Celebrity Dirt

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the 2022 MLB season will not start on March 31 as scheduled.

The start of the 2022 Major League Baseball season is officially delayed, as MLB and the Players’ Association failed to reach an agreement to end the lockout, Tuesday.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced that the season, which had been slated to start March 31, will be delayed. So far, just the first two series’ for each team have been cancelled.

“The calendar dictates that we’re not going to be able to play the first two series of the regular season and those games are officially canceled,” Manfred said.

Manfred had previously said that if an agreement hadn’t come by today on a new collective bargaining agreements, that they would have to cancel some games. A late-night session of negotiations between both sides gave some hope for an agreement today, but the MLBPA announced just before 5 p.m. that they were rejecting the latest proposal.

“My deepest hope is we get an agreement quickly,” Manfred said. “I’m really disappointed we didn’t make an agreement.”

This will be the first time since the strike in the 1994-95 season that Major League Baseball games have been cancelled because of work stoppage.

Manfred also said that the teams will not make up the missed games, reducing the season length from 162 games to 156.

Fayetteville & Black History: The African-American Heritage Trail

  • Stop 1: Fayetteville Convention and Visitor's Bureau

    African-American Heritage Trail

    245 Person Street, Fayetteville, NC 28301

    Start out at the visitor’s center and you can pick up additional information to help you along your journey on the trail.

  • Stop 2: Fifer's Grave

    North Cool Spring Street, Fayetteville, NC 28301

    According to the CVB, the fifer Isaac Hammond is buried in this spot.

    “Hammond became the first fifer in the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry and served 30 years. He also served in the 10th NC Regiment Continental Line during the Revolutionary War. He became a barber in town and participated in politics even though blacks were not permitted to vote at the time.”

    Hours: Exterior View Only. Open to the public, daily before dusk.

  • Stop 3: Evans Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church

    301 North Cool Spring Street, Fayetteville, NC 28301

    A remarkable church, founded by Henry Evans – a Black shoemaker and Methodist preacher. Most notably, Evans brought Methodism to Fayetteville for the first time, AND he was preaching to both Blacks and whites, which was unheard of at the time. The current building was built in 1893, according to the CVB, while the original church was founded in 1801. Evans died in 1810 and is buried in the mantle of the church.

    This biography on Henry Evans is a remarkable one. Read this before your stop on the trail.

  • Stop 4: Saint Ann Catholic Church

    357 North Cool Spring Street, Fayetteville, NC 28301

    Just down the road from Evans A.M.E. Zion is St. Ann’s which was created in 1934, primarily to serve the Black population who did not like being treated poorly at the primarily white St. Patrick’s church. The school on the site was the first school in North Carolina to be integrated from its inception.

  • Stop 5: Cross Creek Cemetery (Brookside)

    North Cool Spring Street and Grove Street (Head to Lamon Street for the Brookside portion)

    Across the street from Saint Ann’s is the Cross Creek Cemetery. In a portion across Grove St. called Brookside, many of the most famous Black families after the Civil War are buried. You’ll find graves for the Chesnutt family, Dr. Paul Melchor, Robert Harris, and E.E. Smith.

  • Stop 6: Saint Joseph's Episcopal Church

    509 Ramsey Street, Fayetteville, NC 28302

    This beautiful church was built in 1896 for a Black congregation, and has windows from Tiffany & Co. in New York, as well as a pipe organ built in 1857 – one of the oldest still in use in the United States.

  • Stop 7: Orange Street School

    600 Orange Street, Fayetteville, NC 28301

    Tons of great info from the CVB on this one: “Built in 1915, by African-American contractor James Waddell. The Orange Street School is believed to be the oldest building associated with education in Fayetteville. Before its construction, black students had been attending classes in a small, one-room schoolhouse for nearly 50 years. The school continued to function as an educational facility for 38 years. The upstairs now serves as a museum where Bishop James Walker Hood’s top hat and bible can be viewed. He was an early founder and pastor of Evans Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church. The home of Edward Evans, the original principal of Orange Street School, is located across the street.”

  • Stop 8: Fayetteville State University

    1200 Murchison Road, Fayetteville, NC 28301

    Fayetteville State University – originally the Howard School for African-Americans – was founded in 1867. Named for General O.O. Howard. “In 1877, the Howard School was designated as the first State Colored Normal School to educate African-American teachers. In 1939, it became a four year college and in 1972, it became part of the UNC System. At the Chesnutt Library, historical artifacts, such as E.E. Smith’s sword, can be viewed in the archives room.”

  • Stop 9: E.E. Smith Monument

    1200 Murchison Road, Fayetteville, NC 28301 (at Fayetteville State)

    Dr. E.E. (Ezekiel Ezra) Smith, a respected African-American educator, headed Fayetteville State University for an impressive 50 years. In fact, Smith gave some of his own land to build some of FSU’s first buildings. He also served as an ambassador to Liberia and as the adjutant of the 3rd NC Regiment during the Spanish-American War. Other notable accomplishments include founding North Carolina’s first black newspaper and serving as a Baptist Minister for the black First Baptist Church.”

