Monday, February 22, 2021






By Cash Michaels

Staff writer

Thanks to the generosity of the Wilmington community, and the selflessness of those willing to give of their time and effort, the “Save The Wilmington Journal” campaign exceeded its $95,000 goal Saturday, February 20th, to the delight of the paper’s publisher/editor, Mrs. Mary Alice Jervay Thatch.

“Your support is humbling and greatly appreciated in such a time of need,” Mrs. Thatch said in a posted Facebook message Saturday. “Words cannot express our gratitude. Thank you again and again and because of your love we will continue to deliver the news “Without Fear or Favor” and with love and gratitude.”

The funds will be used to begin vital restoration to the Seventh Street building that houses the Journal’s offices.

Mrs. Thatch’s message came close to the end of an impressive nine-hour FaceBook Live Telethon, that saw various local community leaders host various segments of the extravaganza doing interviews, sharing historic local perspectives about The Journal, and updating online viewers on the latest donations and total tally coming in.

“It is the footprint for our people in our community,” local NAACP activist Rev. Kojo Nantambu said, also noting how The Journal led the over 40-year fight to have the Wilmington Ten declared innocent.

Many of those appearing on the telethon were guests, like NC Gov. Roy Cooper. Rev. Dr. William Barber, co-convener of the Poor People’s Campaign, and Rev. Dr. Benjamin Chavis, president of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, and leader of the Wilmington Ten, used their celebrity status to appeal to businesses and churches to make generous contributions.

There were also former Wilmington residents who made appeals in memory of their parents, or affiliation with historic Williston Senior High School. 

Appeals were also made by local elected officials like Councilman Kevin Spears and County Commissioner Jonathan Barfield, Jr., and activists like Sonya Patrick of the NC Black Leadership caucus.

Freedom’s Way Church served as the telethon’s headquarters for viewers to also drop contributions off.

The Wilmington Journal would like to thank everyone who was gracious enough to expend their time and resources to contribute to the fundraising effort to save the newspaper and the building in which it has been housed since 1927,” the paper said in a statement afterwards. “The outpouring of love and support has been deeply overwhelming and humbling.” 

“To the organizers of the telethon that was broadcast earlier, we are truly in awe of your demonstration of selfless service. To the donors, we are forever grateful for your generous financial contributions. With your support, we were able to reach our goal of 95,000.”

The statement continued, “And finally, to our staff, contributing writers, subscribers, advertisers and readers, our debt to you could never be repaid. Because of your dedication and unwavering support, we have been able to be a resounding voice for the African American community for 94 years. With that said, The Wilmington Journal will continue to report the news without fear or favor while carrying out the lasting legacy of our founders, Robert S. Jervay and Thomas C. Jervay, Sr..

“May God bless you and keep you.”





[GREENSBORO] A Senate bill that allowed guns on school campuses attached to houses of worship is closer to becoming law. Senate Bill 43 allows concealed gun owners to bring handguns into church buildings with school affiliations. Guns are already allowed in churches, but not on school campuses. If the bill passes, it would allow guns on the school campuses during off hours only.


[RALEIGH] NC Board of Elections Director Karen Brinson Bell says all municipal elections, and all March 2022 primaries should be postponed across the state because numbers from the recent U.S. Census are going to be delayed several months. Those new numbers are essential for redistricting voting lines, which now have to be delayed before any new elections can take place. She says the March 2022 primaries need to be pushed back to May 2022.


[CHARLOTTE] The next U.S. Attorney for North Carolina Western District could be a Black woman, according to published reports. If so, it would be the first time in 150 years. Dena J. King is currently an assistant to outgoing Trump-appointee U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray of Charlotte, who is being replaced by the Biden Administration as of next Monday. If chosen by Pres. Biden and approved by the U.S. Senate, prosecutor King would become the fourth woman to hold the post, but the first African-American to ever do so.



                                  Ed- THANK YOU, COMMUNITY!

Oh, if only Thomas C. Jervay, Sr. were here last weekend to see it for himself.

