Wednesday, December 16, 2009

CHRISTMAS 2009


When Dr. Rudolph Hendricks and I attended the 34th Annual Citywide Interfaith Thanksgiving Service at Temple Israel this year, it was a natural setting to remember and pray for friends like you around the world, for PEACE, JUSTICE and WELL BEING. While we may be disturbed with the economic condition of our nation and the world, hunger, unemployment, poverty, diseases, sickness and the like, yet we are comforted with scripture which speaks of a divine child as the source for healing, wholeness and peace. (ISAIAH 9) His name is JESUS, THE CHRIST, GOD’S SON. How we do love and adore HIM!

Everyone at our household is healthy and happy and we wish the same for your household. The three of us enjoy life together. Alexander is a high school senior. He is developing nicely and has been accepted at King’s College where he will matriculate in Computer Science and Para-legal studies. He enjoys his job as a swimming life-guard.

Leila serves as a social work Case Manager with the county. She is a beautiful mother, a protective daughter, goal oriented and purpose-driven.

I continue to enjoy retirement with never a dull moment. I blog, (See http://herronspeaks.blogspot.com) and am very much involved in church ministry for senior citizens.

I said to the keeper of the gates, “give me a light that I may go out and tread the unknown.” He said to me, “Go out young man and put your hand into the hand of God, that shall be better than light and safer than a known way.”

May it be so with you.

Shalom!

Vernon M. Herron

Monday, December 7, 2009

“SANTA CLAUS GOSPEL”—THE CHRISTMAS IDOL

 

BASED ON BOOK

A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE OF

HALLOWEEN, EASTER , CHRISTMAS

 

BY

ALLEGRA McBIRNEY

 

 

Critiqued

by

VERNON M. HERRON, D. Min.

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas is coming! The toy market is appealing to children. Children are persuading adults regarding their choice of Christmas wares and desired gifts. During my early childhood, I was fascinated in a state of expectation because Santa Claus was coming to town. The song text goes like this:

 

You better watch out

You better not cry

Better not pout

I’m telling you why

Santa Claus is coming to town.

 

He’s making a list

And checking it twice,

Gonna find out Who’s naughty and nice

Santa Claus is coming to town.

 

He sees you when you’re sleeping

He knows when you’re awake

He knows if you been bad or good

So be good for goodness sake!

 

Oh! You better watch out!

You better not cry

Better not pout

I’m telling you why

Santa Claus is coming to town

Santa Claus is coming to town

 

The above folk song comes in form of a Santa Claus Gospel. This Christian idol not only pollutes a sacred story but also corrupts theological and spiritual truths. It has the form of omniscience but its appearance is without substance.

 

Christmas is that time of year when the focus should be upon that One for whom the day was  named CHRIST-MASS- the Lord Jesus Christ. But every year that focus seems to shift more and more to an another –and that is to Santa Claus. Is is not easy to speak out against Santa Claus, because to attack him is to attack the Christmas idol.

 

Santa Claus has taken on some of the characteristics of an idol. (Innocence)

God’s Word says:

            “Thou shalt have no other gods before me”

Certain powers are attributed to Santa Claus which belong to God alone,

            Example:  

                            Santa 

                               sees all they do      

                               hears all they say.

          

                               In essence he is

                                    Omniscient

                                    Omnipresent

These are powers that are God’s alone. God’s word says, “I am God and there is none like me.” Yet children are taught that Santa Claus has God-characteristics

 

The role of Satan in this scenario

 

Satan is not presented as fiction--. He is presented as fact—real—living—and having involvement in their lives. Children are taught to believe in Santa Claus.

 

Satan is the Father of Lies

 

            The Santa Claus gospel strives to make him seem alive and real and

            strives to make the Very Real Saviour seem dead and fictitious.

 

Satan gets help from parents by:

            Perpetuation of myth

            Hanging of stocking at chimney vs parents’ love

            Claiming that Santa knows child’s behavior

            Claiming that Santa hears and answer specific petitions

            Claim of his coming in person to their home.

 

Actually, these are mocking imitation of the Lord Jesus Christ—of Christ’s genuine Reality—of his real knowledge of each person’s behavior;  his actual answer to specific prayer petitions and his authentic coming in person, not simply to the home but to the heart of each believer.

