Rosenwald News


Last updated 10/14/2020 at 4:37pm

Nicola Karesh and Jordan Kuck, assistant professor of history at Brevard College, recently went on a walking tour with his seminar students. They were interested in learning more about The African American Storyline Project, particularly the new historical markers and about how decisions were made regarding the text on the markers. (Photos by Nicola Karesh)

Community is like family and, as such, there will be members whose company you enjoy and others that have you wanting to head in the opposite direction. Either way, they are still your family, your people, your tribe, your community. And guess what? Every single person in that associated group, has distinct preferences, beliefs, feelings and opinions. Some you may share. Some you may not. They all have value, though – young or old, varying shades of colors and backgrounds, religious and political inclinations. It doesn't matter. At the end of the day, wherever you fall on the spectrum of what makes you an individual cell in the body of our community family, you are an integral part of the whole.

I came across a recording on Facebook over the weekend. Ursula Wynn had taken the time out of her day to go down to the Silversteen playground and share her feelings with the rest of us. She was hopeful to get as many views as she could, so she patiently bided her time until enough listeners were present. Like listening to anyone in my own family, there were aspects of what Ursula was saying that I didn't totally agree with. A couple of opinions that she voiced, I had a completely different perspective on and looked forward to having a conversation to exchange notes. Maybe we would emerge differently. Who knows. As I was listening, I jotted down ideas that she shared that I liked. I noted her passion and her desire to offer a message. It was a simple video. No bells, whistles or frills. Some colorful language peppered throughout. For some of us, those will be deterrents, and to the rest of us, you choose to not let that be an obstacle. This woman identified herself as a member of our community and asked to be heard.

Part of what Ms. Wynn conveyed was to make people aware that there were significant efforts afoot for the playground. Yes, the City of Brevard, Mary C. Jenkins Community Center Board and friends of that combined Task Force, Bethel "A" Baptist church were pooling ideas, interests, land, money, time, energy... the list goes on to brings things about. For the playground, there are plans to completely redo the parking lot, redo rock work and put up a new Silversteen playground sign, install new playground equipment, re-pave the existing basketball court, provide a covered picnic area and fence the playground.

She let the Rosenwald community know that there were dedicated people, outside of that community, and I quote: "Who are willing and do want to help us. They are feeling the same uproar" to bring about good things for Rosenwald. She pleaded for the community to get behind these efforts and put forth an effort too.

One of the issues that Ursula raised, related to the scheduled burn that took place when the community center building was taken down. In her mind, without knowing all the details, she was bothered about that and felt that in some way it was disrespectful to a building that she and others cherished.

I liked that City Councilman Maurice Jones took the time to respond to Ms. Wynn and invited her to find out more about the wealth of efforts that have happened and continue to happen for Rosenwald.

From Maurice: "Thank you for your help and getting the news out. The Mary C. Jenkins Task Force has been working on replacing the community center for at least 2 and a half years and working on updating the playground for almost one year. Talks have been in motion for at least a decade. The old building needed to be burned because of costs and asbestos. Tearing it down would spread it into the air. We have since been working with an architecture firm to replace the old community center, as well as to do stream restoration next to the playground before construction begins. Unfortunately, these things take time, but soon there will be a wonderful place in our historic neighborhood for us to be proud of again. Search Rosenwald in The Transylvania Times to see some of the progression of this process. Thanks for what you do!"

Well spoken, Maurice. Thank you! Incidentally, it was well received by Ms. Wynn.

For those who may be interested in being involved with playground fundraising efforts for the immediate task before us, please feel free to reach out to myself, or directly to Maureen Copelof at [email protected] The Silversteen Playground Committee has a variety of options for you to participate, including design, grant-writing, events, publicity, individual and business sponsorships. We welcome our Transylvania County family to participate!

In other news, if you get the paper soon enough, you can join in for early voting with "Stroll to the Polls!" at 10 a.m. Everyone is invited to meet at Bethel "A" to walk to our old Kmart, the final destination. Other "pickup" points that you can join in the community walk, will be around 10:15 a.m. at the courthouse and around 10:30 a.m. at Brevard College.

A parting sharing... Yesterday, I was looking at and admiring these beautiful, yellow flowers in my garden. We had had a lot of rain, so their heads were gently bowing, but still. They effectively created a pretty picture to behold. They were able to inspire a good feeling inside of me. Somewhere else in our country, there is a hurricane, fires burning out of control, flooding, chaos, protests, a pandemic... people agreeing, disagreeing. These things can and do demand for us to get involved. They may bring out the best in us to add our support in different ways. We care. We show up for each other. We rally together, and if we are looking closely, we will see the good. Those flowers in my backyard remind me, that even in the midst of what may feel like dark times, something good still remains. Keep informed and pay attention to what is happening in life, what may need your participation, and seek out and find those feel good moments and experiences that keep you engaged in life in a joyful and meaningful way.

(Newsworthy items for submission for Rosenwald Community News are welcomed from community members, churches, clubs and groups. If you have an idea for a story or interview for me to capture, please let me know. Enjoy your week. Nicola Karesh may be reached at [email protected] or (828) 421-8615)


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