Wednesday, November 11, 2015



By Cash Michaels
[Originally published in the Winston-Salem Chronicle 11-11-2015]

            A Winston-Salem woman alleges that her late cousin, Napoleon Wilson, was taken against his will by Forsyth County Dept. of Social Services (FCDSS), and physically abused while the department served as his guardian. His family could do little about it, she alleges, because they were blocked from seeing him several times, and the Forsyth County Clerk of Superior Court held proceedings without informing them regarding his welfare.
          There is still much to be known about the Napoleon Wilson case that is buried deep in the files of FCDSS – files that are not public record even years after his death.  But this much is clear – as in a previous case The Chronicle has reported on involving the Forsyth Clerk’s Office, orders issued in an effort to establish a legal guardianship of Mr. Wilson by FCDSS, and uncovered by The Chronicle, were not legal at all, because they were not properly entered into the court record, as mandated by North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure which directs clerks to file-stamp and initial all orders they issue prior to filing.

            For Sandra Jackson, Mr. Wilson’s cousin, the revelations are still painful years after his passing, because she believes that her elderly loved one, like many others, was targeted, and then trapped by a system where his legal rights were violated, his personal well-being and estate corrupted, and there was little Wilson’s family could do to advocate for him until the day he died.

            And Ms. Jackson believes that this has been happening to many others, for many, many years. Based on The Chronicle’s preliminary investigation of numerous files from the Forsyth County Clerk’s Office, she may be right.

            There are two versions of what happened to Napoleon Hall Wilson, 81, of Winston-Salem in August 2005 – one through interviews, the other through public documents.

            Mr. Wilson was a proud military veteran and widower who was known for being industrious, fiercely independent, and kind. He owned property and had been successful in business. His family respected his generosity and work ethic. They believed that in his waning years, Wilson’s advanced age required family care, management and companionship.

            According to documents, Napoleon Wilson was seen much differently by psychiatrists at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center (WFUBMC), social workers at FCDSS, and ultimately, Theresa Hinshaw, then an assistant clerk in the Forsyth County Clerk of Superior Court’s Office.

            In an August 23, 2005 letter to clerk Hinshaw, Dr. Joseph Williams of the Dept. of Psychiatry at WFUBMC, wrote Wilson “…was admitted to the adult psychiatric unit on August 18, 2005 after law enforcement became concerned about his mental status.” Dr. Williams went on to state that “…the patient had called 911 several times complaining of the garbage collectors in his community trying to do harm to him.” Dr. Williams also wrote that Mr. Wilson, “…had demonstrated increased agitation, confusion and memory loss over the course of the past month,” adding that Wilson’s “caretaker” indicated that he had not been keeping up with his medications.

            The letter maintained that Wilson had had dementia since 2000 and a history of seizures that bring about a “…state of psychosis.”

            “Because of these mental and cognitive limitations, it is our opinion that Mr. Wilson is not capable of conducting health, personal and business affairs in a responsible manner,” Dr. Williams continued in the August 2005 letter. “Therefore it would be in his best interest to have a guardian appointed to oversee these decisions.”
            “There are no known family members available to do this,” Dr. Williams concluded in the letter to asst. clerk Hinshaw.

            By Williams’ own admission, Mr. Wilson had been in their care at the psychiatric unit since August 18th, allegedly brought in by law enforcement, but by the time the doctor wrote that letter on August 23rd, no family members living in Winston-Salem had been contacted by either the hospital or police, even though Wilson’s “caretaker” was familiar with them.

            Six days later, that notarized letter, entered on August 29, 2005, was used in a “Petition for Adjudication of Incompetence and Application for Appointment of Guardian or Limited Guardian and Interim Guardian” to the Forsyth Clerk’s Office.

The documents show the petitioner being a “Maryanne Keller” of “UCBH - Risk Management.” That petition lists Wilson as “an inpatient in the facility named above,” and his address as “Sticht Center,” referring to the J. Paul Sticht Center on Aging and Rehabilitation, part of the Wake Forest School of Medicine.

