Intelexual Media’s Two Minute History: Kinston, N.C.

Elexus Jionde, better known on Twitter as @Lexual_, founded Intelexual Media to create a platform for her history lessons, which center on stories of black struggles, many of which otherwise go untold. The founder of Intelexual Media, Jionde has written numerous threads on stories of black struggles and white privilege for her audience of more than 40,000 and has been featured in a variety of articles about race and the future of media and created on-location content for her media company this spring. By Emily Sides Elexus Jionde, founder of Intelexul Media, attended Bad and Beautiful on April 7 as part of a residency in the Arts & Cultural District. SmART Kinston Executive Director Ty Johnson said he invited Jionde because of her perspective on history. Jionde, who is known as the Unconventional History Teacher, produces two-minute, easy-to-follow videos that explain history. Jionde said eighth grader Nikaya Newborn’s reading of her poem ‘The Place I am From’ made her tear up. She said the program made her think about how sexual assault is underreported. Jionde visited Kinston to produce two videos. Jionde came up with the idea to produce a two-minute history video about when 700 black students walked out from Adkin High School in 1951.    ...

Director sees Kinston’s struggles, opportunities as model for his hometown

Christopher Everett spent a weekend in the Arts & Cultural District as part of a special free screening of his critically acclaimed documentary Wilmington on Fire on April 15 at Neuse Regional Library. Everett is a native of Laurinburg and wrote about his time in Lenoir County and how Kinston could be a model for rural placemaking in places like his hometown. By Christopher Everett Coming to Kinston, North Carolina this past weekend was an eye-opening experience for me on so many levels. When you think of Rural America, you think of the countryside, farming, manufacturing and poverty. The one thing that never comes to mind when thinking about Rural America is cultural arts. Smart Kinston in Kinston, North Carolina is setting a great example and leading the way towards a new vision for rural towns in the form of creating cultural arts districts. Being from a town that is smaller than Kinston, it’s very difficult being an artist and getting the support base from the community that you need to be a self-sustaining artist. I realized that in order to have that, you have to have a cultural change within the community and the town that you live in. In small towns of Rural America, we rarely have anything that promotes creativity, free-thinking and arts so many times artists like me from these small towns often leave to go to bigger cities or even leave the state. We decide to leave because bigger cities provide the nurturing environment for artists to thrive and survive financially. I always wondered why my hometown of Laurinburg, North Carolina couldn’t provide the...

Documentary traces Wilmington coup, failures of N.C. press

By Emily Sides SmART Writer-in-Residence Emily Sides first learned about the white supremacist-led coupdetat in 1898 Wilmington at a March 29, 2016 screening of “Wilmington on Fire” at Goldsboro’s Paramount Theater and made it her goal to bring the award-winning documentary and its director, Christopher Everett, to Kinston this spring. Everett will be in Kinston’s Arts & Cultural District this weekend for a free screening of “Wilmington on Fire” documentary at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 15 at the Neuse Regional Library at 510 N. Queen St through a residency with SmART Kinston. While it’s been almost two years since marriage equality was extended to same-sex couples, this summer marks 50 years since the U.S. Supreme Court decided that banning interracial marriage was wrong. Prior to that ruling, and especially during Reconstruction, interracial couples were targets for abuse and in many cases men of color were lynched as rapists. Perhaps nowhere in North Carolina was there a more vivid example of this vigilante injustice than New Hanover County, where, in 1898, leading up to a murderous political overthrow of Wilmington’s local government, white supremacists waged an anti-black campaign leading up to the November election. Across the state they marched white men to sign up for the club called the White Government Union. If they refused, they were told to leave town or be hanged. In fact, the white supremacist Alfred Waddell slammed black men, racistly saying they use obscene language around white women. Waddell also blamed the white men who partnered politically with black men, calling them traitors. If a “race conflict” occurs “the white leaders of the Negroes...

Kinston Rotary offers funding for youth & education community organizations

The Kinston Rotary Club announces today that it is encouraging advocates of community-based  organizations serving the needs of education and youth in Kinston and Lenoir County to apply for assistance through the club’s grants program. “Service above Self,” the club’s operational philosophy, is the basis for the grants program as well as other projects undertaken by the 150 members of the organization. As Kinston’s largest civic club, founded in 1920, the 150 members have a long record of community service based on its philosophy, according to Rotary’s president Brantley Briley. The specific aim of the grants program, being announced today, is to support the work of non profit and educational organizations which focus on the educational needs and opportunities for young people in Lenoir County. Organizations interested in receiving an application are encouraged to call Grants Chair Adrian King at 252-686-6355. Email is adrianking@suddenlink.net. Applicants should provide full name, address and contact information. Application deadline is April 30, 2015. “We encourage applicants to be creative, innovative and collaborative to enhance the impact of programs and projects supported by Rotarians,” commented King. Prior recipients of Rotary grants include the Boys and Girls Club of Lenoir County, Community Council for the Arts summer scholarship program,  the Boy Scouts STEM project,  the Little Free Libraries project of the Kinston-Lenoir County Public Library and Contentnea-Savannah School for Project DIG. (Submitted by Adrian...