 

Even Santa’s elves seem strangely parallel to scripture’s account of ministering angles. Note the similarity between the words “Santa” and “Satan”.

 

The “Santa Claus Gospel” indoctrinates children with the idea that if they are “good”, they will get present from Santa Claus. This doctrine compounds the true Gospel of Grace. God’s presence does not depend on our being “good”. The Bible says “There is none that doeth good, no not one.” Romans 3:12

 

It does not depend on our goodness; we have none!  But it depends on the perfect goodness, the sinlessness of the Son of God which qualified Him to pay for our badness, our sinfulness. On the cross Christ suffered for that sin as our substitute, died and rose again. By believing and trusting in Him, they will get eternal life as His present---earned by him, not by their own efforts.

 

Salvation comes by Faith, not by being “good.” Yet the “Santa Claus Gospel” of works has gotten to children and has left them resistant to the truth, that entrance into heaven is not determined by behavior but by trust in Christ and His sacrifice.

 

Another serious effect of the Santa Claus myth is that it can deter children from coming to Christ in faith. Once they discover that Santa Claus is a liar, they can be hesitant to put their trust in anyone further in whom they’re tried to believe but cannot see.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

THE ALPHA KAPPA ALPHA SORORITY WAS BORN

THE ALPHA KAPPA ALPHA SORORITY WAS BORN

OF ALPHA PHI ALPHA FRATERNITY’S INFLUENCE!

by

Vernon M. Herron

Life Member 709 A Phi A


Ethel Hedgeman                                      George  Lyle

 

All brothers of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity salute the beloved sisters of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority on their 100th Anniversary year of existence. The story of Alpha Kappa Alpha and Alpha Phi Alpha is a “love-knot” story rooted in a personal relationship between Ethel Hedgeman and George Lyle and the historic development of Black Greek life in the academic community.1

 

Ethel Hedgeman was a founding principal of AKA during her Junior year at Howard University at Washington, DC.[i] Also, George Lyle was a Junior at Howard and was a principal and President of the Beta Chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity at Howard.[ii] The birth of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority has often been related to the establishment of Beta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.[iii]

 

Ethel Hedgeman and George Lyle were friends, sweethearts, lovers and finally life’s partners.[iv] As school mates, Ethel witnessed the strength and character of George, his academic excellence, fraternal leadership, social gracefulness and manly deeds of a black manhood. Ethel envisioned those needful qualities in a sisterhood. Through mutual respect, constant dialogue regarding structure, purpose, and positions, a vision of America’s first Greek-letter organization for Black women was born.[v]

 

It is true that Ethel Hedgeman attributed much encouragement toward the establishment of the first Geek-lettered organization for Black women to two of her former teachers, Ethel Tremain Robinson and Elizabeth Appa Cook.[vi] But the hard cold fact which remains is that

THE ALPHA KAPPA ALPHA SORORITY WAS BORN

OF ALPHA PHI ALPHA FRATERNITY’S INFLUENCE![vii]

 

A journey on retrospect is to review a date-line calendar of these two wed-locks:

            1906   The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity was founded in Ithaca, NY. Its first                                   chapter             was called Alpha.[viii]

            1907   One year later, Beta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity was established

                        at Howard University, Washington, DC with George Lyle as its principal

                        and president.[ix]

            1908    The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority was founded at Howard University.[x]

            1909   Ethel Hedgeman and George Lyle were of the ’09 class at Howard.[xi]

            1911   Ethel Hedgeman and George Lyle were married in Philadelphia.[xii]

            1950   Ethel Hedgeman Lyle died and was buried in Philadelphia.[xiii]

 

 

 

CONGRATULATION TO

ALPHA KAPPA ALPHA SORORITY

WHOM WE LOVE![xiv]

 

 

 

 

 


[i]

Endnotes

 

 

                1  Majorie H. Parker, Alpha Kappa Alpha: Sixty Years of Service (Washington, DC: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. 1966), p.3

 

 

                2  Parker, Alpha Kappa Alpha, p.3.

 

 

 

                3 Charles H. Wesley, The History of Alpha Phi Alpha: A Development in Negro College Life, (Washington, DC: Foundation Publishers, 1950), p.59.

