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The Legacy Of The Latta Family: Meet Brandi Neuwirth

Neuwirth stands in front of the exhibit with her two children.
Courtesy of Edward Neuwirth

As a child, Brandi Neuwirth remembers family chatter about her great-great-grandfather owning a school in North Carolina. But she was young and North Carolina seemed a world away from the life she lived in New York City. Her great-great-grandfather the Rev. Morgan Latta had a vision of a school that would educate the children of freed slaves.

That dream became a reality with the opening of Latta University in 1892. The school featured vocational education, an orphanage and night classes. It would take years for Neuwirth to delve into the rich history of her ancestors. In the meantime, she had her own journey that ranged from being a little girl performing in musicals at Lincoln Center to producing a Jackie Chan movie.

Now a resident of the Triangle, Neuwirth is chair of the Latta House Foundation. She also serves as the community art coordinator for the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County. Neuwirth joins host Frank Stasio to talk about visiting the plantation that owned her ancestors, her great-great-grandfather’s dream to educate blacks and her work to keep his legacy alive.

Note: This program originally aired November 25, 2019.


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.