Sunday, February 10, 2008

Community in Crisis Town Hall Meeting

A room full of people gathering at the Know Book Store on Fayetteville St in Durham, yesterday, with a clear message...

"Or community is in a crisis and black folks must find the solution."

The meeting, moderated by Cimerron Bandele of the African Diasporin Nationalist Society, featured a panel discussion by area activists such as Larry and Denise Hester, discussing solutions to the problems facing Durham.

One of the issues that was dicussed was the history and future of Fayetteville St, which according to Larry Hester is the only black historic district in Durham. The Hesters, who own the popular Phoenix Square shopping area are concerened that with the influx of outside developers and the expansion plans of North Carolina Central University, not only wil elderly residents be deplaced but the entire historic district is under assault.

The meeting also discussed the drought problem and its effect on the black community.

As one speaker put it, if Durham runs out of water who do you think is going to be the last one to get a drink?

Other topics included the the incarceration of black males, the need for afrocentric educational reform and the recent attempts by the media to promote brown on black violence.

The gathering was just the first of several town hall meetings and events planned in areas throughout Durham.

As Bandele put it,

"Today, we're behind four walls but tomorrow we're in the streets.

Min. Paul Scott's blog is He can be reached at (919) 451-8283