Durham

From left to right: JAMM, Naima, J Rowdy, Lil Monsta, and Zone.
Amanda Magnus / WUNC

Two years ago, the Afrofuturist digital makerspace in Durham started offering hip-hop workshops. Local students gathered at Blackspace to learn about writing and met each Friday night in a public park to rap and make beats. Out of those gatherings, a group of students – who call themselves the Blackspace Afronauts – put together their first album: “Revenge Of The Afronauts.”

Questions remain over the shooting death of NCCU student DeAndre Ballard
North Carolina Central University

Students at North Carolina Central University are expressing frustration at the shooting death of a fellow student. They are also concerned about the living conditions at the off-campus apartment complex where 23-year-old DeAndre Ballard was shot and killed.

Ballard was a senior at NCCU and lived at Campus Crossings at Durham, on E. Cornwallis Road. Ballard allegedly got into a confrontation with a security guard there last month, which led to his death.

DeAndre Lee is a sophomore at NCCU. He says students don’t know what to think.

Courtesy of the estate of Ernie Barnes

He was raised in “the bottoms” section of Durham, but Ernie Barnes would leave the Triangle to become one of the most recognizable black artists of the time. Anyone who has ever seen the opening credits of the sitcom “Good Times,” has seen the art of Ernie Barnes.

Yusuf Salim, a dishwasher in the mosque restaurant and renowned jazz musician in Durham, organized a group for children called “the clean-up squad.” They cleaned up the neighborhood in return for food provided by the mosque and the community.
Courtesy of Jeff Ensminger

 The Museum of Durham History calls itself a museum without walls. It collaborates with the community to curate exhibits that reflect the area’s unique stories. So when educator Naomi Feaste walked in and suggested an exhibit on the local mosque, Ar-Razzaq Islamic Center,  curatorial consultant Katie Spencer was eager to get involved. Afterall, Ar-Razzaq Islamic Center was blocks from the museum and has been a staple for community members and local businesses for decades.

Phil Cook's album cover for "People Are My Drug."
Courtesy of Phil Cook

 Phil Cook moved to North Carolina from Wisconsin over a decade ago. Even though he is from the Midwest, Cook says he has always been a student of Southern music. He had romantic ideas about the South from a young age, even with no experience of the region.

faded photo of mcbane and mann, smiling and seated on a couch
Courtesy of Eryk Pruitt

For author Eryk Pruitt the podcast “Serial” was more than just a riveting crime drama. It was the type of suspenseful story he aspired to create. After joining forces with journalist Drew Adamek, he found his own gripping crime to explore, and it took place in a location in Durham he passed every day.

Confederate Monuments, Charlottesville, Durham Monument
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

The case of the Durham Eight has reached an end.

 

Durham District Attorney Roger Echols announced Tuesday afternoon he was dropping all charges against the five remaining defendants standing trial for toppling a confederate monument last August.

photo of contest winners and judge at motorco music hall
Courtesy of Durham Magazine

You might find this PUN-believable, but there is an annual pun competition held in Durham each year. Contestants are matched up for one-on-one pun-offs until the final round, when the three top punners try to best each other to become the “Punster of the Year.”

Supporters and members of Bull City United lead a "Week of Peace" candlelight vigil at the Cornwallis housing community on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.
Christine Nguyen / For WUNC

At the recent "Week of Peace" candlelight vigil, Daryl Quick read the names of victims of Durham’ 2017 gun violence.

Cover of 'Going to School in Black and White'
Cindy Waszak Geary and LaHoma Smith Romocki

A few years ago, Cindy Waszak Geary and LaHoma Smith Romocki were sitting together in their writing group when they realized that not only did they both grow up in Durham, but they went to the same high school during a period of racial integration in the early 1970s.

LEONEDA INGE / WUNC

Protesters toppled a confederate monument in Durham last night. The statue came down during a demonstration against the violence that erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend.

Firefighters respond to a chlorine leak at the downtown Durham YMCA on August 2, 2017.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

A chemical leak in the pool area of the Downtown Durham YMCA caused 42 people – 40 of them kids – to suffer a range of respiratory and nausea issues Thursday afternoon.

Photo of Reverend Mykal Slack
Courtesy Mykal Slack

Mykal Slack grew up in rural Georgia in an enormous extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins. He was raised as a girl — the sex on his birth certificate — but from a young age he remembers crafting imaginary worlds in which he had a boy’s name.

Profile photo of Wendell Tabb outside WUNC Durham studios.
Courtesy Wendell Tabb

Wendell Tabb spent much of his life training for a career as a stage actor. So when an opportunity arose to teach drama at Hillside High School in Durham, he thought the gig would be a detour on his life journey.

