Black History Documentary Shown at Douglass Center
On a recent Saturday in February, many local and former residents came to Southern Pines to gather for a standing-room-only black history event at the Douglass Community Center
"Doing Business," a documentary produced by Kim Wade, producer of Innervision Theater Productions, is the story of West Southern Pines, formerly known as "Jim Town." It's a recollection of the 200 African-American businesses once owned and operated by the residents of West Southern Pines, and unprecedented leaders who once incorporated and governed Jim Town as one of the first African-American townships in North Carolina and the East Coast.
From 1923-1931 Jim Town was under the leadership of Mayors Rev. John Pleasant Hines (1923-1927) and James Ellis Hasty (1927-1931).
The town's board of commissioners were the Rev. Evander McIver, Keene Addison, Benjamin Armstrong, James Bethea, C.F. Martin, the Rev. J.C. Flowers, Walter Mitchell, Farley McNeil, William Street, Thomas McDonald, the Rev. S.P. Burton and William Douglas.
The chief of police was Danny Harrington. The police officers were Dexter Terry, John Whitman, Willie Harrington, Frank Waddell, Arthur Stuckey, Farley McNeil, J.J. Marsh and Ivey Chalmers.
The town secretary was T.E. Terry, and the town tax collector was Charlie Bogan.
Dr. Opal Winchester Hawkins, author of "Pickford Sanitarium and R.C. Lawson Institute," was an honored guest. Hawkins writes about Dr. Scruggs, a graduate of Shaw University in Raleigh, and the hospital for blacks he managed in the early 1900s, which was housed on West New York Avenue, and which later became the property of R.C. Lawson Institute, a private educational institute for black students from the Northeast.
The documentary reports the history of the theater, which showed silent movies, originally built and owned by Amos Broadway. The building still exists on the corner of West New York Avenue and Hardin Street.
The citizens recollected about the Drive Inn movie, drugstore, jailhouse, town hall, and many establishments owned by the residents of West Southern Pines.
Innervisions Theater Productions and the citizens of West Southern Pines presented an award to Larry Leslie, owner of Pine City Barber Shop, for being the oldest business operating in the West Southern Pines community. (Leslie passed away March 19.)
Producer Kim Wade expresses her appreciation to all the supporters and participants in the project: Aaron's Rental; Coca-Cola of Aberdeen; Food Lion, of Aberdeen; Wards Productions, of Pinehurst; HypeHop Productions and Holy Jamz SE; SCC Small Business Center; The WSP We Care members of the Maryland- Washington, D.C., Metropolitan and Charlotte Metropolitan; Simon Funeral Home; Scarbrough PR Media Consulting; Moore County NAACP; West Southern Pines Civic Club; West Southern Pines Garden Club and Cemetery Committee; and the Citizens for Change Organization.
"Special thanks for the election film footage submitted by Mitchell 'Gran'daddy Junebug' Capel," says Wade.
Cast members included Erica Graham; Cynthia Ann McDonald; Gentry Winfield; Fred Walden, town councilman; Ciscero Carpenter; Curtisteen Palmer; Thaddeus Gay; Joann Gillis; Jeanette Kearns; Cathy Dixon McNeil; Alford Dixon, Mr. D's; Earnest Jacobs Sr.; Joe McCray, Donnie Miller, vice president, Moore County NAACP; Oliver Hines, Citizens for Change; Robert Jackson; Gussie and Deloris Bogan; Francis Banks; Martha Dickerson; Edwin Dickerson; Norma Lewis; Audrey Jones; Helen Charles; Dorothy Lutz; Romelle Hainsworth; Mr. and Mrs. Larry Leslie, Pine City Beauty and Barber; and Felton Capel, former town councilman and president of Century Associates.
Crew members are Aaron McLaughlin, William McGregor, Lamont Bennett, Dina Wade, Diane Ingram, Brenda Kearns Brown, Vana Annette Barber, Rossi Wade, Rosalyn Wade, Katrina Shaw and Tashana Wade. Carlos Gettings, of Hypehop Productions, manned the camera.
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