The father of Andre Knight/siblings and the husband of Virginia Knight Benjamin Knight has expired. Pastor Benjamin Knight has been suffering with a long term illness for quite sometime and Andre has been committed to serving while also helping to take care of his dad.
Stay tuned for the arrangements coming soon possibly early next week.
Knight addressed this ignant ass but Cunningham had a problem. Nobody stopped him while he was talking about nothing because the city council ain’t killed no damn body. And Cunningham think he can talk speak again, damn what part of the photo he didn’t understand you don’t get to rebuttal. So this is what it appears The Rocky Mount Telegram, The Community Council and Whig-TV is promoting. But just my ignant opinion. Oh I can’t leave out that ignant ass Rev. Roosevelt Higgs who call in to WHIG-TV and try to discredit the Rocky Mount City Council. Hell yeah this bothers me when these ignant asses try to discredit the entire council although they only call a few names but what they say reflect the whole council. Knight said enough for the rest of them so they didn’t have to address that ignant ass during the meeting.
Andre Knight Preaches During Rocky Mount City Council Meeting Monday September 11, 2017 “Don’t Blame Me!” Video
The following is a transcript of the 13-minute speech made at the Sept. 11 meeting of the Rocky Mount
City Council by Councilman Andre Knight in response to pubic comments alleging the council is too
focused on the Downtown Event Center instead of fighting crime, which has left poor black
neighborhoods out of the equation:
“I just want to say that pretty much people know my sentiment on the Confederate
statue-monument. I assure you, it’s not a delayed response or action or stalling tactics.
We are dealing with that matter and hopefully speedily with a resolution.
Also just wanted to say that normally we don’t respond during public comment, but first
thing we probably will wake up tomorrow and see in the newspaper Andre Knight,
Reuben Blackwell, Lois Watkins and Lamont Wiggins was slapped with not having
compassion for the black community and our black youth.
I know Mr. Samuel, I taught him in school, I think he’s a fine young man. But we, this
council, since 2003, have fought both day and night to improve the condition of this city,
both black and white. This town was founded in 1867 and for over 100 years we didn’t
have representation of black citizens on this board until George Dudley. Well, prior to
that in Reconstruction, we did have black elected officials. I think it was three. Then the
turn of the century, Jim Crow laws, which intimidated blacks, and they did not run for
Since 2003 this entire council has been fighting to improve the conditions, especially
housing. We have more housing now in these under-served communities, in these black
communities as some say, that never had development in over 50 years. You see
development now. You see the Beale Street Square; you see the Genesis Estates, Red
Rowe, now near Stalling Way.
The second thing this city was plagued with was the high utility bills from a deal that we
entered in, and that deal or that agreement wouldn’t end until 2026. And we fought to
bring down these utility bills that was plaguing our citizens both black and white, young
We fought for recreation throughout the city, south Rocky Mount. Put millions of
dollars. Which I grew up in south Rocky Mount. It was a safe haven for me. Claremont
is getting ready to be redeveloped.
We fought in education when Nash County commissioners didn’t even want city dollars.
We fought to keep the inner-city schools open. Couldn’t even get citizens to come out
and support or go to the school board and fight for O.R. Pope where these little children
lives in those communities. That was the pillar along with churches, St. James, East End,
North End, and those communities.
We’ll get back to them. Why are you closing these communities when you said these
communities have the highest poverty rate and illiteracy rate? Why are you closing
them? Now Williford School. Now Parker is on the chopping block. We keep sitting
idly, we aren’t going to have any schools inside the city limits of Rocky Mount.
We fought for public safety. Shotspotters, body cameras, the youth curfew, the list goes
on and on.
The last thing I want to say is about economic development. Downtown was dead. I was
born in 68. It was the flight. Went towards Tarrytown. Rocky Mount grew westward.
Nothing in east Rocky Mount. We’ve tried to bring this city back, the core of our city
where black folks live. And don’t tell me we ain’t done our jobs. Have you done your
They don’t want downtown to survive. If it weren’t for this council it would be on I-95,
Wesleyan Boulevard or Benvenue Road. But look where it is. Don’t tell me what we
haven’t done. Tell me what y’all have done. Everyday: negative, negative, negative
because they don’t want Rocky Mount to succeed.
