I attended the NECP gathering today after reading “Because of the interest, officials of the new charter will hold a community-wide information session from 5-7 p.m. Monday” in the Daily Southerner newspaper on Friday. I arrived at about 5:05 PM and when I walked in I seen 2 blacks and they were Calvin Adkins Reporter with the Daily Southerner Tarboro NC and Rev. Nehemiah Smith Jr. Owner/Publisher of the Weekly Defender a black newspaper based in Rocky Mount NC. As I scanned the room of about 50 – 75 people at that time I seen 1 little black child. I was wondering who this child was with because it had to be a white person. Shortly thereafter John Westberg Executive Director of NECP came up to me and introduced himself. He said if I had any questions to feel free to ask him. I had none.
I stayed until 6:00 PM and during the time I was present white folks continue to come and go since it was not a sit down information session. Only 2 black adults came during this time frame as well.
Of course I was prepared with a very few important and relevant questions however I refused to do it on a one on one basis because it would be defeating my purpose when only myself and the person I would be asking the questions would only hear them.
Just shortly before I left the little black child that I mentioned and I guess her white parent/guardian came out as Rev. Nehemiah Smith, Taro Knight the black board chair and myself were standing outside on the steps talking. The white person said to the little black child, “You need to be around others that look like you so you can have some role models. You will not go to this school because they want an all-white school.” Rev. Smith said did ya’ll hear that, I said oh yeah. Knight may not really heard it because he was talking during the same time the white person was talking to the child.
I find this white person’s conversation with the little black child very, very interesting because it is of my opinion that the white person took in to account all of the white people present and that in her conversation with others something must have triggered this person to think that the school would be all white.
I spoke to Taro on Saturday morning about my top 2 concerns after listening to him on the talk show and after attending the presentation last Thursday in Pinetops when John Westberg addressed the Edgecombe County Commissioners during their annual retreat.
First of all I am an active black man and have lived here all of my 49 years and 3 months. I know what is really going on here. It is of my opinion that the charter school has come about because some white folks had been trying to get their children out of the public schools because they didn’t want their children in the same school with black children. These same folks do not have any children in the system now however some of them may have a grandchild/s in the system but more than likely not. But that has not stopped them from trying to remove other white children from the public school system since some of them have lost their jobs with the public school system and they are mad as hell.
Second, I told Taro that I have a problem with him being the only black on the board and is the board chair and he is the only one that is talking to black folks on the radio and in the newspaper about attending this school. He has said his child will not attend the charter school but some of his family members may. I said to him why is he trying to sell it, let the mad white folks sell it. Actually Taro must not be doing a good job of selling it to black folks if the numbers reflect the blacks that came out on today. However there may have been some more meetings that black folks attended.
Taro said that everyone especially black folks need to get involved because everybody’s tax dollars are going to go to the school because it is coming. Well what tickles the hell out of me is the charter school has no building, no funds but must open by August 1 no later than August 15. But what I did learn today is the charter is good for 10 years so therefore this makes me think that they really don’t have to worry about getting started this year and can be able to really do what they need to do and be ready by the 2013 – 14 school year.
Oh well I will continue to follow the progress of the North East Carolina Prep School.
NECP Registration ‘outstanding’ – Daily Southerner
Video/Pictures: North East Carolina Preparatory School Executive Director John D. Westberg And Nash-Rocky Mount Schools Superintendent Dr. Anthony D. Jackson Presentations To The Edgecombe County Commissioners During Their Annual Retreat Were Quite Interesting
North East Carolina Prep