Sandhills Family Heritage Association partnering with North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
From 2011 through 2014, Sandhills Family Heritage Association partnered with North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University to expand our existing youth based agriculture projects. Our partnership has lead to over 4000 hours on the farm training for our communities youth. These students worked alongside mentor farmers to produce crops for direct markets, along the way learning and developing their leadership, interpersonal, and entrepreneurial skills. The Cooperative Extension program at North Carolina A&T University has provided educational opportunities including conferences, field days, campus farm tours, and lectures to help develop the skills and knowledge base of our youth. Active engagement is imperative to the future of small scale farming, and the long term goals of this project aim to enhance the sustainability of our young farmers through continued education, training, mentoring and outreach.
FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- The stained glass windows of the All American Chapel are decorated with the often violent history of the 82nd Airborne Division. But on this day, Paratroopers gathered inside the chapel to celebrate a man who devoted his life to non-violence.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is revered as one of the most important figures in the American civil rights movement.
"Dr. King has showed me with his non-violence movement that you can get further by not taking the anger-road," said Sgt. 1st Class Richard Stewart, a Paratrooper who recited from Dr. King's sermon "I've Been to the Mountaintop" during the ceremony.
"I try to take that into context when I'm dealing with people on a daily basis," he said.
Non-violence was just one of the many messages Paratroopers and community members heard at Fort Bragg's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration at the 82nd Airborne Division's All American Chapel on Jan. 22. The celebration, hosted by the division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team included a performance by Albritton Middle School's seventh and eighth-grade chorus and featured keynote speaker, Mrs. Ammie McRae Jenkins from Spring Lake, N.C.
"I learned so much from (Dr. King)," Jenkins said. "I think that the non-violent protests brought about a lot of the benefits we enjoy today."
"As a witness during the time of segregation, I'm very pleased that the 82nd Airborne Division asked me to come out."
Jenkins said she felt comfortable speaking to the mostly military audience.
"I've been around the military almost all my life," she said. "I remember as a child working in the fields and looking up and seeing the Paratroopers jump out at Sicily and Normandy drop zones."
As a young adult in the 1950's, Jenkins remembers the segregation well.
"We lived in a black and white world," she said. "And then, Dr. King came along and started organizing people."
No matter how bad the racial injustices got, Jenkins insists that Dr. King's non-violence response was always the answer.
"I did go to one of the strategy meetings," she said. "And I found out if you could not protest and be non-violent, they did not want you to take part."
The desegregation of schools in North Carolina had a profound impact on Jenkins's life. In 1962, she was admitted as the first African-American student at High Point College.
"It was not easy," she said. "I was the target of a lot of spit balls."
Equality came with great cost.
"The things we have today were really fought hard for," she said. "People died fighting for these rights."
Continuing the legacy of Dr. King is where Jenkins focuses her attention these days. Jenkins is the author of two books and the founder of the Sandhills Family Heritage Association. Her nonprofit organization provides programs and services that strengthen family, economic, and cultural bonds for African Americans in the Sandhills community.
"This is the way we honor Dr. King," she said. "Through providing service in the community."
Col. Patrick Hynes, commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, echoed the importance of remembrance.
"With celebrations like this, we ensure that Dr. King's legacy and message of equality continues for both this and future generations," he said. "This day stands as a monument to the accomplishments of Dr. King and all who dedicated their lives to achieving the idea that all men are created equal."
Looking back at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s life, many feel it is important to remember the struggles, celebrate the victories, and act by honoring those who fought for equality. In Dr. King's sermon, recited at the beginning of the celebration by Stewart, Dr. King foreshadowed a time when legal racial segregation would be no more.
"I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. So I'm happy tonight."
Students have a new way to learn about the state’s rich African American culture.
AT&T North Carolina and the N.C. Department of Public Instruction unveiled the 2013 Heritage Calendar last week in Raleigh. Each month, an individual who has played a key role in North Carolina black history is highlighted. The calendar is available online and will be provided to schools throughout the state. Lesson plans about each honoree will be made available to educators in the hope that they will use them to teach their students more about these iconic figures, who were selected by an AT&T panel based on submitted nominations. Not all of those featured are black. Whites who have contributed to black history being made – like former UNC Basketball Coach Dean Smith and former Governor Jim Hunt – also appear.
A team of 24 teachers from across the state prepared lessons for the project. Lee Anne Stiffler, who retired as a science teacher at Meadowlark Elementary after an education career that spanned nearly 40 years, was on the team.
“I hope that (students) get a chance to use this to meet North Carolinians they probably never have heard of before,” Stiffler said of the calendar.
Stiffler was among a group of four teachers assigned to develop lesson plans centered around Hunt, who appointed many African Americans to prominent positions as governor, and Clarence “Big House” Gaines, the late legendary Winston-Salem State University basketball coach. Stiffler said she had long admired both men.
The educators were allowed to get creative with their lesson plans. For example, for Gaines, Stiffler used basketball as the basis for physics and to create a language arts lesson centered around leadership.
In a press release, State Superintendent Dr. June Atkinson praised Stiffler and the other educators who crafted the lesson plans.
“Each teacher involved in crafting these plans has provided important leadership to their colleagues,” she said.
Gaines is not the only calendar icon with Triad ties.
Greensboro residents Henry and Shirley Frye are featured. He became the first African American to serve in the state General Assembly in the 20th Century and the first black justice and chief justice of the N.C. Supreme Court; she is an esteemed educator who has devoted countless volunteer hours to worthy causes. Fittingly, the Greensboro Four are featured for February, the month in 1960 that they made history with a sit-in at a Greensboro lunch counter.