First of all we’d of had to explain what, CashApp and Facebook Live was to him, since they did not exist during his heyday. But once the founding publisher of The Wilmington Journal understood what these fancy technological modern-day advances were that allowed you both fundraise and communicate literally with the world from your personal computer screen, it would have touched him as deeply as it touched us.

Our community used these advances, and more, to unabashedly love us, and support us, the we needed them the most.

On February 20th, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. - nine solid hours - concerned and gracious members of the Wilmington community came together to raise over $95,000 to “Save the Wilmington Journal,” specifically start restoration of the Wilmington Journal building which is literally coming apart because of years of punishing wind and rain that have made our offices simply unsafe for us to to do what we do best…to do what T.C. Jervay, Sr always inspired us to do….and that’s namely serve our community with the best local news, information and  opinion from the Black perspective that we can muster.

Because we learned a long time ago that it makes a difference in the lives of our readers, and the history of our community.

And there was no greater example of that than the enthusiastic and generous outpouring of love and support witnessed on the Facebook Live Telethon Saturday. Viewers not only heard heartfelt appeals fo support, but   learned important things about how the  T.C. Jervay, Sr. and  The Wilmington Journal played invaluable roles in port city and North Carolina history.

Several participants in Saturday’s telethon made it clear that there could be no accurately recounting of the saga of the Wilmington Ten without also noting how, for over 40 years, the Wilmington Journal carried the torch for their innocence, leading the fight for Gov. Beverly Perdue to eventually grant them historic pardons of innocence.

That’s what a devoted Black newspaper does - speak truth to power, and never waiver from that truth.

That’s who we are!

And that’s why YOU, our community, made us, and the memory of our founder, Thomas C. Jervay, Sr., proud with your tremendous support last weekend.

You’ve told us that this institution still has a valuable place in your lives, that you trust us when you can’t find anyone else to trust when it comes to your news and information.

That means a lot, and serves to reenergize us to work even harder, and better than ever before…for YOU!

Thank you, community! 

We will continue to strive to make you proud.

Our founder wouldn’t have it any other way!




                                                DR. CHRISTINE JOHNSON MCPHAIL

Saint Augustine’s University Announces the Appointment of Dr. Christine Johnson McPhail as the University’s 13th President 

RALEIGH, N.C. – February 22, 2021 – The Board of Trustees at Saint Augustine’s University (SAU) today announced the appointment of Dr. Christine Johnson McPhail as the University’s 13th President effective February 24th. The announcement comes after an extensive national search to fill the vacancy left after the untimely passing of her husband, Dr. Irving Pressley McPhail, in October 2020.

“We are excited and fortunate to have an innovative, proven credential leader of Dr. Christine McPhail’s stature to lead St. Augustine’s University to the next level of excellence as we reimagine a new model of the HBCU of the future,” said Retired Honorable Justice James E. Perry, Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

Currently serving as the President and CEO of the McPhail Group, LLC, Dr. Christine Johnson McPhail is a nationally recognized, well-respected thought leader in higher education in her own right. Dr. McPhail also currently serves as Professor of Practice at the John E. Roueche Center for Community College Leadership at Kansas State University. She is the Founding Professor and Director of the Community College Leadership Doctoral Program at Morgan State University. Under McPhail’s leadership, Morgan State University received R1 Carnegie classification, indicating that the program awarded at least 20 research/scholarship doctoral degrees during the update year.

“I am both humbled and honored to have been selected by the Saint Augustine’s University Board of Trustees to serve as its next president,” said Dr. McPhail. “I am committed to the success of this University and each of its students. I also feel a responsibility to carry on my late husband’s work to establish the University as a 21st Century, learning-centered institution while at the same time leaning on several decades of experience in higher education leadership and strong partnerships with the SAU community to move us forward.”

Prior to her role at Morgan State University, she served as President of Cypress College in California. She is a Certified Associate for Emergenetics International, an organizational development company that uses psychometric research and behavioral studies to advise and consult with businesses and individuals on how to assess human capital.