Public Domain / Wiki Creative Commons

In the 1930s, the federal government started to map out regions deemed financially stable enough to receive mortgage assistance through a process called “redlining.” The areas identified as “too risky” for loans were largely concentrated in minority and low-income neighborhoods. During the same time, the City of Durham implemented tree-planting programs across various neighborhoods.

sign with bus
Photo Courtesy of Tina Haver Currin, by Josh Steadman

Drivers in the area may notice an outcropping of signs that say "Welcome to Raleigh, Y'all." The yard signs and murals give the greeting in 17 languages. The creators say it's a welcome message to people of different cultures.

Marc Edwards has been named among the most influential people in the world by Time, Fortune, Politico, and Foreign Policy Magazine. Edwards is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech, and he blew the whistle on the water crisis in Flint, Mich.

A drawing of a neighborhood surrounding a light rail station.
Gateway Planning / GoTriangle

Transit consultants are hosting six public meetings in Chapel Hill starting next week to discuss possible development around stations along the proposed Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit line, which would run along U.S. 15-501.

Image of exhibit celebrating the history of The Scrap Exchange and Durham's Lakewood neighborhood.
Katy Clune

North Carolinians throw away 11 million tons of waste each year, contributing to the more than 200 million tons of waste discarded by all Americans. 

Duke University

University of Pennsylvania Provost Vincent Price will take over as Duke University’s new president on July 1, 2017. Duke’s Board of Trustees made the selection Friday morning.

Price told the Duke community on Friday afternoon that the institution is ready to face a watershed moment for research universities.

Photo of Mamie Neugent
David Spear

​In the late 1980s and early 90s, North Carolina photographer David Spear spent several years documenting the lives of his neighbors, the Neugents.

The family owned a tobacco farm in Rockingham County, and his photos depicted their attempts to keep their tobacco farm alive at a time when many others were dying. He described the Neugents as "fabulous people" who "raise hell, and they don't try to hide it."

Durham CAN, Durham, Jerome Washington, Fayette Place
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

A couple hundred people gathered in a historic African American Durham neighborhood Wednesday to bring attention to one of the last, undeveloped plots of land near downtown.

East Durham, Durham, Police, Poverty, EDCI
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Editor's note: This story is part of an occasional series on what area community leaders and residents are doing to balance "peace and pride" in their neighborhoods.

Every Friday in the basement of the Maureen Joy Charter School on South Driver Street in Durham, families get a bag of food packed with oatmeal, fruit bars, noodles, tuna, fruit boxes and more.

Film Still: A girl awaits her train on a Tokyo subway platform. Tokyo is home to the world’s busiest metro system, with approximately 8.7 million daily riders.
Patrick Shen and Brandon Vedder

For some, silence is defined as the absence of sound. But a new documentary film, "In Pursuit of Silence," explores the many facets of silence. From religious meditation to the natural world, silence is an integral part of existence. And the noise of modern life may be damaging in physical, mental and emotional ways.

photo of Violet Bell
Lizzy Ross

After spending four years making music in Nashville, singer-songwriter Lizzy Ross began to feel homesick.

Ross grew up in North Carolina, went to UNC-Chapel Hill and started her career in the Triangle music scene. While Nashville was filled with passionate and impressive musicians, she missed being part of a community that she felt really embraced diverse creative expressions.

Durham, Durham Rescue Mission, Golden Belt Historic District
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Despite opposition, it’s looking more like the Golden Belt Local Historic District will include a controversial block of property owned by the Durham Rescue Mission.

Durham’s Planning Commission and the Historic Preservation Commission support protecting the last of the old mill houses near the historic Golden Belt manufacturing factories.

A Story Circle at SpiritHouse, Inc., in Durham, North Carolina.
John Biewen / Center for Documentary Studies

Can stories help to bring a community together?  

How about radio stories, conceived and made by citizen storytellers?

Listen to a preview of Storymakers: Durham, a project of the national Localore: FindingAmerica initiative.

photo of Stuart Albright
Stuart Albright

Why do some students succeed while others do not? This question has stumped teachers, school administrators, and education policy professionals who try to stop students from falling through the cracks.

photo of "Midnight Bowling"
Quinn Dalton

In the mid-20th century, bowling became a favorite pastime of many working-class Americans. But in 1970s​ and '80s, bowling began to decline in popularity.

In her latest novel, “Midnight Bowling” (Carolina Wren Press/2016), Greensboro author Quinn Dalton uses the backdrop of this time of cultural transition to tell the story of a young standout bowler who is faced with the challenges of transitioning into adulthood.

Deputy Chief Cerelyn Davis with the Atlanta Police Department and Major Michael Smathers of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police
Deputy Chief Cerelyn J. Davis, Atlanta Police Department/Maj. Michael J. Smathers, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

After a months-long search, the city of Durham is getting closer to choosing its next police chief. The city manager has announced two finalists: Deputy Chief Cerelyn Davis with the Atlanta Police Department and Major Michael Smathers of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police.

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