Winston-Salem, NC -- There is a new historic marker in Winston-Salem that might spark controversy. It commemorates the first Black Panther Party Chapter started in the South.
Mark Maxwell, Chairman of the Forsyth County Historic Resources Commission told News 2:
"The Black Panthers of Winston-Salem have a history that leans on the militant side from many people's perspectives but the reality is that the Black Panthers did many great things within the community including providing an ambulance service, providing free breakfast programs for needy children. They presented their history, their work within the community and we weighed that along with many many other organizations and individuals and we simply said, we had to choose 4 markers, and this year, this is one of the 4 makers that was selected.
Two original members of the Winston-Salem Chapter were on hand for the unveiling of the marker; Hazel Mack and Nelson Malloy.
"I hope people will understand that there was a point in history when there were some young people who could have been frustrated and done negative things, decided to do something positive. That could have done things that were destructive but we decided we would do what we could ourselves," says Mack.
Nelson Malloy added, "The thing that we would like for people to learn is that if you have an idea and you believe in it and you work hard and dedicate yourself to it, then you achieve your idea or your plan. It's all about hoping that people today will take from here the energy and have some commitment and dedication to working in their communities to change things and make them better."
The Black Panther Marker is one of four the Commission approved this year.
WFMY News 2