                                                                 DARRELL ALLISON



By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

A Change.Org petition, sponsored by Fayetteville State University Concerned Alumni, and sent to Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC-12), Gov. Roy Cooper and State Sen. Ben Clark (D-21), seeks “the removal of the newly appointed Fayetteville State University Chancellor” Darrell Allison.

The all-Republican UNC Board of Governors appointed Allison, a former member of UNC Board of Governors and a school choice advocate, as FSU’S 12th chancellor last Friday, February 19th, unanimously, amid controversy.

The FSU Board of Trustees - which has two of Allison’s relatives on it -  recommended Allison to the board.

Wilmington Attorney Peter Grear, an FSU alum, says he signed the petition because, in his judgement, “Unfortunately, Darrell Allison doesn’t have the credentials, qualifications or experience to serve as chancellor of Fayetteville State University.”

According to the petition, which exceeded it’s initial 1500 signature goal on Monday,”… Allison was not one of the six finalists for the position and was added to the list at the last minute.”

Press accounts say that Allison, an NCCU alum and “longtime education advocate,”  was nominated by UNC System President Peter Hans, and is set to takeover FSU leadership in mid-March.

“Darrell Allison is a creative leader who understands the value of Fayetteville State University to the community, the region, and the state,” Hans says.

UNC Board Chairman Randy Ramsey also speaks highly of Allison.

“I have worked alongside Darrell for many years now and he is not only a person of great ability but one of true character,” Ramsey said. “He is deeply committed to higher education and to the citizens of North Carolina. He brings to this position a broad understanding of Fayetteville State University’s strategic role and impact in the region.”

Allison, who is politically unaffiliated, indeed has a history of educational advocacy, including serving on the NCCU Board of Trustees ns UNC Board of Governors, but the Fayetteville State University Concerned Alumni apparently are not impressed.

The FSU Concerned Alumni allege that Allison “…resigned as [a member ] of the UNC Board of Governors in September 2020, knowing that he was assured and guaranteed to become the new chancellor of Fayetteville State University. Equally in question is the watering down of requirements of the position as well as the change in appointment procedure by the UNC Board of Governors.”

The petition goes on, “The selection process was fraudulent, dishonest, biased, flawed and cheated from the beginning. Unethical maneuvers allowed Darrell Allison the pathway to become a candidate in the first place. In addition, we believe tat it was also Allison’s ties to his mother-in-law and his god mother who both serve the FSU Board of Trustees that also proved favorable to his appointment….” 

The petition concludes alleging that Allison  is “without a day of teaching…” or serving in any other capacity building or training in Higher Education, and “…has a history of scandals involving financial mismanagement, tampering with leadership and steering venom contracts.”

He currently serves as the vice president of governmental affairs and state teams at the American Federation for Children, a national group that works to expand school choice programs, once headed by Trump Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.


                                                          DAMEON SHEPARD




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

A Pender County District Court judge dismissed all charges against a former New Hanover County Sheriff’s deputy who - in uniform with holstered gun -  allegedly led a large “mob” of white people to try to gain entry to the Pender County home of a Black family looking for his sister, and a man who allegedly had an AR-15 assault rifle with him as he allegedly accompanied the deputy.

The group later left after realizing that she wasn’t there.

Even though that Black family - Monica and Dameon Shepard - said that they felt “terrorized” by the alleged actions of the group that came to their home late on a Sunday night last May, and specifically by the alleged actions of former Deputy Jordan Kita, who was charged with forcible trespass, breaking and entering, and willful failure to discharge duties; and Robert Austin Wood, who was charged with going armed to the terror of the community, Judge Chad Hogston dismissed all charges against the pair after Kita apologized to the Shepard family in court.

And now Kita and Wood’s attorneys are threatening to sue the Shepards unless they drop their pending lawsuit of “libelous and defamatory claims…they have made through their lawyers.”

