Tag: Fayetteville

J. Cole’s Dreamville Foundation Raising Funds to Aid Hurricane Victims in Hometown of Fayetteville, NC

J. Cole (photo via billboard.com)

by Melanie Eversley via thegrio.com

Rapper/singer J. Cole is raising funds through his Dreamville Foundation to help people from his hometown of Fayetteville, N.C., who have been affected by Hurricane Florence.

“The Dreamville Foundation is looking to lend a helping hand to the community, children, and families affected by Hurricane Florence,” the nonprofit which is based in Fayetteville, N.C., said on its webpage. “There will be hot food stations placed throughout the city, temporary housing options for families and stocking of food pantries/shelters (as) well as supporting other local nonprofits who help provide services for the people in Fayetteville.”

According to CBS News at least, 42 people have died as a result of Florence, which barreled through the Carolinas last week.

The goal of the 4-year-old organization is to inspire urban youth, according to the website. Cole is quoted on the homepage as saying, “I want to start the process of showing them there are other options besides what’s on the screen. They don’t have to be a rapper or an athlete, there are people who manage the rappers, who book the shows. There are so many jobs you can do, this is about expanding their minds to those possibilities.”

The hurricane forced the cancellation of J. Cole’s inaugural Dreamville Festival, which was slated to take place in Raleigh and include not only J. Cole but also Big SeanSZANelly and Young Thug. The festival has been rescheduled for April 2019, according to the Dreamville Festival Twitter account.

Cole, born Jermaine Lamarr Cole, was born on a U.S. military base in Germany but raised in Fayetteville. Along with the foundation, he is the founder of Dreamville Records, with his manager, Ibrahim Hamad.

Read more: https://thegrio.com/2018/09/22/j-cole-launches-fundraiser-florence-victims/

North Carolina Pastor Larry Wright Disarms Gunman During Sermon on Violence

Reverend Larry H. Wright at Heal The Land Outreach Ministries in Fayetteville (photo by Andrew Craft)
Reverend Larry Wright at Heal The Land Outreach Ministries in Fayetteville (photo by Andrew Craft)

A pastor’s swift thinking led to a gunman being disarmed during a New Year’s Eve prayer service at a small eastern North Carolina congregation, according to the Fayetteville Observer.

No one was injured during the shocking event that came about as Larry Wright, pastor of the Heal the Land Outreach Ministries in Fayetteville, North Carolina, was praying with about 60 parishioners as they rang in the New Year and spoke about the senseless deaths affecting our country. Suddenly, a man armed with a rifle walked into his church, writes the news outlet.

The gun was in “one hand and an ammo magazine with shiny rounds in the other,” Wright told CNN.

From CNN:

The glint made the retired Army sergeant first class recognize the weapon was real. Still, he was worried the man had one round in the gun.

“I’m the first person to see him and when I saw him, I thought it was a dummy gun, but then I saw the bullet clip in his hand and the bullets were shining,” he said.

Instead of an altercation, the man asked the church to pray for him. Then a deacon and three others hugged the man, the site reports.  He then apologized to them, saying “he intended to do something terrible that night. But the Lord spoke to him,” writes the news outlet.

Via the Observer:

Wright stepped down quickly from the pulpit when he saw the man, who appeared to be in his late 20s.  The man continued moving toward the front of the church, pointing the rifle into the air.  The two met, near the front of the sanctuary.  “Can I help you?’’ the pastor asked the man.

Wright, who is a 57-year-old retired soldier, said the man’s answer determined his next action.  “If he was belligerent, I was going to tackle him,” said Wright, who is 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds.

But the stranger was calm, and Wright took the weapon from him. He then patted him down, and the pastor summoned four strong deacons to embrace the disarmed man, in an effort to make him feel welcome.

Wright then prayed for the man, who fell to his knees and began crying.

The man was then invited to sit on the front pew, and Wright resumed the Watch Night service. During the altar call at the conclusion, the man came forward and asked for salvation.

Someone had called 911, and before the service had ended, police had arrived. But Wright said he asked the police to remain outside.  “I didn’t want to interrupt the service,” said the two-term councilman, whose church members call him Bishop Wright.

Police Department spokesman Lt. David McLaurin said the incident was noted as a “Call for Service.’’ Notes regarding the call, McLaurin said, indicated the man was taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center at his request as a voluntary commitment.

This was truly a holiday miracle. Who could forget what happened over the summer at Emanuel AME in Charleston, South Carolina when a stranger asked to join a prayer group?

Wright said he never got the man’s last name before he was escorted away, but he hopes to contact him again.  “I want to follow up with him and see that he’s getting the help and resources he needs,” Wright said.

article by Andrew Barksdale via fayobserver.com; additions from newsone.com

Sixteen Year-Old Rock Climbing Champion Kai Lightner is Shattering Stereotypes

Rock Climbing Champion Kai Lightner (photo: MYLES WASHINGTON)

Sixteen-year-old rock climbing champion Kai Lightner is reaching new heights with his athletic skills as one of a few professional black rock climbers.  Lightner told The Huffington Post that he can’t remember a time when he wasn’t finding ways to get his two feet off the ground and that he started climbing when he was six years old.

Eventually, he said, someone at his mom’s job recognized his talent and suggested that she take him to the local rock-climbing gym where he soon discovered his passion for the activity. He’s won several championships for his incredible ability, but he said his experiences as a black climber has been somewhat of a challenge.

“When I would tell [black] people that my sport was rock-climbing they would look at me funny, and ask ‘What is that?’ ‘We don’t do that,'” Lightner said.


In 2013, the Smithsonian reported that 78 percent of Americans who took part in outdoor activities, which included rock climbing, were white. Rock climber and journalist James Mills explained the misperception of black people in outdoor sports and the lack of representation of people of color.

“It’s not a question of whether or nor African-Americans can climb mountains. What matters is as [a] group we tend not to,” Mills wrote. “And for a variety of different social and cultural reasons the world of mountaineering has been relegated almost exclusively to white men.”

There are structural influences that have barred black people from participating in outdoor sports such as rock climbing, which has kept the majority of participants white. Lightner said he has felt accepted by other climbers, but that he has gotten a lot of grief from other people of color for his participation in the sport.
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