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Newspaper Archive of
The Tuskegee News
Tuskegee, Alabama
July 13, 2006     The Tuskegee News
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July 13, 2006
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4 Booker T. Washington , 1856-1915 He lifted the veil of ignorance iili tabli heb 1865 "Tis Better To Light A Candle Than To i r~ Students who attended the court-ordered desegregation of Macon County Schools in 1963-64 through Lee y. The Macon County Board of Education case are shown on cover of Tuskegee Civic Association program. Front row. from left, are: Carmen Louise Judkins, Helois Elaine Billis, Harvey These 12 students paved way for integration of Macon Schools Lynn Jackson, Janis Laverne Carter and Edith Elaine Henderson. Back row: Anthony Tilford Lee, Patricia Camille Jones, Shirley Jea Chambliss, Willie B. Wyatt Jr Wilma Jean Jones, Mar aa Marie Sullins and Robert L. Judkins Jr. Were first students to integrate Macon schools Editor's note: On May 22, 2006, U.S. District Court Judge Myron Thompson dismissed the Macon County Board of Education from the Lee v. Macon Board of Education case that was filed in 1963. Lee v. Macon led to the integration o Macon County schools and was later expanded to include 99 school districts in Alabama. The case has been upheld several times by the United States Supreme Court and is still spplicable to many school districts in Alabama. Tuskegee News" editor Guy Rhodes takes an in'depth look at the case and what has become of some those involved. See Pages A-4, A -6 and A- 7 [or addition- al stories and commentary. By GUY RHODES Ed/tor She was only 13 years old as she sat in a witness chair at the federal court- house in Opelika. It was in early 1964. "The lawyer for the state of Alabama was pretty rough, rd say badgering me," Marsha Sullins, now Marsha Sloctlm, remembers. The eighth-grade student had been prepped to testify by a young civil rights attorney, Fred Gray, who was still located in Montgomery before per- sonally moving to Tuskegee, and John Doar, first assistant attorney general to U.S. Attorney General Robert E Kennedy. Doar was one of the top men in the U.S. Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. Sullins was attempting to relate resistance she and a 11 other African- American students had encountered in their bid to become the first of their r'~ [ ft. i,r Photo by Jeff Thompson Marsha Sullins Slocum, left, and her mother Della Sullins look over school case legal papers race to attend previously all-white schools in Macon County. The judge was none other than Frank Johnson, a legendary figure who often butted heads with George Wallace. Alabama's segregationist gov- ernor. The two had been law school classmates at the University of Alabama. Wallace had ordered all-white Tuskegee High School closed rather than admit black students in compli- ance with Lee v. the Macon County Board of Education ruling that ordered the county's school integrated. Johnson was Wallace's worst enemy. Not only that, Wallace used the delaying tactic to solicit funds to establish all-white Macon Academy. He even took steps to provide state- provided transportation and tuition (See DIFFERENCE, P. A-6) , r , i TU By JEFF THOMPSON Tuskgee News Staff Democratic Macon County Board of Education candi- dates are nearing the second hurdle in their races for Places 3 and 4 on the School Board. Two of the four vying for the positions won't quite clear the bar. though. When more than three candidates are on a Primary bal- lot for the same position and none receive 50 percent plus one of the popular vo e. the top two must face off again in postdate election: a runoff. The runoff in Macon County, part of the process for selecting party candidates to run on the November ballot, is scheduled for Tuesday, July 18. This year, the paper at the polls for the Democrats will look sparse with only four names on it, but those names have been through the fire to get there. For Place three, Elnora Smith-Love challenges former board member Aaron Robinson for his seat at the table. In the Primary, Smith-Love barely .missed the "home free" mark, obtaining 43 percent of the vote, while Robinson Claimed a distant second-place, receiving 27 percent of the vote. Sherry A. C. Sullen finished third with 17 per- cent, followed by Jene A. Carter with 13 percent. They are seeking the seat being vacated by former board president Harold White is decided not to seek a fourth six-year term. When asked about his positions and expectations for the runoff, Robinson said he just wants people to go back out to the polls. Mrs. Smith-Love did not respond to .The Tuskegee News' messages for comments about the runoff.' The race for Place4 has been much more active, unearthing considerable tension between candidates Katy Campbell and Chris Hunt since flyers were distrib- uted after the Primary that referred to Hunt as a con- Victed murderer. Incumbent Campbell maintains that she knew nothing and had nothing to do with the matter. She also believes her supporters can trust her statements. In reference to the flyers, she said, "I don't think that (See ELECTION, P. A-6) Milan B. Williams, an original member of the interna- tionally acclaimed band The Commodores, passed away Sunday, July 9, 2006 at MD Anderson Hospital in Houston, Texas. Milan was born on Easter Sunday in Okolona, Miss. on March 28, 1948. He was inspired and encouraged by his older brother, Earl, to begin playing piano as a child. His career began in high sc]aool when he formed his own three-piece piece band in Okolona. His musical desire was further nur" tured as keyboard player with a band in Tuskegee called The Jays, which was the predecessor to the GrammY Award winning Commodores, of which he was a founding member. Milan wrote the very first hit for the Commodores, "Machine Gun" as well as many others with the band "The Bump", "Let's Get Started," "Brick House," and "Wonderland," Milan Williams just to name a few. Milan, with all of his success and stardom, was a very humble and caring man who loved life. He grew up in North Mississippi, attended Tuskegee Institute where he was an engineering major. He settled in the Los Angeles area and was a member of the Commodores for 20 years. In October of 2000, NIilan married his sweetheart of 10 years, Melanie Bruno-Williams, who remained by his side at all times until his death. Their deep and profound love is and always will be an inspiration to all of their family and friends. Since the day he was diagnosed with cancer, he was (See COMMODORE, P. A-6) eral court 4 It is not very often when there is a queen dispute in Macon County or Tuskegee. And it is very rare to have one at Tuskegee University. Unfortunately however, there is a dispute Currently at Tuskegee University. Earlier this year, Tuskegee University had its Miss Tuskegee University Pageant dhuring which Emili$Sykes was crowned Miss Tuskegee 2006-07. on that evening there was a discrepancy with the judging. Runnerup Calida Joy McCampbell was deemed to have gone over the allotted time for her speech. After a long appeal process, Tuskegee University officials stripped Sykes of her title and give it to McCampbell, who had not gone over the three minutes for her speech. Sykes has filed a lawsuit in federal court against Tuskegee in an attempt to regain her crown. According to reports, Sykes' attorney Percy Squire of Ohio, Sykes' home state, stated that Tuskegee over- stepped its bounds. Although Sykes believes her crown was taken from her wrongly, McCampbell received more of the votes from the stu- dent body than Sykes and was leading in the competition until the penalty. Sykes is enrolled in summer school at TU, but has delcined to publicly comment on the pro- ceedings. Attempts to reach McCampell were unsuccessful. At stake is the TU scholarship that goes with being selected Miss Tuskegee University. Minnie Austin, director of student life at Tuskegee University, wrote in a prepared (Miss TU, P. A-6) A