Victor Stone

Victor Stone

WEB/GRAPHIC DESIGN, DIRECTOR – EDITOR – PHOTOGRAPHER – CINEMATOGRAPHER

Durham native, Victor Stone is an innovative creator of multi-media and film. Victor’s eye for detail and structure is represented by his creative approach to web design and graphics and the films he has written and produced.

In 1992, he partnered with make-up artist and photographer, Rod Davis and Jaisun McMillian. They opened a graphic design and photography studio where his passion for photography, film, and video began to cultivate. Over the past 20 years, he has partnered with McMillian to provided full-service graphic design and photography for their company. Triangle Virtual Media, a subsidiary of McMillian Entertainment. From roadside Billboards, remarkable web design to commercial videos, Victor’s creative talents is creating a buzz!

After serving as the director of a summer camp for the 21st Century Program for 15-year-old teens interested in video production at North Carolina Central University in the summer of 2009, he was inspired by the young participants to produce a documentary dedicated to the history of the Durham’s Hayti community.

Jaisun McMillian

Jaisun McMillian

AUTHOR, GRAPHIC DESIGNER, SCREENWRITER, PRODUCER, VOICE ACTOR, PLAYWRIGHT, MARKETING CONSULTANT

Jaisun has written, produced, and directed stage plays, marketing and training videos, and television commercials. She is also a voice actor and former performing member of the Platters and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. She served as media buyer, planner and broadcast producer for the William Babcock Advertising Agency in Greensboro, NC for three years. She was then offered a management position with Advertising Communications, an ad agency located in Durham, North Carolina, with a client list that included, Glaxo, Burroughs Wellcome, R.J. Reynolds and others.

She is the author of a self-exploration titled, “The Anatomy of a Woman Abused” play, and a book titled “Behind Closed Doors: The Addiction To Power and Control”. McMillian is currently working as editor and ghostwriter on two other books, writing screenplays, managing product develop projects, working on two socially relevant documentaries and is currently coordinating a historic concert, “The Bull City Soul Revival”.

MY PASSION FOR DURHAM

I was not born in Durham and never experienced Hayti at its finest, but from the very first time I walked Parrish Street in 1990, I felt a bond with the city of Durham, NC. I was hired by Carl Webb, then President and CEO of Advertising Communications, Inc., as his administrative assistant.

During my lunch hour, on the very first day, I took a walk around downtown on Parrish Street. I was enamored by the images that stood before me as I explored the businesses along the street – one after another; I witnessed African-Americans in high-profile positions. I had never seen anything like it before! I felt proud, excited, and ready to call everyone I knew around the country and tell them that such a place existed.

Looking back, I recall standing outside on my deck of my then residence, Rolling Hills. At that time, one of my employer’s clients was North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company. As I looked out on the skyline of downtown Durham, I was inspired to write the NCM company song “Dreams”. The more I researched the history, the more magical the city became to me.

Being an orphan, legacy and heritage is a passion for me, therefore I want young people to know how important it is to know where they come from, and what sacrifices were made on their behalf. I want them to feel the pride that I felt, knowing that though past tim

Kelvin DeMarcus Allen

Kelvin DeMarcus Allen

AUTHOR, ACTOR, PRODUCER, PUBLICIST, SPEAKER, AND LEADERSHIP SPECIALIST

Kelvin De’Marcus Allen is a graduate of North Carolina Central University in Durham, N.C.; and holds a Master of Arts degree in Leadership and Liberal Studies from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pa. Allen is an accomplished writer and producer, with numerous articles and essays to his credit. He has produced television specials and training videos for ABC affiliate station WTNH- TV, New Haven, Ct., the National Cancer Institute, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Allen’s career began in 1986 when he was one of only six actors chosen from a field of 500 to serve as actors and community liaisons in Los Angeles, Ca. for Kaiser Permanente and the Children’s Television Workshop, the producers of Sesame Street.

He is the author of the biopic “Looking Back to Move Forward, Reconciling the past – Liberating the future. The book is an authentic attempt to meaningfully gauge the effects of the past upon the present. In his unique exploration of selfhood, Allen risks it all as he divulges his family origins and breaks a socially-imposed silence with true stories that are oftentimes painful, heart wrenching and haunting. Looking Back to Move Forward is a straight-from-the-belly exercise in purging.

Allen is also a contributor to Steve Peha and Margot Lester’s book, “Be A Writer: Your Guide to the Writing Life” the book focuses on proven tips and techniques to help young writers get started.

In 1992, Allen’s video documentary “Imagine If” won the Connecticut Higher Education Association’s Screening Room Award for entertainment programming. To his credit, Allen has interviewed some of the most notable names in Arts/Entertainment, including actress Ruby Dee, filmmaker Haile Gerima, author and filmmaker, the late Gordon Parks, gospel music great John P. Kee, and up and coming conductor, Andre Raphel Smith.

