Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Civil rights and labor leader Margaret Turner has died. She was involved in numerous struggles for civil rights in Durham. Turner played an important role in turning people out to events and speaking up at work and in the community.

State Senator Floyd McKissick knew Turner and says she was one of the “unsung heroes” of the movement:

History buffs and students can keep up with what happened across the state during the Civil War through Twitter. The North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources is tweeting the words of North Carolina civilians who witnessed the events of the war.

LeRae Umfleet is organizing the project. She says diary, journal entries and letters are being used as sources for the tweets as part of the 150 year commemoration of the war:

The Monti Gets Romantic

Mar 25, 2011

On March 24th, the local performance story-telling group The Monti held a story slam. It's a competition of sorts -- where randomly chosen volunteers tell 5-minute stories centered around a theme. Last night, the story tellers focused on "Romance" and Amy Scott, a 4th grade teacher from Durham, was one of the crowd favorites.  This is her story recorded live at Casbah in downtown Durham Thursday, March 24th.

A piece of the WTC on its way to Chatham County
Photo: Chatham County Manager's Office

Chatham County first responders will be displaying a piece of the World Trade Center tomorrow. The piece will become the focal point of a planned memorial in the county. Chatham County Spokeswoman Debra Henzey says the artifact will be on display in Pittsboro, Goldston, and Siler City:

"We are offering a way for residents and people outside the county who want to welcome this piece to our area in it's first part of the journey to becoming a memorial to the 9/11 event."

A relic from the Civil War Battle of New Bern is back in North Carolina. The combat sword from one of the few female union soldiers to play a prominent role on the battlefield is in the hands of a local Civil War memorabilia dealer.

Will Gorges says Kady Brownell was credited with helping her Rhode Island regiment avoid friendly fire by climbing to high ground and using her unit's flag to wave off an attack from fellow union soldiers:

No More Dillard's BBQ

Mar 17, 2011

The owners of Dillard’s Bar-B-Que in Durham have announced – “its season is up.” The long-time family restaurant will close Friday.


The cafeteria-style line to get food at Dillard’s Bar-B-Que has been a place to catch up with friends and to get a home-cooked hot meal. And Bar-B-Que makes up just a small part of the menu – which also includes fried fish, smothered chicken, an assortment of greens and more.  But Wilma Dillard says the business has run its course:

"We just closing it down.  We just closing it down."

Crook's Shrimp & Grits
Leoneda Inge

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when the “food scene” in the Triangle went from good to great! But we’re there now and the rest of the country is taking note. Some of the most prestigious awards for restaurants and chefs come from the James Beard Foundation in New York. The tops in the food world will soon celebrate their James Beard Awards in “Oscars-like” style.  And that will include the crew at Crook’s Corner restaurant in Chapel Hill.

reenactment
www.greensboro-nc.gov

Country park in Guilford County will commemorate the 230th anniversary of the battle of Guilford Courthouse this weekend. Re-enactors will show how revolutionary soldiers lived and will re-create the battle.

"Vice" at The Monti

Feb 25, 2011

Here's a story recorded earlier this week at a story slam put on by The Monti -- it's a local organization that asks people to go on stage and tell a personal story – without a script or notes. At story slams, audience members drop their names into a hat for the chance to tell a five-minute story on a theme. There are judges -- and winners and losers. This week the theme was “vices” and Dave Van Hook got one of the top scores for the night. This is his story – recorded in Durham earlier this week at The Monti’s Story Slam about vices.

The Islamic Center of Raleigh will host its annual open house for the public tomorrow. The event usually draws hundreds of people from the region who come to learn more about Muslims and their religion.

Imran Aukhil is a spokesman for the Islamic Association of Raleigh:

The North Carolina African-American Heritage Commission presented findings today of an information-gathering process that involved more than 200 citizens and spanned six communities. Acting director Michelle Lanier says the commission will focus on four priority goals of sustainability, partnerships, recognition and awareness:

"I think when we recognize that the African-American story is an American story, is a North Carolina story, and that we are interested in connecting with people rather than dividing people, then people start to listen a lot more."

Writer, poet, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou has been awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor. President Obama presented the Wake Forest professor with the Presidential Medal of Freedom during a ceremony yesterday. Mr. Obama said Angelou’s work has spoken to millions:

"By holding on, even amid cruelty and loss, and then expanding to a sense of compassion and ability to love…. By holding on to her humanity, she has inspired countless others who have known injustice and misfortune in their own lives."

Korean Catholics in the Triangle will soon have a new place to worship.

For years, Korean Catholics like Whansu Kang have been gathering at the St. Michael’s church in Cary. That should change this fall when the first phase of the Saint Ha-Sang Paul Jung Catholic Church is expected to be completed. It will give members of the Korean Catholic community their own space. Kang says the new space will give Korean students and visitors to the Triangle a place to turn to:

Eric Hodge:  An audience at Wake Forest University was among the first to hear parts of Martin Luther King Junior’s “I Have a Dream” speech. King delivered the address 10 months before the historic speech in Washington, DC.   Inge reports.

On October 11, 1962 – Martin Luther King Junior spoke at Wait Chapel at Wake Forest University.

" This will be the day when all of God’s children, black men and white men…"

Pauli Murray mural in downtown Durham
Face Up Project, Center for Documentary Studie

There are murals of a woman in downtown Durham who was obscure to the population until just about a year ago. Her name is Pauli Murray. Murray was raised in Durham and went on to become a civil rights leader, co-founder of the National Organization for Women and the first African American woman to be ordained an Episcopal priest. Durham residents have been celebrating the 100th anniversary of Murray’s birth. There is a Pauli Murray Project at Duke University named for her and even a play in her honor. 