CSX coming here. Talk about crime; crime everywhere. Crime didn’t just start. They
were robbing where I was living. But I had a daddy and a mama, a neighbor, an auntie
that would tear my hind part up. Don’t blame me for those that are fatherless and
motherless. It takes the church. Where your pastor at? Who going to the county
commissioners who’re closing your schools? Both Edgecombe and Nash. Who going
there? Who going to the school board? Who going to the PTA meetings?
Don’t come here and blame me when I sacrifice my time for less than a few pennies a
month. Meetings after meetings. Strategies after strategies. Some people in this town
didn’t want it to grow. Not where you live. Fighting for economic development on the
east side of town. One grocery store. Been fighting and fighting and fighting.
It runs deeper than me. It runs deeper than Reuben. It runs deeper. It’s an institution all
over this country and this city that don’t want to see certain parts grow because they
survive off the poor.
And some come here and challenge us with the Bible, but my grandmother said when
you see a fool, hear a fool, let them be a fool. I’m unbossed, unbowed, ain’t scared and
speak my mind and God fearing too. How dare you challenge me when you haven’t done
your part. If you’re pointing your finger, put it in your own eye before you come put it in
So I just want to say tonight: We want to save our children? I don’t like black boys
killing black boys. But white men were killing black boys. Black families were being
torn up, sold off, raped. This stuff runs deep. Not just 20 years ago, five years ago, 10
years ago. You can’t break that stuff in no five years.
I can’t stop no boy who got a gun in his hand that got a vendetta against his buddy, know
he’s hanging on the corner. Bang Bang. We don’t have enough cops to stand on every
corner. But we’ve got enough eyes in the community to reach one and teach one. So
when you start reaching and teaching, bring them to the council meeting. Meet your
What can I do? But don’t blame me. I grew up poor but I ain’t killed nobody. I didn’t
steal from nobody because I had a strict daddy and mama. Don’t blame us. Blame the
criminal justice system when it was crack cocaine that gave black men life in prison, 21
years in prison. When they were calling them crack babies, monkey babies. But now
you’ve got a repentant spirit on what’s out here now — opioids. You come here, you
won’t get arrested, you just get treatment. Where was the treatment for those mothers
when people brought crack into south Rocky Mount, Little Raleigh, the neighborhood
and sold crack cocaine? And they died on the street and left crack babies. Where was the
sympathy for them then? But it is now. Where does the justice system swing now? How
long? Not long that the black man must wait. Been praying 200 years. Been fighting 200
years. Don’t blame me.
The last thing: We can fight racism and we can fight black on black crime, white on
white crime, Mexican on Mexican crime, or whatever you want to call it, crime is crime.
Where’s your march on these cameras right here? WHIG-TV every morning spitting out
venom about your city because you got a black majority. I’m going to tell it like it is.
Bamboozled 19-no 1898. Wilmington Riots when they chased black elected officials and
white progressive people. Killed them and through them in the river because they were
being progressive. Some folks don’t want this city to be progressive. Don’t blame me I
talk about race. Race was here before I got here. It was here when my grandma cooked
in the cook kitchen, worked in the tobacco factory, washed the laundry and took out the
pot. Guess what, it’s still here. You know why? Because we didn’t address it.
So pardon me that I took too long, but don’t come here blaming me. I haven’t mistreated
I know right from wrong. And I’m going to fight on this council as long as I can for
equality and parity for all, and for those who didn’t have it for a 150 years when you was
underrepresented and not represented at all. Don’t blame me, go to the root of the
And if you’re going to quote the Bible quote it from Genesis to Revelations. Touch not
my anointed. Do my prophet no harm. It’s better for you to have a millstone tied around
your neck than to touch the least of these and be at the bottom the ocean and you die and
know where you’re going. Don’t come quote the Bible to me. My daddy is a preacher,
and I’m one and I know the Bible. And I know lie and a lying prophet when I see it. Now
go tell that. Thank you.”