 

 

                4 Parker, Alpha Kappa Alpha, p. 3.

 

 

                5 Ibid., p.3.

 

 

                6 Ibid., p. vii.

 

 

                7 Ibid., p.  3.

 

                 

                8 Ibid., p. 3.  

 

 

                9 Wesley, The History of Alpha, p. 23.

 

 

                10 Ibid., p. 59

 

 

                11 Parker, Alpha Kappa Alpha,  p. 1

 

 

                12 Ibid., p.3.

 

 

                13 Ibid., p. 3.

 

 

                14 Ibid., p. 12.

 

 

                15 “In Our Hearts.”

Gone But Not Forgotten

G O N E   B U T   N O T   F O R G O T T E N!

A STRONG RESPECTED VICTORIAN SPINSTER


By

Onetta Latimer Boyton

Queen Thompson Byrd

Paul Hendricks

Vernon M. Herron

John A. McCarroll


Miss Hannah Guion Stewart 

b.d. 13 Dec.1868

d.d 8 Oct. 1963

                                                      

We remember that on December 1868, Hannah G. Stewart was born. Teachers at Second Ward High School were great teachers because they gave the best of themselves. We remember two of them today. Even though they are deceased, they are not forgotten.

 

Most Charlotteans,  at least seventy years of age or older, would remember “Miss Hannah Stewart” who lived at 700 East Boundary Street in the Second Ward/Brooklyn section of Charlotte. It was this strong, respected, Victorian, dynamic spinster who made indelible impressions on all who had contact with her as a school teacher, a disciplinarian in community relations or in economic prudence.

 

Miss Hannah Guion Stewart was born c1868 and died 1963 at the age of 95. She was the oldest African American female who taught in the Charlotte Mecklenburg Public School system for 37 years. She was the second child of Randall and Elsie (Walton) Stewart who lived from 1848 to 1879 and from 1846 to 1918 respectively. According to anecdotal records, she grew up in the “Jonesville” section of Charlotte and later attended Grace AMEZ Church. When Urban Renewal started in 1961 and later confiscated her home, Miss Stewart went to New York City to live and shortly died there on 6 October 1963. She was buried October 12, 1963 in Charlotte at the 9th Street- Pinewood Cemetery in Charlotte. (Section A Lot 3f)

It is noted that Miss Hannah had two siblings, a brother Randall Stewart who lived to be 83 years of age and a sister, Patsey Stewart Rencher who lived to be 67 years of age.


North Carolina made no provision for public school education prior to the Civil War. Blacks had to attend Church schools or travel out of town to obtain a high school diploma. Such opportunities were provided by the Rosenwald Funds for schools, Biddle School for boys at Charlotte, Scotia College for the girls at Concord and Livingstone at Salisbury, etc. Miss Hannah received her high school and formal training at Livingstone College at Salisbury where she received an A. B. degree.

 

According to the city directories, Hannah G. Stewart was a pioneer teacher at Myers Street School, having taught there for at least 21 years under the principalships of Mrs. Isabella Wyche, Professor Samuel B. Pride, Mrs. Jessie Pride, Mr. J. N. Brown,  Mr. William Stinson and Miss Mary Wyche.

 

When the new Second Ward School opened in 1923, it grew out of Myers Street School, which had been in existence for 41 years. Second Ward School, with its first principal, William Stinson, opened with a capacity to accommodate six hundred students in grades six through eleven. It was not a standardized four year high school. Students came from Myers Street School in grades six through eight. Miss Hannah G. Stewart transferred from Myers Street School to Second Ward two years after it opened, where she taught history for 16 years. She was noted as a “strict disciplinarian.”  Her greeting words to all new students were “my name is Hannah Stewart. I live at 700 East Boundary Street. If I say something your mammy doesn’t like, she can come see me.”

When students did not use good judgment, Miss Stewart would say “children, you may have all the book learning in the world, but if you don’t have mother-wit, you may as well be dead!” On another occasion, returning to her classroom and finding students “acting up” and being noisy and boisterous, she would declare, “just look at you, acting just like Dick Moss’ cows! Now what did Dick Moss’ cows do?” The class having heard the phrase many times, would exclaim, “They jumped the fence when the gate was opened”.

