Leoneda Inge

Race and Southern Culture Reporter

Leoneda Inge is WUNC's race and southern culture reporter. She is the first public radio journalist in the South to hold such a position, which explores modern and historical constructs to tell stories of poverty and wealth, health and food culture, education and racial identity.

Leoneda's most recent work of note includes the series “When a Rural North Carolina Clinic Closes,” produced in partnership with the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism. Other recent work includes “50 Years of the Ebony Fashion Fair,” the debate surrounding “Race, Slavery & Monuments,” and the “Rebuilding of Princeville” after Hurricane Matthew.

In 2017, Leoneda was named Journalist of Distinction by the National Association of Black Journalists. Leoneda is a graduate of Florida A&M University and Columbia University, where she earned her Master's Degree in Journalism as a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Business and Economics. In 2014, she traveled to Berlin, Brussels and Prague as a German/American Journalist Exchange Fellow.
 

 

Ways to Connect

The personal loss of a loved one leads host Leoneda Inge to reflect deeply on the recent experience of saying goodbye during the pandemic.

Despite social distancing and stay-at-home orders preventing large groups from gathering together, Black communities have still found ways to mourn the loss of family and friends.  Whether it’s live streaming a service, mandating face masks, limiting attendance or offering creative kinds of support to relatives, people are adapting to the current challenges of organizing funerals and memorials.

Confederate monuments, memorials, and names on buildings are coming down across the South. In the last month, many of the region's long standing symbols have been stripped, from the Mississippi state flag to a statue of Stonewall Jackson in Richmond, Virginia.

Host Leoneda Inge visits the city of Quincy, Florida, after officials swiftly removed their Confederate landmark, and she speaks with Mitch Colvin, mayor of Fayetteville, North Carolina, about recent protests against the legacy of Confederate symbolism in his city. Leoneda also reflects on the significance of recent changes to capitalize “Black” in newsrooms.

Our thanks to WRAL for supplying some of this episode's audio.

 


As Black, Latinx, and Indigenous populations continue to endure a disproportionate number of COVID-19-related deaths, state and local health departments are working to increase access to testing and other health care services for communities of color.

Host Leoneda Inge travels to a free testing site in a predominantly Black community in Tallahassee, FL, and talks with Dr. Cardra Burns, senior deputy director of the North Carolina Division of Public Health, about our state’s efforts to bolster testing and break down systemic barriers to health care.

Stylist Mike Wood trims the hair of Vina Vinluan on Saturday at Salon2eleven in Carrboro, NC. Amidst COVID-19, Salon2eleven is offering customers the option of hair styling services indoors or outdoors. As the state of North Carolina transitions from the
Kate Medley / For WUNC

A lot of people across North Carolina were out and about over the Memorial Day weekend as more state restrictions on where you can go and what you can do have been lifted. And while restaurants are filling up again – to 50% capacity anyway – personal grooming also seems to top people's to-do list.

African American Research Collaborative

national poll, in collaboration with the NAACP and the Yale School of Medicine, shows African Americans are a lot more trusting of local elected officials than President Donald Trump, during the coronavirus pandemic. But blacks aren’t as favorable of governors in the South.

Sheriff Paula Dance stands in her office, flanked by photos of all the white male sheriffs before her.
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

When one thinks of a sheriff in North Carolina, it’s easy to go back to the good ole days when the most popular sheriff around was Andy Griffith, in the make believe Mayberry. But today, North Carolina is more diverse, and so are the sheriffs in charge.

Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

The sheriff’s department is the oldest institution of law enforcement in the United States. And still today, they get a lot of respect in their communities.

One of the longest serving sheriffs in North Carolina is Terry Johnson in Alamance County. Johnson’s involvement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE is admired by many of his constituents, but feared by others.

Nina Jones Mason, the manager of Ellis D. Jones & Sons Funeral Directors in Durham, NC, seats funeral attendees with six feet distance as a precautionary measure during COVID-19.
Kate Medley / For WUNC

North Carolina's stay-at-home order includes a prohibition on gatherings of more than 10 people. In Durham, that restriction is no more than five people. Even though health experts say social distancing is critical in saving lives during this pandemic, it's been difficut for people not to gather at funerals.

A " mall closed" sign is shown at an entrance of City Creek Center Thursday, April 9, 2020, in Salt Lake City.
Rick Bowmer / AP

The $2 trillion coronavirus aid package approved by the federal government is far from enough to help struggling families, according to Duke University professors.

Catholic priests live video stream the Palm Sunday mass inside the Jesus de Medinaceli church in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, April 5, 2020.
Bernat Armangue / AP

Thousands of churches across North Carolina — and around the world — are preparing to celebrate Easter this weekend. But parishioners will likely be celebrating virtually and at home.

