Race & Demographics

Stephanie Wilder of Durham, Protest
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

It’s the first of the month. For many, that means September’s rent is due. But because of Covid-related unemployment, hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians may not be able to pay, and could face eviction.

Hundreds of thousands of North Carolina renters are at risk of being forced out of their homes now that government moratoriums on evictions have expired. Earlier this week, Gov. Roy Cooper announced new grant programs to help people pay their rent and utilities, but many will need to see relief sooner than later as housing payments continue to pile up.

Host Leoneda Inge talks with Kathryn Sabbeth, associate professor of law and head of the Civil Legal Assistance Clinic at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, about how a rise in evictions will affect families and communities during the pandemic.

Leoneda also reflects on Republican Party reactions to recent protests in the wake of a police officer shooting Jacob Blake, a Black man, seven times in the back in Kenosha, WI.


Protesters march through the streets of downtown Raleigh on Aug. 28, 2020, in support of Black lives and against police brutality.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Updated at 10:32 a.m. Aug. 29, 2020

Hundreds of protesters gathered in downtown Raleigh Friday night to denounce police violence and the recent killings of Black Americans. Protesters marched peacefully for about three hours carrying signs with slogans including "Abolish the Police" and "Black Lives Matter."

Names of Confederates, segregationists, and white supremacists on campus and government buildings have captured most of the public’s attention when it comes to how institutions are reckoning with structural racismHowever, several prisons across the South also bear the names of problematic figures, or former plantations.

Host Leoneda Inge talks with Keri Blakinger, investigative reporter for The Marshall Project, about contextualizing the names of prisons in the South.

Leoneda also recaps the just-wrapped Democratic National Convention, and highlights the significance of the event’s roll call of delegates.
 


Sen. Kamala Harris’s historic nomination as Joe Biden’s pick for vice president is a clear marker of Black women’s longstanding political influence. Black women have been a backbone in politics for decades, from helping organize campaigns to upholding democratic ideals, to now achieving a spot on a national party’s ticket.

Host Leoneda Inge talks with Kara Hollingsworth, a partner with the political consulting firm Three Point Strategies, and social justice advocate Omisade Burney-Scott about Harris’s nomination and the role of Black women in politics.

Leoneda also speaks with NPR White House reporter Ayesha Rascoe about the Trump campaign’s efforts to appeal to Black voters.

Plus, we hear from Trei Oliver, head coach of the football team at North Carolina Central University, about a fall without football.


Lamoreaux via Flickr / https://bit.ly/3kHkXhY

The North Carolina city of Asheville is considering removing the names of slave owners and other people associated with discrimination from some streets and a park.

Greg Drumwright
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Greg Drumwright has spent most of his life in North Carolina’s Triad region. He was raised in Burlington, attended college at North Carolina A&T and then Wake Forest, and for the past 17 years has led The Citadel Church in Greensboro.

Who Is Most At Risk For Police Violence?

Aug 10, 2020

This article is part of the Guns & America explainer series. You can read other entries here.

Over the past several years, the problem of police violence in the U.S. has garnered worldwide attention: the 2014 police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri; Freddie Gray in Baltimore, and Walter Scott in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015; and George Floyd in May 2020, among others.

While most historically Black colleges and universities in North Carolina are welcoming students back to campus this month, some small, private institutions are offering only virtual instruction this fall.

Host Leoneda Inge talks with Suzanne Walsh, president of Bennett College in Greensboro, about the college’s decision to go online this semester.  

We also hear Durham-based jazz musician Brian Horton perform a unique rendition of the song “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” often called the Black national anthem.


Image couresy of Kerwin Pittman

It's been less than a month since anti-racist activists posted "Black Lives Matter" on a billboard next to a large Confederate flag in Pittsboro. Now, the owner of that property says he wants the billboard removed.

Leoneda Inge / WUNC

A Honduran woman, who spent the last two years living in a Chapel Hill church, has crossed a major hurdle in her fight to avoid deportation.

Man sits on the left, sharing food with woman sitting on the right as part of the Netflix show 'Indian Matchmaking'
Netflix

In the new Netflix docuseries, “Indian Matchmaking,” affluent Indian singles look for love and marriage with the help of a professional matchmaker. Based on criteria they provide, clients are matched with ostensibly compatible dates, but they soon find that the goal of marriage is more difficult to attain that they had hoped — even with a matchmaker who consults biological data profiles, astrologers and face readers. 

Gaston County commissioners voted 6-1 Monday night to move a Confederate monument that has stood in front of the courthouse since 1912.

Crystal Cavalier Keck stands for a portrait at her home in Mebane, N.C. on Thursday, July 30, 2020.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

This summer, WUNC is meeting some of the North Carolinians who are "Calling for Change" in policing. Crystal Cavalier Keck is Indigenous and also of European and African descent. She is a member of the Occoneechee Band of the Saponi Nation and founder of "Missing Murdered Indigenous Coalition of North Carolina." The group runs a database and accepts reports of missing Indigenous people.

For many white people who are recognizing their privilege and complacency around systemic racism in the wake of George Floyd's death, turning acknowledgement into an action plan to dismantle racism remains a challenge.

Host Leoneda Inge has seen how paralyzing and disorienting "white guilt" can be, and she recounts a trip she took from Durham, NC to Montgomery, AL on a bus of predominantly white people to see several Civil Rights museums and memorial sites. She also speaks with Desiree Adaway, founder of The Adaway Group, about Adaway’s experience organizing conversations with white people about systemic racism.

