Second edition of Heritage Calendar honors NC African Americans

Posted October 22, 2013
Updated October 23, 2013

For a second year, AT&T North Carolina will publish a calendar featuring monthly profiles of North Carolina African Americans.

The 2014 "Heritage Calendar" is available for download at

“Our state has been built and molded by many extraordinary people. We have been looking forward to recognizing another group of honorees who have made a difference in so many lives, while also sharing their stories to educate and inspire future generations,” said Venessa Harrison, President of AT&T North Carolina. 

The 2014 profiles include representatives from the fields of education, community activism, civil rights, local government, law, music, athletics and journalism. Each profile is accompanied by lesson plans developed by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI) available online as resources for educators across the state.

The 2014 Heritage Calendar’s honorees include:

Melvin “Skip” Alston – An NAACP leader at the local, state and national levels for 25 years, he also served 20 years as a Guilford County Commissioner, including a term as Chair. He helped to launch Sit-In Movement, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to buying the historic Woolworth building in Greensboro where the sit-in movement began in 1960, and which is now the International Civil Rights Museum.

Robert Bridges – As Superintendent of Wake County Public Schools, Bridges, now retired, strove to close the achievement gap between affluent and low-income children. Among his achievements was the creation of nonprofit “A Helping Hands” program, which places African-American men in the lives of at-risk children.

The late Dr. Charlotte Hawkins Brown – The founder of Palmer Memorial Institute in Sedalia, near Greensboro, she sought to improve education for African-American students. Brown helped to create the Federation of Women’s Clubs of North Carolina, which convened together civic, religious and social groups to fight for racial and gender equality.

The late Walter Horace Carter – The founder and former publisher of the Tabor City Tribune, Carter won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 1953, together with the Whiteville News Reporter, for the work done to bring the question of equality and civil rights to the readers of the Columbus County community. His fearless reporting and editorials led to the eventual arrest and conviction of more than 100 Ku Klux Klan members.

Willie Cooper – The native of Elm City was the first African-American to play basketball for former UNC Coach Dean Smith, a 2013 Honoree Cooper left the program to concentrate on academics, graduating with a degree in business administration. He became an equal-opportunity officer at IBM,helping ensure other African-Americans received the same chances he had been given.

Clyde “Pop” Ferguson Sr. and Clyde Ferguson, Jr. – Musicians from Lenoir, this father-son team lead Pop Ferguson and the Blues Review and host the popular annual Pop Ferguson Blues Festival.They have each played a major role in preserving and celebrating African American music.

Judge Shirley L. Fulton – A South Carolina native, she came to North Carolina to attend to attend college and has been blazing trails in the state ever since. Now retired, she was Charlotte’s first black female prosecutor and later the first black female on the Superior Court bench in North Carolina.

The Joseph Holt Family – Elwyna, Joseph Sr. and Joseph Jr. were instrumental in school desegregation in Raleigh as the first African-American family to apply to all-white Josephus Daniels Junior High. Although unsuccessful, their efforts paved the way for future students. Following high school and college graduation, Holt Jr. served 26 years in the U.S. Air Force before retiring as a lieutenant colonel.

Manteo Mitchell – The Mooresboro native and graduate of Western Carolina University was running the first leg of the Men’s 4x400 Relay in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London when his fibula broke. He finished the remaining 200 meters, inspiring people worldwide and enabling his team to advance to win a silver medal.

Jane Smith Patterson – Through a long career in state politics, she has worked tirelessly to link government, the economy and technology to better the lives of North Carolinians. Patterson has arduously campaigned to expand women’s rights and participation in government, helping open up more government positions to women and minorities.

Harold and Lucille Webb – Educators and community activists, they have dedicated their lives topublic service. Following service as a fighter pilot with the Tuskegee Airmen, Harold Webb embarked on an education career as a teacher and administrator. He led the North Carolina Title I Program, a federal effort to bridge the opportunity gap by serving low-income, minority students, and served as Chair of the Wake County Board of Commissioners. A retired teacher and administrator from the Wake County Public School System, Lucille Webb is the founder and president of Strengthening the Black Family, Inc., a nonprofit community-based networking organization that works to bring about positive changes in the community with specific emphasis on black families in Wake County.

George Williams – The head track and field and cross country coach at St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh, he has coached 33 NCAA national champion teams, 32 Olympians, and three gold medalists.His efforts have yielded more than 100 coach-of-the-year awards and secured a 95 percent graduation rate among his scholarship athletes. He served as head coach for the 2004 U.S. Men’s Olympic track and field team in Athens, Greece.

The Heritage Calendar project is supported by the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at UNC-Chapel Hill, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, PNC Bank, The News & Observer, Capitol Broadcasting Company/WRAL-TV and the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel.

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  • lavenderdejectedmoon Oct 30, 2013