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Feeding of the Homeless at New Dora From left: Gladys Smith, Public Relations
Director, H.E.A.T Foundation, Inc.
(Helping Each Achieve Together);
Doc Holliday, Polaski County Sheriff,
Karoma Smith, Director, H.E.A.T.
Foundation, Inc.


By Simuel Ramey and Karoma Smith

The history of McAlmont, Arkansas —The Slave Community — has a rich heritage that our youth should embrace and cherish. The first school in this area before the Civil War (during slavery) was known as “The Morning Glory School.” That was in 1836. Pulaski County High School, a one-teacher school taught by W. Foster, with two directors: R.E. Holt and W.M. Vaughns, opened its doors to Blacks in 1886.

In 1911, the school was moved to Bookers’ Terrace crossing, and the name was changed to Holt Training School. It was a frame building with four rooms. In 1912, after the building was destroyed by fire, a two-story structure was erected. P.J. Vanpelt was principal from 1911-1925. W.J.C. Hunter became principal prior to it being destroyed by fire. A newly built school was renamed Pulaski County Training School. The first school mascot was the “eagle.” Through the influence of Mr. Wallace VanPelt, the mascot was later changed to the “Panther.” Following the Spring graduation in 1963, the school was renamed Harris High after Mrs. Viola. H. Harris who was an administrator in the District and at McAlmont Elementary School. In 1970, from “segregation to integration” the school was stripped of its High School and became “Harris Elementary School.” Today it is the largest elementary school in the state of Arkansas.

And now, the powers that be are proposing to close the school down.“MY GOD!!!” There is a movement in place to prevent this closing. We are asking for everyone’s support to stop this closing. This is the ‘Pillar’ of our community.

The community was named after a prominent doctor/druggist named McAlmont who migrated to Little Rock after setting up practices in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Benton, and Little Rock. He had a home northeast of town on Old Military Road, a railroad stop. There was a station on the St. Louis, Iron Mountain, and Southern Pacific Railroads, called the McAlmont Station. The community was officially named McAlmont in 1876. In 1866 McAlmont was the Mayor of Little Rock. He was one of the eight founders of the Arkansas Industrial Department of Science, now known as University of Medical Sciences.

The great community of McAlmont was divided into the East and West side of the tracks. The settlers of McAlmont were dedicated to being good citizens while striving to maintain their families, properties, churches, and schools. The older settlers were property owners who helped each other by sharing what little they had. Though their homes weren’t fancy, they were proud and enthused about owning them. Many of our earlier settlers continued to work in the fields as day hands, and most of them raised cows, hogs, chickens, and their own vegetable gardens to support their large families. Most of the families from the West side of the tracks purchased their homes from Camp Robinson. They shared discipline in the community, which gave credence to former First Lady Hillary Clintons’ book, “It Takes a Village to Raise a Child.”

We are so fortunate to have families who were willing to share memories of our earlier settlers. We are encouraged to be strong and work hard. This encouragement comes from our neighbors, parents, churches and schools. So, let us pass this encouragement on. I say again to our youth, our future; EMBRACE and CHERISH this HERITAGE!

Karoma Smith/President H.E.A.T. Foundation, Inc.
“Helping each achieve together.”
Call 501.960.3415 or 501.945.1517.
Email: Arkansasheat5473@hotmail.com.
Need Grant Writers!!! www.mcalmontday.org

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Simuel Ramey, a star distributor of
the People’s Tribune.

PHOTO/People’s tribune

By Simuel Ramey

There’s more to this madness and chaos then there appears to be. Underneath the guise of technology/advancement, lies the real purpose of GREED. It is a greed so self-seeking it disregards all the moral, ethical and environmental standards of humanity. Encompassing enslavement, aggression, manipulation, treachery, deceit, betrayal, and disenfranchisement, the “dawn” of technology is bringing about the destruction of mankind and the environment.

When one has hunger, in a world where all natural things reproduce themselves; homelessness, with land available for everyone, but “owned” by a few, new diseases, depletion of natural resources, consequences are happening. Are the signs of global warming, species disappearing, birds falling from the sky, fish dying, natural habitats destroyed and natural disasters to be ignored or considered insignificant for the sake of progress (BIGGER, BETTER, FASTER) to promote GREED?

It’s time for the people to come together and demand that their basic needs be met – food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education, water, heat and more. It’s time for the people to demand that the earth be cared for, regardless of the monetary cost.

By Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC) and the Kensington Welfare Rights Union (KRWU)

We are writing about a good man who just passed away on December 30, 2010, to the extreme sadness of an entire family and community. His name is Carmelo Parrilla.

Carmello Parrillo was a loving husband, father, uncle and friend to many. He loved and cared for his own and many other children throughout his lifetime. He not only took in families whenever the need arose, but having prevailed through his own struggle with homelessness over many years, Carmello continued to house families facing similar dire life situations. Carpentry was only one area of the broad maintenance skills which allowed Carmello to be creative in keeping people housed, heated and healthy no matter what the season or what any family’s circumstances. This was true as well for people whose livelihoods depended on having working vehicles; whenever Carmello was needed to address broken down cars he was there.

Having said all of this, Carmello did not believe in charity. When he passed out food from the back of the Kensington Welfare Rights Union (KWRU) truck, he was passing out food to soldiers in the army to end poverty. There are many reasons why people in the struggle to end poverty, hunger and homelessness in the neighborhoods most steeped in all of these in Philadelphia, refer to and will remember Carmello as one whom they call “the real deal.” It was Carmello who, though he himself had great difficulty reading English, insisted on attending every ‘educational’ given by the KWRU, Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC) and the University of the Poor.

Carmello was one of the founders of PPEHRC. (All of his life, Carmello fought for equal top-notch education for the poor to educate the poor. This came directly from his personal struggle with English learning disabilities that were not identified or addressed until well into his adulthood.)

For the past thirteen years, Carmello had been sick with a heart condition, high blood pressure and other ailments, but people who loved him most will tell you that even though he worked for thirty years non stop, he had no access to health care, leaving him at times to be lucky just to share heart medications with a member of KWRU and PPEHRC. Carmello marched in every march organized by, with and for poor people over two decades but in no issue was he more passionate than for free quality health care for every human being. Carmello eventually received a heart transplant but unfortunately it was not successful.

He will be missed by too many to mention.


This article originated in the People's Tribune
PO Box 3524, Chicago, IL 60654, 800-691-6888
Feel free to reproduce unless marked as copyrighted.
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