The petition goes on to state that Wilson “…has dementia, paranoia and agitation…” referring then to the “attached letter’ from Dr. Williams.
Page two of that petition notes that Mr. Wilson “lacks capacity” for all indicated areas of “independent living,” adding that “caretaker lives w/him.”
Finally, under a section titled “Recommended Guardian(s),” it is written that if the caretaker is not interested, “…then FCDSS.”

A receipt shows that a “Maryanne Keller” paid the required $40.00 filing fee.

On that same August 29, 2005 date, clerk Hinshaw issued a notice for a Sept. 15, 2005 hearing on the incompetence petition, and “Order Appointing Guardian Ad Litem,” a clerk-appointed attorney who is supposed to legally advocate for the patient. That document, which is not file-stamped as entered, showed that attorney Fred P. Flynt, III was appointed.

If Mr. Wilson did not want attorney Flynt, he had the legal right to hire his own attorney to represent his interests in that Sept. 15th hearing. By all accounts, Wilson had the means because he wasn’t indigent.

Another “Notice” on the incompetency hearing for appointing a guardian dated August 29th, 2005 only lists the caretaker’s name and Winston-Salem address – the address Napoleon Wilson reportedly lived at – as being formally notified to “…appear and offer evidence as to whether the Respondent (Wilson) is an incompetent adult and a guardian should be appointed.

The caretaker is not a relative, yet her name is the only one listed to appear.

 It is now eleven days since Napoleon Wilson was brought in to the hospital, according to Clerk of court records, and yet there is still no documented effort on the part of law enforcement, the hospital, the Clerk’s Office, or later, according to Wilson’s cousin, Sandra Jackson, the guardian ad litem supposed to be advocating for him, to locate any family in the area.

Ms. Jackson, now in her 50’s, not only lived at the same address in Winston-Salem then as she does now, but has also been an employee of the city’s sanitation department for over 27 years. In addition, she was already a guardian of an adult family member at the time, meaning her records were already on file at the Clerk’s Office.

But more importantly, Ms. Jackson told The Chronicle, the caretaker in question, was actually a woman named “Sarah (The Chronicle is withholding her last name),” Napoleon Wilson’s girlfriend of several years who was known very well by Jackson, and communicated with her often. Wilson and Sarah were living together years after his wife had deceased.

So why didn’t any official, from any of the institutions involved, ask Sarah if Mr. Wilson had family in the area and how to contact them? Sandra Jackson says that in fact, they did know, because Sarah did tell at least the hospital since she had to be in contact with doctors about his medication.

“She told them he has a niece who could take care of him,” Ms. Jackson told The Chronicle, noting that she had always thought of Mr. Wilson as an “uncle,” and referred to him as such, even though they were actually cousins.

In fact, on Sept. 15, 2005, Ms. Jackson says she accompanied “Ms. Sarah,” to the Forsyth Hall of Justice, Room #243 as directed, but when they got there, they were told that the special proceeding had already taken place, and FCDSS had been appointed guardian of person for Napoleon Wilson.

Sandra Jackson says that what happened next was nothing less than a horror show, with her being denied being able to see her cousin for three months, taking pictures of his injuries from alleged abuse at the all-white facility he was being kept at; and ultimately being denied her application to become his guardian.

The ordeal, she believes, allegedly contributed to his death.
In Part two, Ms. Jackson tells her side of the story, and why she believes that FCDSS and the Clerk’s Office allegedly conspired to work against Napoleon Wilson’s family.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015



[as published in The Carolinian 10-22-15]
By Cash Michaels

            After 49 years, award-winning producer – director Clarence Williams is retiring from the number one television station in the Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville market, WRAL-TV5.  By all accounts, Williams is the longest serving employee at WRAL, and its parent company, Capitol Broadcasting Co.(CBC).

