Livingstone College

Livingstone honors West End, veterans at West End Classic

 SALISBURY – When John McLaughlin learned he was being honored on Sept. 30, his first reaction was, “For what?”

Needless to say, he’s a humble man and one of few words, but his legacy speaks for itself at 1210 West Monroe St. – McLaughlin’s Grocery.

Livingstone College honored McLaughlin as well as Ollie Mae Carroll with the West End Classic Community Spirit Award last weekend.

One of the greatest commandments is to love thy neighbor as thyself. And Livingstone College is doing just that at it wraps its arms around the West End Community for the fourth annual West End Classic.
The classic, a partnership between Livingstone College, the City of Salisbury and members of West End Pride and West End Community Organization, is always held during the first home game. The home opener pitted the Blue Bears against Virginia State University in a 6 p.m. matchup.

Livingstone President Dr. Jimmy Jenkins, Sr., and the college leadership meets routinely with West End residents to discuss and plan ways to improve the community.

After the first quarter of the game, Livingstone College presented the spirit awards to Carroll and McLaughlin.

All veterans and West End community members receivedIMG_7260 free admission.

More on McLaughlin
McLaughlin retired in May as owner of McLaughlin’s Grocery after running the business for 58 years.
J.D. Scott started the grocery store in 1934 and sold it to McLaughlin’s mother, Obella, in 1958.

A native of Salisbury, McLaughlin came out of the military to help his mother run the store. When she retired, he took over.

McLaughlin served five years with the 101st Airborne Division.

The store is a complete grocery store, not a convenience store, McLaughlin said, sure to highlight its array of packaged meats.

He is more comfortable talking about others than himself. He said his sister Shirley has helped at the grocery store for the past seven years. She was the first African American operator to be hired at what was once Southern Bell, a telephone company, he said.

His brother, now retired, worked for the Secret Service. His brother’s son, Harry Jr., now operates the store.

“People come in all the time telling him (John McLaughlin) how much he has helped them to be a better adult, a better person,” said Harry Jr. “It speaks volumes for all he’s done over the decades.”

John Peoples said McLaughlin’s Grocery, located across from the Livingstone College campus, is a mainstay in the community. It has served as a public forum and a place where political campaigns were born, including that of his brother, the late William Peoples, a former Salisbury-Rowan NAACP president and community activist.

McLaughlin is married to Carolyn, who serves on the West End Coalition.

Carroll breaking barriers
Carroll is commander of the J.C. Price American Legion Post and was the first female to become commander of an all-male tradition American Legion post in North Carolina.

She was also the first female to win the N.C. Department of American Legion “Legionnaire of the Year” Award.

Carroll is vice president of the Salisbury Rowan Community Development Corp, which has built more than 30 homes for low-income homebuyers.
She worked for more than 30 years as a psychiatric clinical nurse specialist and educator at the Hefner VA Medical Center in Salisbury, where she developed the Salisbury Transformation Outpatient Program for homeless veterans, and helped to develop the first Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Program for veterans and their families.

A veteran of the Air Force, she was the first African American to graduate from the nursing program at Chapel Hill and was the first African American to teach at Cabarrus School of Nursing.

She was appointed to the N.C. State Veterans Affairs Commission by Gov. Hunt and has received numerous awards for her community work.

Currently, she coordinates a senior line dance group at Millers Recreation Center.

She has participated in the collaborative coalition between Livingstone College and the West End community for several years.
About Livingstone College
Livingstone College, founded and supported by the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, is a private historically black institution located in Salisbury, N.C. Through a Christian-based environment suitable for learning, it provides excellent liberal arts and religious education programs for students from all ethnic backgrounds designed to develop their potential for leadership and service to a global community. For more information, visit

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