury with a more respectful form of address. Tyson describes her dignity as another shock to the white system. The testimony of Moses Wright—the black man whose home was invaded the night Emmett was kidnapped—was bravery in the face of probable death. Wright knew the white powers would try to kill him for testifying, but “some things are worse than death,” he said, and added, “if a man lives, he must still live with himself.” Tyson is a deeply political writer. His history is an exploration of a violent and corrupt system and of the resistance movement that fought it. Much of the book deals with the role of the NAACP, the various black newspapers like The Chicago Defender and the individuals who stood up—and sometimes died—for voting rights in Mississippi. Tyson uses his research to give us examples of how to resist, of what it takes to resist, of the courage that might still inspire us to resist. Tyson quotes a New York Post editorial from 1955 that contextualizes the Till case: “Like other great episodes

in the battle for equality and justice, this trial has rocked the world, and nothing can ever be quite the same again—even in Mississippi.” In an epilogue, Tyson addresses 21st Century racism: “America is still killing Emmett Till,” in Ferguson and Charleston and on and on. The blatant lies and willful contradiction of facts of the 1955 Mississippi politicians, press and defense council is eerily familiar. Fascist states, like Mississippi under Jim Crow, live on the tacitly agreed upon great lie, in this case the lie of white supremacy. Histories like Tyson’s The Blood of Emmett Till expose these lies while also exposing the deeply flawed belief in American Exceptionalism. To emphasize the importance of this kind of expose, Tyson quotes Czech writer Milan Kundera: “The struggle of humanity against power is always the struggle of memory against forgetting.” And so it goes on. For those who worry that little has changed in America (or that great reversals of change are upon us), Tyson uses the example of Emmett Till’s mother’s courage to inspire us: “...Mamie Bradley dug deep within herself and inspired thousands of other Americans.... From this tragedy large, diverse numbers of people organized a movement that grew to transform a nation, not sufficiently but certainly meaningfully.” Tyson knows that “the lynching of Emmett Till was caused by the nature and history of America itself and by a social system that has changed over the decades, but not as much as we pretend.” The Blood of Emmett Till is a history of an event from over 60 years ago. Its relevance is obvious. Timothy Tyson will appear in person at Scuppernong Books on Wednesday, March 1 at 7:00 pm. !


Sundance from a Southern perspective In its almost 40-year history, the Sundance Film Festival has become the preeminent independent film festival in the United States. The brainchild of actor/filmmaker Robert Redford (whose charMark Burger acter in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Contributing Kid gave the event its name), Sundance has columnist launched countless careers, showcased countless classics, and continues to be the festival by which all others are measured. Each year, Utah-based festival attracts upwards of 40,000 visitors. The 2017 Sundance Film Festival was held Jan. 19-29, and amid the screening, promoting, bidding, snowing, skiing and – this year, anyway – hacking (which effectively shut down the box-office temporarily), there was a palpable Piedmont Triad presence. For Lawren Desai, executive director of a/perture cinema in Winston-Salem, this was her sixth visit to snowy Sundance. “It was nuts because it snowed this year the most in the history of Sundance – I lost count how many feet of snow it was. I generally have a good time, but I get cold! I like North Carolina winters (better).” As for the box-office computer hack, “I didn’t affect anything for me,” says Desai. Besides, she noted: “When you are in the industry and have an industry pass, you’re really not going to the big premiere screenings that often, but it’s kind of cool because we aren’t hanging out on Main Street, and sometimes you’ll just run into celebrities because they’re trying to get away from that scene too.” The RiverRun International Film Festival also saw a contingent attend the festival: Executive director Rob Davis, program manager Mary Dossinger, and program coordinator Christopher Holmes. In addition, UNCSA (the University of North Carolina School of the Arts) was also represented this year at Sundance. Susan Ruskin, the dean of the School of Filmmaking, hosted the panel discussion “Immerse Yourself: Your Next Steps in Virtual Reality,” wherein industry professionals discussed the latest advancements in creating, distributing and protecting content in emerging media. “Sundance is absolutely the place to be for young filmmakers,” Ruskin said in an official statement. “The screenings create interest and often lead to lucrative deals, and the workshops and panel discussions WWW.YESWEEKLY.COM