        Not only has Williams directed countless local newscasts and special programs, but also worked camera for ABC’s Monday Night Football with Howard Cosell, NCAA football telecasts, and even changed the way coaches shows are done nationally when he directed NC State Wolfpack basketball Coach Jim Valvano’s weekly television program on location.

         He’s worked weather emergencies, state and national crises, and when WRAL became the first television station in the world, even before the national networks, to broadcast an entire newscast in high definition on October 12, 2000, Williams was there to help steer history in the making, and set a new standard of excellence.

         “I feel very fortunate that we’ve been on the cutting edge,” Williams says proudly, looking back over his tenure with Channel 5. “We’ve helped to develop some things. We’re a superstation.”

  October 28th next week is scheduled to be his last day at the station, and it will be bittersweet for those who simply can’t imagine being in the newsroom knowing that Williams won’t be behind the controls, directing which camera will move into what position, or which reporter out in the field should standby.

  “I feel like I’m losing a brother,” says Tom Campbell, producer and host of WRAL-TV’s weekly statewide political talk program NC Spin, which Williams directs. “After 16 years together we think so much alike that one of us can start a thought and the other finish it. Not only is Clarence Williams extremely competent, he is a gifted television producer/director.”

    Indeed, it would be hard to argue that Williams and WRAL didn’t grow up together, setting groundbreaking television news standards over the past few decades that have made the station one of the most respected trailblazers in the industry. A television station that has become an integral part of the Raleigh community fabric, despite a controversial early racial history that veterans of the African-American community remember all too well.

     But to hear Williams’ WRAL colleagues tell it, what they’ll miss most, beyond his technical expertise and journalistic leadership, is his basic decency.

     “When the workload here at WRAL-TV would become overwhelming to many, Clarence would often stop by a co-workers’ desk, flash his horizon to horizon smile and say, “How can I help you? It will be ok,”” recalls longtime WRAL-TV anchor David Crabtree about his friend and colleague.

     “Clarence Williams sets the standard, the gold standard for humanity. He loves his family, his work, his friends, the Catholic Church, God.  Clarence loves life,” Crabtree continued. “Mine is better because I know him.  Mine is richer because Clarence Williams knows me by name.  Mine is blessed because Clarence Williams is my friend.”

    “He is one of the best humans on this planet,” echoes NC Spin’s Tom Campbell. “His humility is inspiring and his deep care for others is contagious. He wants the best for everyone and I love him and want him in my life forever.”

     The feeling is just as strong from WRAL weekend anchor Ken Smith, who has worked with Williams for 15 years.

     “Clarence is one of the most humble, gracious and kind people I have ever met,” Smith told The Carolinian. “When you meet Clarence, he always has a story for you and often times you come away laughing, but also smarter! I have valued his advice and guidance over the years. I am a better man, for knowing Clarence Williams, forever a mentor.”

     The legacy of Clarence Williams is a remarkable one indeed, because upon hearing it, there can be little doubt that even as a young black child growing up in segregated Southeast Raleigh during the 1950’s and 60’s, he was a visionary, refusing to be constrained by racism or other barriers imposed upon him at the time.

    Williams was surrounded by role models like black doctors, lawyers, and even World War II figures who influenced him greatly.

    “I feel very fortunate growing up in Southeast Raleigh, where I had mentors like my cousin, [former Carolinian columnist] Pete Wilder; Dr. Christopher Hunt; my great Uncle Tom Tate, who was a member of the Red Ball Express [a legendary all-black World War II unit in the Battle of the Bulge],” Williams recalls. “Even my mailman was a Tuskegee Airman. We all knew each other, and knew of each other.”

    Veteran educator Dr. Robert Bridges, recently inducted into the Raleigh Hall of Fame, was responsible for coordinating the Industrial Cooperative Training program – a vocational program for students who didn’t want to attend college - for the old Raleigh City Public School System.