 

As the oldest faculty member, Miss Stewart taught more than the subject course. She taught character building, personal hygiene and moral persuasion. Even though Principal J. E. Grigsby gave Miss Stewart faculty assistance in filing state and school district mandated reports, she never failed to work toward the cultivation of the whole person.

 

Even though a spinster, Miss Stewart was a thrifty business entrepreneur. She moved from a roomer/renter at 202 and 216 E. Boundary Street to a home owner at 700 E. Boundary. At the latter address, many “up start” teachers and laymen were roomers and boarders. In addition to teaching, she engaged in laundry and grocery services.  She was the major financial investor in the Oscar Harris CafĂ© located on South McDowell Street at First Street where she served as a culinarian. She demonstrated that pennies make dollars. Hannah Guion Stewart is gone but not forgotten.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Herron Speaks

Vernon M. Herron, D.Min.

2510 Century Oaks Lane

Charlotte, N.C. 28262

704-599-4914

Fax: 704-599-4914

E-mail: afrigen@bellsouth.net

 

Blogging address: http://herronspeaks.blogspot.com

 

 

 

 

Greetings:

 

 

Through the advent of the Internet and the opportunity to publish my written works to the masses, I have decided to create a web log - commonly known as a "blog." As you may know, a blog is a type of Internet website, consisting of chronicled commentary, presented in written, photo, audio or video fashion.

 

My blog is entitled, "Herron Speaks" as it is available on the Internet now. I invite you to visit my blog today and subscribe at:

 

 http://herronspeaks.blogspot.com

 

Currently, I plan to publish a new article as often as I am inspired to do so. As such, I will send you a gentle reminder to visit my blog after each new posting.

 

If you have Internet Service and wish to subscribe to my blog, be sure that I have your correct e-mail address by sending a reply to this letter that you have received in person or by U.S. Postal Service mail using email with the word SUBSCRIBE in the subject field.

 

If you have Internet Service and received this communication by email and do not wish to receive such a reminder, send an e-mail reply to this letter with the word UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject field.

 

 

 

Your pen pal!

 

 

 

Vernon M. Herron

 

Monday, November 2, 2009

An Experience with Hymns

 

 

AN   EXPERIENCE   WITH  

METER   HYMNS,   SPIRITUALS,

GOSPEL  AND  NOTE  SINGING

 

by

Vernon M. Herron

 

 

 

BASED ON MATERIALS FROM

The Baptist Standard Hymnal

Dr. James Abbington‘s lecture

 

 

 

The Black Church is an adaptive institution. It is not wholly African, Anglo nor Western. Im-pro-vi-sa-tion is required. It draws on the culture of each to form a vital expression of a meaningful faith. Im-pro-vi-sa-tion gives a greater meaning to hymns, spirituals, anthems, gospel music and note singing, in that, the words are arranged or rearranged to improve a dramatic experience. Thus in the Black Church, all kinds of religious music is sung, (meter hymns, gospel, spirituals, anthems, note singing) to give feeling, accent and consent to the longing of the soul and the aspiration of the mind.

 

From the Baptist Standard Hymnal, we learn that the term “meter” is a Greek word which belongs to poetry. Meter is the standard by which long and short syllables in a verse are arranged into groups of syllables called poetic “Feet.” Each “Foot,” having a distinctive name, is to poetry what a measure is to music. Thus, meter music is a verse form, as a measured verbal rhythm, arranged in a group of syllables forming a line of words, having a time unit and a regular beat, equal in time, length and pattern.


Blacks took Watts style music and put it into short meter, long meter and common meter. But they also took hymn tune songs and put them into meters augmented by their own ingenuity. Hand clapping, soprano and bass voice range provided the accompaniment, while  the patting of heel and toe, were time-keeping techniques. Meter hymn singing does not use instruments for accompaniment. This is pure singing.

(The rhythm –beat technique)

 Meter music was a phenomenon of the European community. It dates back as far as 1701. Because of it, Blacks of the enslaved community were exposed to it. When the advent of quatrain  music, (a unit or group of four lines of a verse) came to this country shortly after 1800’s, (with Watts and others), persons of enslavement would hear and learn two lines, then another two. They sang that meter in the black idiom, standing on the last standard. This is called “lining out” a hymn. Music may be Euro-American in its authorship but in its performance can have a definite imprint of the black religious experience. (Raising a hymn)

 

Meter hymn with no hymn tune, some time accompanied with moaning, was a common practice to the Black tradition. Yet, a hymn tune may be sung in meter style with a rhythm, a syncopation, or improvisation.

