Up & Coming Weekly

September 15, 2020

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM 14 UCW SEPTEMBER 16-22, 2020 He had to tell me that my beloved Uncle Remus was not coming back — ever. Randall Kenan was jovial, kind and wise, not unlike the Uncle Remus he was taking away from me. Kenan, died last week at a much too early 57. Like Uncle Remus, he was an expert on trickster stories, mainly based on legends from Africa and about animals and mischievous crea- tures who were cunning and smart and had an ability to somehow get around the powerful and the oppres- sive by tricking them. That, I said, is just like Br'er Fox who tricked Br'er Rabbit into hitting and getting stuck in a tar baby figure. Then the rabbit told the fox he could do anything with him, but "Please don't throw me in the briar patch." So, of course, the fox threw the rabbit in the briar patch, where the rabbit called out happily, "I was born and bred in the briar patch." I told Kenan that I loved these sto- ries told by the old African American man to the young white boy, the son or grandson perhaps of the owner of the farm where Uncle Remus spent his life. Kenan explained that the African- based trickster stories had been appropriated by a white man, Joel Chandler Harris, who put the stories into the mouth of Uncle Remus, who was a caricature of a subservient and happy black man, content with his subservient condition. I tried to persuade Kenan to take the trickster tales and repurpose them. Reframe them, I said, so that current and future generations would have the same benefit of the wisdom that I had found in the Uncle Remus stories. Kenan did not preach to me about the underlying racism in the Uncle Remus stories. He just smiled, shook his head, and said simply, "I don't think I want to do that." Kenan had multiple other proj- ects that worked better for him. In 1989, he published his first novel, "A Visitation of Spirits." In 1992 came a collection of short stories, "Let the Dead Bury Their Dead." In 1999 he published "Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century," a much admired account of his jour- ney to African American communi- ties across America. A book of his short stories, "If I had Two Wings," came out just a few weeks ago. Most important for him, he had his students at UNC-Chapel Hill to care for. I liked him best when he wrote about food. In 2016, he edited "Carolina Table: North Carolina Writers on Food," a beautiful set of essays about food in the South. His essay in that collection was based on the foods served at funerals in his native Duplin County, specifi- cally what neighbors brought when his great uncle died. "People showing up heavy-laden with food to the homes of the recently deceased. Hams, fried chicken, oven-baked barbecue chicken, pork chops smothered in gravy, dirty rice, Spanish rice, potato salad galore, slaw, sweet potato casseroles, can- died yams, hushpuppies, cornbread, soup, chopped pork barbecue, collard greens, pound cake, chocolate cake, coconut cake, pineapple cake, red velvet cake, sweet potato pie, lemon meringue pie." Kenan appeared on North Carolina Bookwatch twice and was guest host two other-times. Those four programs are worth watching just to see the cheerful smil- ing twinkling eyes shining from his dark face. At another time he could have passed for a younger Uncle Remus, but his wisdom, quiet intensity, and com- mitment to racial justice always shone through on Bookwatch whether he was asking or answering questions. Thanks to his wise counsel, I have learned to live without Uncle Remus. But I am not sure how I am ever going to learn to live without Randall Kenan. Losing Randall Kenan by D.G. MARTIN OPINION D.G. MARTIN, Host of UNC's Book Watch. COMMENTS? Editor@ upandcomingweekly.com. 910-484- 6200. 54 holes of individual stroke play, gross scores only. The eld will be divided into four divisions based upon age and sex. Players may choose to compete in any division in which they are eligible. Field will be ighted within their respective division based upon their 36 hole scores.* A minimum of four entries is required to create a division. Otherwise, divisions are combined together. Division changes are not allowed after entries close. All rounds will be played at Gates Four Country Club. Social Distancing and Covid-19 prevention practices will be in eect. *Super Senior and the Women's Division will play 36 holes at Gates Four Country Club October 10th & 11th. • All amateur entrants must be 16 or older and reside in Cumberland County. • Past CC champions who are not golf professionals are eligible. • Golfers 50 years of age or older are eligible to participate in the Senior Division or the Men's Division. • Entry fee is $175.00 for Senior and Men's Division. $145.00 for Super Senior and Women's Division. Includes: 3/2 days of USGA tournament golf, a practice round, commemorative gift, range balls, food**, on course beverages, trophies and door prizes. • 2018 USGA Rules will govern all play. Additional local rules will be posted and announced prior to play. • Gates Four Country Club requires collared shirts and denim is prohibited. • Field Limited to 96 participants. No preferred pairings. • Practice round green fees only, cart not included. Practice rounds are limited to weekdays and after 1 p.m. on weekends seven days prior to tournament after fees are paid. Call 425-6667 for tee time. Print & Sign Shop Westwood & Ft. Bragg The UPS Store

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