Campus Life

Lucky Citizen Designs Monument to Greensboro 4

GREENSBORO – Charles Jenkins had waited patiently for more than two years for this moment.

In 2007, he had accepted a challenge unlike any other of his life: Craft a sculpture to honor Greensboro’s place in civil rights history.

Jenkins didn’t consider himself an artist, and certainly not a sculptor. He’s a security officer who enjoys sketching — but just for fun.

Never did he expect to be chosen among the artists whose designs would become bronze sculptures of artistically shaped coffee cups to be displayed in the city.

Nor did Jenkins fathom back then where his cup would find a home.

On Monday, he watched workers install it on a granite pedestal outside the International Civil Rights Center & Museum, which will open Feb. 1, at 301 S. Elm St.

Just steps away, the civil rights movement got a boost on Feb. 1, 1960, at what was then the F.W. Woolworth store’s lunch counter, when four young men politely requested a cup of coffee.

In Jenkins’ sculpture, the cup rim became the lunch counter. Seated there are figures of the four N.C. A&T freshmen who launched the sit-ins that day.

“It is good to do something for those four guys,” Jenkins said about the sit-in participants – Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil, David Richmond and Jibreel Khazan (formerly Ezell Blair Jr.).

Campus Life

Greensboro Celebrations to Mark Sit-In Anniversary

Celebrations throughout January and on Feb. 1 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Greensboro sit-ins and the opening of the International Civil Rights Center & Museum.

The museum pays tribute to the four N.C. A&T college students who sat down at the segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter on Feb. 1, 1960 and reignited the civil rights movement.

Events include:

* Forum on civil rights law and the Greensboro sit-ins, as part of Elon Law School’s second annual Martin Luther King Jr. program, 6 p.m. Thursday, Elon Law School, 201 N. Greene St.

Participants include Franklin E. McCain, one of the sit-in participants; William H. Chafe, author of “Civilities and Civil Rights: Greensboro, North Carolina, and the Black Struggle for Freedom”; and Romallus Murphy, former general counsel for the North Carolina NAACP.

The forum is free and open to the public, although registration is required. RSVP by Tuesday to reserve a seat, by e-mailing or by calling 279-9275.

* Town Hall Forum, “21st Activism and Protest, the State of the Civil Rights Movement” 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Jan 28, N.C. A&T Alumni Event Center. Co-sponsored by N.C. A&T and Bennett College
* 2010 Community Gospel Concert with conductor Henry Panion, 8 p.m., Jan. 29, Westover Church, 505 Muirs Chapel Road.
* 50th Anniversary Gala, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Jan. 30, Koury Convention Center. Annual benefit dinner honors the unsung heroes of the movement and individuals who have made outstanding contributions in the continuing struggle for justice and racial equality.
* Celebration of Unity Service featuring Grammy Award-winning singer Yolanda Adams, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Jan. 31, Greensboro Coliseum. Free and open to the public.
* 50th Sit-in Anniversary Breakfast sponsored by N.C. A&T, 5:30 a.m., Feb. 1, Empire Ballroom, 203 South Elm St. The university’s Human Rights Medal will be presented by the chancellor at the breakfast.

This is a free ticketed event and is open to the public. Tickets are available at the A&T ticket office.

Campus Life

N.C. A&T professor among honorees at White House

WASHINGTON — A professor at N.C. A&T is among more than 100 who will be recognized at the White House today for their excellence in the teaching of math and science and mentoring.

Goldie S. Byrd will receive the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. She is the Nathan F. Simms Endowed Distinguished Professor of Biology at N.C. A& T.

The awards program is part of President Barack Obama’s Educate to Innovate campaign. The president plans to announce today new campaign partnerships to forward his goal of increasing students achievement in math and science during the next decade.


Chris Henry’s fiancee, NCA&T Alum Loleini Tonga


After a history of troubles with the law, in recent days NFL star Chris Henry seemed to be coming back from the personal and professional brink. He credited much of his success to his fiancée Loleini Tonga. But that relationship now seems to be at the center of the athlete’s death.

Henry passed away Thursday from injuries he sustained after he fell from the back of a moving truck. Police have said Tonga was driving the vehicle after a “domestic dispute” between the two.

Henry is engaged to Tonga, and the couple has been raising three children. On Tonga’s MySpace page she identifies herself as “Mrs. C. Henry” and has a picture of her next to a person who appears to be Henry.

She also has a post from Dec. 15 talking about buying wedding rings. A neighbor said Wednesday that the Tonga family owns the home where police say the incident began. Tonga’s parents live in Charlotte.

Aside from all the press and negative attention, Ms. Tonga IS ONE OF OURS. At this time I’d say the could use support more than anything else.

Campus Life

Fmr. Bennett Pres. urges Aggies to ‘live a good life’

by Joya Wesley
Carolina Peacemaker
Originally posted 12/16/2009

Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole returned to Greensboro as the keynote speaker for the Fall 2009 Commencement of North Carolina A&T State University, and to gratefully accept an honorary degree.
Before proceeding with her address at the Greensboro Coliseum on Monday, she acknowledged that receiving the degree satisfied a long-held desire.
“I always wanted to have the right to say Aggie Pride.”


“In addition to taking this very, very well-earned degree and going out in not the best of times to seek employment, or better yet to go on to more study, I advise you, of course, to try to make a good living. But, I’m going to tell you, even more important is to live a good life.”

She offered four keys to doing the latter:

1. Continue to learn.
“I’m not talking about schooling,” she said, “I’m talking about learning – that incredible, exquisite human experience of remaining open to ideas, learning things that even A&T could not teach you. Asking those questions, figuring out even as you move through your ages, what else you can take on.

2. Be of service.
“I am particularly proud that no one graduates from this university without 50 hours of community service. I think that this university acknowledges the words of Dr. Martin Luther King when he said that ‘life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?’
And this I promise you: In the act of doing for others, watch out. Because there is a boomerang effect.”

3. Speak up and stand up against any form of injustice.
“Today, while legalized Jim Crow no longer exists in our country, we still have such a long way to go to rid America of racism, sexism, heterosexism and all of those systems of inequality. Wherever you hear any expression of bigotry, whenever you witness any act of discrimination, speak up and when necessary take action in the interest of justice and equality.”

4. Acquire or deepen a world of interest in the world of the arts.
“Art will speak to your mind and soul about human conditions and it will do so in moving ways. … Quality art connects with that part in each of us that is inspired by what is creative and what is simply beautiful.”

Campus Life

NCA&T Student Leaders reject rap concert artists due to lyrical content