Charlie Shelton

Producer, "The State of Things"
John Coltrane
Nakadaira

John Coltrane is widely recognized as one of the most iconic and influential jazz musicians of all time. His work as a saxophonist and composer is known to the world, and it all started in North Carolina.

Public Domain / Wiki Creative Commons

Last week the federal government released thousands of files related to the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy in 1963.
 

Cover of 'The Hidden Rules of Race: Barriers to an Inclusive Economy'
Cambridge University Press

In the last 50 years, the wealth gap between white families and black and Latino families has more than tripled. Today the median net worth of white families is nearly 10 times that of black families, according to recent data from the Federal Reserve.The wealth gap is nothing new in the United States and has only gotten worse along racial lines. 

Jen Kirkman
Courtesy of Jen Kirkman

When Jen Kirkman started doing stand-up comedy in the late 1990s, she said she enjoyed being able to just sit on a stool and tell funny stories about her life. She has always been willing to share personal anecdotes about a range of topics, including the struggles that come with being a woman in comedy. But her storytelling is not limited to the stage. 

Courtesy of Kumarini Silva

 Kumarini Silva grew up in the midst of a violent civil war in Colombo, Sri Lanka between the government and rebel groups. She was mostly sheltered from the violence because of her father’s status as a U.N. diplomat, but her family still helped those they knew were in danger. They moved to Liberia when Silva was a teenager but had to leave after a few years after a violent conflict erupted inside the country.

photo of Rapsody
FortyOnceGold

In her new album “Laila’s Wisdom,” North Carolina rapper Rapsody delivers messages about community, confidence and creative control. The Snow Hill native grew up with a big family and says the album’s title is dedicated to her grandmother and her teachings, which is also something Rapsody channels in her music. 

Women's March, Washington DC, 1/21/2017
Mark Dixon / Wikimedia Commons -2017

Hundreds of thousands of women packed the streets in January as part of the Women’s March. Many donned pink, cat-eared “pussy hats” to mark their participation. This march, alongside many other public demonstrations and landmark court decisions throughout history, have made the fight for gender equality visible to the greater American public. But the movement has really been fueled day-to-day by the work of activists, organizers and regular citizens. 

UNC Chapel Hill Basketball game
Hanging Curve / Wikimedia Commons -2017

The NCAA infractions committee issued a verdict today and concluded it could not find evidence the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill violated academic rules with the use of fake classes. 

Courtesy of Tift Merritt & Bernhardt Design / bdesignny

Seventeen months after the birth of her daughter, singer-songwriter Tift Merritt is gearing up for an international tour through Europe later this month with her baby by her side. 

The James Henry Jones family.
Courtesy of film director Anna Jones (back row, second from left).

 James H. Jones made a living as a farmer in Northampton County and cemented a legacy as a community leader for equal education. His efforts pushed the school board to give African-American students more resources after the county failed to comply with standards set by the Brown v. Board of Education ruling. 

Greenbelt view from Germany
Nickel van Duijvenboden / Wikimedia Commons -2017

Today the European Green Belt is a stretch of rich and flourishing land in Western Europe that extends north to south for thousands of miles. However, during the Cold War the strip was a no-man’s land that separated the Soviet Union from non-Soviet countries. 

Diane Chamerlain, cover of 'Stolen Marriage'
Images courtesy of Diane Chamberlain.

In 1944 a polio outbreak swept across the Hickory and Charlotte area of North Carolina. Facilities in Charlotte quickly filled up with patients, leaving many in Hickory without proper treatment. In dire need of a medical facility, residents in Hickory banded together and built, outfitted and staffed an emergency hospital within 54 hours. The event came to be known as “The Miracle of Hickory.”
 

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie
kenrudinpolitics.com

 

This week the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments about a case from Wisconsin regarding the constitutionality of political gerrymandering. 

Voter stickers
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

In North Carolina more people are registered as unaffiliated than Republican, according to recent data from the North Carolina State Board of Elections. 

An image of overturned chairs outside of West Lumberton Elementary School
Lisa Philip / WUNC

Last October Hurricane Matthew caused more than two dozen deaths in North Carolina. Floods damaged much of the eastern part of the state, and communities are still picking up the pieces.