     Bridges recalls talking with the lanky young Southeast Raleigh tenth-grader from all-black J. W. Ligon High School one afternoon in 1966.

     “Clarence said, ““I want to be in TV. TV is the future, Mr. Bridges, and I want to be part of that.””

     The statement was extraordinary, given that television was still in its clunky black and white infancy, and many black families didn’t even have a television set. When a “negro” celebrity like singers Pearl Bailey or Sammy Davis, Jr. would appear on the popular Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday nights, it would be big news across the community. No African-Americans then even appeared in commercials.

    Young Clarence Williams felt there should be more blacks on television, and in television, and he wanted to be part of that revolution.

     Bridges was thinking more along the lines of a meat-cutting or construction job for the young man, but the young man was clear on what he wanted.

    White students from Broughton and Enloe high schools were already training at WRAL-TV. The best known of the few African-Americans even working there was a very talented man named J. D. Lewis, who was the first black on Raleigh radio, who also hosted a popular TV dance music program called “Teenage Frolics.”

     But there was an even bigger barrier to getting young Clarence into the number one television station in the market, and his name was Jesse Helms.

     It was the height of the civil rights movement. The NAACP, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others were boldly challenging long held southern segregation laws that limited opportunities for blacks in North Carolina and elsewhere.

     With Helms leading the way, WRAL-TV was a prominent bulwark against any civil rights progress in the South, as retired educator Alice McCullough-Garrett, recalls.

     What I saw and heard from Jesse Helms as a young student for a long time turned me against watching WRAL,” she told The Carolinian.  “The hate, name calling and racism he levied against African Americans only lead me to delve into the study of the greatness of my people.”

     Helms was not just an infamous editorialist doing a daily five-minute rant on WRAL-TV called “Viewpoint,” where he would routinely champion state’s rights against racial integration, and bash “communist instigators” like “Martin Luther Coon,” but Helms, who would later become a powerful five-term conservative US senator, was also a vice president and general manager at Capitol Broadcasting and WRAL.

     That meant Bridges had to approach Helms directly with his request that young Clarence Williams be given an opportunity to interview for a position at the station.

     Helms had hired blacks there before, but was concerned about Williams being a possible troublemaker, so he told Bridges to “…send the boy on out here and let me interview him.”

     Bridges recalls telling young Clarence the next day exactly what Helms said, “boy” and all, as a way to warn him what he might be in for working under such a well-known white supremacist.  But Williams was undeterred, went to meet with Helms, and ultimately got a position at WRAL, steering clear of Helms the station as much as possible.

     “Clarence was something special back then, “ Dr. Bridges adds. “He still is.”

      The rest is history. After telling WRAL that he was 16 (Clarence was actually 15, but knew he couldn’t get the position if he fessed up, so he got his grandmother to certify the required work permit), Williams began at the very bottom in Sept. 1966, learning enough to graduate to moving sets and lights, running cameras (color TVs were just making their debut) and sound, and eventually directing newscasts, public affairs programs, and sports shows.

     “In 1967 when I started to work for WRAL-TV, Clarence Williams was all ready working for the company,” says Paul Pope, Jr., an African-American who worked for WRAL for 42 years before retiring as a CBC Vice President for Community Relations. “He welcomed me with open arms and he played a big part of my training. Clarence has paved the way for me and many others.”

     During that time, Williams left his job, and St. Augustine’s College for two years from 1970-72 to serve in the military during the Vietnam War, and saw combat. When his tour ended, WRAL contacted him, and told him that his old job was waiting for him when he was ready.

      Williams’ long career at WRAL-TV mirrors the evolution of television, going from black and white to color; satellite and microwave technology allowing for live broadcasts from not only around the country, but around the world; and ultimately to the historic move to high definition and digital transmission, which WRAL-TV pioneered.

      “We grew. The technology changed. When I first got here some of the first color [TV] cameras we used were the size of a Volkswagen, “ Williams recalls. “And now you can find a lipstick camera. But it was all exciting to me because it was new to me.”