He is the producer and host of “Body and Soul” Peer Counseling training video, the National Cancer Institute’s national campaign designed to encourage African Americans to eat healthier in an effort to reduce the risks of cancer. The interactive DVD is distributed nationally to Black Churches and promoted on Urban Radio Stations throughout the country. Allen is the president and CEO of Kelvin Allen and Associates; a marketing and public relations firm based in North Carolina.
Nathaniel B White, Jr.

Nathaniel B White, Jr.

FORMER DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF SPONSORED PROGRAMS AT MOREHOUSE COLLEGE

Nathaniel B. White Jr. stepped into history simply by going to college. With little fanfare, he became part of a group now called the “First Five,” the first Black students to attend Duke University.

It was 1963. Blacks were marching in Birmingham, demanding public facilities be integrated. When violence erupted, President Kennedy sent 3,000 troops to protect the marchers. James Meredith was attending the University of Mississippi, but violence had erupted upon his enrollment and federal troops were sent there to maintain peace also.

White was 18 and had just graduated with honors from Hillside High School in his hometown of Durham, N.C that year.

“That August 28, 1963 at the March on Washington, the White family had a reunion right there on the mall with Martin Luther King,” he said, laughing. “A week or two later, I entered Duke University.”

Initially, he had not planned to attend Duke. He lived four and a half miles from the Duke Chapel but he dreamed of attending Hampton University, which was then called Hampton Institute, the historically black college that his father and favorite uncle had graduated from. In fact, White had a full scholarship to Hampton.

Yet his plans changed when his high school counselor came to him with a suggestion.

“She said there was an opportunity to go to Duke and that it was something I should do,” he recalled.

White said his decision to attend Duke was partially “a bit of a sense of duty.” Plus he never felt his life would be in jeopardy, he said. “My father knew some Duke people and he got the sense I would be protected in that environment.”

But also, White admits, he was naïve about the giant step he was taking into history.

“Growing up was a very insular experience for me,” said White, who grew up in the flourishing and then nationally known black community in Durham called Hayti.

Hayti was once considered the black economic capital of the country. The area was home to more than 200 black-owned businesses, including a bank, hospital and the largest black owned insurance company. White’s father owned a printing company and like many blacks in the community, the family owned their house.

 

At Duke, White was not met by angry mobs or the violence that had plagued other schools as they were integrated.

“There was real preparation for Duke to integrate,” he said.

Instead of being housed in freshman dorms as was the tradition for new students, the black students were placed in dorms with the more mature upper classmen. Still, White didn’t feel accepted by his fellow classmates as much as he felt tolerated or ignored. He did learn later, though, that some of his classmates actually looked out for him.

“There was a kid who put a black cat in my dresser. He was handled by the other students,” said White.

While there was no outright violence against him, there were incidents that let him know he was not wanted or that some people at Duke were having a difficult time adjusting to his being there. In one case, a teacher changed the grading system for a class to justify giving White, the only student to make 100 on the mid-term, a grade of “C”.

And on campus, where cultural and social activities are a major component of student life, the First Five had to make adjustments.

“We went to keg parties because they were done by the dorms,” White said. “But our dates (who were black) came from North Carolina Central and UNC-Greensboro and the First Five often went to events together.”

Then there was the song “Dixie,” the rallying song at Duke’s sporting events.

“People went wild over that song,” said White, adding, “I never stood for Dixie at anytime, anywhere.”

Occasionally, something good would happen that just baffled the First Five, like when one of them, Wilhelmina Reuben, was elected the May Queen their senior year.

“She represented Duke and was in a parade in Wilmington, N.C. in 1967,” White said. “You almost can’t figure out how the hell that happened.”

According to Duke’s website, Ruben won by “earning the most write-in votes of any female student in her class.”

Change at Duke was slow but steady—and most of it happened after the First Five had left, but it happened because White and the others broke the racial barrier. As the black student population at Duke grew, the culture changed. Today, 9 to 11% of entering undergrads are black, according to Duke’s website.

“After most black people endured Duke they didn’t have much of a pension for coming back,” White said. “There was no black cultural center, as there is now. I never had a class with other black students. I never had a black faculty member teach me. By the time I was a senior I wanted to get the hell out of there.”

After Duke, White earned a master’s of philosophy in mathematical statistics and probability from George Washington University. He worked for 16 years as a biostatistician at the National Institutes of Health, is former director of Morehouse College’s Office of Sponsored Research and Programs and eventually returned to Durham to be involved in redeveloping his historic community, once serving as president of the Hayti Development Corporation.

And today, he even returns to Duke, the place he was so happy to leave.

“What galvanized us to come back was to see what we could do for students like us,” he said.

