Race & Demographics

St. Augustine's University, HBCU
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

After leading the historically black school for five years, Saint Augustine’s University President Everett B. Ward has announced he plans to retire.

Lennon Lacy, Bladenboro, NC NAACP, Hanging
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

The tragic story of a black teenager from North Carolina will be featured during this year’s Sundance Film Festival in Utah. It's called “Always in Season.”

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

North Carolina's 9th congressional district is not the only scene of a disputed election in the state. A trial is scheduled for next month to determine if Columbus County Sheriff Jody Greene has violated state law by taking office.

St. Augustine's University, HBCU, Higher Education
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh reports raising a record amount of money for the school at the end of 2018. University officials say much of the support had to do with the effort by the small, historically black institution to regain full accreditation. But the news comes at a time when another HBCU in the state is struggling to meet fundraising goals.

Tim Tyson: Born Into Dissent

Jan 14, 2019
14-year-old Emmett Till was murdered by white men in 1955 while visiting family in Mississippi.
Wikimedia Commons

Timothy Tyson is known as an award-winning writer and historian. His books “Blood Done Sign My Name” and “The Blood of Emmett Till” capture a point in history when the fight for civil rights fostered a South ripe with fear, violence and anger. Tyson witnessed much of this first hand as the son of Reverend Vernon Tyson, a respected leader in the fight for social justice.

Bennett College, HBCU
Bennett College

Bennett College in Greensboro has embarked on a new campaign to build support and help raise millions of dollars to preserve its accreditation and the future of the school.

Meet The 'Golden Girls’ Judges

Dec 17, 2018
From law school to the judge's bench, these women have held tight to their friendship. L to R: Shamieka Rhinehart, Camille Banks-Prince, Keisha Wright Hill, Teresa Raquel Robinson Freeman
Elyse Ribbons / WUNC

The summer of 1998 was bright for Teresa Raquel Robinson Freeman, Shamieka Rhinehart, Camille Banks-Prince, and Keisha Wright Hill. They had each enrolled in law school at North Carolina Central University, and little did they know their paths were about to intersect in a way that would make them life-long friends. Affectionately calling themselves “The Golden Girls” after the popular 90s sitcom, these four women of color would endure break-ups, break downs and even death on a path that no one anticipated. That was 20 years ago. Today each is a judge. 

Intelligently Ratchet: A Look Back At 2018

Dec 12, 2018
Photo of Intelligently Ratchet
Courtesy of Intelligently Ratchet

After noticing that most of the black voices featured in the news come from the educated and affluent, Kevin “Kaze” Thomas and Karim “Bishop Omega” Jarrett made it their mission to represent the perspectives of everyday black people. They do this through their weekly web series “Intelligently Ratchet,” which streams live on Facebook every Wednesday at 9 p.m. 

St. Augustine's University, Everett Ward, HBCU
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

While one of North Carolina's historically black colleges and universities learned on Tuesday it will retain its accreditation, another college 80 miles away faces the loss of its own accreditation.

On Tuesday, officials at Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh learned the university would retain its accreditation following a two-year probationary period for the small historically black university.

A boarded up apartment entrance as a makeshift memorial
David Ford / WFDD

A deadly apartment fire in Greensboro earlier this year highlighted some deep-seated community issues. The kitchen fire in the Summit-Cone apartment complex in May killed five young children, all siblings who were refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

A photo for the film 'Al: My Brother.'
Courtesy of Cash Michaels

Al McSurely is a white man who has been fighting white supremacy for almost 60 years. McSurely’s activism began in the early 1960s with groups like the Congress of Racial Equity and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He worked alongside civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Stokely Carmichael, and eventually became an attorney who fought on behalf of victims of racial discrimination.

NC Sheriffs, Sheriffs, Law Enforcement
Paula Dance for Pitt County Sheriff

When Paula Dance started her campaign for sheriff of Pitt County, she knew her win would make history. Dance would become the county’s first African-American sheriff and the first African-American female sheriff in the state. What she could not predict, however, was the wave of black sheriffs that would join her. The November midterms ushered in black sheriffs in Buncombe, Cumberland, Durham, Forsyth, Guilford, Mecklenburg, Pitt and Wake counties. Five of these countries have never had an African-American sheriff.  

One of the founding principles of the U.S. government is the separation of church and state. Yet there are many unseen ways in which the religion of America’s founders was baked into the legal system. Immigration attorney George Pappas traces the impact of religious doctrine on land rights in his new book “The Literary and Legal Genealogy of Native American Dispossession: The Marshall Trilogy Cases” (Routledge/2017). 

Specialty license plates are becoming more common in North Carolina.
N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles / N.C. Department of Transportation

In 2015, after a young white man who had claimed allegiance to the Confederacy massacred nine people at a historic black church, the availability of a North Carolina specialty license plate bearing the logo of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans was in jeopardy. With some drivers in North Carolina thinking the specialty plate might not be available soon, demand for that plate, which includes the Confederate battle flag, soared.

