Leoneda Inge

Race and Southern Culture Reporter

Leoneda Inge is WUNC's "Race and Southern Culture Reporter." She is the first public radio journalist in the South to hold such a position, which explores modern and historical constructs to tell stories of poverty and wealth, health and food culture, education and racial identity.

Leoneda's most recent work includes the series, "Perils and Promise," an in-depth series focused on the challenges of rural education in Vance County. Leoneda has also featured reports on "Organic Tobacco," "Rebuilding Slave Cabins" and traveled to Tokyo, Japan tracking the importance of North Carolina’s pork industry to that country.

Leoneda is the recipient of three Gracie Awards from the Alliance for Women in Media and several awards from the Associated Press, the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) and the National Association of Black Journalists. In 2006, she and a team of WUNC journalists won an Alfred I. DuPont Award from Columbia University for the series "North Carolina Voices: Understanding Poverty."

Leoneda is a graduate of Florida A&M University and Columbia University, where she earned her Master's Degree in Journalism as a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Business and Economics. In 2014, Leoneda traveled to Berlin, Brussels and Prague as a German/American Journalist Exchange Fellow with the RIAS Berlin Commission/RTDNF.

Ways to Connect

Mary Somerville co-founded the Warren Community Health Clinic and was its executive director until the clinic closed.
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

The former Warren Community Health Clinic in Warrenton sits empty and quiet, across the parking lot from the county health department. Until last year, the clinic served low-income patients who often were unable to pay for medical services and didn’t have Medicare or Medicaid.

John Hope Franklin, Duke University, African American History
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

A section of Interstate-85 in Durham has been named for the late John Hope Franklin, a preeminent scholar of African-American history and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

NCCU. College Graduates, End Zone
NCCU

A new study released by the United Negro College Fund calculates the economic impact of historically black colleges and universities across the country.

Model Anita Taylor walks down a runway wearing a desgign by Desiree Hedrick during a fashion show for the kickoff of the exhibit, Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion, at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, N.C.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

In the 1950s and 60s, images of African-American beauty and fashion models in mainstream media were almost non-existent in the United States.

NCCU, Health Disparities, Minority Health, Breast Cancer
North Carolina Central University

The National Institutes of Health have awarded North Carolina Central University a multi-million dollar grant to further study health disparities in minority communities.

Princeville, Hurricane Matthew
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

It's been one year since Hurricane Matthew devastated the tiny town of Princeville.  The mighty storm forced millions of gallons of water to swell past a levee along the Tar River, flooding most of the historic African-American community.

A nurse performs her work at a community health clinic.
Sabin Institute / Flickr/Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/ooK2xw

It’s coming down to the wire for Congress to approve continued funding for Community Health Centers across the U.S., including 39 organizations in North Carolina that serve half a million people.

The statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee was removed from  the Duke University Chapel days after it was vandalized.
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Editor's Note: In December, Duke University announced it will leave an empty space where it removed a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. That's so it can spend another year studying a proper replacement. President Vincent Price approved the yearlong study period recommended by a campus historical commission. The commission was convened in September after the statue's removal. Lee was among 10 figures depicted at Duke Chapel in or near its entryway.

Duke University quickly and quietly removed a controversial statue from its most iconic building over the weekend.

Protesters hold a sign at an anti-KKK rally in downtown Durham on Friday, August 18, 2017.
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Updated 5:13 p.m., August 18, 2017

Several thousand people marched in downtown Durham in a demonstration against racism on Friday afternoon.

A statue on the portal of Duke Chapel bearing the likeness of Confederate General Robert E. Lee has been vandalized.
William Snead / Duke University

Protesters on Thursday marched on the Durham County courthouse in support of the demonstration that brought down a Confederate statue, while a monument to Gen. Robert E. Lee was vandalized nearby at Duke University.

Confederate Monuments, Charlottesville, Durham County Monument
Courtesy of Barry Yeoman

A crowd of people gathered in downtown Durham late Monday to witness the toppling of a long-time Confederate monument. 

Sickle Cell Disease, Camp Carefree, Clinical Trials
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Hundreds of children flock to Stokesdale, North Carolina every summer to attend “Camp Carefree.” It’s for young people – age 6 to 16 – living with a chronic illness. There is fun, but also major health updates during the week children with sickle cell disease are at Camp Carefree.

