Northside News A print-link for the neighborhoods of Northside September 2010 Vol. 1, Issue 1 Upcoming Event Neighborhood Night Out o Tuesday, 09/28/10 o 5:30 p.m. @ Hargraves Center Join neighbors and friends for food and fun at a community block party sponsored by the Good Neighbor Initiative. For more about The Marian Photo by Jarrard Cole Cheek Jackson Center and Facing Our Neighbors, please Mrs. Marian Cheek Jackson dedicates the John “Yonni” Chapman Peace and Justice visit our website: Memorial Library during the Facing Our Neighbors installation. Books in the Library www.jacksoncenter.info are housed in the Jackson Center at St. Joseph C.M.E. Church and available for checkout by members of the community. On May 2, 2010, over 300 community members, students and leaders gathered at St. Joseph C.M.E. Church to celebrate May Day, in honor of the tradition of the Orange County Training School. The event featured food provided by Vimala Rajendran, live music from “Reverend B and the Wannabes,” dance performances and spoken word by the “Neighborhood Cypher Team.” The St. Joseph parsonage housed Phase 1 of Facing Our Neighbors, a documentary exhibit produced by UNC students and The Marian Cheek Jackson Center for Saving and Making History. The exhibit includes photographs of community members and audio recordings with your reflections on the importance of neighbors and neighborhood. It is now on display at the Marian Cheek Jackson Center inside St. Joseph C.M.E. Church. Did you attend May Day and the Facing Our Neighbors exhibit? We want to hear your thoughts. If you have questions, concerns or suggestions for future Jackson Center events and productions, please let us know. Stop by the Center from 1-5 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, call us (919.929.6595), email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) or write us: The Jackson Center 510 W. Rosemary St. Chapel Hill, NC 27516 Community Support Pressure to sell your home? Unbearable property taxes? We are trying to build community awareness and support for housing issues. We also have forms for all Photo by Rob Stephens residents age 65+ for property tax relief. You can contact us in any of the ways listed above for more information Edwards-Miller family portrait from the Facing Our Neighbors documentary installation. (Left to right) Miss Jasmine Miller, Ms. Carmen Miller, Mrs. Joy or to share community needs and get Edwards Miller, Mr. Russell Edwards connected to area resources. Next Issue: Health and Education Northside News Arts There is a proverb from the Ashanti of Ghana that like the swallowed tears dripping down my throat, says “The words from the mouth of an old man are better Holding him in my arms, than an amulet.” like one of his battalion buddies, See he survived World War II And I wish I had gathered more from grandfather but there are no Kamikazes, before he passed, no Nazis here, I used to drop my grandmother off at the nursing just blank faces who do NOT SEE him, home everyday to see him, wearing his wrinkles like war paint, But I rarely stayed long. crows feet like camouflage, Couldn‟t stand the stench… it‟s no wonder you disappear after 65, It smelled like rotting knowledge and they survive Sounded like overmedicated matriarchs clutching the oxygen tubes around their necks Learning to lean on metal walkers like dog tags, Rather than human shoulders, trying to hold onto their identities, Senior citizens, when they can‟t hold a 9-5 anymore, From Senior, told their lives are worth less the minimum wage a Latin word that became “sire,” Meaning “Your Majesty” And this is our shame. But we no longer treat our old folks like royalty, My grandfather sat down in his throne one day I would rather to have a million sages exhale back into And didn‟t notice the wheels they attached to the sides their tubes Until they had rolled him out of his palace so we can store their respiration, And into the corner of a nursing home dining room, Distribute cans filled with carbon dioxide and And some days I would sit with him, compressed wisdom Listening to discarded voices of wisdom scream And spray some sense into this world like machine BINGO guns filled with pennies, Like blasphemy, And I will take hits of enlightenment daily, This is hell Will drive a little slower down the highway, Where the only communion is coated pills and tap And will once again call my elders sire, water „cause most of these souls would prefer Euthanasia to And for my grandfather the Eucharist And I have a confession, I‟ll crumple this poem into my palms The other day I was driving, set fire to it Late for something less than important and lace the wind with a cremated blessing When sin spilled from my lips like to keep your ashes company “Get off the road grandpa” Tailgating a man I never knew, – Kane Smego of “Sacrificial Poets” and co-leader As if he didn‟t have enough to worry about with CJ Suitt of the “Neighborhood Cypher” team With the grim reaper in his rearview, Arthritis in his fingers, And a callous on his palm where his late wife‟s hand used to rest Forgive me, And Forgive us for every time we mention the prevalence of Alzheimer‟s among the old, when we are the ones who have forgotten, So I am trying to remember, whose hands were on my hips when I was slowly picking my steps trying to remember, who cradle me when pop would badmouth my mother And I DO remember The day I had to carry my grandfather onto an airplane, It was a crazy sensation clutching the seed that held my recipe for creation, Like Hercules hoisting an injured Zeus over his shoulder, lightning bolts bleeding down his back Illustration by Ibn McClain, a spring 2010 Jackson Scholar The Northside News is produced by The Marian Cheek Jackson Center for Saving and Making History. It is meant to be a vehicle for communication among Northsiders, Midway business owners, and friends across the town and county. Do you have a special photo or recipe to share? A local event to report or concern to raise? Please contact the Center by email or catch the ear of a staff person by phone or visit. We look forward to your contributions!