NC Sheriffs, Sheriffs, Law Enforcement
Paula Dance for Pitt County Sheriff

North Carolina now has 20 African-American sheriffs across its 100 counties. The state sheriff’s association says it does not keep numbers on race, but it is believed to be the largest number of black sheriffs at one time ever for the state. And several of the new black sheriffs won in big upset victories during the midterm election.

Photo of the Cover of the book, Decolonizing Wealth, by Edgar Vilanueva
Courtesy of Edgar Vilanueva

Today marks ‘Giving Tuesday,’ a day that encourages Americans to stop the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping and instead donate money or time to their community. But where exactly does this money go? And does philanthropy mostly serve the wealthy and the white? Author and grant investment director Edgar Villanueva argues that many philanthropic foundations or corporate giving programs may do more harm than good.

Photo of Kay Suber, Marcus Smith's sister, addresses the media. At left is Smith's mother, Mary Smith.
Courtesy Jordan Green / Triad City Beat

Two recent law enforcement interventions in Greensboro and Winston-Salem have prompted questions about police use of force. In Greensboro, Marcus Deon Smith died in the hospital hours after he was restrained by police in a position his family described as being “hogtied.” The family’s lawyer says the position left Smith unable to breathe. Smith’s family recently made a public request for Greensboro City Council members to review the police body camera footage from the incident.

Anita Earls, a candidate for the North Carolina Supreme Court, talks with a group of black women during a Sister to Sister salon conversation at the Chesterfield in Durham on Friday, October 26, 2018.
Madeline Gray / For WUNC

In downtown Durham, a group of African-American women spent a recent Friday night at a Sister to Sister salon conversation, talking politics, polling and power. Attorney Mavis Gragg helped organize the event and said it was long overdue.

Courtesy of Elizabeth Gillispie McRae / Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Library

The story of white supremacy in the United States is littered with the names of famous, white men who wielded power over influential institutions. But scholar Elizabeth Gillespie McRae argues that focusing solely on the dramatic acts of figures like George Wallace or David Duke obscures an important part of the narrative of white supremacy: the role of white women. 

St. Augustine's University, HBCU, Higher Education
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh is one of the oldest historically black universities in the country. It was started by the Episcopal Church soon after the end of the Civil War.

St. Augustine's University, HBCU, Rooms to Go
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

One of the largest furniture companies in the country has dropped off more than $20,000 in new furniture at St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh. Rooms to Go is helping to establish the university’s Reading for Excellence Center.

Migrant Workers Left Stranded By 911

Oct 9, 2018
a flooded area with a man wading through water
Buzzfeed News

  Days before Hurricane Florence hit, rural Jones County ordered a mandatory evacuation for all residents. Left were behind dozens of migrant farm workers who woke up on Sept.15 to find waist-high deep water and property floating away.

Racial segregation persists in American neighborhoods, and there is an enduring belief that the divide stems from factors like wealth, personal prejudice, and the decision to live among one’s own. In his latest book, housing policy expert Richard Rothstein rips aparts that belief. Instead, he argues decades of deliberate U.S. government policies created the racially-divided neighborhoods that exist across the country today.

Rothstein explains the long term effects of discriminatory housing policies that have led to the wealth and education gaps between white and black Americans. Host Frank Stasio interviews Rothstein about his book “The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America” (Liveright Publishing/2017).

Duke University School of Medicine, Duke Integration
Duke University School of Medicine

One of the most revered doctors at Duke University died Sunday. Dr. Brenda Armstrong will be remembered for the impact she made in her community and at Duke University School of Medicine, where she spent more than 20 years.

Courtesy of Matthew DeMichele / RTI International

While last month's “Unite The Right” rally in Washington D.C. was small, it brought renewed attention to white supremacist groups in the United States. 

Silent Sam Confederate memorial at UNC Chapel Hill
Don McCullough / flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/fvHbD4

The chancellor of North Carolina's flagship university strongly indicated Friday that the school won't return a torn-down Confederate statue to the main quad where it used to stand, but stopped short of confirming its former spot has been ruled out.

The pedestal of the Silent Sam statue without the Confederate monument on Tuesday, August 21, 2018.
Elizabeth Baier / WUNC

The protesters who brought down a Confederate statue at North Carolina's flagship university acted with "a righteous show of people power" after university leaders refused to remove it, one of those accused in the demonstration said Thursday.

Gabriella Bulgarelli / WUNC

Silent Sam may no longer be standing on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus, but activist Maya Little says the fight is far from over. 

Silent Sam, UNC, Duke Chapel, Confederate Monuments
Leoneda Inge

Two prominent universities have removed Confederate statues on their campuses – but in very different ways – as campuses grapple with race and relics of the past.

Courtesy of Nancy Buirski

During her speech at the Golden Globes, Oprah introduced many people to Recy Taylor, a 24-year-old sharecropper who was gang raped in 1940s Alabama and risked her life to seek justice. 

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