M&M Grocery vs. Aggies by: Elaijah Gibbs-Jones
On Oct. 20, 2017, after visiting the M&M Grocery convenience store across from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s campus, Alphonso Johnson, junior journalism and mass communications student, tweeted “Bruh the little Spanish dude at M&M deadass just pulled a gun out on me shaking my head (smh).”
According to Johnson, the incident occurred after he chose a product that was expired. Johnson says that the anonymous employee began accusing Johnson of stealing the item instead of searching for a new one.
“I wasn’t really scared when it happened, just irritated. I looked at him like ‘Are you serious? You’re going to pull a gun on me over a dollar and six cents?’ I was unarmed, so I just couldn’t understand why he would feel threatened enough to want to shoot me,” said Johnson.
M&M Grocery declined to comment.
Established in 2007, M&M Grocery is a privately owned company located at 1500 East Market Street. The store employs a staff of four employees.
However, a variety of students have experienced problems with the same employee that drew a gun on Johnson.
As a result, a group of N.C.A&T students, who go by the name of NCAT Resist, have initiated a protest towards the convenience store.
After hearing about the incident, Sam King, Nicholas Knight, and other students organized a meeting held in the Student Center that Friday night.
At the meeting, thirty students, including Keith Jones, who holds the position of Mr. Student University Activities Board, voiced their frustrations with the convenience store.
“What happened with Vonte [Johnson] allowed other students to become vocal about incidents that have also happened to them. It is really important if we control the narrative of the students, their stories will be heard. It has been years of this going on, and it has not been effectively confronted,” said Sam King, junior psychology student.
Most students explained that the store’s credit card machine is inoperative, which results in the employees providing students with incorrect change. Female students also revealed that they had been disrespected and sexually harassed by the anonymous employee.
Students established that in order to ensure a successful protest, they must reveal the specific issues to City Officials and the owner of M&M Grocery.
During the meeting, Aggies determined their end goals: initiating student discounts, discontinuance of the three dollar credit card limit, introduction of fresh products and merchandise, and termination of the anonymous employee.
The hearsay of the protest has scattered throughout Twitter and campus, and students are taking action.
They are expecting to obtain unity of the student body and heightened awareness to the problems that accompany M&M Grocery.
NCAT Resist hosted the event. The event Party With a Purpose is to promote Aggie Pride in the face of prejudices against black students that bring discriminatory businesses money.
The event was a Halloween Block Party with free food, drinks, and music held on Oct. 31st, 2017 at the Underground Apparel parking lot located at 1500 East Market Street from 4p.m.-8p.m.
The NCAT University Police Department cannot get involved because M&M Grocery is considered to be off-campus. It is encouraged for students to express their concerns to the Greensboro Police Department, who can be contacted at (336) 373-2287.
Additionally, NCAT Resist is urging students to stand their ground and avoid M&M Grocery at all costs.
“I think that M&M needs accountability and if we are a large contributor to their business, and the people who keep them afloat, they should also be treating us with respect and contributing to our success as well. The fact that this happened to countless other students, including myself, it needs to be addressed,” said King.