An eclectic mix of art pieces come together in Chapel Hill in the exhibition"Local Histories: The Ground We Walk On." Building on the idea that "place can not be global," more than 50 artists from across the United States created works about communities around the world. The exhibit includes artists’ perspectives on a UFO hunter in Puerto Rico, the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam, and Michael Jordan’s childhood home. Host Frank Stasio talks with Elin O'Hara Slavick, curator of the exhibition, and Cici Stevens, a local artist with a piece in the show.

Rigor Amortis

Feb 10, 2011

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. If you’re not sure how to make a successful romantic gesture to the one you love, you might want to consult with a zombie. Sure, they eat brains, but they’re capable of love, too – a love that can last forever. Host Frank Stasio talks with writer Jaym Gates about a new collection of zombie short stories she co-edited called "Rigor Amortis" (Absolute XPress/2010) that deals with love from beyond the grave.

Jeannette Walls
http://blogs.guilford.edu/bryanseries/

Jeannette Walls' parents didn't seem to worry about her and her three siblings much. Not when Jeannette set herself on fire cooking a hot dog when she was a preschooler, not when the family had to repeatedly flee home after home with creditors at their heels, not when she rummaged through the school garbage to find her lunch. But in her best-selling memoir, "The Glass Castle" (Scribner/2005), Walls offers gratitude for the lessons she learned growing up and for her parents' gifts of love. The author joins host Frank Stasio to talk about her memories of a hard-knock childhood.

Writer Langston Hughes is famous for uplifting poems like "I, Too" and lyrical poetry like “A Dream Deferred,” but North Carolina State Assistant Professor of English Jason Miller says that hidden within Hughes' works are powerful statements about the practice of lynching. Host Frank Stasio talks to Miller about his new book, "Langston Hughes and American Lynching Culture” (University Press of Florida/2011).

Book Cover: The Story of Forgetting
www.stefanmerrillblock.com

More than five million Americans have Alzheimer's disease. By mid-century, that number is expected to double, if not quadruple. Researchers are learning more about the progressive neurological disorder that affects memory and other functions of the brain, but there is still no treatment or cure. Writers have begun documenting the epidemic, creating fiction and nonfiction that renders the mysterious disease and how it uniquely changes the lives of patients and caregivers alike. The New York Times declared this writing a new genre, calling it "Alzheimer's Literature."

A new study made available today sheds light on the phenomenon of neighborhood segregation. Kyle Crowder, a sociology professor at UNC Chapel Hill, conducted the research along with two others:

"Despite all of the talk about progress towards equal opportunity for everyone in gaining access to neighborhoods, there’s still a lot of evidence that native-born blacks and native-born white householders tend to move away from neighborhoods that have high concentrations of immigrants."


Crowder says people of different races typically leave for different reasons.

Robert Plant
robertplant.com

A rock n' roll legend, former lead singer of Led Zeppelin Robert Plant has stayed busy as of late. His latest release is called "Band of Joy" and his current tour brought him through Raleigh recently. WUNC's Eric Hodge sat down with Plant to talk about the new album. Click "Listen Now" to hear the interview.

A candlelight vigil and prayer for the people of Egypt will be held this evening in Raleigh. The Muslim American Public Affairs Council and several others groups are organizing the vigil. Moe El-Gamal is the chairman of the council and one of the leading organizers. He also led a demonstration at the legislative building earlier today.

The Civil War began 150 years ago. As part of a four year commemoration, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill is opening an exhibit today at Wilson Library. The display includes about one-hundred-sixty items that help tell the story of what happened in and around Chapel Hill and the University during the conflict. Susan Ballinger helped organize the collection. She says there are some very interesting documents to read:

lighthouse
National Park Service

The Bodie Island Lighthouse might not be lit anytime soon. The National Park Service received about 3 million dollars in 2009 to renovate the structure built in 1872. Mike Murray is Park Manager of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

"It makes sense to finish the work that’s been done. Repairs are 85% complete. But because we encountered unforeseen work in a very old structure that had never been renovated before, we don’t have the amount of funding needed to finish it."

Reynolds Price
Duke University

Reynolds Price has died. The prolific author and professor of English at Duke University passed away yesterday. He was 77 years old.

Reynolds Price had a motto. The man who wrote dozens of books, poems, essays, and plays and taught for six decades at his alma mater lived his life by words offered to him by a teacher at Oxford University more than 50 years ago.

Martin Luther King Jr.
UNC Librairies

Parades, speeches and community projects fill today’s agenda for many across the state on this Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday.

In Raleigh, the Martin Luther King Committee is busy with a prayer breakfast this morning.

And then around 11am, the 31st Annual Martin Luther King Holiday Memorial March.

Abigail Washburn
abigailwashburn.com

Singer, songwriter, and banjo player Abigail Washburn is out with a new solo album called "City of Refuge." She plays at Berkeley Cafe in Raleigh tomorrow tonight and will be on A Prairie Home Companion on Saturday.

Ralph Campbell Dies

Jan 12, 2011

Former State Auditor Ralph Campbell has died. He was the first African-American elected to a statewide executive office in North Carolina.

fireworks
firstnightraleigh.com

New Year's Eve festivities are scheduled to take place all across North Carolina beginning this afternoon and extending into the early morning hours. There's everything from a pickle drop in Mount Olive to a bluegrass concert at Garner's Historic Auditorium. In the state capitol, First Night Raleigh activities begin at 2pm with a series of events for kids including a parade.

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