An image of the book cover for 'The Last Ballad' by Wiley Cash
William Morrow

 

In the spring of 1929 more than a thousand workers at the Loray Mill in Gastonia, North Carolina walked off their jobs and went on strike. At the time the mill was one of the largest producers of textiles in the South, but harsh labor conditions and unfair pay sparked unrest among the workers.

Protests went on for months and even led to violent clashes with the police. The events at the mill brought a textile worker named Ella May Wiggins into the spotlight. Wiggins served as a union organizer and also became an influential ballad singer.

Phil Roeder / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/agLDmm

The state Department of Public Instruction released a shortlist of six low-performing public schools last week that are candidates for its Innovative School District. The new program will turn over control of schools to charter school operators. 

Alex Harris

Reynolds Price was a prominent and prolific voice in Southern literature. Over the span of nearly 50 years, Price wrote dozens of works, including novels, memoirs, poems and plays. 

Courtesy of Bryant Simon

In September, 1991, a deadly fire killed 25 people at the Imperial Food Products plant in Hamlet, North Carolina. 

Workers at the chicken processing facility tried to escape after a hydraulic line spilled flammable liquid on a fryer and ignited a fireball inside the facility.

Katie Wyatt poses with children from the program she co-founded, Kidznotes.
Ken Demery Photography

Katie Wyatt first fell in in love with classical music when she joined her school’s orchestra in third grade. Wyatt played the viola and appreciated being part of a group that created art together. Wyatt was a military kid, so her family moved around about every four years. But no matter where she lived, Wyatt found a way to plug into her community through music. 

Helen Chickering / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Last week the U.S. House of Representatives voted to provide Hurricane Harvey disaster relief, raise the government’s borrowing limit and fund the government for three months. 

Courtesy of Elizabeth Heaney

Stephen Henderson rarely talked about his military service or his time in Vietnam until he joined a writing group of other Vietnam War veterans at the Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville.

Nancy Hatch Dupree
Massoud Hossaini / AP Photo

Nancy Hatch Dupree helped preserve the culture and history in Afghanistan through years of war and turmoil. She moved to Kabul in 1962 with her first husband and went on to write five books and more than 100 articles on Afghanistan. 

Trevor Noah
Photo by Evan Agostini / Invision/AP, File

Ever since President Donald Trump announced he was running for president in 2015, late-night television shows have taken on a new tone. Programs like “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and “Late Night with Seth Meyers” have adopted more political rhetoric, while “The Daily Show” continues to offer political satire with a diverse staff. 

Cape Fear River at Raven Rock State Park NC
Keith Weston / WUNC

On Tuesday the state of North Carolina initiated a lawsuit against the Chemours Company for allegedly dumping the contaminant GenX into the Cape Fear River. 

Bahamas Junkanoo woman
Jerry Samet

The National Folk Festival returns to Greensboro this weekend with approximately 300 performers showcasing folk traditions from all corners of the world. Performances include everything from cajun music to beatboxing. 

Courtesy of Benjamin Rachlin

In 1987 Willie Grimes was wrongfully accused of raping a 69-year-old widow in Hickory, North Carolina. Despite little evidence against him, Grimes was convicted of the crime and sentenced to life plus nine years in prison.

The cast of South Pacific
VanderVeen Photographers

In 1949 composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein premiered their hit musical “South Pacific.” It tells the story of how an American nurse and lieutenant find new love across cultural and racial lines. 

Takao Bill Manbo / Courtesy of Eric Muller at Scapegoat Cities

Seventy-five years ago the U.S. government relocated more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans into internment camps following the attacks on Pearl Harbor. Parents were separated from their children, and many individuals were forced to give up their property.

Courtesy of James Costa

There is no doubt that Charles Darwin’s trip to the Galapagos Islands in the 1830s changed his life’s work. It  put him on the path to develop his game-changing theory of evolution. But Darwin’s observations were not isolated to one exploration. For years after his pivotal excursion, Darwin conducted unorthodox and innovative experiments to test his speculations, and he often did so in his own backyard. 

Pages