       When Jim Goodmon, grandson of company founder A. J. Fletcher and an engineer by training, took over Capitol Broadcasting Co. in 1979 as president and CEO, he changed the culture of WRAL-TV, not only making it more community-friendly (especially to blacks, long put off by Jesse Helm’s racial rhetoric), but also making it an industry leader, investing in new technologies to improve newsgathering.

    For instance, it was 1996 when the Federal Communications Commission granted the nation’s first experimental HDTV license to WRAL-TV, leading to that first HD new telecast in Oct. 2000. That meant Clarence Williams would grow with those changes, and indeed, over time, lead the station in implementing Goodmon’s pioneering vision.

   “Jim Goodmon believed in diversity, and gave us opportunities that probably wouldn’t have existed otherwise,” Williams says.

  “Companies are built around people like Clarence and he’s been a mainstay at WRAL-TV for nearly five decades,” CBC President/CEO Jim Goodmon told The Carolinian about Williams. “Clarence has contributed on any number of levels, but his people skills always made him stand out.  He mentors new employees, volunteers in the community and regularly goes way beyond his regular production duties.  Clarence is part of the TV-5 backbone and we’re going to miss him.”

    Even former colleagues like Renee McCoy, currently communications director with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public School System, but was a popular morning and noon news anchor at WRAL during the 1980s, hailed Williams for his professionalism and friendship.

    “Clarence was one of the pioneers in this industry who worked to set the standard for modern television broadcast production as we now know it,” McCoy said.  “He had a vision that surpassed the norm and brought a quality that others could only emulate. It was always a pleasure to learn from Clarence because he always provided a level of wit and fun to the experience.”

      There aren’t that many African-Americans who are television directors, but the name “Clarence Williams” means something to those who are, like Odessa Shaw, Jr., who retired recently after 25 years at Black Entertainment Television, WLFL-TV and WNCN-TV in Raleigh.

     “Though I never got the opportunity to work with him, I've always enjoyed our many phone conversations,” Shaw recalls about Williams. “It was good to talk with someone who as a TV director of color, he knew what I was going through.”

      Even in Southeast Raleigh that helped to nurture Clarence Williams, his legend at WRAL-TV is respected.

“It is amazing to me that Clarence has endured and celebrates his tenure with WRAL,” says friend and former Raleigh City Councilman Brad Thompson. “I can't imagine suffering the indignity of the Jesse Helms editorials and still being proud of the place I worked. Clarence made life better in Raleigh. He has earned his retirement.”

     In May 2014, Williams, retired CBC executive Paul Pope, Jr. and another longtime WRAL-TV employee Leonard Peebles, all military veterans, went back for a 13-day visit to Vietnam to witness the dramatic changes there since they left over 40 years earlier.

    In his spare time, Williams enjoys working with nonprofits, especially when it comes to helping those in need of food and vital essentials here, and in impoverished nations like Haiti. He hopes to travel to Africa one day, and back to Asia.

   “I want to give something back because I’ve been very fortunate,” Williams says, crediting Capitol Broadcasting Co. with allowing him to work with nonprofits, and even contributing to his causes.

   As his long tenure as a television pioneer comes to an end, Clarence Williams looks back and says, “It was sometimes challenging and frustrating, but it was also fun.”

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


                                                       UNC COACH DEAN SMITH

By Cash Michaels

                  This week, as the world mourns the passing of legendary UNC Tar Heel Head Basketball Coach Dean Smith, he is being remembered as a trailblazer not only for his championship winning hardwood strategy, but also for standing strong for social justice,  and against racial discrimination.
            “He pushed forward the Civil Rights movement, recruiting the first black scholarship athlete to North Carolina and helping to integrate a restaurant and a neighborhood in Chapel Hill,” said Pres. Barack Obama of Smith in tribute.
            But while many know of how Coach Smith recruited Charlie Scott as the first African-American to play Atlantic Coast Conference basketball in the ‘60’s, and how he supported former Chapel Hill Mayor Howard Lee when the black man tried against all odds to purchase a home in an all-white Chapel Hill neighborhood, it has never been revealed, until now, that Dean Smith also tried to use his considerable influence with then Gov. James B. Hunt in 1977 to secure pardons for ten wrongly convicted civil rights activists known as “the Wilmington Ten.”

