Newsome honored

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 19, 2008

MURFREESBORO – A local organization recently honored an Ahoskie woman for her work in human rights.

On Saturday, the Xi Rho Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. presented its fifth Clementine S. Creecy Human Rights award to Dr. Dimple M. Newsome of Ahoskie.

The honor was bestowed on Newsome at the organization’s 25th annual Human Rights Banquet held at the Nebo Family Life Center. The event also featured former Congresswoman (D-1st) Eva Clayton as the guest speaker.

Xi Rho Omega member Linda Pierce presented Newsome with a plaque of appreciation for her work.

“Dr. Newsome is no stranger to making sure human rights are secure,” said Pierce.

Newsome is a 1943 graduate of Shaw University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in social studies in 1943. She furthered her education at Howard University in Washington, D.C., the University of Chapel Hill and East Carolina University. She received a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Shaw in 1983.

It was noted Newsome was an educator for most of her life, teaching at four schools, including Ahoskie Middle School, John B. Bond School in Lewiston and Robert L. Vann School in Ahoskie.

Among her several accomplishments, Newsome appeared before President John F. Kennedy’s Commission on Rural Poverty for the Depressed People in Northeast North Carolina. The commission’s final report secured a more than $165,000 incentive grant.

Newsome also challenged the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Law School for the non-admission of blacks in 1943. As a result, she was awarded tuition grants to attend Howard University, which was the school of her choice.

Newsome expressed her gratitude for receiving the honor and noted the improvements yet to be done in the community as well as the accomplishments.

“Please take it one day at a time,” she said. “Just remember (presidential candidate Barack) Obama!”

In a later interview with the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Newsome said the award was humbling and noted some improvement in the community through grants for education.

“Despite some of the injustice there is a clear road open,” she said.

Clayton received a standing ovation after her keynote speech, in which she encouraged individuals to give back through getting involved in civics to improve their community.

She noted how each American is blessed and has opportunity.

“We did not get where we are by accident,” said Clayton.

She said someone was behind pushing each person to be what they are and everyone should expect the “very highest” of themselves then expect the highest in their children.

Clayton said each future generation is “paid into like Social Security” and as your generation is paid into, you must pay into the next generations.

“Teach them to give back, so they will know the joy you and I get from serving,” she said.