Democratic Women honor Sen. Parmon

Democratic Women honor Sen. Parmon
September 27
05:00 2018

Sunday, Sept. 23, marked a day of dedication and tribute to the memory of the late N.C. Sen. Earline Parmon at Harambee in East Winston, at 1400 14th St. A crowd of more than 60 people gathered at the event, hosted by the Forsyth County Democratic Women.

A bench and a weeping cherry tree had been purchased and placed in the park – an area that has become a sort of community square and whose name means, “Let’s pull together” – in Parmon’s honor.

The ceremony began with Senator Parmon’s favorite song, led by esteemed singer Deborah Miles. Forsyth County Commissioner Fleming El-amin extended a hearty welcome to attendees, followed by a statement of the occasion expressed by Norma Corley. In Sen. Erica Smith’s absence (chairwoman of North Carolina’s Black Caucus), Rep. Evelyn Terry brought comments from the North Carolina legislature. Mayor Pro Tempore Vivian Burke spoke on the legacy that Senator Parmon and stressed the need for everyone to vote.

Several members of Senator Parmon’s family were present: daughters, Elaine, Tracy and “TT.” They spoke of their mother’s influence on their lives and the emphasis she placed on being involved, making a difference and being supportive.

“TT” asked Denise “DD” Addams, a Winston-Salem City Council member and U.S. 5th Congressional District candidate to speak. Adams stressed the need to support her as she runs to “flip the 5th” not with just lip service, but also financially. “DD” Adams then stated the impact Senator Parmon had on her life. She had run Senator Parmon’s campaign for county commissioner and she sat at her table, both literally and figuratively, for several decades. She reminisced on how Parmon felt as she led the Forsyth County Democratic Party as its first black chair.

Pastor Alvin Carlisle, president of the Winston-Salem Branch of the NAACP, and Senator Parmon’s pastor, spoke on how Senator Parmon had authorized him to make three payments upon her passing: one to her church, Exodus Baptist Church; one to the NAACP; and one to the Democratic Party. She was passionate, forthright and tenacious, and he followed her directions completely.

Sen. Paul Lowe, who is up for re-election, made similar comments and stressed that people could really remember Senator Parmon by voting. First vice chairwoman of the Democratic Women, Carole Cardwell, formally dedicated the bench and the tree, closing with the comment that “You will forever be in our hearts.”

Pat Eisenbach gave a monarch butterfly to each member of Senator Parmon’s family to release and Deborah Miles led the song “Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior” to close the program.

Attendees lingered around, sharing anecdotes of the honoree and left “fired up … and ready to go!”   

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