            In July 2013, while doing research for the documentary, “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten” at the NC Archives, a Carolinian reporter discovered a previously unknown missive from Coach Smith to Gov. Hunt. Dated July 25, 1977 on “University of North Carolina” letterhead from Smith’s “Basketball Office,” a copy of the extraordinary letter was made for possible use in the film. However it was never used in the production, so the letter copy was held until this week, after Smith, at age 83, died at his home in Chapel Hill Saturday evening.
            When Gov. Hunt first took office in 1977, the Wilmington Ten – nine young black males and one white female led by the fiery Rev. Benjamin Chavis -  had already been tried, convicted and sentenced to a combined 282 years in prison in 1972. Defense attorneys were unsuccessful appealing those convictions to state courts, and an appeal to the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals was pending.
            Upon taking office, Hunt indicated that he wanted to review the historic case, and once all of the state appeals ran out, he would step in if needed.
            It was during this time that letters from literally all over the country and the world began pouring in to Gov. Hunt’s office, both pro and con.
            One of them was from Dean Smith. 

            Addressed to “The Honorable James B. Hunt, Jr. – Governor,” Coach Smith wrote:
            “Lee Upperman, our former basketball manager and now one of the attorneys for the Wilmington 10, has allowed me to read the Petition for Pardon of these ten people,” Coach Smith wrote to Hunt. “Without knowing the full details, other than what I have carefully examined in the Petition for Pardon, I would still urge you as a citizen to truly pardon these ten who have already served what many would consider a just sentence for what they had been determined guilty.”
            Smith continued, “Apparently there is no chance for a new trial and for them to serve the number of years given them in a rather strange way, would seem to be excessive.”
            Coach Smith concluded his letter to the governor with, “As a citizen who supported you for Governor in the November election, I would urge you to pardon the Wilmington 10 if you do have that right.”
            “Most sincerely, Dean E. Smith.”  The coach signed it simply “Dean.”
            But the letter didn’t finish there.
            In what apparently was Dean Smith’s handwriting, he adds a postscript:
            "Bob Seymour has provided me with some additional material on these 10 people which would lead one to believe injustice was done.”
            Smith then initialed the handwritten notation.
            The significance of Smith’s July 1977 letter is the fact that he marked the envelope “PERSONAL & CONFIDENTIAL” meaning that he wanted his request to be seen, and considered, only by the governor, and not be made public.
            Given the raging national and worldwide controversy about the Wilmington Ten case, and how they were falsely convicted for the arson destruction of a white-owned grocery store in Wilmington during the height of racial tensions there in February 1971, Smith would have found himself in the crossfire between civil rights and law enforcement groups who were bitterly divided.
            While African-Americans and white liberals would have welcomed someone of Coach Smith’s stature and high profile in support of their worldwide movement to free the "freedom fighters" Wilmington Ten, Smith would have been instantly vilified by members of the NC judiciary, North Carolina’s business community, and even conservative US Sen. Jesse Helms - all of whom who considered the Ten to be dangerous radicals - and wrote numerous letters to Gov. Hunt opposing freeing them.
            His controversial involvement would have undoubtedly put an unwanted cloud over his basketball program at UNC if word ever leaked at that time, and his judgement on race would have once again been questioned.
            Because of a recent change in policy, letters sent to the Governor's Office of Executive Clemency in the past ten years to be considered during pardons cases are no longer considered public record, in an effort to protect those who communicate with the governor, who has the sole discretion in issuing pardons.
            In the State Archives, an unsigned drafted letter dated Sept. 1, 1977 apparently from Gov. James Hunt, responds to Coach Smith, thanking him for his missive, and telling Smith that until all of the state courts considering appeals in the case have decided, he will abide by a policy of not stepping in.