As a result, none of the attorneys representing the Shepards have been available for comment since Judge Hodston’s February 18 verdict.

Rev. Dante Murphy, president of the Pender County NAACP,  was not pleased with the outcome.

That "all" charges against both defendants were dropped leaves a sick feeling in my stomach, Rev. Murphy wrote Atty. Woody White, attorney for defendant Robert Austin Wood, in an open letter. “Clear reckless and invasive behaviors by one class of people (Whites) can so easily be dismissed or explained away. Explaining away does not work for other classes (Blacks and minorities). Any view of history, recent or less recent, will demonstrate that bold fact.”

“You have indicated that the White search party did not intend to harm the Shepherd family,” Rev. Murphy continued. “But it did cause harm. Hit and run drivers wish to cause no harm, but that is no reason to declare them not guilty. Harm was caused to the Shepherds (a hit and run) and to every black family that now worries more than ever when Whites with guns  knock at their door, they are afraid that trespassing and endangerment laws have no teeth.”

“ There is no time in American history when Blacks did not face harm of this nature. And today, as if to add insult to injury, a family that was “hit” is being asked to apologize to those who “hit and ran.” Think about a Black person approaching a White person on the street. Picture the Black person with a gun. Now picture the response when the Black person asks the White person to apologize.”

Even though he did not respond to a request for comment, Atty James Lea made it clear in May 2020 that crimes were committed when then Deputy Kita allegedly tried to gain access to the Shepard home after banging on the door, an d then refused to leave by both Dameon, 18, and his mother, Monica, when told.

There’s no way there can be [no criminal intent]. The minute you step foot on somebody’s property, and you’ve not been invited to be there, you’re committing trespass. That’s a crime. As a police officer you’re bound to know that…everybody knows that. If you come up to the door, and you open the door, and they tell you to go away, and you don’t leave, you’re continuing that crime.

         “If you’re armed on their property, there’s another crime - that’s assault. If you re putting your foot in their door, you are breaking and entering, and they can’t close their door. So, I don’t know how you get around the criminal intent part of it, when you’re purposely walking on somebody’s property armed, refusing to leave the door when they tell you to leave, sticking your foot in the door. That’s just impossible to …those two things are completely inconsistent.”

The Shepard’s lawsuit against Kita, Wood, and the 13 or so “John. And Jane Does” with them that night, as filed in late January. It now remains the Shepards’ only avenue to justice.


Monday, February 15, 2021


                                                                 REP. ALMA ADAMS
                                                                 ATTY. IRV JOYNER

                                                             REP. G. K. BUTTERFIELD




By Cash Michaels

Even though a North Carolina Republican U.S. senator surprising voted otherwise, Democratic congresspeople Alma Adams (D-NC-12) and G. K. Butterfield (D-NC-1) blasted Republicans in the U.S. Senate for their majority vote last Saturday to acquit former Pres. Donald J. Trump for his part in the Jan. 6th U.S. Capitol siege that saw five people die, and injured 140 police officers.

The U.S. House impeached Trump with one act of inciting an insurrection, but the then Republican-led Senate would not take up the matter until after Trump had left office Jan. 20th.

Last Saturday, with two-thirds of the Senate needed to convict, only seven Republican senators in the 50-50 split chamber - including outgoing NC Senator Richard Burr - joined Senate Democrats in convicting the Republican former president 57-43, for allegedly inciting the thousands who gathered at his Save America rally just prior to them violently attacking the Capitol in an effort to stop certification of presidential electoral votes officially electing Democrat Joe Biden as president.

Senate Republicans ceased on the fact that because Trump is now out of office, he was not constitutionally liable for his alleged criminal actions, though he may be criminally liable, which 114 constitutional scholars, plus a majority vote by the Senate earlier in the week, said was not true.

Had Trump been convicted by two-thirds of the Senate Saturday, he would have been ineligible run for federal elective office again.

Congresswoman Alma Adams “gravely” disappointed that he wasn’t.

