Race & Demographics

Black Home Ownership And The Promise Of Reparations

Feb 26, 2021

Priscilla Ndiaye Robinson looked across the empty fields where her Southside neighborhood once thrived. “It’s all gone,” she said. “One thousand two hundred businesses and homes were lost.” 

The neighborhood, where approximately half of Asheville’s Black population lived, suffered major upheaval under Asheville’s urban renewal program in the 1970s and 1980s, one of the largest urban renewal projects in the Southeastern United States.

In 1898, the elected government in Wilmington, N.C. was overthrown by white supremacists who sought to undermine Black progress. The impact of the violent insurrection still lingers in the city today and illuminates existing national political tensions. In this special episode, Phoebe Judge, host of the podcast “Criminal,” shares that show's exploration into events that led to the violence and its aftermath.
 

 

Pauli: Episode 3 Transcript

Feb 10, 2021

Saint Pauli 

Leoneda Inge
00:01
Where do you call Home? I'm not just talking about your mailing address, or even a physical place at all. Home can be defined by so much more. A community, or one special person. It's wherever or with whomever you feel the most comfortable, the most whole, the most complete.

Pauli: Episode 2 Transcript

Feb 10, 2021

Laying Down The Law 

Leoneda Inge
00:01

Pauli: Episode 1 Transcript

Feb 10, 2021

Pauli Murray vs. Jane Crow 

Leoneda Inge
00:01
A cruel fact of life is that the folks who have made the biggest impact on us might not be around to share some of our biggest moments. But we think of them almost immediately when major events happen.

Kamala Harris 00:14
Please raise your right hand. Okay. Do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the Constitution of the United States, against all enemies, foreign and domestic…

Leoneda Inge 00:26

North Carolina Public Radio presents Pauli, a podcast about the power of one person to change what's possible for us all. Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and NPR One.

Inspired by the life, work and lasting influence of Durham-based civil rights activist Pauli Murray, this series explores the bravery and brilliance of a tireless hero for social justice. WUNC's Leoneda Inge takes listeners through three chapters of Pauli's journey as a battle-ready solider against racism and sexism and a spiritual mentor for today's justice advocates.

PAULI: EPISODE THREE

After spending decades fighting for gender equality and racial justice, Pauli Murray decided to unite her convictions for human rights with her religious spirituality.

In her early 60’s, Pauli entered a seminary and became the first Black woman ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1977. She brought to the priesthood the same power she’d carried as a firebrand all her life ― a power that is strengthened by women in the church today standing tall on Pauli’s shoulders.


PAULI: EPISODE TWO

In 1948, Pauli Murray began a years-long journey, crossing the country to document each state's segregation laws. The result was an exhaustive, 700-page tome. The text, published in 1951, may have a pretty unexciting title — “States' Laws on Race and Color”  — but its nickname is more glamorous: the “bible of civil rights law."

Pauli's work documenting discriminatory ordinances across the nation was pivotal to the NAACP’s legal team as they fought key battles against segregation in the mid-20th century. But Murray’s road to writing that bible was anything but easy, and she was often on the verge of having to forego the seminal project.


PAULI: EPISODE ONE

As a Black, queer, Southern woman, Pauli Murray endured a sinister combination of sexism and racism. She called this specific kind of discrimination Jane Crow, and no matter where Pauli  went, Jane Crow followed.

But Pauli refused to let that dictate her life. With the pen as her sword, Pauli fought to undermine Jane Crow’s grip on the lives of Black women, wielding the written word as a weapon for truthtelling.

As a legal scholar, she inspired the likes of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and helped secure equal rights for women. As a poet, Murray has given hope and resilience to countless women of color ― offering messages of brave love and bold defiance that resonate today.


There are several murals of Pauli Murray on buildings in downtown Durham, NC
Courtesy of the Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice

Learn more about the effort to rename a building on the campus of UNC Chapel Hill for Pauli Murray on this episode of WUNC's podcast Tested.  

If you drive around downtown Durham, North Carolina, there are several reminders that a Black woman named Anna Pauline Murray lived here. A decade ago, at the corner of Carroll and West Chapel Hill streets, a North Carolina Historical Highway Marker was erected in "Pauli" Murray's name. 

But a marker could never do justice to someone as influential as Pauli Murray: a civil rights activist, a lawyer, a poet, a priest, a powerhouse for change.

Pauli Murray was a powerhouse for social justice. She worked tirelessly as a lawyer, an activist, a poet, and a priest to push for racial equality and gender rights, and influenced the likes of Thurgood Marshall and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

She rarely received appropriate recognition during her lifetime, but global awareness of Pauli’s legacy grows more by the day. Now, a faculty movement at UNC Chapel Hill aims to honor the social justice warrior by naming a building after her. But the proposed commemoration comes with a complicated history.
 

  

Photo of J.G. deRoulhac Hamilton
NC Digital Collections / UNC Libraries

Hear more about Hamilton and how faculty at UNC-CH are  working to undo his harmful legacy in the latest episode of "Tested" out now.

 

J.G. de Roulhac Hamilton spent decades in the first half of the 20th Century puttering along the backroads of the South in his trusted Ford, gathering the papers and artifacts that became the Southern Historical Collection at UNC-Chapel Hill. It was his life's work, and it gained him fame and a legacy that befitted an intellectual giant of the age.

J.G. de Roulhac Hamilton’s name has marked an academic building on UNC-Chapel Hill’s campus for decades, a testament to his impact as a historian of the American South in the 20th century. But beneath his cloak of academic legitimacy, Hamilton was a white supremacist.

