The State of Things

WUNC's The State of Things brings the issues, personalities, and places of North Carolina to you.  The State of Things Podcast presents new stories every weekday with topics from our show.  To subscribe:Get a daily show update and special news. Subscribe to our podcast on Google Play or iTunes.  Or, use the links at the right.Visit the main SOT page.

Gravestone that reads, ' Communist Workers Party 5, Jim Waller, Cesar Cauce, Mike Nathan, Bill Sampson, and Sandy Smith.'
Courtesy of the Greensboro News and Record

On Nov. 3, 1979, a caravan of Ku Klux Klansmen and American Nazi Party members pulled out weapons and killed five people protesting at an anti-Klan march in Greensboro. Ten people were injured, and the police were nowhere to be found. The Greensboro Massacre was quickly buried in the national news cycle after the Iran hostage crisis began the next day — but it remains a painful moment in the city’s history.


Courtesy of Chuck Liddy

Chuck Liddy stumbled into a career as a photojournalist after he found out he could walk into  high school football games for free if he had a camera around his neck. But the photography enthusiast had already converted a bathroom in his house into a darkroom and enjoyed experimenting with the camera his dad had taken into the Vietnam War. Once Liddy was on staff at a newspaper, he began a career of taking risks and adopting the new technology of the day, from digital cameras to drones.

The House has voted to formalize an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. As expected, the vote was divided along party lines, with two Democrats voting against the inquiry.

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.

Promotional photo of the band. Four men, two in masks, standing around a tree trunk.
Courtesy of JULIA.

A four-piece group from Chapel Hill brings classic funk back to North Carolina’s music scene — with a modern twist. The band JULIA. draws a lot of its influence from 1970s funk, including Parliament-Funkadelic.

United Artists

What is Soylent Green? Who killed JFK? What goes on at Area 51? Paranoia is justified in these classics about conspiracies and cover-ups, reaching the highest levels of government, church, and corporation. For the next edition of Movies on the Radio, we want to know your favorite films about pulling back the curtain and speaking truth to power.

Amy Townsend / WUNC

North Carolina students face a new roadblock when it comes to participating in the next U.S. election. Most of the state’s public universities have until Nov. 15 to re-apply for their student identification to be used as valid photo ID at polling places. Nearly half of N.C. higher education institutions missed the initial March deadline and had to scramble to meet a new deadline on Oct. 26.

photo of four people in the dark, in front of a creepy white house.
Courtesy of Nelson Nauss

How haunted is North Carolina? Around the state, teams of paranormal investigators are looking into some of the most historic — and most eerie — locations. These researchers collect data and conduct investigations at sites like Mordecai Historic Park in Raleigh and the USS North Carolina in Wilmington.

Marsh in front of a gravestone and stone cross.
Courtesy of Tanya Marsh

October in American culture is decorated with death. But after Halloween, we put the fake skulls and tombstones back in the box in the attic, to be forgotten until next year’s celebration of the macabre. Tanya Marsh, however, pays homage to death all year long.

Durham skyline.
FLICKR

Durham is one of a number of North Carolina cities that have experienced rapid growth in the last decade.

UNC System interim president Bill Roper, left, announced Tuesday that Dan Gerlach, right, will serve as ECU's leader.
East Carolina University

The University of North Carolina System Board of Governors and the East Carolina University Board of Trustees held closed-door meetings Tuesday, just days after the resignation of ECU interim Chancellor Dan Gerlach.

Portrait of Jimmy Santiago Baca.
Rick Cruz/Pacific Daily News / Courtesy of Jimmy Santiago Baca

Jimmy Santiago Baca is a poet whose rough and tumble early life is now the backbone of his work.

sepia-toned portrait of Florence Price looking at the camera
G. Nelidoff / Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville http://bit.ly/2JwkZrO

Florence Price was the first African American woman to have her symphony performed by a major orchestra. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra performed her work in 1933, and for any other composer that event would have launched a successful career, but Price’s talents were overlooked because of the color of her skin and her gender.

2016 map
Credit North Carolina General Assembly

A three-judge panel has ordered North Carolina legislators to throw out the current Congressional maps.

Hagan sitting with three uniformed military service members.
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Matt Davis

Former U.S. Senator Kay Hagan died unexpectedly at her home in Greensboro Monday after suffering from a prolonged illness.

A child supports themself in a green slide.
Courtesy of Valine Ziegler

Does homeschooling prepare children for society? Stereotypes about parents who pull their children out of school may not hold as true as they once did. For example, homeschooling is becoming less religious in North Carolina. Last school year, 58 percent of home schools registered as religious as compared to 80 percent in the 1988-89 school year.

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.

SEAN HOBSON / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

Exhausted by the longest legislative session since 2001, state lawmakers are pushing through piecemeal spending measures as the full budget sits in the senate. Governor Cooper signed off on raises for most state employees, but public school teachers as well as staff at state universities and community colleges are still waiting.

Photo of Nora McInerny with her hand up over one eye, with a hand-drawn crying eye on the back of her hand.
Courtesy of Nora McInerny

When something bad happens people often hear the same advice: “everything happens for a reason” or “time heals all wounds.” But Nora McInerny says that advice is useless and that grief is a chronic condition that you can’t just “get over.” She should know.

Rhodes will her guitar.
Courtesy of Lisa Rhodes

Lisa Rhodes was born in a small town outside a small city on the Gulf Coast of Texas and as a lesbian aspiring musician, she could not wait to get out of dodge. Rhodes would spend much of her younger years in Austin where she wanted to be a rock star.

Sign that reads 'Stop RDU Quarry.'
Jason DeBruyn / WUNC

A court decision on whether to build a contentious rock quarry in Wake County is expected within a week. The planned site for the quarry is a strip of forested land nestled alongside Umstead Park in Raleigh.

Someone holding up a water sample in front of a computer screen.
Courtesy of Detlef Knappe

Clean drinking water is a human right according to a 2010 United Nations declaration. But recent incidents throughout North Carolina raise questions about whether or not our state is protecting that right for North Carolina residents.

Lee and Whetstone sit on a rug performing their work.
Photo courtesy of Sylvia Freeman.

Li-Young Lee came from a powerful Chinese family. His great-grandfather was president of the Republic of China. His father was the personal physician to Mao Zedong, the former chairman of the Communist Party of China. Fleeing exile from China, Lee’s family eventually found their way to the United States. Lee grew up witnessing the hate and violence directed at his family.

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.

Aerial image of an American neighborhood with the houses in neat rows.
Getty Images

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein joined 21 other state attorneys general in criticizing the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s proposed changes to the disparate impact standard.

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.

Animation of a man in a green helmet making a shocked face.
TwoMorrows Publishing

“Joker” is set to become the highest-grossing R-rated film in history. This dark, gritty film takes fans into the life of an aspiring stand-up comedian whose mental stability is tenuous at best.

Headshot of Holloway
Esther Hicks Photography / Courtesy of Karla Holloway

Karla FC Holloway was raised in Buffalo, New York in the midst of the battle over school desegregation. Her parents were both school administrators, and although she was not aware at the time of just how involved they were in that fight, she keenly observed their commitment to racial equality.

Picture of Elijah Cummings speaking.
US Senate Democrats

More explosive and fast-moving news from the Trump White House this week.

Portrait photo of Wind and her daughter.
Denise Bardsley Photography

Susan Wind’s daughter was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer at 16 years old. Soon after the family shared the news, Wind started hearing from her neighbors and other community members about their own families’ cancer battles.

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