Race & Demographics

Charlie Riedel / AP Photo

The governing board of North Carolina's largest county by population voted on Monday to make Juneteenth a paid county holiday for its workers.

File photo of construction workers at a work site.
astrid westvang / Flickr, https://flic.kr/p/63KaFK

Juan José Mejia Guillén is considered an essential worker in North Carolina. He runs a small construction company, Olive and Sage Custom Building, LLC. With nearly 15 years of experience, the master carpenter is confident about his work.

Armed counterprotesters have confronted anti-racism rallies in at least 33 states, according to a new analysis by Guns & America.

Wake County Seal
City of Raleigh/Flickr / https://bit.ly/2ZGGH3x

A North Carolina county's board of commissioners will vote Monday to make Juneteenth a county holiday, and to declare racism as a public health crisis.

Mayor Steve Schewel stands for a portrait inside Durham City Hall.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

The new fiscal year started this week, a time when local governments implement the new budgets they spent months working on over the spring.

In the city of Durham, that budget has been the subject of a protest for several weeks now. In particular, demonstrators object to a 5% increase in funding for the city’s police department, which is getting more than $70 million over the next year.

Graham Protests
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Activists in Alamance County are calling for policy overhauls to prevent police brutality, especially against Black people. And another group of protesters want a Confederate monument removed from downtown Graham, the county seat.

At anti-racism rallies and marches across the country, protesters are coming face to face with police — but also with heavily armed civilians. America’s gun laws make it difficult to diffuse the tension.

Western Carolina University has removed the name of former North Carolina Governor and U.S. Senator Clyde Hoey from its auditorium on campus.  

Jay Price / WUNC

Two Civil War cannons that were at a Confederate monument in Raleigh are now at Fort Fisher.

The Wilmington Star News reports that the naval cannons arrived Sunday after they were removed with the monument they were part of on the orders of Governor Roy Cooper earlier this month after they were vandalized.

Gerry Dincher / Wikimedia Creative Commons

A street mural with an anti-racist message will make its debut in Fayetteville after council members changed their minds about what slogans should be used.

This is no ordinary year.

A pandemic is sweeping across the world as cries for changes to address systemic racism fill the streets of American cities. The economy is reeling, and a presidential election is looming. But sometimes self-expression thrives amid turmoil.

In this Sunday, June 21 image, a message of 'DEFUND' points to the Durham Police Headquarters. The street art was painted as part of the Black Lives Matter protests in the city.
Chuck Liddy / For WUNC

In the month since George Floyd’s killing sparked protests nationwide, some demonstrators in Durham have literally taken their message to the police.

John Bazemore / AP

The owner of a North Carolina racetrack advertised “Bubba Rope” for sale in a social media marketplace just days after a noose had been found in the garage stall of Bubba Wallace, the only Black driver in NASCAR’s top division, at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.

Jackson County commissioners will discuss the future of the statue of a Confederate soldier on the old courthouse steps in Sylva next month.  

Commissioners held a meeting on Tuesday which included a conversation about “diversity and inclusion” which centered around the statue which stands on the old courthouse steps. About ten people spoke during public comment in support of the statue's removal at the afternoon meeting. 

One resident was Christina Sutton, who identified herself as an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. 

Rebecca Martinez / WUNC

Police arrested four people on Thursday and removed wooden pallets blocking the street at a protest in front of a North Carolina police department.

Wilmington Police
pdpolicecars (Flickr) / https://bit.ly/2BFRfaK

Three members of a North Carolina police department have been fired after a department audit of a video recording captured one of the officers saying a civil war was necessary to wipe Black people off the map and that he was ready.

Jay Price / WUNC

Crews in Raleigh removed the largest remnants of a 75-foot-tall Confederate monument that sat near the grounds of the state Capitol for 125 years.

Superintendent Earnest Winston said Tuesday that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will get rid of all school names "that many in our community say glorify a racist, hateful and painful past."

African-Americans in Asheville are three times more likely than white people to be searched by police in traffic stops and are disproportionately charged with common crimes such as marijuana possession in disparities that experts in police bias called shocking, an AVL Watchdog analysis of police data found.

Two old photos of Smallwood
Courtesy of Arwin Smallwood

Arwin Smallwood grew up in the rural town of Indian Woods, in the northeastern part of North Carolina. The ten-square-mile community is the home to descendants of the Native American, African and European people who lived there over hundreds of years. Smallwood came of age there in the 60s and 70s. 

Tom Vincent / North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.

Part of a 27-foot monument to Confederate soldiers outside a courthouse in eastern North Carolina was removed Monday after local officials gave their approval last week.

Jay Price / WUNC

Following the orders of Governor Roy Cooper, work crews on Saturday and Sunday removed three Confederate monuments outside the state capitol in Raleigh. This came after protesters toppled two nearby statues Friday night.

Protesters in Raleigh pulled down statues from a Confederate monument Friday night after marching in celebration of Juneteenth. The monument was dedicated in 1895.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Protesters in Raleigh pulled down parts of a Confederate monument Friday night after marching in celebration of Juneteenth.

Natalie Dudas-Thomas / WUNC

Effective immediately, WUNC will begin capitalizing the word “Black” when referring to people’s ethnicity or culture.

WUNC joins other media outlets such as The Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, and Michigan Radio in making this change, which is recommended by the National Association of Black Journalists.

WUNC uses the Associated Press Style Guide for most usage questions.

We are deviating from AP Style in this case to recognize Black ethnicity and culture on an equal footing with that of other groups such as African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latinos. This is an overdue step to recognize the contributions and importance of Black Americans.

Jade Wilson

Jaki Shelton Green joins us on her birthday to discuss “the wind of freedom” which billows through the North Carolina poet laureate’s new album of verse and song, “The River Speaks of Thirst” (Soul City Sounds/2020). 

Silent Sam on UNC-Chapel Hill's campus is a controversial Confederate symbol.
Don McCullough / Flickr Creative Commons

More than 60 lawyers in North Carolina have signed onto a letter urging legislative leaders and Governor Roy Cooper to remove Confederate monuments immediately.

Rebecca Martinez / WUNC

Protesters have been camped outside the Durham Police Department since Monday night. That's when the Durham City Council approved a 5% increase in the police budget, bringing it to $70 million.

In a narrow 4-3 party line vote Tuesday night, Buncombe County commissioners approved a resolution to remove two Confederate monuments in downtown Asheville.  The decision came one week after Asheville City council approved the same resolution unanimously.

Matt Bush/Blue Ridge Public Radio

On Tuesday evening the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will vote on the future of two Confederate monuments in downtown Asheville: a Robert E. Lee memorial in Pack Square and a monument honoring fallen Confederate soldiers outside the Buncombe County Courthouse. 
 

Courtesy of Ronnie Pepper

When Ronnie Pepper was a kid, his mother told him he could not be the president or an astronaut. Though she did not say it aloud, Pepper understood that it was because of the color of his skin. Patterns of internalized oppression and ingrained racism are some of the targets of recent protests and calls for social change across the country. 

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