“I was there on that tragic day,” she said in a statement afterwards. “Trump supporters in Trump hat with Trump Flags stormed the Capitol and said Pres. Trump sent them. The Capitol was attacked, the electoral vote certification was interrupted, the Senate chamber was breached, and people died as a result. The facts of the case could not be clearer; however, we learned today that Donald Trump has a stronger hold Senate Republicans than the clarity of facts or the love of our Constitution and Country.”

After applauding the ten House and seven Senate Republicans who ultimately voted to impeach and convict, Rep. Adams lauded the nine House impeachment managers for the widely heralded case against Trump they put on at trial.

Adams’ colleague, Rep. Butterfield, also expressed dismay.

“Forty-three Republican senators choose to defend a man and their political futures over their solemn oath to defend the Constitution and protect our Democracy. I commend the seven Republican senators, including Senator Richard Burr, for their votes of conscience,” said Butterfield in a statement.

Irving Joyner, law professor at NCCU School of Law in Durham, warned that the Senate acquittal of Trump will give “…permission to embolden right-wing extremists and racist groups to wage political and physical war against the lawful functioning of the democratic process.”

“As a result,” Joyner continued, “African-Americans nd people of color need to better organize [their] political forces and voting apparatus in order to defeat these repressive forces at the polls and in the streets during the coming months and years.”

“The evidence presented in this impeachment proceeding…..,” Prof. Joyner concluded,”… graphically established that “trumpism” and it’s followers represent a continuing clear and present danger to the survival of this country.”

Monday evening, the NC Republican Party censured Sen. Richard Burr for his vote to convict Trump.


                                                         REV. BARBER




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

Last month, right before and shortly after his inauguration, President Joe Biden made clear that he strongly supported increasing the federal minimum wage from the current $7.25/hr to $15.00/hr, as many in the progressive movement, like Rev. Dr. William Barber, co-convener of the Poor People’s Campaign had been urging him to do during the presidential campaign.

“There are 62 million people in this country, who make less than a living wage. This the right thing to do,’ Rev. Barber said then. “If It is radical (as Republicans charge that it is), it is radical love.” 

Biden was initially hoping that his $15.00/hr campaign pledge would be passed along with the rest of his enormous $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package Congress is expected to take up shortly by March. But not surprisingly, there is now pushback from moderate Senate Democrats, forcing Biden to remove the $15.00/hr proposal from the almost $2 trillion relief package, and possibly float as a standalone bill where the minimum wage increase is phased in over several years, instead of imposed all ate once.

Two weeks ago, Biden told CBS News that he won’t be able to get the 60 votes needed in the U.S. Senate to pass the measure.

Progressives like Rev. Barber, who once lauded Biden for his concern about poor people’s issues, are now sounding the alarm, fearing that after coming so close, their dream of a $15/hr minimum wage will fall short of the finish line.

Calling the fight for the $15/hr minimum living wage “…as important as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 an the Voting Rights Act of 1965,” Rev. Barber led a demonstration Monday at the West Virginia office of moderate Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, who has flatly rejected supporting the $15/hr minimum wage.

We cannot get this close and then fall back,” Barber said in the lead to Monday’s demonstration. “We say to President Biden, to Democrats, and to Republicans: don’t turn your back on the $15 an hour minimum wage.”

Rev. Barber continued, reminding all that “55% of poor , low-wealth people voted for the current administration and its promise to raise the minimum wage. That’s the mandate. The mandate is in the people who voted, not in the back slapping of Senators and Congresspeople. It’s the people who voted.”

“We have to act like we have one shot on this. Tomorrow is not promised. It’s time to push with every non-violent tool.”

“Poor and low-income people were the first to return to work, the first to be infected, and the first to die in the pandemic, and they must not be last in line for relief. This administration and Congress must respect us, protect us and pay us.”