are terrific opportunities to learn and to network with industry insiders. “Immersive entertainment continues to rewrite the rules of cinema and storytelling,” she observed. “The UNCSA School of Filmmaking is at the forefront of training artists who will create the future of new media. By hosting this highly interactive panel, we believe that universities – and UNCSA School of Filmmaking in particular Director and School of Filmmaking graduate Brett Haley. – need to be leaders in creating this new lexicon. graduates in both cast and crew. On BurnWe need to share our experiences as the ing Love, the cinematographer was Isiah rules shift in every aspect of content creDonte Lee (class of ‘14), the first assistant ation, distribution, and protecting artists camera “B” camera was Kyle Frank (class who work with this new technology.” of ‘16), the second assistant camera “A” Filmmaker Jody Hill (class of ‘99), whose camera was Ayinde Anderson (class of ‘16), credits include Observe and Report (2009) and additional photography was by Caleb and the HBO comedy series’ “Eastbound Tou (class of ‘15). and Down” and “Vice Principals,” was a Haley was back at Sundance as writer/ Sundance juror in the US Dramatic cateditor/director of The Hero, whose crew egory. “Jody’s selection as a Sundance juror included cinematographer Rob Givens signifies that he has earned the respect of (class of ‘05), color correction by Alex his peers in the film industry,” said Ruskin. Bickel (class of ‘04), the key grip was Matt “It is a tremendous honor for him.” Verschelde (class of ‘08), and School of Rebecca Green (class of ‘01) is a Women Drama alumnus Linda Lee McBride (class at Sundance Fellow, receiving a stipend to of ‘06) was featured in the cast. attend the festival and year-long mentorTony and Golden Globe winner, Emmy ship by industry leaders, participating in nominee, and School of Drama alumnus one-on-one industry meetings and group Mary-Louise Parker (class of ‘86) stars with seminars to discuss and advance projects, Emily Browning and Chloe Sevigny in Goldsessions with professional coaches, and en Exits, which premiered at Sundance. To screenings and special events. the Bone’s crew included supervising sound Green co-founded the production comdesigner and mixer Justin Davey (class of pany Two Flints, which scored with its inau‘08) and supervising sound editor Zach gural production, the independent horror Sievers (class of ‘06). Sievers was also the hit It Follows (2014), which premiered at sound designer and re-recording mixer for that year’s Cannes Film Festival and was Walking Out. screened at Sundance the following year. In Sundance’s “Next” category, Dayveon Two Flints also produced the acclaimed drama I’ll See You in My Dreams (2015), directed by School of Filmmaking graduate Brett Haley (class of ‘05), which premiered at Sundance. Green was cited in Variety’s 2015 “10 Producers to Watch” list and nominated for the Piaget Producer’s Award at last year’s Independent Spirit Awards. “Rebecca is a prolific and successful young producer with a brilliant career in the film industry ahead of her, and the prestigious Women at Sundance Fellowship will be another jewel in her crown,” praised Ruskin. “I wish her the best of luck and will watch her progress with pride and admiration.” Five of the 16 films screening in the US Dramatic Competition boasted UNCSA