 

The most frequently used meters are:

COMMON METER

(C.M.)

8,6,8,6

Common meter is known by a stanza of four lines composed of one short unaccented syllable and one long syllable in each poetical foot. The syllables being in number and order are as follows: 8,6,8,6, that is:

  • There are 8 syllables in the first line.
  • There are 6 syllables in the second line.
  • There are 8 syllables in the third line.
  • There are 6 syllables in the fourth line.

Examples:

            Amazing Grace

            Father, I stretch my hands to Thee.

            *I heard the Voice of Jesus say    *(Selected illustrated hymn)

 

 

LONG METER

(L. M.)

8,8,8,8

Long meter consists of four lines, of each foot contains one short unaccented and one long accented syllable. Each line contains 8 syllables.

  • There are 8 syllables in the first line.
  • There are 8 syllables in the second line.
  • There are 8 syllables in the third line.
  • There are 8 syllables in the fourth line.

 

Example:

            *My Hope is Built on Nothing Less

            Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow

 

SHORT METER

(S. M)

6,6,8,6

Short meter consists of a stanza of four lines whose poetic foot is composed of two syllables- a short or unaccented syllable, followed by a long or accented syllable. The syllables being in number and order are as follows: 6,6,8,6, that is:

  • There are 6 syllables in the first line.
  • There are 6 syllables in the second line.
  • There are 8 syllables in the third line.
  • There are 6 syllables in the fourth line.

Example

            Come Ye That Love the Lord

            *A Charge to keep I Have

 

 

SPIRITUALS

 

A spiritual is a sacred folk song but not gospel. According to Miles Mark Fisher, a spiritual is a first-hand historical document of life in Africa and the Americas. It is biblically based and has been passed down by oral tradition.

                            *The Lord is My Light

                            Don’t Want to be Standing Outside

 

GOSPEL

John Work describes gospel music as the 21st century spiritual.

 

 

NOTE SINGING

 

The history of musical notation with notes in different shapes goes back to the early 1700’s in New England. Various methods were used to teach small groups of people to sing. Different shapes of notes were used to teach the musically untrained how to read notes. Most people know at least 7 syllables for the musical scale: do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti. The entirety of shape-note is a thoroughly American heritage.

 

 

Bibliography

 

Abbington, James,  Let Mt. Zion Rejoice: Music In The African American Church.

                   Valley Forge: Judson Press, 2001

 

______________, Readings In African American Church Music and Worship. Valley

                    Forge: Judson Press, 2000

 

Baptist Standard Hymnal

 

Cobb, Jr., Dwell, A Sacred Harp- A Tradition and Its Meaning.

 

Reagon, Bernice Johnson, We’ll Understand It Better By and By.  Smithsonian

              Institution Press, 1992.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

TAKE YOUR PICK!

              ….THE JOHN PRICE CARR HOUSE

                            ….THE WILLIAM ROBERT LEE, SR. HOUSE

                                               OR

                                            ….THE CARR/LEE HOUSE

 

200 N. McDowell Street 

Charlotte, NC 28204 

 

THE


….HOUSE

              ….HISTORY

                             ….HAPPENINGS

                                                                                                                        by         

                                                                                                                Vernon M. Herron


 

 

 

The House

 

This house story is about three principals, John Price Carr the builder, William Robert Lee, Sr., the purchaser and his son William Robert Lee, Jr. the beneficiary, who was our 1947 classmate and a trumpet player.

 

The History

 

In 1904, John Price Carr erected a fashionable Queen Anne Style house at 200 N. McDowell Street as his home. It is located across the street from Charlotte’s main post office, near the Government Plaza with high visibility. It is certainly the most significant Victorian structure in the entire First Ward. According to Dan L. Morrill, Director Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission, it was the most fashionable style of domestic architecture in Charlotte during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. It was widely used in the growing residential neighborhoods of First Ward, Fourth Ward and along affluent blocks of Tryon and Trade Streets. “…The Carr House is a fine example of this heritage.” Today, it is in the National Register of Historic places because of its local historic significance.