We also hear from Ronda Taylor Bullock, co-founder of the Durham-based nonprofit “we are,” about dealing with racism as a family in a candid conversation with her 9-year-old son Zion.
 


Vanecia Boone, left, and Brandy Hamilton prepare Boone's booth, Herbin Herbals for  Bountiful Land Food for All Farmers Market on Saturday, July 25, 2020, in Greensboro, N.C.
Lynn Hey / For WUNC

On a hot Saturday morning in east Greensboro, customers loaded their vehicles with potatoes, herbs, corn, peaches, watermelon and other fresh produce after visiting a local farmers market.

The difference with the people purchasing these goods and the farmers selling them, is that they're all Black.

Kate Medley / For WUNC

When she's not teaching English at Louisburg College, Taari Coleman can often be found on the streets of Raleigh, megaphone in hand. She is a founding organizer with NC BORN, short for North Carolina Building Our Revolution Now, a group that advocates for defunding and dismantling current law enforcement structures in the state. 

John Lewis
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

On March 7, 1965, John Lewis led a march of hundreds of civil rights activists from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, to fight for voting rights and African-American suffrage. When they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge, Lewis and the activists met a wall of state troopers. Violence ensued and Lewis was brutally beaten, suffering a fractured skull, on a day that would come to be known as "Bloody Sunday."

For workers across the country, the pandemic has brought to the surface longstanding issues around lack of stability and support in the workplace. Earlier this week, demonstrators gathered in downtown Durham, North Carolina to advocate for a $15 minimum wage as a part of the national rally called “Strike for Black Lives.” The event was just one example of how employees across multiple industries have felt underpaid and undervalued by their employers.

Host Leoneda Inge hears from people about their experiences in the workforce during the pandemic, and she speaks with attorney Carena Lemons about workers’ rights related to COVID-19.

Inge also remembers the life and legacy of civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, who died last week at 80 years old.
 


Map of North Carolina that shows the rate of sterilization in NC counties.
North Carolina Justice For Sterilization Victims Foundation

Between 1929 and 1974, North Carolina officials sterilized an estimated 7,600 people, many by force or coercion. The state’s eugenics program targeted people deemed “feebleminded,” sick or living with a disability. 

NCDCR, UNC-Chapel Hill, Wikimedia

This story was updated at 9:07 p.m. on Aug. 14, 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.

photo of drive-thru coronavirus testing in Chatham County
Staff Sgt. Mary Junell / U.S. Army Photo

Much of the scene at this drive-through testing site in Kenly has become familiar. Health care workers asking for last names, telling folks which tent to pull up to.

Fight for 15, Black Likes Matter, Strike for Black Lives, Livable Wage
Leoneda Inge

The Black Lives Matter movement came together with the campaign for a $15 minimum wage Monday in downtown Durham.

The rally and march was part of a national “Strike for Black Lives.” Low wage workers and their supporters, many wearing red "NC Raise Up" t-shirts, say essential workers during this COVID-19 pandemic deserve at least $15 an hour.

Protester holds up a sign that reads: End systemic racism.
Pikist

Tens of thousands of workers in more than 25 cities are expected to participate in a full-day strike today as part of the “Strike for Black Lives.” Those who cannot strike for the full day are encouraged to walk away from their positions for about eight minutes — the amount of time a white police officer held his knee on George Floyd’s neck in Minneapolis. 

Ronda Taylor Bullock and her nine-year-old son Zion talk about issues of racism and their involvement in the movement calling for change in the U.S. in the wake of recent killings of black people.
Kate Medley / For WUNC

Ronda Taylor Bullock co-founded "We Are," a Durham-based non-profit committed to anti-racist education. Ronda is a former Durham Public Schools teacher who focuses on teaching children of all skin colors how to talk about racism and being anti-racist.

She runs an annual summer camp, often attended by her son Zion, who is nine years old. In this installment of our series "Calling for Change," Ronda and Zion get together to ask each other some questions.

The World Health Organization reports there are more than 150 vaccines for COVID-19 in various stages of development. But how do you ensure that everybody is fairly represented in clinical research trials, especially when people of color are dying at higher rates from the virus?

Host Leoneda Inge talks with Kent Thoelke, chief scientific officer and executive vice president of PRA Health Sciences, about the clinical research organization’s efforts to connect with diverse populations for COVID-19 treatment and vaccine trials.

Inge also discusses a recent measure passed by Asheville city council that will provide reparations for the city’s Black community. The resolution calls on the city to create a commission and designate funds to strengthen Black home and business ownership, and close gaps in healthcare, education and employment.


Police Lights
Keith Kern, Creative Commons / https://bit.ly/2CFeh2a

An employee at a North Carolina police department has been placed on administrative leave following a social media post about George Floyd, officials said Thursday.

Image couresy of Kerwin Pittman

A group in Pittsboro has erected a Black Lives Matter billboard to counter a Confederate flag that stands along U.S. Highway 64.

Market House Fayetteville
City of Fayetteville, Andrew Johnson / https://bit.ly/3fzhb7j

Protesters have deconstructed a camp that stood in front of the Market House in Fayetteville for nearly a week.

But they've vowed to return if the city council does not meet their demands for police reform.

Asheville city council Tuesday evening unanimously approved a resolution supporting reparations for the city’s Black community.  Details of what shape those will take will come over the next year.  

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