was produced by former faculty member Lisa Muskat along with Hill, David Gordon Green (class of ‘98), and Danny McBride (class of ‘99). School of Drama graduate Brett Gelman (class of ‘99) stars in Lemon opposite Judy Greer and Michael Cera. In Sundance’s “Premieres” category, Cinematographer Sean McElwee (class of ‘04) shot both Fun Mom Dinner and The Incredible Jessica James. Joey Poach (class of ‘12) was an associate producer on The Polka King. In the “Special Events” category, Sievers was sound designer and re-recording mixer for both History of Comedy and Hot Girls Wanted. Clint Buckner (class of ‘09) was second assistant director and Matt Storm (class of ‘06) the location manager for Shots Fired, which was filmed in Charlotte. In the “US Narrative Shorts” category, School of Drama high-school graduate Jimmie Jeter (class of ‘12) appears in Hold On, and Sing Howe Yam (class of ‘08) was cinematographer on I Know You from Somewhere. In the Slamdance “Narrative Shorts” category, Birds with Human Heads boasted a batch of UNCSA graduates: writer/director Max Wilde (class of ‘15), producer Matthew Brown (class of ‘15), production designers Tori Lancaster (class of ‘15) and Zelda Vyssotsky (class of ‘15), director of photography Donald Monroe (class of ‘15), gaffer Tyler Harmon-Townsend (class of ‘15), sound by Dalton Price (class of ‘16), and actors Emma Kikue Munson (class of ‘16) and Emma Factor (currently a senior) from the School of Drama. Desai’s personal favorites from this year’s festival were The Big Sick, starring Holly Hunter, Zoe Kazan and Ray Romano, and writer/director Geremy Jasper’s Patti Cake$, which was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. “Both got sold – neither to Netflix – so they should be on movie screens, hopefully a/perture’s, later this year.” !

Bean to Bar in Winston-Salem Tuesday-Saturday 11am to 4pm

1151 Canal Drive, Unit 106, Winston-Salem, NC DIRECTIONS: Northwest Boulevard to Bridge Street Turn Left onto Gravel Parking Lot

FEBRUARY 15-21, 2017





All hail Queen Mary! Mary’s Gourmet Diner reigns supreme


BY KRISTI MAIER | @triadfoodies

f you asked Mary Haglund 20 years ago where she would be today, one wonders if her answer would’ve been, “I plan to be the Breakfast Queen of Winston-Salem.” Well….She certainly is. Established in 2000 as Mary’s Of Course, a catering company, the business transitioned to a standing restaurant space on Brookstown Avenue called Breakfast Of Course and several years ago, became Mary’s Gourmet Diner. The diner is now housed in a former bank on Trade Street in the Arts District. The menu is predominantly breakfast and brunch, but also lists specialty sandwiches, grilled cheese and lots of imaginative features. Of course, to the locals, the eatery is simply known as Mary’s. It is almost always busy. And you’ll likely find yourself waiting for a table during the brunch rush on Saturday and Sunday. It’s no big deal at all. People go to Mary’s to visit as well as to eat. You’re instantly drawn in by the openness and family feel of the space. The walls are filled with works by local artists and whimsical salt and pepper shakers adorn the tables, a hat tip to a passion the Queen has for collecting them. Mix and match dinnerware add to the eclectic vibe. I don’t know about you, but CorningWare makes me happy. I bet Mary loves that it’s resilient, just like her. Mary’s story is that of a woman who overcame personal struggles with sobriety and now, decades sober, lives each day with an open and grateful heart. In addition to having arguably the most popular restaurant in downtown WinstonSalem, Mary has long been a champion of local farmers and purveyors. She says, “I am an old hippie and my food goddess is Alice Waters. She’s the one who started Farm-to-Table on the West Coast many years ago. I have followed her career, read all her books and finally got to meet her a few years ago in Greensboro.” Mary says when she decided to open a restaurant she knew she wanted to use as many locally-produced items as possible. “At that time I had one farm, Bill and Margie Imus from MingleWood Farm. Then, I found dairy from a third generation dairy farm, Homeland Creamery. A few farms over near Julian, were the Wards who have provided my beautiful eggs for years. I get my organic stone-ground yellow grits from Lindley Mills. My biscuit flour


FEBRUARY 15-21, 2017

is called Snowflake from Sanford Mills in Henderson.” Harmony Ridge Farms, Shore Farms Organics and Krankie’s Coffee are just a few others that deliver goods through the diner’s doors each week. Her first farmer, Margie Imus, says she and her husband applaud everything Mary has done. “Bill and I got to be friends with her when we were making produce deliveries years ago. Mary has always been a big supporter of the local food movement and farmers, before it was even popular. She’s always interested to change her menu according to what is coming in to feature the season from her farmers, as she knows it is the freshest and in most cases, the cleanest food available for her customers.” I recently visited Mary’s again for brunch, where it was packed of course. I really enjoyed the Eggs Benedict feature with corn cakes (like a grit cake) topped with collard greens, Giacomo’s chicken sausage, egg to order and smoked paprika hollandaise and Buttercup Cheese. It was the best hollandaise I’d ever tasted. When asked, Mary says the corn cake plate is one of her favorite things on the menu. “The corn cakes are just like my grandma used to make for us when we were kids. I love them with maple syrup. The plate comes with eggs, bacon or sausage and a side item. Yum.” I also love Mary’s Chopped House salad

