Cary, NC – Every year, Cary is the center of celebrating the African-American community as the Ujima Group, Inc. and the Town of Cary get together. And this year, the event will celebrate the career of reporter Cash Michaels and discuss the impact of journalism on society.
Recognizing Success and Work
The 2017 African-American Celebration is the 22nd put on by both the Town of Cary and the Ujima Group, Inc. Lester Thomas, president of the Ujima Group, said the goal of the event is always to recognize the works of other African-Americans in the community.
This year, the event will recognize Cash Michaels, a journalist in North Carolina who has won awards for his reporting in the Winston-Salem Chronicle and the Wilmington Journal.
“He has reported on a variety of topics and also does commentary and makes documentaries,” Thomas said.
Among other publications Michaels has written for are The Amsterdam News in New York and the Carolina Peacemaker in Greensboro. On broadcast, he is also a commentator for WPTF in Raleigh and often serves as a panelist for WRAL’s “NC Spin.”
The African-American Celebration stretches both Friday and Saturday, March 3 and 4, 2017 and will include presentations of awards, brief documentaries and videos, a jazz performance by Eve Cornelious and a one-on-one interview of Michaels by Karen Thomas with the Raleigh Television Network.
“And we will have a panel discussion of journalists’ role in the community and social change,” Thomas said.
The panel, “Stay Strong: Journalism and Social Activism Together,” will be moderated by the executive producer of “NC Spin,” Tom Campbell.
Influence of Cash Michaels
Thomas said this year’s African-American Celebration chose to highlight Michaels not only because of his long career but because of how his reporting has reflected the lives of black Americans living in North Carolina.
“It’s very significant for African-Americans in the Triangle to document our experiences and Cash Michaels has been outspoken in problems affecting our community,” Thomas said.
And Thomas said Michaels’ work has served as a taking-off point for further discussion and action.
“It’s important and significant that African-Americans can not only tell their story but also engage with the community to make change,” he said.
Through it all, Thomas said Michaels has been someone fitting for this level of celebration.
“He has been a fighter for justice and the truth,” he said.
African-American Celebration: A Tribute to Cash Michaels
The Cary Theater, 122 E Chatham St., Cary
Free to attend
Story by Michael Papich. Photos courtesy of Lester Thomas and NC Spin.