The Watch Dog response: Damn this is too funny. An immediate family member? Really? Why not just say his mother? Then you call his mother a proxy as if she is not competent to do business. This paper says purchase was $10.00 but WHIG-TV report of the actual document shows $2,000. Wow! So where did The Telegram get their info.? This paper said, “Knight attempted to sell the church property to the city, according to a source within city government who asked not to be identified.” Really? If the city purchased it then they would demolish it so that makes no sense. I bet if the Knight’s sold it that they would make the city move it for historical purposes. Why do you say that Knight needed have to recused himself from voting on the Event Center? This paper says, “The dilapidated church building is the only structure for two city blocks, surrounded by city-owned property with ongoing work to grade what will be the parking lot of the event center.” But I find it interesting St. John AME was not mentioned they did not sell out and still standing only a few 100 feet away from Holy Hope.“ Read more “Rocky Mount NC – If This Is Corruption, Then Let’s Go Back And Look At All The White Politicians That Have Acquired Stuff And Let’s Talk About Everybody.”
An immediate family member of a Rocky Mount city councilman purchased property at the location of the Downtown Event Center while the council was still deciding the site of the future facility.
Councilman Andre Knight used a proxy to buy the land and church building at 202 Ivy St. for $10 on May 20, 2015. The property was valued at $30,000 during the recent property revaluation.
The council was deciding in closed session meetings at the time the church was purchased where the multi-million dollar event center would be located, according to a comparison of deeds, tax records, council meeting minutes and archived news reports.
“Are you crazy?” Knight responded to Telegram questions whether he had the property purchased as part of a real estate speculation scheme. (Read more)
Sparks anger by who? Who angry? Damn acquiring of the property is public so what makes this corruption? If it is hell I am for justice no matter who it is for or against.
You know what tickles the hell out of me is that when black folk do stuff that is good such as acquiring property, some white folk can’t get the hell over it.
I remember back in the day when I said in meetings that while we as black folk were fighting to get control of the Democratic Party and elected offices in Edgecombe County I said what are black folk doing and going to do to help Edgecombe County become a better place to live, work and play. I seen white elected officials acquiring property and stuff and that is okay. Hey I was not mad with them because they had the power to do stuff. What damn good is having the power and not using it as long as it is not illegal and/or hurting someone?
It is funny how all of these white folk have sat on the various boards over the years and acquired property but ain’t nothing been said. ElectriCities come to mind also as it was a former mayor and others who played a major role in making that happen.
It is a damn shame that some black folk and some white folk are still mad as hell because a young black man by the name of Andre’ Knight purchased the white man’s property the old Henry Gregory house on Fall’s Road. Because they gave him hell, he was smart enough to run for city council so he could do some things. Because he moved to Edgecombe County and have several properties and business on Nash side some can’t take it. But it is okay for white folk and other folk to live on the Nash side and have property on the Edgecombe County side.
The sad part is when we have ignant ass black folk like the black man in Edgecombe County that was used by several folk to attempt to remove Knight from the city council but it didn’t work. The county ended up getting sued and had to pay Knight’s attorney fees.
What in the hell do folk want, you talk about black on black crime as if white crime doesn’t exist and other negatives that connect to black folk but then when you have a young black man trying to help make Edgecombe and Nash County a better place to live work and play, he has to work against some white folk and ignant safe black folk that are always trying to discredit him. So why should young black males and others attempt to do good when it does not matter what they do, it ain’t going to be good enough?
Read the following Rocky Mount NC – Andre Knight Give Holy Hope Episcopal Church Brieﬁng to learn more about the property that Elizabeth Knight purchased. Yes she just happens to be Andre’ Knight’s mother. So because he is on the council his family can’t purchase stuff?
Hell let’s look at all of the council members and boards over the years and see what has been acquired.
I be glad when one day black folk that say they are about what is right, just and fair will say enough is enough and speak out against the white folk and ignant safe black folk who don’t want to see black folk have anything.