Now faculty at the university are working to unravel and reform his harmful legacy with a push to change the name of the building currently called Hamilton Hall.
 


Pauli Murray isn't a completely unsung hero of the Civil Rights Movement. She isn't exactly a household name either. Her brand of fighting for racial justice is defined by speaking truth to power, a tireless effort and a deep imagining of what was possible for a Black queer Southern woman during the Jim Crow era. Get to know the poet, priest and powerhouse for change on Pauli, a new podcast from WUNC.

  

Kate Medley / For WUNC

An iconic North Carolina shopping center is changing its name to drop the connection to a family whose patriarch was a slaveholder before the Civil War.

Shruti Shah

Every family looks different. But if your parents are a different race than you are, your family can expect to get looks … and personal questions too. That’s because transracial adoption was rare, even controversial, until relatively recently. The number of transracial adoptions has increased in the past 50 years — particularly white parents adopting children of color.

NCDCR, UNC-Chapel Hill, Wikimedia

This story was updated at 3:23 p.m. on Dec. 21, 2020.

While the Confederacy lasted just a bit longer than four years, its memory has lived on for lifetimes in the form of historical markers, the names of streets, counties and towns, its flag and monuments.

A logo of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina
Elevatorrailfan / Wikimedia Commons

The chairman of North Carolina's Lumbee Tribe says that the tribe will not be getting federal recognition this year.

Legislation to federally recognize the tribe has failed.

A white rectangular sign with the words 'THE OTHER AMERICA MOVEMENT BRIGHTWOOD PERMACULTURE FARM' written in bold red, green, and black font. The sign is in the woods, there are brown trees and branches behind it
Laura Pellicer / For WUNC

Activist Skip Gibbs was in the midst of leading a protest in Durham this summer when he felt that something wasn’t right. In the crowd, which had gathered to demand that the city council redirect the police department budget into social services, he saw mostly white faces.

A Black woman with braids and a colorful collar necklace smiles, looking off camera.
Courtesy of Bree Newsome Bass

Activist Bree Newsome Bass gained national attention in the summer of 2015 when she was arrested for scaling the flagpole at the statehouse in Columbia, South Carolina, and removing the Confederate flag. The act of civil disobedience took place in the wake of the killing of nine African-American people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.

A black-and-white photo of a young woman behind a video camera, filming something.
Courtesy of Malinda Maynor Lowery

Malinda Maynor Lowery is a Lumbee Indian whose family goes back more than 10 generations in Robeson County. Lowery was born in Lumberton, N.C. but raised in Durham, where from an early age, she often fielded the question, "what are you?" Although she grew up in a family with a strong sense of Native identity, this question stayed with her much of her life, and eventually became the subject of much of her academic and documentary work.

Greensboro resident Candace Clapp heads toward the Greensboro protest for George Flyod with sage and sign in hand.
Laura Pellicer / WUNC

A task force commissioned by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper in the days following George Floyd's death on Monday formally recommended far-reaching changes to police, criminal justice and court systems, with a goal of eliminating racial inequities.

A yellow triangular sign 'No Baby On Board, durex' on the back of a dark blue van
Spoon, YouTube

There will be no COVID baby boom in the United States. In fact, a decrease in childbirth is expected, with existential fear prevailing over hormones and boredom. Similar downward trends occurred during the 2008 recession and the 1918 Spanish flu. Now experiencing their second economic crash, 15% of millennials are less interested in having children due to COVID-19. Meanwhile, others made the decision long before the pandemic.

Fibonacci Blue / Wikimedia

A board of commissioners in a North Carolina county has voted to support reparations and apologized for the county’s role in slavery, segregation and systemic discrimination against Black residents.

A light brown, sand colored monument in front of a brown building. The monument is made up of bricks, the bricks are stacked ontop of each other, narrowing as it goes upwards
Billy Hathorn // CC

The Asheville City Council voted to remove the third and final Confederate monument from Asheville’s Pack Square Tuesday night. The 65-foot Vance Monument commemorates Zebulon Vance, North Carolina’s governor during the Civil War and U.S. Senator during Reconstruction who opposed civil rights for Black people.

A mask is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but choosing which mask to wear isn’t always about protecting oneself from the virus. It's a decision that can also affect the likelihood of encountering racial profiling.
 


An older bespectacled Black man in a suit gestures with one hand in front of a classroom in this black and white photo
Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago


When John Hope Franklin chaired former President Bill Clinton's initiative on race in the 1990s, he started with what he called "the naivete that often accompanies optimism." That he could be either naive or optimistic after documenting the long struggle for civil rights is remarkable, and was no doubt, the kind of optimism born of intellectual integrity and an open mind.

Jay Heike / Unsplash / Creative Commons

They threw her new cellphone on the roof of the station house and placed nails under the wheels of her pickup truck. As she prepared to answer a call, someone poured tobacco juice in her boots. It was too much for Timika Ingram to bear.

Iheoma Iruka has devoted her career to understanding bias in early-childhood education, but she has very few memories of that period in her own life. Iruka was born in Texas, but her parents moved back to Nigeria when she was 3. She stayed there until after second grade when she and two of her sisters moved to Boston with her mother, and the family was split between Nigeria and the U.S.

Leoneda Inge

The number of people testing positive for COVID-19 is surging. And there is also a growing number of people getting tested for the disease, for the first time. A program based at a historically Black university in Durham is organizing COVID-19 testing and collecting valuable data at the same time.

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