                                                   MICHAEL JORDAN


Michael Jordan gifts $10 million for additional Novant Health medical clinics 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Today, Novant Health and Michael Jordan announced a $10 million gift to open two medical clinics in New Hanover County on the southeastern coast of North Carolina. The regional health care system and Jordan previously partnered to open two Michael Jordan Family Clinics in Charlotte, N.C., bringing comprehensive primary care, including behavioral health and social support services, to the area’s most vulnerable communities. Jordan’s gift will help Novant Health bring this same integrated care model to more rural and rural-adjacent communities in his hometown, offering much-needed services to those who are uninsured or underinsured. The two new clinics are slated to open in early 2022.

“I am very proud to once again partner with Novant Health to expand the Family Clinic model to bring better access to critical medical services in my hometown,” said Michael Jordan. “Everyone should have access to quality health care, no matter where they live, or whether or not they have insurance. Wilmington holds a special place in my heart and it’s truly gratifying to be able to give back to the community that supported me throughout my life.”

To date, the two Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Clinics in Charlotte have seen more than 4,500 patients, in addition to providing critical COVID-19 response. Nearly 1,000 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered from both the Freedom Drive and North End locations with plans to scale up vaccination efforts even further as supply increases.




[OCEAN ISLE BEACH] Brunswick County authorities say three people were killed an at least two were injured when a tornado hit the area Monday evening. Sustained damaged was “devastating” and many survivors had to be rescued from their damaged home. Downed power lines made rescues been more difficult, according to the Brunswick County Emergency Services. As many as 50 homes were damaged in the Ocean Ridge Plantation area.


[RALEIGH] A new bill introduced by Republican state senators would make North Carolina municipalities think twice about defunding their local law enforcement agency. Republican Sen. Chuck Edwards, the key sponsor of the Police Funding Protection Act Senate Bill 100 says the measure would stop cities and towns from cutting more than one percent of their law enforcement budget a fiscal year. In 2020, demonstrators across the U.S. demanded funding be shifted to social service agencies from police agencies in the aftermath of George Floyd’s police killing.


[RALEIGH] By unanimous vote Monday night, the central committee of the NC Republican Party agreed to censure outgoing Republican U.S. Senator Richard Burr for his vote last Saturday to convict former Pres. Donald j. Trump during his impeachment trial. Trump had been accused of inciting the riotous Jan. 6th at the U.S. Capitol. Burr, finishing his third term in the Senate, said what Trump did was “clear.” Many of his fellow Republicans, however, believe that the former president is not guilty because he left office before his trial. The U.S. Senate failed to convict Trump, 57-43.



Monday, February 8, 2021





By Cash Michaels

staff writer

It hasn’t even been thirty days since the civil lawsuit in the Monica and Dameon Shepard home invasion case was filed, and opposing attorneys in the case are already trying to weaken one of the litigation’s most compelling arguments - that a “mob” of angry white people, arms with weapons and led by a uniformed New Hanover County sheriff’s deputy - Jordan Kita -  tried to forcefully enter the home of a Black Pender County family under threat of violence.

And they allegedly attempted so, because the Shepards were Black.

The May 2020 incident made national news precisely because of that reason, and yet shortly after the Shepard’s lawsuit was filed just a few weeks ago last month, legal representatives for those criminally charged intensified their campaign to buy their clients the public’s benefit of a doubt.

"This case is no longer a colossal misunderstanding. Instead, it is about destroying the Kita family’s good name and their lives, with a lie," said Jordan Kita’s attorney James Rutherford, in a statement, hoping to influence prospective white jurors.

The so-called “lie,” according to Rutherford, is that his client led the 13 or so armed angry white mob to the Shepard’s front door because the family was Black.

In fact, according to the Shepard’s lawsuit, Kita and his father, Timothy, led the group there because they were looking for someone Black who they mistakenly thought lived at that Pender County address.

The Shepards were only one of two Black families living in that neighborhood at that time.

Allegedly, Jordan Kita tried to force his way in past the Shepards’ door, but neither Dameon, nor his mother, Monica, would allow Kita entry.

After the incident, Kita was fired by the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, and criminally charged with forcible trespass, misdemeanor breaking and entering, and willful failure to discharge duties. 

