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NC Documentary Aims To Show A Different Kind of ‘Country’

Television shows like “The Dukes of Hazzard” and “The Beverly Hillbillies” exemplified the country stereotype in American culture. Characters were uneducated, naive and often had a strong affinity for guns. North Carolina native Keyetta Mangum grew up in a rural area and is fiercely proud of her country roots, but also finds that most popular culture representations of rural life are tired, cliche and problematic.

As a WRAL director and producer, she took it upon herself to document a different kind of country, one that better represents her and her own friends and family. “Black Country” follows three people from the less-populated corners of North Carolina: Naomie, Harrison and Gooch. Naomie opened her moonshine company in 2015, while Harrison and Gooch both work with horses. Gooch helped to teach Harrison how to wrangle a horse when he was younger.

Host Frank Stasio talks to “Black Country” director and producer Keyetta Mangum about why she wanted to share these stories with the rest of North Carolina. “Black Country” airs on FOX50 on Wednesday, June 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Amanda Magnus is the executive producer of Embodied, a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships and health. She has also worked on other WUNC shows including Tested and CREEP.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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