 

Dan further revealed that Mr. Carr personally supervised the construction of this house, using aesthetic qualities of wood, designed into a uniquely American architecture, characterized by irregular outlines, frame construction, steep pitched roofs, open interior spaces, verandas and porches. The house rested on a solid red brick foundation wall interrupted at regular intervals by glazed wood frame foundation vents.

 

 

Some Historic Dates

 

1878   John Price Carr married Anna Eliza Little.

1904   John Price Carr built his Queen Ann Style home at 200 N. McDowell Street.

1927   John Price Carr died.

1951   Mrs. Carr sold the house to an African American Family, Mr. and Mrs. William

           Robert Lee, Sr. (Annie Moore Lee)

1951-1975 -the Carr’s House became the Lee’s House. (A factor little noticed by the

                  local press). In later years, they rented the house to male boarders.

1975   The city of Charlotte purchased the house under the auspices of The

            Community Development Department and Urban Renewal, then restored

            to its original grandeur.

1981    The house was converted into an office use and remains the same unto this day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Happenings

 

During the 50’s the Lee’s Home was a well-known and a part of the middle-class black community. I attended two noted social activities there which I shall never forget. One was when William Robert Lee, Jr. took Irene Sylver to be his bride in a lovely garden wedding at the estate in 1952.  Bob Lee. Jr., Irene  and I were school mates at Shaw University at Raleigh. To me, this “garden wedding” was uniquely dubbed “the wedding of the century.”

 

The second activity was the best social party I ever attended in my life, which was in the Lee’s home. It was during the Christmas school recess, when friends including Lloyd Sigler, Ada Ruth Brown, Vermelle Diamond, Queen Ester Thompson and others, gathered at the mansion for a “blowout” of chatter, fun and refreshments. The chatter consisted of contrasting the Carrs with Lees:

 

Mr. Carr was a Caucasian business man of substance and character.

Mr. Lee was an African American man with skill and character.

 

Mr. Carr was a successful business man.

Mr. Lee was a chef at S&W Cafeteria

 

Mr. Carr was a deacon at Second Presbyterian/Covenant Church where he was a leader in the Sunday school.

Mr. Lee was a deacon in the Ebenezer Baptist Church where he was the Assistant Superintendent of the Sunday school. Mrs. Lee and son, Jr. played in the church’s orchestra.

 

Mr. Carr gave Presbyterian Hospital $40,000.00 which prevented a foreclosure.

Mrs. Annie Moore Lee served as a pastry cook at Presbyterian Hospital to nourish its continued life. She was a saxophone player.

 

Mr. Carr died in 1927.

Mr. Lee died in 1981

 

 

The fun part was based on the fact that we had “all things in common.”

 

The refreshments made this the best party I have ever attended in my life! Can you guess what the menu was? Pop-Corn and coke! That’s all. It was the company and the setting which made the day. We enjoyed the Lee’s home.

 

The real issue is- how can the story be told of the Carr-Lee House and ignore the 24 years of the Lee’s ownership?

 

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I REMEMBER

The Mecklenburg County Home

For the Aged and Infirmed:


I Remember

by

Vernon M. Herron


When I was (5) five years of age (1933), I remember a twenty year old male by the nickname of “Sub” Harris sharing our crowded household as a roomer. He was limited in education, his ability to make a profitable living and in his sociability, yet “Sub” was always a gentleman. He was a product of a culture in which Afro American families often reached out to like-minded families in need of survival and love.


I do not know of “Sub’s” point of origin, his full correct first name, the meaning of “Sub,” nor of his ancestors. I only know that he found a “home” in our “house” for approximately eight years and that he became a part of our family. I later learned from the 1930 census and from a review of several City Directories that “Sub” was identified as a Louis/Lewis Harris, approximately 20 years of age, a porter at the Builders Building in the barber shop shining shoes.


When I was (10) ten years of age (1938), I remember having an adventurous experience, when I accompanied a church group to the Mecklenburg County Home for the Aged and the Infirm for worship and fellowship. What joy was revealed by the residents in knowing that someone who cared had come to show them love and remembrance.