Wood Ducks walk off for historic win

The Wood Ducks got a 4-3 walk-off win in extra innings Monday against the Winston-Salem Dash in the team’s inaugural home opener. The Dash scored first, pushing across a run in the top of the 3rd, and the Woodies answered later in the inning with an Eduard Pinto RBI to score Luis La O. Two more runs crossed in the 5th when Pinto reached base on an error to give Down East a 3-1 lead they held until the 8th inning, when Winston-Salem tied it up on a two-out double. Neither team scored in the 9th, sending the first Carolina League at Grainger Stadium since 2011 into extra innings. Reliever Ricardo Rodriguez pitched his way through a bases-loaded jam, coaxing a double-play ball out of the Dash to harmlessly end the top of the 10th. Josh Altmann doubled with one out and scored when La O reached on a throwing error at first base. The Wood Ducks (4-1) will host the Dash (0-5) Tuesday at 7 p.m. and Wednesday at 11...

Glenis Redmond closes Kinston residency with student-led poetry presentation

By Emily Sides SmART Writer About 125 Rochelle Middle School students participated in a poetry presentation ceremony Friday with visiting poet and teaching artist Glenis Redmond. Redmond worked with the students for two weeks earlier in the school year and returned for the publication of the poetry anthology and celebration of the student’s work. Each participating student also received a copy of the their poetry book ‘Bad and Beautiful: An Anthology of Poems by Rochelle Middle School.’ At the ceremony, two students from each grade read their poems aloud on stage, including seventh grade Mahoganee Williams who read her poem “Life is Bad for Us is All I Hear.” “I do remember the time you became a poet,” Redmond said to the audience and specifically Williams. “Because I was right there when you became a poet.” Doriana Hill, who is also in seventh grade, read her poem ‘Sometimes I Can’t Understand Motherly Love/I Am From.’ “I am from the place that will turn off your lights even if you have two kids,” Hill read, speaking about gangs, hearing gunshots and sexual assault in her poem. Sixth grader De’Andre Hargrove read his poem “How My Mom Was My Dad” where he addressed an absent father and said his mother taught him how to be a man. Sixth grader Sa’Quan Jones read his poem “Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.” Eighth grader Nikaya Newborn read her poem “The Place I Am From” and eighth grader Ty’Jane Torres read “I Am From A World Of Where Everything Is Not Perfect.” Teachers Rebecca Zarrow, Rhondra Fleming and Tracie Dixon introduced students and praised the...

Wood Ducks host inaugural home opener Monday

After a five-year offseason, Carolina League baseball returns to Kinston’s Grainger Stadium Monday as the Down East Wood Ducks host the Winston-Salem Dash for a historic home opener. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. and southpaw Brett Martin will be on the bump for the Woodies. Martin, a Tennessee-native, finished 2-1 with a 4.24 ERA last season in six starts for the High Desert Mavericks in the hitter-friendly California league. Right-hander Peter Fairbanks will start game two on Tuesday at 7 p.m. The game marks a return to normalcy for Kinston, as the town’s former club, the Kinston Indians, was a fixture in Lenoir County from 1978 until it relocated to Zebulon in 2012 and took the Carolina Mudcats moniker from a team departing Five-County Stadium. The Wood Ducks will head to Zebulon for a series later this month and both teams will return to Grainger Stadium for a three-game series on May 23....

First Friday April 7: Sara Smith makes her Arts Council debut

This spring, SmART Resident Artist Sara B. Smith will have her work on display at the Community Council for the Arts and the Arts Council has scheduled her opening for First Friday on April 7. Smith will be joined by her house band, Winsome, for the reception, which will also feature catering from the Chef & the Farmer, where Smith works as marketing director. Smith’s gallery reception will headline a First Friday that will include special hours at Art 105 at 105 W. Blount St., Joyful Artist Creative Lab & Studio at 402 Mitchell St. and the Yellow House Writing Room at 216 W. Peyton Ave. Artists will be in their studio to talk with visitors about the art they have for...

Wilmington on Fire screening April 15

Neuse Regional Library will hold a free screening of the award-winning documentary Wilmington on Fire on April 15 at 3 p.m. A film by Christopher Everett, Wilmington on Fire chronicles the only successful cout de tat in U.S. history in 1898 when white supremacists in the coastal N.C. town gunned down and exiled hundreds of black citizens after the local election of Fusion Party candidates. The offices of the Daily Record, a black-owned newspaper, were burned to the ground and white candidates seized power in the port city. Everett, who will be available after the film to discuss its making, uses primary sources and experts to explain how the displacement of hundreds of blacks more than 30 years after the Civil War ended contributed to the rise of Jim Crow and later of private prisons. Everett won Best Director at the 2017 Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles for his first feature documentary and the film won for Best Documentary at the 2016 N.C. Black Film...

SmART brings Elexus Jionde to Kinston for residency

Twitter’s “Unconventional History Teacher” Elexus Jionde will speak at the Kinston Arts Center at 400 N. Queen St. on April 6 at 7 p.m. Jionde, the founder of Intelexual Media, has written numerous threads on stories of black struggles and white privilege for her audience of more than 40,000 and has been featured in a variety of articles about race and the future of media. “How the Past Affects the Present” will explore how history is taught while exploring historically overlooked local stories, like the 1951 walkout at Adkin High School, and how urban planning in the 20th century exacerbates the socioeconomic challenges facing cities across the country today. Kinston Teens is partnering with SmART Kinston to bring Jionde’s messages about youth empowerment to Lenoir County through a weekend teaching artist residency, which will explore how local issues can be solved through art....