that is so brimming with meat, cheese, and beautiful accoutrements that it is practically spilling over the plate. There’s just something about the vinaigrette on that salad and the pimento cheese ... it is completely satisfying and decently priced for a salad (under $10). But Mary, the adventurer, also encourages diners to think out of the box. “Our menu is really solid. We started with only a chalkboard and allowed the menu to develop organically, based on customer demand.” She says, “Two sandwiches we have that always surprise people because they’re so good are our Rueben, which you can choose smoked turkey ,smoked sausage or tempeh, a vegetarian meat substitute, and number two, our barbecue which is a whole wheat bun with choice of tofu, tempeh or chicken, smoky barbecue sauce, Swiss cheese and our homemade slaw of the day.” An example of the slaw of the day might be pickled cauliflower and carrot slaw. Mary adds, “Because we are mostly known for breakfast and brunch, people are often surprised at how tasty our lunch fare is.” One is encouraged not to miss the triple decker club when it’s featured, the Apple Butter Baby (a regular item) or any of the fabulous grilled cheese specials of the day. When I asked Mary what her favorite thing about her job is, she told me, “I have two favorite things. One is cooking … I

still love making biscuits and soup and specials. But I also love having a personal relationship with my customers.” And her customers love their relationship with her. Many leave love notes about their experience on their receipt. Tim Beeman of The Man Who Ate the Town Food Blog and The Less Desirables Podcast Network has been a regular for years. “Mary is one of the most compassionate and caring, not to mention important, women in Winston-Salem. She’s a tough lady whom the community looks to for guidance, support and leadership. I’d say she’s well-loved here.” Mary says running a business, especially a restaurant these days, hasn’t been easy, but “I have always loved being a part of this scene. I felt like an outsider in the beginning. But I built relationships with other restaurant owners and we are now a very tight-knit community.” Jason Thiel, president of Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership, says “Mary cares about people and food in innovative ways that enriches those around her. We are blessed to have her in downtown Winston-Salem.” Of course it’s easy to be inspired by a community that is as intertwined as Winston-Salem’s culinary and arts scene, which translates to other areas of the community as well. Mary says she thinks it has much to do with the city’s history.


“This town was built by Moravians. And community was what Moravians were all about. It was their heart and I believe that heart beats strong here to this day.” And now the Queen is branching out. One big way is with “Mary’s Mavens,” an organization created to help empower local women. She explains, “Mary’s Mavens was a radical experiment born out of the EmcArts and Innovation Lab. My cofounder, Rebeccah Byer of The Olio, and I wanted to form a support group for female entrepreneurs.” She adds that since women can have a more difficult time receiving conventional bank loans, they wanted to find a way to support, empower and educate potential business leaders. “We received a lot of recognition from the facilitators of the lab and were given a seed grant which we will use for micro loans. It’s a relatively small amount of money but if it goes well we will apply for more.” Every meeting includes a speaker who tells her (or his) story. There are over 1000 members on Facebook who are invited to attend the monthly meetings as well as spinoff groups and workshops. Mary says everything associated with the Mavens is free and all about inclusivity. “Over this past year it has developed to not only include women wishing to open their own businesses but artists and women who have felt isolated or beaten down by living in this culture.” WWW.YESWEEKLY.COM

Minglewood’s Imus says she too is now benefiting from joining the Mavens. “It has been a powerful thing for me. I found help for Minglewood Farm & Nature Preserve in the way of guidance, volunteering and more. It is an unbelievably powerful group of great women that are now taking Mary’s name and pushing to become true Mavens for ourselves and our community. I think this Maven group is just as important as the fabulous restaurant that Mary has brought to downtown because I have seen the way it is empowering many women, young and old.” The crown doesn’t seem to be weighing too heavy for the queen. Mary adds, “I have seen women’s lives transformed in this past year. I do this for my daughters, my granddaughters and all women on the earth now and in the future. It’s time to speak up, act up and be bold! This group feeds my soul and is my true passion right now.” Long Live Queen Mary. !