In keeping with southern tradition and practices, Blacks were housed in the “Negro” wing of the institution. This wing was vastly different from the facilities used to accommodate the White race. Members of the two races lived in separate quarters and rarely came in contact with one another. It was not until the early ‘60’s, that the Black population had a separate chapel, eating facility, TV room and lounge. Prior to that time, all such activities were conducted in their sleeping area.


In the Fall of 1969, the Mecklenburg County Grand Jury recommended that “adequate provision be made for the care of the Negro population at the county home.” According to THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER NEWSPAPER, the grand jury said that they found upon inspection, that “beds in the Negro quarters were worn out and that the facilities were woefully inadequate and a firetrap.” It called for a new Negro building at the county home or a major repair of the present wing. A new Negro wing/facility was approved and built at a cost of $150,000.


In fact during that same year, the County Commissioners considered a new “statement of policy” calling for the integration of its facilities, recognizing that such policy has been in effect since 1967 but implied that it had not been enforced by all employees.


The question is, was this action motivated by moral conviction or by legal prudence? It is noted that by January 1, 1970 the nursing home which accepts public money will have to agree to desegregate their facilities in keeping with Title 19 of the 1967 medicaid legislation. Title 19 is the Civil Rights provision that says in effect that the government cannot purchase medical care from a segregated facility.


When I was (12) twelve years of age (1940), I remember that “Sub” had become a ward of the county home where he lived until his death and was buried in its cemetery.



When I reached a research point in my retirement period (2009), I wanted to know more about the Mecklenburg County Home, sometimes called “The County Home,” “The Old Folks Home,” “Home for the Aged and the Infirm,” or “Green Acres Rest Home.” It consisted of 500 acres of land located between routes US 29 and NC 49 in the vicinity of N. Tryon Street and WT Harris Blvd. Today that area contains the Grande Promenade Shopping Center, the CMC hospital, the UNCC and the old county home’s cemetery.


The county home was built approximately at the close of the century (c1900) and closed its operation c1979. Its food supply was supported by a farm owned by the county but operated by John Miller. It supported the County Home but also furnished meat, vegetables, milk and fruit to other county institutions. The cost of agricultural operation was excessive, the dairy herb products were not self sustaining, so the majority of the County Board members decided to go out of the farming business.



The County Home had its own cemetery, which was located in a wooded area between two businesses: Kinko’s Copy Center and Buffalo Wings and is across the street from the University City Regional Library. More than 300 souls are buried here. The two oldest gravesites read. “Eva Robinson -1936; the most recent burial date was for Tom Goins who died in 1960.


We lost contact with “Sub” who was a resident of The Mecklenburg County Home at the time of his death and who is assumedly buried in the home’s cemetery. Rest in peace “Sub.”

Thursday, August 6, 2009

UNDERSTANDING A BLOGGER

Through the advent of the Internet and the opportunity to publish my written works to the masses, I have decided to create a "web log", commonly known as a "blog." My blog is entitled "Herron Speaks" as it is available on the Internet now. Welcome! You have arrived my blog - http://www.herronspeaks.blogspot.com.

 

Before the advent of the Internet, thought provoking writers had an audience consisting of either themselves (as in journaling), another individual (as in letter writing) without professionally publishing. Yet, through today's technology, authors have the ability to write and publish freely to audiences across the Internet, often in the form of a blog. There are some important terms that must be understood in order to comprehend the concept of blogging.

Let's begin with the definition of the term "blog."

 

Blog: A type of Internet website, consisting of chronicled commentary, presented in written, photo, audio or video fashion. When one combines the concept of using the "web" to create a "log" it is called a "blog."

Blogger: One who publishes a blog.

Blogging: The act of publishing a blog, reviewing a blog, or exchanging with a blogger.

Blogosphere: The web-based environment consisting of the totality of blogs that exist.

 

We now live in a computerized age. What a cultural shock! You will need a computer to compete, while age is no barrier for learning. Writing a blog will be weekly, reading can be instant, fresh and previous published materials will be used, while production cost will be minimal.

 

I look forward to such writing with great anticipation. A new and different endeavor is fascinating. Of my 81 years of life's existence, I have been blessed in academic studies, pastorates, denominational administration, leadership in genealogical services, producing a class newsletter and now creating a blog through the electric media. I look forward to continuing to share my thoughts through my blog.

 

Regards,

 

VMH