Less obvious figures are included as well, like former Wendell-Wake NAACP Chapter President Mary Perry, who is the longest-serving NAACP president in the state. Coach Smith is highlighted for recruiting UNC’s first black athlete in 1966 and helping to integrate the Chapel Hill restaurant, The Pines. Smith also helped Howard Lee, a black UNC graduate student and future Chapel Hill mayor, move into an all-white neighborhood in 1965.
“The inaugural honorees are all incredible role models and have made a lasting difference in their relative fields and communities, excelling in areas such as education, public service, civil rights, sports, arts and law enforcement,” said Cynthia Marshall, president of AT&T North Carolina, in a press release. “It is our hope that this calendar will serve as a tribute to their tremendous integrity, commitment and dedication to enhancing the lives of African-Americans throughout North Carolina’s rich history.”
The other North Carolinians featured are: former Wake County Sherriff John Baker Jr.; former Raleigh Mayor Tom Bradshaw; former U.S. Rep. Eva Clayton; pre-school education advocate Dorothy Scoggins; Sandhills Family Heritage Association founder Ammie McRea Jenkins; and education advocate Olinzie Johnson.
To learn more about the AT&T 2013 Heritage Calendar, visit HYPERLINK “http://ncheritagecalendar.com” http://ncheritagecalendar.com/
By Todd Luck
Traditionally and by necessity, in times past African Americans in the Sandhills of North Carolina used the "natural resources from the forests, waters, and fields around them to sustain life and heal themselves"(Jenkins, 2003). One such resource was honey. "Honey from the forest could sweeten an herbal tea or kiss a hot biscuit" (Mitchell, 2008). According to a National Honey Board survey, African Americans are returning to their roots and using more honey in recent years than in the not too distant past.
In celebration of National Honey Month (September) and the many uses of honey, a few links to some tasty recipes (the honey yeast rolls look amazing) and alternative uses of honey are posted below. We would love to hear how you use honey in cooking, for health, or as a beauty treatment!
Jenkins, Ammie (2003). Sandhills Family Legacies Volume One. Healing from the Land.
Mitchell, Patricia B. (1993). Soul on Rice. African Influences on American Cooking.
Ed and Hermilio selling hot peppers at the Sandhills Farmers Market in Spring Lake.
September is National 5-A-Day Month, Fruit and Vegetable Month, and even Organic Harvest Month! How do you plan to get your 5-a-day? Here are a few suggestions!
Julia Child once said, "You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces - just good food from fresh ingredients". Even as late summer begins its seasonal transition into early fall, North Carolina farmers markets still have plenty of "fresh ingredients for good food"! Summer favorites like tomatoes and peppers continue to hold court on market tables well into fall and cool weather favorites like collards, turnips, mustard greens and onions become increasingly abundant. Crisp pears and apples replace sweet peaches and juicy berries. The old Southern favorite, the muscadine grape, makes a brief appearance in September. Last but not least, the sweet potato begins a long harvest period and will be available for months to come.
Want to know what's in season year-round in North Carolina? Follow this link to see fruit and vegetable availability. http://www.ncagr.gov/markets/chart.htm
If you're in the Fayetteville, NC area, the Sandhills Farmers Market of Spring Lake is open Saturdays from 9am until 2pm. We are located at 230 Chapel Hill Road in the Spring Lake city limits. Call us for more information - 910-436-3406. Would you like to receive our weekly newsletter "Market News"? Send us your email to sign up. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ben Franklin once said "time is money". In North Carolina, trees are money. According to the NCFS website, the forest products industry is the largest business in the state, contributing about $30 million annually to North Carolina's economy and providing over 100,000 jobs for North Carolinians. The NCFS website is full of related resources and educational information.
The North Carolina Forest Service (NCFS) has asked that SFHA share information about North Carolina's Present-Use Valuation Property Tax Program with farmers, forest owners, members, and anyone who cares about trees and there economic and environmental impact. Follow this links below for more information.
SFHA Board Chair Betty McMillan, Jeff Bolton, andSFHA Executive Director Ammie Jenkins in front
of a Sandhills region pine forest.
As eastern North Carolina awaits the departure of Hurricane Irene so that we can all go out and access the damage, it is appropriate to consider this week's NC agricultural headlines put together by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
Along with locally-grown fruits and vegetables, the Sandhills Farmers Market offers handcrafted items. Handcrafter and Master Gardener Patricia Dean sells her hand-crocheted berets, market bags, and dishcloths, hand-sewn skirts and aprons, and baby blankets and sweaters. She has been knitting, crocheting, and sewing ever since she was old enough to work a needle! Patricia's booth is a popular stop for market-goers! Her sports team aprons are a hot item! Custom orders are welcome. Stop by and visit Patricia every Saturday at the Sandhills Farmers Market of Spring Lake.
Meet Wade Cole of Wade Cole Farm in Four Oaks, NC! Wade farms 100 acres and operates a pasture-raised pork production farm. His hogs are Animal Welfare Approved for the NC Natural Hog Growers Association. Wade’s hogs eat feed that consists of corn, soybeans, molasses, minerals, and gleanings of grass, wheat, millet, and cornfields. He also grows wheat, soybeans, canola beans, millet, rye, and a wide variety of vegetables. Wade will sell pasture-raised pork, cabbage, collards, turnips, mustard greens, squash, and new potatoes on opening day of the Sandhills Farmers Market. He will also sell barbeque plates and sandwiches! Come out and meet farmer Wade and learn more about where your food comes from!