Still, atty. Rutherford maintains race had nothing to do with the incident.

"The Kita family is not racist,” he says. “They are a loving blended family full of inclusion."

"The damages caused by these false allegations against the Kita family are immeasurable," he continued in a statement. "This family is victim of a nationally broadcast smear campaign and look forward to the day they are vindicated."

And then there is atty. Woody White, who represents Robert Austin Wood, one of the alleged members of the white mob at the Shepards door who was seen carrying an assault rifle as he stood behind Deputy Kita, who also had his service weapon with him.

Wood, like Kita, was also criminally charged in the incident. He has pled not guilty to “going armed to the terror of the people” by the Pender County District Attorney’s office.

Atty White maintains that there was no racial intent to his client’s actions, and adds that Wood is the victim of “racial extortion.”

"Nothing bad befell the Shepard family; no racial slurs were used, no voices were raised, no threats were conveyed. It was a brief and seemingly uneventful misunderstanding that lasted less than 2 minutes last May,” atty. White said in a statement.

But atty James Lea, who filed suit on behalf of the Shepard family, sees it differently.

What are you to think? Imagine what would have happened if you had 15 black people - three of them armed on the front door step of a white family’s house, and the Pender County Sheriff’s Dept showed up?  What do you think would have happened in the kind of situation?, Lea asked rhetorically.

And Rev. Dante’ Murphy, president of the Pender County NAACP, isn’t buying the “no racial intent” argument either. He responded to atty. Woody White’s contention that the Shepard’s lawsuit was a “sad development.”

“Let’s remove any discussion of racism from the matter,” Rev. Murphy contends. “What remains is the dreadful thought that people could have easily died that night - and such a thought can be terrifying to those most likely to have died.”

Rev. Murphy continued, “A single person showing up at a stranger’s home with a visible weapon indicates the anticipation of trouble. But this incident involved multiple strangers and multiple weapons, and one of those persons prevented a homeowner from closing the door to their home. The threat of injury was clearly apparent.”

“That a lawsuit would result from this occurrence alone, regardless of historically racial issues, seems unsurprising,” Rev. Murphy wrote.





By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

Amid strong skepticism based on historic distrust, the fact remains, African-Americans desperately need to be vaccinated against the deadly coronavirus, especially given an estimated death rate of at least twice that of their white counterparts.

Here in North Carolina, according to figures from the NC Dept. of Health and Human Services, while whites in designated groups thus far have received over 79 percent of the first dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine thus far administered across the state, African-American counterparts have only received over 13 percent, even though Blacks make up roughly 22 percent of the state’s population, and 21 percent of the cases.

Whites comparatively, are 62 percent of the COVID-19 cases statewide, according to NCDHHS.

At least 25 percent of COVID-19 cases that are deceased are Black.

“We do not see that we are vaccinating our African-American, our Hispanic community, our Native American community at the same rate we are vaccinating our white community, and that means we have work to do,” admitted Dr. Mandy Cohen, NCDHHS Secretary last week.

In recent weeks, NCDHHS has engaged Black leadership across the state to generate more trust in the community when it comes  to individuals getting vaccinated. As has been well documented, the medical community’s torrid history with the African-American community in terms of unethical experimentation and low standards of treatment have prevented many from trusting a vaccine so quickly developed and released not even a year after the COVID-19 virus was first discovered.

Then there is the question of how thoroughly was it tested, and on who, before it was ultimately deemed safe to administer to the American public.

And even with those questions arguably answered, many still don’t want to be among the first to take the first dose of the vaccine, preferring to wait and monitor news reports of how those who have already taken it fairing.

To counter much of this Black churches - perhaps the most trusted institutions -  are being enlisted to sponsor vaccination days in their communities. In Raleigh, at least 16 Black churches have become sites for vaccinations. 

In Guilford County, 3,800 vaccinations were offered this week by appointment at county clinics at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, as well as the Greensboro Coliseum, and High Point University Community Center.

