Where does the Elizabeth City community go from here?
That’s the question Dr. Hezekiah Brown wants to answer when he returns to the air with his show, “Around Town with Hez Brown,” on Elizabeth City State University’s public radio station WRVS 89.9 FM starting Thursday.
In the wake of Andrew Brown Jr.’s April 21 shooting death, and the subsequent protests, Hezekiah Brown says it’s time to talk about solutions and believes bringing his show back on the air is a good place to start the conversation.
Brown’s upcoming guests will include Elizabeth City Mayor Bettie Parker, City Manager Montre Freeman, and Chantelle Cherry-Lassiter, an attorney for Andrew Brown’s family.
Parker’s interview will air Thursday at 6 p.m. The interview with Cherry-Lassiter will air on Thursday, May 13, at 6 p.m. and Freeman will appear with Brown on Thursday, May 20, at 6 p.m. There is an additional show for “Around Town with Hez Brown” scheduled for Thursday, May 27. His guest will be announced at a later date.
All three of Brown’s scheduled guests are ECSU alums. They are expected to discuss events of the past two weeks and how Elizabeth City can heal from them going forward.
“I’m solution-oriented,” Brown, a retired federal mediator, said. “So where do we go from here?”
Protesters have been marching in Elizabeth City and the national media has been reporting about events in the city each and every day. But even after Andrew Brown’s funeral, Brown says the community is left with questions about the future.
“There is a lot of stress in the community,” he said, adding that it’s important to gauge the pulse of Elizabeth City and understand “what the community perception is” so that people can move forward with solutions for the future.
“We have to see how we can pull this together,” Brown said. “I haven’t heard anything about solutions.”
Brown noted that members of the Elizabeth City community have been talking about ways to bridge the community’s racial divide that he and others find concerning. The group, which includes both Black and white clergy, had been meeting regularly before the pandemic, he said. Brown says it’s time to revive that discussion and help the community heal.
“We still have to live here,” Brown said.
“Around Town with Hez Brown” first aired on WRVS in January 2018. The goal of the show, Brown said, is to celebrate the people of Elizabeth City and Pasqutoank County. His shows, like this month’s lineup, feature community members and puts a focus on specific topics. It is his mission, Brown said, for the show to be a community service.