            “If, at some time in the future, we consider any action for any of the individuals involved, we will give your thoughts due consideration,” wrote Hunt to Coach Smith. “ I thank you for sharing your ideas with me on this case.”
             History shows that a few months later, on January 23, 1978, Gov. Hunt went on statewide television, and announced that he would not pardon the Wilmington Ten, but would reduce their harsh sentences. However in December 1980, after all of them had been released from prison, the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia overturned the Wilmington Ten’s convictions citing “gross prosecutorial misconduct,” and ordered North Carolina to either drop the charges, or conduct a new trial.
            The state did nothing for 32 years, thus leaving the Ten in legal limbo. Not until the National Newspaper Publishers Association, led by the Wilmington Journal, defense attorneys Irving Joyner and James Ferguson, and the NCNAACP, mounted a successful national campaign in 2012 to secure ten pardons of innocence from then Gov. Beverly Perdue, were they finally legally exonerated.
            Calling the Ten victims of "naked racism" and "political prisoners," Gov. Perdue said she granted the pardons of innocence because she couldn't find any evidence of their guilt, but did agree with the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that prosecutors in the case indeed broke the law in framing the ten activists.
            Dean Smith was right in 1977 when he wrote, "...injustice was done."
            This week was the first time anyone associated with the Wilmington Ten case were told or shown anything about Coach Smith’s bid to gain their freedom.
            After reading the letter, Rev. Dr. Benjamin Chavis, now president of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, said in an exclusive statement to The Carolinian and Wilmington Journal newspapers, “Dean Smith was a bold leader who stood for racial equality when it was not the popular thing to do.  Smith's courage made him more than one of the greatest basketball coaches in the world. He triumphed off the court as well and won progress for all humanity. Long live the legacy and spirit of Dean Smith.”
             Another Wilmington Ten member, Wayne Moore, also paid tribute to the great coach and leader.
                 “I have known for a long time that Dean Smith was not only a champion as a coach, but that he was also a champion for social justice,” Moore, who now lives in Michigan, wrote.  “Being the first coach to grant a scholarship to a black player at UNC at a point where Jim Crow and Civil Rights were clashing on the doorsteps of justice, took a great deal of courage. There were immediate calls for him to be fired, but he stood his ground and went on to become one of the greatest coaches in the history of basketball.”

 “Still, his greatest legacy might rightfully be the passion he openly displayed for racial justice and equality. The fact that this letter is written on UNC stationery is a testimony in and of itself to his bold approach he often took.”
                   Attorney Irving Joyner, professor of law at North Carolina Central University School of Law in Durham, and one of the defense attorneys for the Wilmington Ten, wrote, “I have always been an admirer of the courage that Dean Smith exhibited in his coaching and community affairs.”
            “His decision to bring Charlie Scott from New York to desegregate the UNC-Chapel Hill basketball team changed the complexion of NCAA basketball at a time that he was not forced to it. At the time, Dean Smith knew that desegregating that basketball team and the campus was the right thing to do. For him, it was a matter of principle,” Prof. Irving wrote.
            “Likewise, I treasure and appreciate his championing of the early efforts to pardon the Wilmington 10 in 1977 and since that time because he personally knew that it was the right thing to do,” Joyner continued. “I deeply regret that Governor Jim Hunt did not accept his advice. Those and other equally courageous acts endeared Smith to his community, his school, and to the many people who were engaged in the struggle for equal rights and racial justice.” 
             Prof. Joyner concluded, “We pray that these lessons of racial harmony and racial justice will serve as an inspiration, and guide to others who find themselves in positions of power and influence.”