In other words, the surviving First Five returned to help the black students who have followed them. They joined the small but growing number of black graduates to form the Duke University Black Alumni Connection. “We felt the attrition rate was bad and we wanted to find a way to change that,” said White.

He has a “kinship” with all fellow black Duke graduates, especially those from the early days of integration. He also met one of his best friends at Duke, Kent Burningham, who is white and was his last roommate.

“We are kindred spirits,” said White. “He was very much like my best friend from high school.”

That best friend from home, George Creed, said “Buddy” White was the perfect person to integrate Duke– academically brilliant and well prepared by the top notch teachers at Hillside.

“We grew up in segregated times. The big advantage for us students was I don’t care how much education a person had, about the best you could do was be a school teacher,” said Creed,. “Because our smartest people couldn’t do anything else, they taught us.”

Creed, who went to Tuskegee Institute and became a veterinarian, said when he returned to Durham for a year he often visited White on Duke’s campus.

“Buddy had a way of getting along with everybody,” said Creed. “You could get somebody with a chip on their shoulder or who was not as academically gifted.”

Creed said they were all helped also by growing up in Hayti, where they saw black people who owned their own businesses and were millionaires.

“We had the attitude we could do anything we wanted, if you just get out of our way.”

The honors for his friend and the others of the First Five are “long overdue,” Creed said.

This year Duke is marking the 50th anniversary of the integration of Duke and White and the two other surviving members of the First Five are returning to campus to be honored. In addition to White, the survivors are: Wilhelmina Reuben-Cooke and Gene Kendall. The other two students, now deceased, were Mary Mitchell Harris and Cassandra Smith Rush

David Kasper

David Kasper

PRODUCER – DIRECTOR – WRITER – EDITOR – CINEMATOGRAPHER

We welcome the new ideas, contributions and resources of filmmaker, David Kasper, Executive Director of The Empowerment Project. David Kasper’s work speaks for itself. He is a committed humanitarian and advocate for the down-trodden across the globe. He brings to this project aside from his enormous credentials in the film and motion picture industry, a humility and willingness to be of service as we unfold the Hayti community development story and its relevance to sister cities and international communities. The Hayti story is really about people who cooperated beyond a colorline to develop a vision of Black progress, community development and wealth beyond the limitations of racism and slavery.

David will consult using the full scope of his expertise as a producer, director, and cinematographer; all of which have involved him in hundreds of film and video productions over the past 30 years. His work on documentaries on social and political issues has taken him to Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Israel, the Palestinian territories, Iraq, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Among his awards is the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature in 1993 for The Panama Deception, which he produced, wrote and edited. His other works include Coverup: Behind the Iran Contra Affair, Destination Nicaragua, Gatewood: Facing the White Canvas, and Soldiers Speak Out.

Kasper’s work as an investigative journalist has also appeared in print and on radio. In the early 1970’s he was an advocate for public access to cable television in Los Angeles, and worked with KVST, a PBS-affiliated TV station. Throughout the 1970’s and 80’s he did free-lance video shooting and post production work in the Los Angeles area. In 1979-80, he was a video editor for a weekly TV show in San Francisco.

In 1984 Kasper, together with Barbara Trent, founded the Empowerment Project, a non-profit media center and documentary production group. He worked in a variety of roles as the organization developed, and now oversees the operation of media center services, develops documentary projects, and works as a production consultant for organizations and individuals. He has an extensive working knowledge of graphics and media software and equipment. From 2005 to 2009, he served as President of The Peoples Channel, a community-run public access TV station in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Kasper grew up in the mid-Wilshire district of Los Angeles. He has a BS degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California, as well as training in electronics and television production. He moved to the Triangle area of North Carolina in 1993.

W. Calvin Anderson, M.Ed.

W. Calvin Anderson, M.Ed.

POET, EDUCATOR AND DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANT IN BUSINESS AND EDUCATION

W. Calvin Anderson is an innovative educator, instructional designer and development consultant with programs and products to support learning for high and under achievers; parents and community stakeholders. When budgets are declining it’s time to use strategies that work like it’s business and our children’s futures are on the line!

Business & Education Development Consultant

. 30 years experience in education teaching, program development, school development, supervision and administration, “new” feature: instructional design for online learning. Services on-site and contracting to School Systems, Private and Faith-based Organizations, Colleges and Universities.

. 25 years direct response advertising, marketing, business development. Services to colleges,small and midsized businesses, celebrities, art organizations, festivals, faith-based and other non-profit corporations.

Specialties

Ideation, Program Development, Product Development, Marketing, Public Relations, Implementation, Instructional Design, grant writing

 

CULTURAL HERITAGE GROUP

Our mission is to document and explore the Black Experience from a local, regional and national and global perspective through education, the arts, and humanities.

Our ultimate goal is to empower future generations with a spirit of entrepreneurship, community building and cultural significance

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Archives

Categories