the county news
Wednesday, November 17, 2021 through Tuesday, November 23, 2021
Wednesday, November 17, 2021 through Tuesday, November 23, 2021
Habari Gani:
A Focus on Recent Events
By Makheru Bradley
Makheru Bradley
The Tyranny of Stray Bullets—this time from the police—kill 8-year-old Fanta Bility
Fanta Bility
Fanta Bility
via Bruce L. Castor Jr.
It was Friday night football for Academy Park High School in Sharon Hill, PA, and the family of 8-year-old Fanta Bility was attending the game to support her sister who was a cheerleader. After the game an argument between two teenagers led to an exchange of multiple gun shots. Moments later two women were driving about a block away from the shooting near the football stadium. Three Sharon Hill police officers, two white, one Black, heard the gunshots, and when they saw a car ride by they immediately fired wildly into that car.

Some of the shots fired by the police hit a crowd of people leaving the game. Fanta Bility was shot and killed. Fanta’s 12-year-old sister, a 13-year-old boy, and one other person were wounded in this mass-shooting by the police. A 20-year-old woman who was a passenger in the car was injured by flying glass. Initial reports from several sources said Fanta was an occupant of the car. More ↠
Acknowledging the
Black History in Statesville
Mayor Costi with Black residents
By Lisa Mozer, Ed.D.

STATESVILLE, NC – Just blocks from downtown, Garfield Street and Green Street are the most African American historic locations in the city. Leaders of Iredell County please be considerate of inclusivity that warrants sharing the historical sacrifices of early Africans laboring here. Also, be considerate of the funding that was not provided, and services unfairly withheld from this neighborhood. We have long been in need and neglected. The two most significant historic markers missing:

Billingsley Academy on Green Street, and Dr. Holiday & Mrs. Holiday’s Garfield St residence. More ↠

Governor Cooper grants Sharpe Pardon of Innocence
Dontae Sharpe
Dontae Sharpe
By Cash Michaels
Cash Michaels
Now that Gov. Cooper has granted Dontae Sharpe a pardon of innocence for a murder he was erroneously convicted of in July 1995, and served 26 years in prison for, the question remains - why did it take so long after Sharpe was released in August 2019?

That question lingers for Sharpe, and many other falsely convicted behind prison walls who await the courts to clear them for crimes they did not commit.
“My freedom ain’t still complete. Know that our system is corrupt and needs to be changed,” Sharpe said during a Zoom press conference last Friday. “I’m thankful that I got mine and thankful that other guys are gonna get theirs. That’s what is important now.”

To say it has been one long hell for Montoyae Dontae Sharpe is an understatement.

The Charlotte native was an 18-year-old teenager when he was arrested and charged in the 1994 fatal shooting of George Radcliffe in Greenville during what police at the time alleged was a drug deal gone bad. Sharpe denied all charges, adding that he wasn’t even at the scene, More ↠
EXCLUSIVE: April 2022 trial set for
Fayetteville Med. Director in racial profiling case

By Cash Michaels
Gregory Smith is intent on making sure that the state of Missouri knows that it messed with the wrong Black man when a state trooper there allegedly racially profiled the Fayetteville medical director during a visit there last August in the middle of the night.

That’s why instead of a November 9th traffic court hearing via video hookup, Smith is now preparing for an April 18, 2022 trial in Platte County, Missouri to prove that when he was stopped, it was because he was driving while Black.
Gregory Smith
Dr. Gregory Smith
Not because he had broken any laws.

Smith was arrested for allegedly resisting an officer after he flew to Missouri three months ago for a medical conference. He claims that he was threatened with violence by a trooper, roughly handcuffed, unjustly charged $1,040 for a ticket for resisting the officer and forced to walk six miles in the dark of night to More ↠
Chavis urged healing during 1898 “Unity” event
By Cash Michaels
Ben Chavis
[WILMINGTON] Saying that, “Healing starts in the mind. You’ve got to want to heal,” the Rev. Dr. Benjamin Chavis, leader of the Wilmington Ten, joined others November 10th commemorating the 123rd anniversary of the 1898 Wilmington Race Massacre in urging those attending a special “Unity” service at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church to “heal forward.”

“I believe that Wilmington is a better city because we finally decided that we’re not only going to study the past but learn from the past and we decided we’re going to live a different kind of future,” Chavis, also the president of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), said.
“There’s something about this city…, there’s such great potential, such great promise,” Dr. Chavis continued. “But the forces of racism, the forces of oppression, the forces of economic exploitation would try to keep us divided so we think each other is the enemy.”

“If Wilmington, North Carolina can have a healing, I believe America can have a healing,”

As a member of the Wilmington Ten, Rev. Chavis, along with nine other activists, was falsely accused in 1971 of firebombing a white-owned grocery store during riots in the city. The following year, they were all convicted and sentenced to prison. Their prison sentences would be shortened in 1977 by then Gov. Jim Hunt, but it would take over forty years in 2012 for them to receive pardons of innocence from then Gov. Beverly Perdue.

Dr. Chavis has led the NNPA - a national association of Black-owned newspapers - for the past several years. More ↠