Mary’s Gourmet Diner is located at 723 North Trade Street in Winston-Salem and can be found on the web at Find out more information about Mary’s Mavens by following them on Facebook.

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Triad’ s Best 2017


FEBRUARY 15-21, 2017

last call


[LEO (July 23 to August 22) There are occasionally moments in life when we are focused upon contemplation of the deeper topics in life. Why am I here? What is my purpose? Where am I headed? Do I take action based upon my principles or am I adopting the values of someone else? Taking stock now brings greater clarity. [VIRGO (August 23 to September 22) This is a good week to discuss complicated issues with your partner, business associates, employees, lessors. Topics that have been a struggle in the past may now be easier to present and find solutions. Even touchy subjects can be more open now. [LIBRA (September 23 to October 22) Either you or others in your life are behaving erratically. It is difficult to make firm plans or sustain a solid conversation. This sometimes generates a rift between you and another because one of you needs to be alone. Don’t fight it. Just let it be. It is temporary. Take it with a spoonful of generosity and humor. [SCORPIO (October 23 to November 21) Your sense of security is being battered by threats or internal fears. Don’t do this to yourself. This time in your life will soon be over. There are positive things in your every day life. Fasten your attention to them and count your blessings until the scary times are past. [SAGITTARIUS (November 22 to December 21) You have a desire to reach outward to others. You want to share ideas and express yourself in a larger framework. Talking to yourself is not satisfactory. Circumstances on the romantic front are favorable with one who shares intellectual interests. Activities involving teaching/learning are favored, along with good aspects for travel.

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[CAPRICORN (December 22 to January 19) An expense of the not so favorable type may be weighing heavily on your mind this week. Think of all the countless times you have absorbed such a thing and just moved onward. You need not let this disturb your overall energy pattern. Do what you must and put it behind you. [AQUARIUS (January 20 to February 18) You may need to think out loud about whatever you are pondering. If there is no one to listen, satisfy that need by making outlines or lists. Your mind is flowing with good ideas. Perhaps you need to diagram how all these things fit together. Your mind is working fast. You will need to find a way to bring order out of apparent chaos. [PISCES (February 19 to March 20) The sun returns “home” to your sign this week. You likely will find it to be energizing. Now is the time to focus on new plans for this next year of your life. Take a fresh look at where you want to direct your energy. It is appropriate that your attention be directed toward yourself right now. [ARIES (March 21 to April 19) You are thinking fast and the wheels are rolling forward in your life. You may need to write things down to hold onto the ideas. Others appreciate your plans and want to help you manifest them. This is a good time to study any material because your thoughts are flowing. [TAURUS (April 20 to May 20) You are feeling restless and need to try something new. Commute by a different route or go somewhere you have never visited before. Take your partner on a picnic. Try an entirely different restaurant. Maybe you will need to find something outrageous to perk up a room or your clothing style. [GEMINI (May 21 to June 20) You are in the mood for travel, exploring, and overall expansion of your mind. Activities involving education, legal interests, and the internet are favored. You may be researching a new interest, gazing over travel brochures for your next adventure, or pursuing an interest in philosophy or religion. [CANCER (June 21 to July 22) Eclipses disturb the Crabs more than anyone else. You may be feeling unnerved. When that happens, you sometimes fall into old behaviors. You know better, but when anxious, you forget to continue with your more evolved behavior. Certain people from your history can also trigger old patterns.