  • Stop 10: Martin Luther King Jr. Park and Sculpture

    739 Blue Street, Fayetteville, NC 28301

    Paying tribute to Civil Rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., this park and memorial statue are perfect for picnics or other gatherings.

  • Stop 11: Sandhills Family Heritage Center

    230 Chapel Hill Road, Spring Lake, NC 28390

    From the CVB: “Formerly called the Spring Lake Civic Center, it was founded by African-Americans as a community activity facility for local black youth in 1951. The center was used for youth and adult social gatherings, such as family reunions, birthday parties, church gatherings and during the 1960s, as a civil rights meeting place. Plans are underway to restore the building as an African- American Heritage Center by the Sandhills Family Heritage Association, which frequently hosts events and tours here about African-American Heritage. Today, you can view several outside exhibits including, a replica of a brush arbor, a section of a plank road, and a farmer’s market. For Heritage Tour and Re-enactment information, please contact Ammie Jenkins, Executive Director of the Association, at (910) 497-0628, or sandhillsfamily@yahoo.com.”

  • Stop 12: Bethel AME Zion Church

    255 Vass Road, Spring Lake, NC 28390

    The church founded by Jack Murchison was started here.

  • Stop 13: Simon Temple A.M.E. Zion Church

    5760 Yadkin Road, Fayetteville, NC 28303

    This church location traces its roots back to 1873, when land was sold to the Trustees of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church of America.

  • Stop 14: Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex

    801 Arsenal Avenue, Fayetteville, NC 28305

    Heading back toward downtown Fayetteville, the Museum of the Cape Fear has a large selection of artifacts from the African-American story in our region.


  • Stop 15: Airborne & Special Operations Museum

    100 Bragg Blvd., Fayeteville, NC 28301

    Among the notable military displays in the museum, an exhibit on the Triple Nickels Battalion – an all-Black Airborne unit, stands out.

  • Stop 16: Fayetteville History Museum

    325 Franklin Street, Fayetteville, NC 28301

    The Fayetteville History Museum exhibits contributions made by local African-Americans. The museum also has staff oversight of Fayetteville’s Historic Districts and Designated Local Landmark Properties, many of which have strong ties to African-American history.”

  • Stop 17: Market House

    A street mural has been painted around the Market House in Downtown Fayetteville saying “Black Lives Do Matter” and “End Racism Now.”

    100 Hay Street, intersection of Hay, Green, Person and Gillespie Streets

    A controversial downtown landmark, the Market House has some debate behind its history. But it’s important in the story of African-Americans in Fayetteville’s past, regardless.

    From the CVB: “Previously known as the State House, it was here that North Carolina ratified the U.S. Constitution in 1789 and chartered the University of North Carolina. In 1831, a fire destroyed downtown Fayetteville, including the State House and the Market House was rebuilt on its site. As a marketplace, various peddlers sold cotton and other agricultural products here. In fact, one of the first meat merchants to sell their goods under the Market House in 1832, was a free born African American. Although not built as a slave market, slaves were sold here over the years until slavery was abolished in 1865. Historical debate also circles around the possibility that the structure was built by a local free black man, Thomas Grimes, one of the best brick masons in the area at the time.”

  • Stop 18a: Notable Historical Markers - Charles W. Chesnutt

    Fayetteville has a few other notable historical markers for Blacks, including:

    Charles W. Chesnutt – “Negro novelist and short story writer, teacher and lawyer. Taught in a school which stood here.” (Location on Gillespie Street)

  • Stop 18b: Notable Historical Markers - Henry Evans

    Henry Evans – “Free black cobbler & minister. Built first Methodist church in Fayetteville. Died 1810. Buried 2 blocks north.” (Marker is at corner of Person and Cool Spring Streets)


  • Stop 18c: Notable Historical Markers - Hiram R. Revels

    Hiram R. Revels – “First African American to serve in Congress, he represented Mississippi in Senate, 1870-1871. Born in Fayetteville.” (Marker is at corner of Murchison and Blue Streets)

  • Stop 18d: Notable Historical Markers - Lewis Leary

    Lewis Leary – “Free black abolitionist & conspirator in 1859 with John Brown in attack on U.S. arsenal at Harpers Ferry. Killed in assault. Lived in Fayetteville.” (Marker is at corner of Murchison Road and Washington Drive.)

  • Stop 18e: Notable Historical Markers - Omar Ibn Said

    Omar Ibn Said – “Muslim slave & scholar. African-born, he penned autobiography in Arabic, 1831. Lived in Bladen County and worshipped with local Presbyterians.” (Marker is at Murchison Road, N 35°05.479, W 78°54.632)

  • Stop 18f: Notable Historical Markers - Fayetteville State University

    “Est. 1867 as Howard School. State-supported since 1877. A part of The University of North Carolina since 1972.”

Brandon Plotnick is a former sports journalist, now living in the digital space with interests all over the musical and pop culture map.