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The Tuskegee News
Tuskegee, Alabama
April 1, 1999     The Tuskegee News
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April 1, 1999

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PageA- The Tuskegee Strain refused to be overlooked or discriminated BY JACQUELYN CARLISLE Staff Writer A man that has never been a "clock watcher" is winding down his time as Assistant Director and Head of the Communications Department for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES). Willie L. Strain, a pioneer achieving equal rights with ACES, is retiring after serving 45 years with Alabama Cooperative Extension. A retirement celebration/roast was held in Strain's honor on Saturday night at the Auburn University Hotel and Conference Center. During the celebration, friends, colleagues and family members were able to reminiscence, tell anecdotes and relate stories about Strain. In 1968, Strain filed a lawsuit against Alabama's extension system after he was passed over him for a promotion. Strain vs. Philpott was "as important to equal opportunity in extension work as Brawn vs. Board of Education was to the principle of equal opportunity in general and education," it has been stated. The lawsuit con- tented that Strain was more qualified for the job than that his white counterpart, but was overlooked because he was black. In 1971, Judge Frank Johnson wrote, "The racial discrimination in this case has so permeated the employment prac- tices and services distribution of the defendants (the Willie Strain Alabama Cooperative Extension Service) that this court finds it necessary to enter a detailed and specif- ic decree which will not only prohibit discrimi- nation but which will also prescribe procedures designed to prevent discrimination in the future and to correct the effects of past discrimina- tion." Sixteen year after filing the lawsuit, Strain became ACES' assistant director of communica- tions. During the roasting, Strain's attorney, Soloman Seay Jr., stated that "he was there to barbecue Mr. Strain. "Willie spent relentless hours to achieve the success 'we' had," said Seay. "And Willie has out- lasted many of the directors and presidents since the law suit." The Auburn University Outreach Department prepared a video presentation about Strain's work. "People need to know the work Strain has done for Auburn University and the United States," said Ralph Foster who presented the video to the audience and Strain. The video is the first of several the extension system is planning about its history. Now that Strain has retired, he has not made any plans. Many want him to write a his auto- biography. Strain, who lives in Tuskegee, did say he "is still committed in eliminating Before the court order's im were no black supervisors at the August 1994, there were 11 black| in the state's 67 counties. Now black county extension There were six female county dinators in the State in 1979. Now, i female extension coordinators in five are black. "I am happy that it helped women, and some white males who upon favorably by the a( said. "I plan to continue to look at the i According to the judge, this the people of Alabama. I intend avenues that will allow all people by the System." Strain isn't worried about how will have during his retirement. "I have never been a man to watchi said. Ashdale Cemetery can no longer afford a caretaker Special to The Tuskegee News The Trustees of Ashdale Cemetery Inc. wish to inform the Tuskegee community that they will not be able to employ a care- taker on a regular monthly basis from March-October 1999. This is the first time since 1989 that they have faced this crisis. This is due to a decrease in the purchase of burial plates and graves for future use. It is also the result of families and individuals fail- ing to pay $5 per month or $50 per year to the Beautification Association for the upkeep of the entire Cemetery. In 1998, the trustees were able to have the front walls of the Cemetery repaired and painted as well as repairing the columns at the entrance. They also were able to improve the roads throughout the cemetery and cleaned Potters Field in the rear of the Cemetery. The Trustee's also paid a caretaker to cut the grass and bushes for the entire Cemetery grounds each month from March- October. The trustees will not continue to volunteer their time and concern working with the funeral directors and families who claim to have grave sites in the Cemetery as they have for the past 10 years. The trustees are still asking those who have purchased grave sites to identify them with a receipt so that they will know which spaces that are available to sell other families wishing to bury their loved ones. We are sad to inform you that Chaplin A.K. Williams has resigned as vice president and acting treasurer of the Trustee Board effective March 15,1999. For the past 10 years he was called upon in rain or shine, hot and cold temperatures and was willing to be available. He also spearheaded having the incorporation papers upgraded after all the old trustees were deceased. Chaplin Williams' one request is "Let us all work together for the good of Ashdale Cemetery." Continental Societies, Inc. sponsor children to attend 'The Wiz" Continental Societies, Inc., Tuskegee Chapter, sponsored 23 chil- Griffin, Ann Marable, Yvonne Kennebrew, Diedra dren to see "The Wiz" production in Montgomery. They departed ~ grandparent M. Robinson. After the production, the ~- on the W&W Tour Bus. Continental chaperons were Shirley treated to a meal and returned to Tuskegee. Mrs. Sadie Edwards, center, is shown appreciation .. By Mary Harris, left, and C.E. Bubba Garrett The Road To Customer Satisfaction aYtll$ [ tt1 $ ff$ M1 erom $outJ rn 6 Bedroom ,, 3 Bath .Patio Doors , $2,000 Furniture Package Deluxe Appliances ONLY Mrs. Sadie Edwards honored S571900 ,c:::a for work with FoodSHARE BY JACQUELINE CARLISLE Staff Writer Sadie Edwards is still receiving awards and recognition for her 25 years as director of Macon County's Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP). Recently, she received an award of appreciation from FoodSOURCE, a food co-op that provides a nutritionally-balanced unit of food each month. The unit of food is offered at a substantial sav- ings; a fraction of the normal retail cost. Anyone can purchase the unit of food from FoodSOURCE. FoodSOURCE serves an average of 20,000 families each month through a network of 500- plus host sites in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas. The Macon County RSVP Program is a host site for the citizens of Tuskegee. For more information call Mrs. Mary Harris, RSVP secretary, at the RSVP office (334) 724- 2605 or the FoodSOURCE office at 1-800-264- NEW 8 0909.