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[THE ADVICE GODDESS] love • sex • dating • marriage • questions


I’m a 61-year-old guy who’s been married four times. I love the security and acceptance of marriage, but after several years, either my wife du jour or I Amy Alkon will get bored, and we’ll agree to move Advice on. Clearly, I like Goddess being a husband, but I do a poor job of remaining one. Can I change that? — Chairman Of The Bored So, you just want the security of marriage with all the excitement of dating somebody new — which is kind of like wanting to parachute out of an airplane without leaving the safety and comfort of your warm, cozy bed. Though, no, you can’t have it all, you might manage to have a good bit of it all — the security and the excitement — by bringing in the neurochemistry of the chase when you’re in the cuddly-wuddly long-term attachment stage. This probably sounds complicated, but it’s basically the brain version of how your freezer can serve as both an ice cube manufacturing area and a makeshift morgue for Squeaky the hamster, until you can give him a proper burial. It turns out that the goo-goo-eyed “Granny and I are still so in luvvv!” and the bug-eyed “Wowee, that’s new and exciting!” can have some brain parts and neurochemicals in common. Social psy-

chologist Arthur Aron and his colleagues did a brain imaging study of couples who were still passionately in love after being married for 10 to 29 years. Surprisingly, the results looked a lot like their previous results on couples who’d just fallen madly in love, with intense activity in regions of the brain “associated with reward and motivation.” The neurotransmitter dopamine is a central player in this reward circuitry. Though dopamine is still widely known by its outdated nickname, the “pleasure chemical,” current research by neuroscientist Kent Berridge suggests that it doesn’t actually give you a buzz (as opioids in the brain do). It instead motivates you to do things that might — like eating cake, smoking a doob, and making moves on that girl with the hypno-hooters. Dopamine-secreting neurons are especially on the alert for what researchers call “novel rewards” — any yummy, sexy, feel-good stuff you haven’t tried before. Neuroscientist Wolfram Schultz finds that “unpredictable rewards” may be even three or four times as exciting to us as those we’re used to. The problem is, when there’s nothing new on the horizon, there’s no reason for your dopamine to get out of bed. In other words, there’s a neurochemical explanation for why your marriages often go dullsville. But, there’s also good news: Aron and his colleagues note that “if partners experience excitement” from, say, “novel and challenging activities” that they do together, “this shared experience can reignite relationship passion by associating the excitement with the relationship.” Obviously, these should be unantici-

crossword on page 13



The girl I’m in love with has a boyfriend. She and I have already fooled around, but she can’t bring herself to break up with this guy. She insists she doesn’t want to lose me and promises we’ll date eventually. I’m confused. Do you think she’s playing me? — Lost It’s nice to hope for the best about people — but still put a note, “tofu-kelp casserole,” on that foil-wrapped plate of brownies you stuck in the break room refrigerator. However, especially when our ego is involved, we’re prone to believe the best

about people, because of what psychologists call “optimism bias.” This is a form of selecto-vision that leads us to overestimate that things will turn out wonderfully for us and underestimate the likelihood of our experiencing bad stuff, like being in a flaming car wreck or a flaming car wreck of a relationship. In short, we believe that bad things happen to other people. For example, that cheater we’re in love with is only cheating because the other dude’s such a buttknuckle, not because she has the ethics of a dust mite. Because optimism bias is ego-protecting, understanding that we’re susceptible to it typically isn’t enough to dig ourselves out. What might help you, however, is telling yourself your story, but about some other girl and guy. Then advise that guy on his prospects. For example: Yes, here’s a woman you can trust completely to be faithful — whenever she’s trapped, totally alone, 2,300 feet below ground in a Chilean coal mine. ! GOT A problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or e-mail ( © 2017 Amy Alkon Distributed by Creators.Com.




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answers [CROSSWORD]

pated good experiences — like alternating who plans date night and surprising each other with the week’s event — not having your spouse find you in bed with the cleaning lady. You might also try to delight your spouse with small unexpected gestures every day. Ultimately, you should find bringing in surprise much more fun than simply hoping the relationship won’t die — kind of like a paramedic just staring down at a heart attack victim: “Not lookin’ good, dude! Hope you didn’t have any big weekend plans!”

[WEEKLY SUDOKU] sudoku on page 14


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