The city is proposing that Stanley White Recreation Center be moved to a new location with Broad Street frontage so that it won’t be further damaged by future flooding.

Here’s why it’s important to do as much as humanly possible to keep it exactly where it is.

In a map of the predominately black Duffyfield area of New Bern, Stanley White Recreation Center is located toward the center. The city proposes moving the center to Duffyfield’s very edge. It would be more of a Broad Street-oriented structure, almost right next door to the tony, nearly all white DeGraffenreid neighborhood.

Stanley White Recreation Center was built during a different time, when “separate but equal” facilities were required in lieu of integration.

But race remains an issue in our society. Period. I need provide no further proof.

The fact remains, black residents don’t feel comfortable in Downtown New Bern. The New Bern Riverfront Convention Center’s bookings are for events that, whether intentionally or not, are white events. Blacks don’t feel comfortable being out at night. They can’t even cross the river and visit Bridgeton or Pamlico County without encountering racism.

Stanley White Recreation Center is the only example of the city investing the same kind of resources in the black community, as it does elsewhere in predominately white areas.

Now the city plans to move it away from the center of Duffyfield and put it on Broad Street.

There are other options.




  1. I am in favor of SWRC remaining where it is.
    FEMA has allotted the money to rebuild, improve, and make repairs.
    The community ( Duffyfield) where I grew up, needs some place ; where our children, seniors, and others can engage in social, educational, life skills, sports, and other activities to enhance our lives.
    The board of aldermen have another agenda, and hasn’t been forthcoming/ honest with the constituents.
    Just as other facilities and communities have received upgraded and improved facilities, the Duffyfield community deserves the same

  2. I’m in favor of Stanley Whiter Center remaining where it is! The ground could be built up some to prevent future flooding. There is a rich heritage there that could only be appreciated by those of us from that area. I grew up in Craven Terrace and spent many days and nights at the center. Playing during the day and watching tournaments at night! Even as an adult I spent time with the seniors who did ceramics and attending bible study classes in the evening. It is a part of who we are. The memories of people like my Father, Booker T. Bryant, who worked there many years. Charles Pickett, Reginald Pender leading and directing activities are priceless. I grew up watching Mr. Stanley White, in whose honor it was name playing baseball and pushing for a new center in the black community. I still remember the Sunday he fell dead at Kafer’s Park another landmark of the black community that was taken away, as we all ran to the park crying in disbelief! Stanley White Rec. is a place of loving memories and pride for the black community a gathering place for family Reunions, back to school benefits for our youth and priceless treasures. I too played softball in the park, attended games and funeralizjed family at that location. If you would look on the wall entrance of Stanley White there hung a plaque of the board of Aldermen and I’m proud to say my name (Vanessa Holloway) and Iris Howard were there as youth advisors. As an adult I always try to give back into the Dufffest, back to school give aways and anything that supports our heritage in that area!
    Thank you for your time and consideration!

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