CN Jenkins Memorial Presbyterian Church in Charlotte partnered with Atrium Health mobile vaccine clinic.

Prominent Black leaders, like NCNAACP Pres. Rev. Dr. T Anthony Spearman, are publicly getting their shots, and actively encouraging others in the community to get theirs.

In New Hanover County, no new partnerships with Black churches have been announced this week, but there have been COVID-19 vaccination clinics at New Beginning Christian Church, Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church (150 last week), and in Brunswick County at Cedar Grove Missionary Baptist Church.

At the website for New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC), it is announced, “At this time, NHRMC does not have appointments available for our current supply of COVID-19 vaccinations. We will announce when new appointments are available when we have additional supplies. Please check this page for updates (

North Carolina is ramping up it’s administration of COVID-19 vaccinations, going beyond local health centers and hospitals, and sponsoring mass events in local stadiums and large locations that can hold tens of thousands of people at one time.

At least 300 Walgreens stores across North Carolina will also begin administering the vaccine as of Friday, Feb. 12th, to those 65 and older, healthcare workers, longterm care staff and residents.

Walk-ins are not accepted, so people are urged to go to Walgreens website to make an appointment.

Another pharmacy chain, CVS, will not be administering the CoVID-19 vaccine in North Carolina.




By Cash Michaels

Contributing writer

If recent history is any indication, The social justice movement in North Carolina, led by the NC NAACP, is showing no signs of slowing down.

True, the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically slowed down most social justice marches and rallies in North Carolina, especially in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing of May 2020. But as the record voter turnout statewide last November proved, when citizens, especially Black voters, are anxious to meaningfully engage for social change, they will find a way to do so within the parameters of pandemic restrictions such as wearing masks and social distancing.

Last Saturday with the theme, “Hope in Action: Living a New World into Existence,” the NCNAACP sponsored the Historic Thousands on Jones Street Motorcade, where an estimated 120 registered vehicles made their way from downtown Raleigh to the state Capitol, displaying signs decrying injustice.

“This is one of the things that we put in place to give the sense that we are all coming together despite the pandemic that is going on around us,” NCNAACP Pres. Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman is quoted. In local news reports as saying. “We are not going to allow the pandemic, or any of it’s restraints from holding us back from doing forward together as we have been for the past fifteen years,” noting how long the annual HK on J Moral March and People’s Assembly, which is scheduled for this Saturday, February 13th, has been held.

Since 2008, over 80,000 people would annually take part.

This year, HK on J will be virtual via Zoom, with Rev. Spearman and past NCNAACP Pres. Rev. Dr. William Barber, current co-chair of the Repairers of the Breach, presiding from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. The HK on J Assembly Coalition is made up of the more that 125 North Carolina NAACP branches, youth councils and college chapters  from across the state and members of over 200 other social justice organizations.

For more information, contact your local NAACP chapter.




[HILLSBOROUGH] The Orange County Board of Education is slated to choose a new name for Cameron Park Elementary School in Hillsborough because it was originally named for prominent slave holder Paul Carrington Cameron. That is also the reason why  the name Cameron Village was dropped by a popular shopping center in Raleigh last month in favor of the new moniker, Village District. 


[RALEIGH] After a spat of concurs, the NC Board o Education last week, by a 7-5 vote, passed new standards for the state’s social studies curriculum that will allow for a more diverse view of American and North Carolina history. However, students will still not be able to learn about systemic racism or gender identity because the words “systemic” and “gender” had to be removed first by the Republican schools supt. before passage. Black Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson bitterly opposed the social studies standards change, saying that systemic racism did not exist.


[RALEIGH] Now it’s the NC House’s turn to ratify a bill that, if it becomes law, will compel North Carolina school students to return to the classroom for in-person learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The NC Senate passed the measure on Tuesday, sending it onto the House. Gov. Cooper and NCDHHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen recently did an about face and urged school districts to reopen their schools for in-person instruction.