Leoneda Inge / WUNC

As more people adhere to social distancing guidelines, there's one truly essential place where it's tougher to follow the rules: the grocery store.

Governor Roy Cooper will issue a proclamation today declaring it National Census Day in North Carolina. There is an extra push to get the state’s more than 10 million residents counted while also dealing with COVID-19.

Dawn Booker, Pack Light Global

Late last week, the U.S. State Department officially put a halt on international travel as we know it. It is recommending United States citizens stay home, amid this coronavirus pandemic.

The timing of that declaration meant I barely made it back from Morocco before its government suspended all international flights. I was travelling with a group of African American women on a once in a lifetime excursion.

Census 2020
Census Bureau

The latest numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau show North Carolina lags behind most states in the percentage of residents who have been counted.

I-5 Design & Manufacture / flickr, creative commons, https://flic.kr/p/8Fhyox

Credit unions and banks across the state are closing lobbies and using only drive-up windows during this coronavirus outbreak.

Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Durham’s “Black Wall Street” doesn't look quite the same. One of the most well-known businesses on Parrish Street recently underwent a facelift, giving the historic Mechanics and Farmers Bank a new look.

Spot on renaming of a building at NC Central University originally broadcast on April 25, 2019. Posted for PMJA Award Contest.

North Carolina Central University officially unveiled the new name of its administration building yesterday. It no longer bears the name of North Carolina Governor Clyde Hoey, a known segregationist. Leoneda Inge reports.

 

Leoneda Inge / WUNC

More than 1 million North Carolina residents have registered, or re-registered, to vote since the 2016 election. A lot of the new voters are young - and are more than twice as likely to identify as Latinx or Asian than in previous elections.

Joe Shlabotnik/Creative Commons

North Carolinians will cast their ballots on Super Tuesday for the first time next week. Although we join 13 other states in voting that day, some pundits argue North Carolina is the key state, even “ground zero”  in this presidential election cycle.

Leoneda Inge

The City of Durham has promised to give the Durham Housing Authority more than $1 million to help make repairs at its oldest public housing community - McDougald Terrace. Hundreds of residents have been displaced for more than a month since a carbon monoxide scare, causing some people to get sick.

Leoneda Inge

A World War II veteran living in Wake County received his Congressional Gold Medal over the weekend. He was a part of a unique all-Hispanic regiment.

Perry Aycock, AP

One of the largest Ku Klux Klan demonstrations in North Carolina was in the summer of 1966.  That’s when Klansmen marched in full regalia through downtown Raleigh. That day was also historic because the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was in the capital city.

McDougald Terrace
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Donations of clothes, diapers and food are pouring in for residents of McDougald Terrace in Durham. Hundreds of people remain displaced again this week after a carbon monoxide scare at the public housing apartments.

Sheriff Paula Dance
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

The face of the sheriff in North Carolina changed overnight last November. For the first time in this state, a black woman was elected sheriff.

Chatham Confederate Monument
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Traffic moved slowly but orderly through Pittsboro, in Chatham County, on a recent day. Karen Howard, the driver, reached the traffic circle that can't be avoided. It's the circle around the Old Chatham courthouse.

Warren County, Community Health, Medicaid
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

People seeking health care in rural Warren County have waited a long time for good news. Now they're celebrating.

Cliff Parker
Elon University Office of Communications

Elon University joined other schools, community groups and law enforcement officials across the country for an inaugural National Day of Reconciliation. The idea was to improve relations between police and people of color.

Exonerated, When They See Us, Innocence PRoject
Netflix

Two exonerated members of what was known as the "Central Park Five," will speak at Duke University Monday night. The detailed story of the "Central Park Five" played out for all to see in the critically acclaimed Netflix mini series, "When They See Us." Netflix said the series, written and directed by Ava DuVernay, was their most-watched series.

NC State Parks, State Parks, Eno River
Leoneda Inge

Visitation at state parks across the state is bustling in some places and still recovering from Hurricane Florence in others.

A lot of trees fell down, bridges got washed out and there was water erosion at many state parks after the hurricane.

Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris attends a worship service at St. Joseph AME Church in Durham, N.C., Sunday, Aug 25, 2019.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Kamala Harris shook a lot of hands and took a lot of selfies when she was in Durham over the weekend. But while some people paid thousands of dollars to take a professional photo with the U.S. Senator and hopeful President, it was clear that her real friend is the new pastor of St. Joseph AME Church – the Rev. Jonathan Augustine.

Pages