Racism

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. 

NCDCR, UNC-Chapel Hill, Wikimedia

This story was updated at 1:57 p.m. on July 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.

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.

Danita Mason-Hogans seated on the porch at the Duke Center for Documentary Studies
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

Danita Mason-Hogans traces back her family's roots in Chapel Hill seven generations on both sides.

"My family's history is deeply connected to the University," Mason-Hogans said.

Her father's side of the family were Masons and Nunns, two prominent family names in Chapel Hill connected to a plantation that was where the current UNC-Chapel Hill Friday Center stands. Her grandfather worked 53 years at the Carolina Inn and her mother was one of the first Black admissions officers at the University.

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

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.

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."

Victor Lytvinenko, via Instagram / https://bit.ly/3f0G8I0

Add North Carolina's capital city to those sporting a bold message denouncing racism painted in large yellow letters on a city street.

University students sit in a classroom
Tulane Public Relations

In 2016, a 43-year-old black man named Keith Lamont Scott was shot by police about a mile away from the main campus of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The shooting sparked demonstrations in the student body, but the administration was slow to respond. 
 

Line of police officers in riot gear face a line of kneeling protesters.
Jason deBruyn/WUNC

For the last three nights, people in communities around North Carolina raised their voices and demonstrated against police brutality against black people. The death of George Floyd sparked these protests in the Tar Heel state and around the country.

Mugshot of Chauvin.
Courtesy of Ramsey County Sheriff's Office via AP

On Memorial Day, former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin put his knee on George Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, leaving it there after Floyd lost consciousness and became unresponsive. 

Josie Taris and Amanda Magnus / WUNC

The number of coronavirus cases in the United States is growing every day. The stock markets are crashing. Universities are moving classes online. The NBA, NHL and MLB have all postponed or canceled upcoming games.

The Old Well and flowers on the campus of UNC- Chapel Hill.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

A group of UNC-Chapel Hill faculty are asking the UNC Board of Trustees to reconsider its ban on naming campus landmarks, in an effort to allow the renaming of buildings that honor people with racist ties.

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.

Trump supporters hold signs and cheer as Trump looks at the crowd.
Creative Commons

Why do people vote against their own economic interests? In the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump won states populated by mostly white, working class voters — like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Ohio — but his tax cuts benefit the rich.

Photo of some of the cast members.
Areon Mobasher Photography

A Louisiana high school became the subject of national debate and controversy in 2007 after six black students were accused of attempted murder after a high school fight.

Toni Morrison passed away August 5, 2019.
Wikimedia Commons

Last month, President Donald Trump called Baltimore a “rat and rodent-infested mess” and told four Democratic Congresswomen of color to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” These are just the latest examples of a repeated tactic: the president denigrates women and people of color who oppose him and his policies. What power do his words have and how do they affect the people and the cities he attacks? Popular culture experts Mark Anthony Neal and Natalie Bullock Brown take on that topic with host Frank Stasio in the latest installment of #BackChannel, The State of Things’ recurring series connecting culture and context.

'When They See Us' revisits the lives of the boys involved in the infamous 1989 'Central Park Five' trial.
Atsushi Nishijima / Netflix

A private recreation center in Wake County is under fire for what some are calling racist pool rules. The Outdoor Recreation Center in Wendell shared a post on Facebook earlier this month detailing its rules, which included: “no baggy pants, no dread-locks/weaves/extensions or revealing clothes will be permitted or you will be asked to leave.”


Rob Lee with his mother on his left and his father on his right.
Courtesy of Rob Lee

The Rev. Rob Lee is a descendant of the Confederate General Robert E. Lee and an advocate for social justice. Despite his family history, Lee has confronted his own white privilege and actively works towards the goal of racial equity.

Don McCullough / Flickr

Updated at 11:20 a.m.

UNC spokesman Randy Young said no arrests had been made as of Tuesday morning.

Updated at 7 p.m.

UNC Police have taken out arrest warrants for two suspects involved in the racist vandalism on University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's campus, said UNC Police spokesperson Randy Young.

UNC Police said they are "conducting a thorough criminal investigation" and "will not be releasing any details that could impede that investigation or subsequent prosecution," including the language used in the graffiti.

Barricades have been reerected around the Unsung Founders Memorial "to deter future incidents," and police "continue to monitor any threats to the campus," according to Young.

Updated at 3:30 p.m.

Early Sunday morning, two individuals defaced the Unsung Founders Memorial on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's campus with racist graffiti, according to a statement issued by UNC-CH Interim Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz. The memorial is located in McCorkle Place at the heart of the campus, not far from the site where the Silent Sam Confederate monument was toppled and the base later removed.

File photo of NYC action in solidarity with Ferguson. Mo, encouraging a boycott of Black Friday Consumerism.
Black Lives Matter Black Friday

A study from N.C. State University and the University of Chicago has found that exposure to racial discrimination is connected to the willingness of black teens and young adults to engage in activism.

Photo of Susan Ladd, journalist and social justice advocate.
Courtesy of Luckyshot Productions

Susan Ladd grew up in a conservative, white family who taught her that black people were dangerous and should be feared. In the early 1970s, her parents chose not to send her to the recently desegregated Little River School near her home, but instead to a makeshift “pop up” school which was quickly erected and hastily staffed so that white children could avoid attending a black school. But despite her parents’ intentions, Ladd developed an intolerance toward racism and sexism and became a defender of the underdog. 

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).

Actors Carlos Alcala, Sarita Ocón, Kathryn Hunter-Williams, Samuel Ray Gates, and Alex Givens pose by a brick wall in a promo picture for the play 'Leaving Eden'
HuthPhoto / Courtesy Playmakers Repertory Company

What does it feel like to be excluded? Minority communities in North Carolina have experienced economic and political exclusion at various points throughout history, and the new Playmakers Repertory Company production “Leaving Eden” brings that familiar story to light.

A collection of headlines and photos from the media covering white supremacists
Courtesy of WNYC

The latest episode of WNYC’s “On The Media” takes a critical look at how the press covers white supremacy and neo-Nazi groups. The episode stemmed from questions reporter Lois Beckett asked herself as she was covering white nationalist rallies for The Guardian.

Robert Lee IV, a descendant of Confederate General Robert Lee, speaks out against racism at the 2017 VMA's on 8/27/2017. Susan Bro, mother of Heather Heyer, appears on stage.
Matt Sayles / AP - 2017

Robert W. Lee IV is a North Carolina minister and descendant of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Robert W. Lee IV has made it his mission to counter the racist and problematic legacy of his ancestor by writing and speaking openly about the continued effects of racism in the U.S. 

Eddie Wise on the day of his eviction from his family farm.
Courtesy John Biewen

Eddie Wise comes from a family of farmers who worked the land for three generations. He and his wife Dorothy had dreams of raising animals together, so they decided to start their own farm near Whitakers, North Carolina. 

Wake County School Bus
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

A number of racially charged incidents in Wake County Schools has prompted the district to bring together principals to talk about race.

Abingdon Press/2017

In 1947, dozens of white men in Greenville, South Carolina kidnapped and murdered a young black man named Willie Earle. Several of the men later confessed to the crime and said it was retaliation after a black man allegedly stabbed a white cab driver. However, after a trial, nobody was convicted for the murder.

"The Making Of A Racist"

Aug 17, 2016
Book cover of "The Making of a Racist," by Charles Dew
Charles Dew

Like any good historian, Charles Dew was trained to conduct his research in a scientific fashion, setting aside any personal perspectives in his scholarship.

But after more than 50 years of teaching Southern history, he finally turned inward. His new book describes his experiences growing up on the white side of the color line in the Jim Crow South.

Pages