Race & Demographics

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.

Brian Robinson, UNCG

Many African Americans searching for their family histories hit a wall when they get to the 1860s or 1870s. During slavery, the only public records for enslaved people were deeds, which classified them as property and said nothing of their lived experiences, or even marked their birth or death.

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.

UNC Press

Adults have long ignored, dismissed or misinterpreted youth activists. President Trump’s tweets blasting teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg for her “anger management problem” is one very public example.

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.

A sign indicates a no-student drop-off zone with Wake County public school buses in the background.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

A school district in North Carolina has been busing students to polling place so they can vote, register to vote or just to have a look.

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.

Courtesy of Jessica Ingram

While visiting Kelly Ingram Park in Birmingham, Alabama, photographer Jessica Ingram was struck by how familiar media images from the civil rights era, such as attack dogs and high-pressure water hoses turned on protestors, were memorialized in sculpture. She wondered what was left out of the dominant narrative of this time.

A bronze statue of four young men walking forward shoulder-to-shoulder with a blue sky behind them
Earl Letherberry

On Feb. 1, 1960, the fight for civil rights changed forever when four freshmen students from North Carolina A&T State University refused to leave a lunch counter at Woolworth’s Department Store in Greensboro. 

 Donald Trump
Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

President Donald Trump is visiting North Carolina the night before next month's primary elections.

Courtesy of Virtual MLK

In this current climate of persistent heated discourse, it can be easy to forget that there was a time when one well-delivered speech could change hearts and minds. Such a speech was delivered inside the sanctuary of Durham’s White Rock Baptist church in 1960.

Sign reading "Mechanics and Farmers Bank Established 1908."
Wikimedia Commons

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks are iconic figures in the country’s Civil Rights Movement. But who led the charge in North Carolina? The prominent, but little-known black banker John Hervey Wheeler played a large role.

an ancient text showing a small black man and a large white man
Pseudo-Aristotle / Courtesy of UNC-Chapel Hill University Libraries

Pain treatment is different for white and black patients in the United States. One recent study shows black patients were 40% less likely to get medication to ease acute pain than white patients in the emergency room. Why does this happen?

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.

photo of writer David Zucchino
Becca Fox

 

Pulitzer Prize winner David Zucchino tackles Wilmington’s big lie in his latest book. Often called the Wilmington Massacre, early history described it as an unfortunate event where blacks were planning a race riot to overthrow whites. What history uncovered was a highly structured, highly coordinated coup planned by white supremacists to strip blacks of their newly-gained political power.

Historical sign
Flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/taedc/31557195515

The term “Underground Railroad” evokes the image of the legendary Harriet Tubman engineering daring escapes in a false-bottomed carriage or slaves following the North Star through dark woods. Researcher and longtime history professor Adrienne Israel says those popular images only tell a sliver of the story.

Woman stands in front of the Code The Dream office.
Courtesy of Dan Rearick

Part of the American dream includes a solid education with the promise of a lucrative job down the road. For students in North Carolina who are undocumented or recipients of DACA, that dream is elusive. These facts were part of the impetus for Code the Dream, a nonprofit organization that teaches immigrant and minority youth the art and science of coding.

The statue before activists toppled it.
Don McCullough / flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/fvHbD4

New documents released from the University of North Carolina System reveal some of what happened behind closed doors as UNC Board of Governors negotiated its $2.5 million settlement with the North Carolina Sons of Confederate Veterans over the controversial Silent Sam statue.

Hope in her cap and gown after graduation from Smith College.
Courtesy of Elan Hope

Elan Hope grew up in one of the wealthiest majority-African American counties in the United States: Prince George’s County, Maryland. She went to talented and gifted schools and attended a STEM-focused magnet high school.

Screen grab from an old nontheatrical film showing a young African American athlete on a field with white peers.
Courtesy of Duke University Press

Do you remember watching educational movies in elementary school? Older generations might think of the teacher setting up the 16 mm projector, while younger folks were assigned YouTube videos to watch at home.

Headshot of Judith Ruderman
Courtesy of Judith Ruderman

What does it mean to be Jewish in America? For some it is the observance of particular high holy days, while for others it is much more of a cultural identity than a religious one.

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.

Old Oberlin Road schoolhouse archive photo.
Albert Barden Collection, State Archives of North Carolina

Oberlin Village is an important part of Raleigh’s history — but there is not much of the historic African American community left.

News & Record file

As a law student in 1969, Flint Taylor wanted to make a difference in the fight for civil and human rights. He and other young lawyers teamed up and formed a law practice that went on to represent clients in high profile fights, including a civil suit that challenged the official story of slain Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton and a case that uncovered systemic use of torture by the Chicago Police Department to coerce confessions from African American men.

Holmes with a tennis racket.
Courtesy of Meredythe Holmes

Irwin Holmes had the early makings of an all-around star. He graduated third in his class at Hillside High School in 1956 at the age of 15. In addition to his academic prowess, Holmes was also a champion on the tennis court.

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.

Cummings headshot.
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

In a time of great political upheaval, the country has lost a formidable force. Maryland Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings passed away last week at the age of 68.

Newkirk headshot
Joe Hanson

In the 1960s, President Lyndon B. Johnson ushered in new legislation meant to help level the playing field for African Americans who were being largely left behind because of poverty, lack of education and lack of political power. The efforts began to work, but nearly 60 years later newsrooms remain mostly white, tenured university professors remain mostly white, and Hollywood and fashion industries remain mostly white.

Headshot of Segrest.
Laura Flanders

Mab Segrest is a lesbian feminist who spent the ‘80s monitoring Ku Klux Klan rallies and tracking the activity of hate groups in North Carolina. But social activism was an unlikely career path for a woman whose grandfather was a klansman and whose parents who fought to keep schools segregated.

Courtesy of Cecilia Polanco

Cecilia Polanco’s parents did not dream of their daughter owning a food truck when they emigrated from El Salvador to the United States in the early 1980s. Their expectation was that she would get a respectable profession after college, or even better, a career, like her older sisters who work in law and insurance.

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