I was saddened to hear of the death of Dr. John Kilimanjaro, the founder and publisher of The Carolina Peacemaker.
Considering the political beliefs espoused by The Rhinoceros Times and The Carolina Peacemaker, one might think that Dr. Kilimanjaro and I would have had an adversarial relationship. But it is a great testimony to Dr. Kilimanjaro’s ability to see the good in people that through the years, although often on opposite sides of the political fence, we not only found ways to work together, but also to become friends.
As owners of small weekly newspapers always fighting against the big guys, we found we had a lot in common. Also, when you’re a small weekly newspaper operating on a shoestring budget at times, you need a little help from your friends. Over the years, we were often able to help each other out in ways that only another newspaper could.
When he was still active as the publisher of The Peacemaker,Dr. Kilimanjaro would stop in The Rhinoceros Times office on East Market Street. Sometimes he was trying to enlist our support, or at least talk us into staying on the sidelines on an issue. And at times we found ourselves on the same side of a controversial issue, which we thought was a sure sign we had to be right. Regardless of his purpose for stopping in, the conversations were always lively and informative.
Not many people understand the rock hard determination and discipline it takes to start and then produce a newspaper every week for 52 years. The fact that Dr. Kilimanjaro was able to get The Carolina Peacemaker up and running and then keep it running was an amazing feat. But what is also amazing is that The Peacemaker was just one of his jobs and only one of his successes.
Dr. Kilimanjaro was a professor at North Carolina A&T State University and established the Speech and Theatre Arts Department. He was also a noted and active leader in the civil rights movement.
But in my opinion, The Carolina Peacemaker has been a contribution to Greensboro that is impossible to measure.