LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Thanks for Awards and ‘Fight The Power’

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Thanks for Awards and ‘Fight The Power’
April 09
00:00 2015

New song for new time?

To the Editor:

With recent demonstrative protests occurring in Ferguson, NYC and Selma, is it time to retire “We Shall Overcome” as this country’s pre-eminent Civil Rights Anthem?

Many believe the song derived from, “I’ll Overcome Someday,” by African-American composer the Rev. Dr. Charles Albert Tindley (1851–1933), and no peaceful demonstration is complete without it.

Although the moderate tempo ballad has served the masses well, Public Enemy’s “Fight The Power” might be a more appropriate soundtrack to inform contemporary demonstrations. Conscious-raising music such as the above songs are like glue that holds peaceful protestors together, especially blacks.

The music that we carried with us from West Africa to the U.S. (according to Miles Davis) is everything to our survival as a group and as individuals. In fact, music serves us during our most compelling moments.

It is widely held that Negro spirituals were sometimes coded to provide communication methods for escape from slavery according, to Sam Edwards and Lyvonne Chrisman, co-founders of Friends of Negro Spirituals, an organization dedicated to preserving the art form.

Our music, whether spirituals, blues, jazz, gospel, R&B, rock ’n’ roll and sometimes hip-hop have informed our struggle for equality in this country and given us hope, strength, vitality and community.

Put another way, it is how and why we can overcome. Public Enemy’s near-perfect manifestation of free speech, “Fight The Power,” can resonate with anyone who feels oppressed irrespective of race, creed or color.

A hip-hop song, it contains an urgency not found in the slower and more tepid ballad “We Shall Overcome.” It is ironic that most buyers of hip-hop are white, which speaks to the universal appeal of hip-hop.

If you have ever been to a Public Enemy concert, you can attest to the diversity of fans present, who sing along to “Fight The Power” from personal experience.

This diverse group of concert-goers embrace this song for the stunning free speech epistle it is, notwithstanding rapper Chuck D’s stinging critique of John Wayne and Elvis Presley, which may need to be revisited if the song is to be adopted as a new Civil Rights Anthem.

If the American experience is about growth and full participation for everyone, then those on the receiving end of oppression must also be open to change and growth.

With Freedom of Speech and the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, “it’s time to fight the powers that be”!

Gabrielle Wilson



Thanks for honoring us

To the Editor:

On behalf of the entire staff of the Children’s Law Center of Central North Carolina, I want to thank you again for honoring us with a Special Recognition of the Year award. The Chronicle’s 30th Annual Community Service Awards banquet was a wonderful event! We are truly humbled to have been included with such outstanding honorees.

Thank you for your support of the Children’s Law Center’s mission and for your commitment to maintaining a positive impact on the community.

 Iris Sunshine, Executive Director, Children’s Law Center of North Carolina



AARP seeking legislation to help caregivers

To the Editor:

Nancy Hall, Dr. Althea Taylor-Jones and Jean Moses-Peree joined other AARP volunteers recently in Cary to look for ways to increase support for family caregivers and for adults who want to remain in their own homes as they age.

AARP North Carolina will also be seeking legislation that will make saving easier for employees in the state without access to workplace retirement saving plans like 401(k)s or pensions.

AARP volunteers have been instrumental in conveying the needs of the state’s 1.7 million family caregivers to members of the North Carolina General Assembly, who will determine the amount of support given to services that provide and enable home and community based care.

AARP acknowledges that as the population of our state continues to grow closer to 10 million, the changing demographics reveal that the number of older and disabled adults in need of assistance is growing even faster.

Of the 1.4 million people age 65 or older in the state, approximately a quarter of them have two or more physical or mental conditions that make it difficult to do activities required to remain independent.  Family members across North Carolina are called on every day to help their older and disabled loved ones with common tasks.

Since family caregiving is largely uncompensated,  AARP will be seeking legislation to:

*Allow employees to use existing sick leave benefits for caregiving purposes.

*Allow employees to take short increments of unpaid leave for a family member’s illness, injury, or medical appointments.

*Address problems that can arise with interstate guardianships that are often granted when an adult lacks capacity to make decisions for him or herself.

Another area of immediate concern in North Carolinians ages 50 plus is the anxiety over adequate retirement savings.  Currently, over 1.8 million workers in the state do not have access to workplace savings accounts.

AARP’s commonsense savings proposal “NC Work and Save” ( is an easy way for people to take better charge of their retirement savings and to break the reliance many have on assistance as they age.

AARP North Carolina, 


Thank you

To the Editor:

I would like to thank Mr. Ernie Pitt, The Chronicle staff and the selection committee for the honor of being selected as the recipient of The  Chronicle’s 2015 Woman of the Year. I’m humbled.

Thank you for every PSA and article you have ever published for the nonprofit and service organizations in the community, for without you, there would be a void of valuable information to certain segments of the city’s population.

I pray that those who attended the 30th Annual Service Awards Banquet were inspired by what they saw and heard and will join forces with all the recipients recognized, as they continue in their efforts to make a positive impact in the community.

Thank you for over two generations of professional  journalism dedicated to keeping our community informed.

Randon Blackmon Pender, 2015 Woman of the Year , Community Volunteer

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