Funny how the following group call themselves the Community Council close to the Rocky Mount City Council are always trying to discredit the city council. I have not seen them talk about white issues but maybe I missed them. Oh but maybe there are none. I know that is a damn lie because we can begin with the media.
Background and Historical Significance
Holy Hope Episcopal Church (originally named St. Jude’s Church) was completed on August 6, 1916 for a white congregation in Spring Hope, Nash County. It is a replica of the original Church of the Good Shepherd in Rocky Mount and was designed by the Rector of Good Shepherd; Rev. Robert B. Owens. Holy Hope began as a mission to black people in Rocky Mount with the permission of the Trustees of the Diocese under the leadership of Rev. Owens. Several years later, the St. Jude’s congregation disbanded. The then-abandoned St. Jude’s Church was disassembled in Spring Hope, moved to Rocky Mount and reassembled in 1939. Several African American Rocky Mount families founded the church as Holy Hope Episcopal Church. As such, Holy Hope became Rocky Mount’s first African American Episcopal Church.
The area where it is located today is now designated as the Rocky Mount Central City Historic District. The Central City Historic District is a nationally designated historic district and encompasses both Edgecombe and Nash portions of Downtown Rocky Mount. This historic district includes 166 contributing structures in central Rocky Mount and includes a variety of industrial, commercial, residential and institutional buildings dating from the late-19th through mid-20th centuries. Holy Hope is one of those notable buildings.
The late Anna Easter Brown, a founding member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the nation’s first African American sorority, was a member of Rocky Mount’s Chi Omega Chapter, lived one block away from the current location of Holy Hope, taught at the former Booker T. Washington High School (approximately five blocks from the current location) and was an active member of the Holy Hope Episcopal Church.
Why the Knight Family Purchased
Holy Hope After several conversations over several months with City Staff, it was evident that the City had neither funds nor plans for acquiring the former church. The staff was clear with the City Council that they planned to demolish the structure. In the meantime, the owner of the church property reached out to Andre’ Knight for help in selling the structure. The property owner was interested in transferring the property to someone that she knew would value the history and legacy that the church represented. The property was purchased by Mrs. Virginia Knight, who still retains ownership today.
Andre’ Knight, in his role as City Council representative, led the effort to erect the local historical marker for Anna Easter Brown’s home; the local marker for the home of Dr. Douglas, the founder of the Douglas Block; the local marker for the Lincoln Park Hotel on Leggett Road; and the soon to be erected local marker for Thelonious Monk off South Washington Street. Mr. Knight has also been entrusted with the writings and collections of the late J. B. Harren, notable African American Rocky Mount historian, avid member of the NAACP and a founder of OIC in Rocky Mount. Proposed
Property Reuse Strategies/Options
Holy Hope has been a notable and majestic structure in the footprint of Downtown Rocky Mount since 1939. For that reason, the Knight Family plans to renovate and restore the property for use as an African American Museum of History to commemorate the tremendous accomplishments, achievements and contributions that black people have made to eastern North Carolina and the world. A committee is being assembled to:
1. Raise funds for historic restoration and renovation of the Holy Hope church structure;
2. Archive and display existing African American collections and memorabilia;
3. Recruit additional collections and memorabilia from area residents and their families and friends here and abroad;
4. Connect our eastern NC collections to other national and international collections, displays and historical societies;
5. Manage the historic renovation process;
6. Communicate and establish collaborations with the City of Rocky Mount and other appropriate entities; and
7. Determine next steps in embedding Holy Hope and the eastern NC African American Museum of History in the life and fabric of the growing and vibrant Rocky Mount region.
Andre’ Knight stated that “African American history in Rocky Mount and the Twin Counties has been overlooked, destroyed and devalued. This project has as much history as the former confederate-owned Rocky Mount Mills that now has new owners and investors with fresh, energetic, contemporary and inclusive vision, the Helen P. Gay Historic Train Station, the May and Gorham Building and the Douglas Block. The Holy Hope Church project is as vibrant, exciting and significant as any other historical development taking place in Downtown Rocky Mount.”
For more information, please contact Andre’ Knight at 252-544-2949 or by email at email@example.com .