Dems' club offers help to local blacks

April 07, 1993|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer

The Carroll County Democratic Club has agreed to provide assistance and support to black people who, according to the county's NAACP president, need to know who to call when they need help.

The Rev. Mary D. Carter-Cross discussed her concerns about Carroll's black community during the Democratic club's monthly meeting Monday night at Frisco's Family Pub.

"We have turned upon our politicians, but they have turned a deaf ear," said Ms. Carter-Cross, a Carroll native who teaches in Baltimore. She has worked with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for several years.

"If I run down the list of cares, it just might make you drop a tear," she said.

She said that limited opportunities for employment or cultural growth in the county force even the African-Americans born in Carroll to seek success elsewhere.

She said the school system does not meet the needs of African-American students. Black athletes are taught little more than the sports they play.

"Too many athletes are graduating with great deficits, and they cannot get into accredited colleges," Ms. Carter-Cross said.

She also said that blacks should encourage one another to stay in the county to effect change despite Carroll's sometimes hostile employment and educational environment.

Outgoing club President Bernie Jones took issue with that statement. He said that without blacks capable of hiring one another in the county, there is no one in the position to make inroads in a system that has been inherently closed to minorities.

"I can name 15 black professionals who live here and are successful, but don't work out here," said Mr. Jones, who said he was the first black hired as a manager for Black and Decker US Inc., in Hampstead. "They can't get a job here."

Walter Kuebler, a Westminster musician, agreed.

"I don't think there is a full-time black teacher at Westminster High School, and I don't think it is an accident," Mr. Kuebler said.

Jeff Kirkwood, a sign language interpreter, said that young blacks may see little hope in staying in the area, despite role models like Ms. Carter-Cross, Union Bridge Mayor Perry L. Jones and state Del. Richard N. Dixon, a Carroll Democrat.

"The young people are probably saying, 'I'm not going to grow up in this county because I don't have a chance,' " Mr. Kirkwood said.

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