Durham, Affordable Housing, Housing for New Hope
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

It is not as easy to find a place to live in the city of Durham as it used to be just a few years ago. The “Bull City” has made its share of “best places to live” lists, thanks to population growth, a booming economy and a transformed downtown.

NCCU, Mental Health, Addiction, Motorcycles
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

A professor at North Carolina Central University in Durham is off on a journey across the country to bring awareness to the mental health needs of minorities.

DPAC, Durham, Broadway, Durham Revitalization
HuthPhoto

The Durham Performing Arts Center – better known as DPAC – is gearing up to present its 10th Broadway season. The top-notch productions and sell-out plays and concerts have surprised and delighted critics and get a lot of credit for the rebirth of this southern city.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Sanctuary Cities, Deportation
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

A church community in Greensboro has come together to provide sanctuary protection for a woman who was scheduled for deportation this week. Instead of boarding a plane for Guatemala, Juana Luz Tobar Ortega sought the help of religious groups and found St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Greensboro.

US Navy, NC A&T, Navy Band, Black Military
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

A historical marker in Chapel Hill was unveiled this Memorial Day weekend to remember the African American men who officially integrated the U.S. Navy during World War II.

A photo of a vintage Cheerwine delivery truck.
Courtesy of Cheerwine

It’s a big year for Cheerwine, the cherry-flavored soda with a cult-like following that has been run by the same family for 100 years.

Chuck Davis, ADF, African American Dance Ensemble
African American Dance Ensemble, Inc.

Chuck Davis, the founder of the African American Dance Ensemble died Sunday in Durham.

Durham, Bull, Blind, Art
Leoneda Inge

There is a new arts program underway in Durham that seeks to make sure everybody gets the chance to enjoy the city’'s growing array of downtown public art – whether they can see or not. And these art descriptions are now just a phone call away.

Phil Freelon, Architect, ALS
Jeffrey Camarati / Courtesy of PNC

Phil Freelon is one of the most acclaimed African-American architects of his generation. While his work is known nationwide, he's called the Triangle home for many years. It’s where the NC State graduate raised his family and built his firm.

Now, business and civic leaders and friends are mostly just celebrating Freelon, after he was diagnosed with ALS last year.

James Sanders Jr. enjoys his yoga class. He left New York to return home, and retire in Durham.
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

The mass exodus of millions of African-Americans from the rural south to large urban areas across the United States was nothing more than great. During this Great Migration, almost half of the black adults in North Carolina left the state, most of them settling in and around New York. Now, many of those who left are steadily returning home to North Carolina to retire in a Great "Reverse" Migration.

Pauli Murray, National Historic Landmark, Civil Rights, Women's Rights
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

The childhood home of Pauli Murray in Durham is now a National Historic Landmark. Relatives, community leaders and the Pauli Murray Project celebrated with a homecoming.

Freedom In Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, UNC Southern Historical Collection
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

There were many memorable freedom songs made famous during the Civil Rights movement. Anthems like “We Shall Overcome” gave disenfranchised people of color strength while facing down their oppressors.

John Hope Franklin, African American History, Books
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Collectors, historians and everyday people packed the Durham, North Carolina, home of the late John Hope Franklin last weekend.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Princeville, Hurricane Matthew, African Americans
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

The tiny town of Princeville, North Carolina is still feeling the effects of Hurricane Matthew, which flooded this historic African-American town in October.

Manufacturing, Textiles, Cotton, American Giant
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Part of President Donald Trump’s appeal is his pledge to bring jobs back to America. There’s a San Francisco apparel manufacturer who has tried his luck both ways – manufacturing abroad and in the US. Today, American Giant has found success in making sure every inch of its casual line of clothing is made in America. And that means it's also made in the Carolinas.

Nigerian Chef Tunde Wey was invited to cook in Durham by the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, CEFS.
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Editor's note:  This story is part of an occasional series on what area community leaders and residents are doing to balance "peace and pride" in their neighborhoods.

The restaurant at the Durham Hotel is known for its eclectic, changing menu. But on a recent day, visiting Chef Tunde Wey turned it up a notch with a first course that included cow foot, tossed in palm oil, a citrus vinaigrette, kumquats, shallots and jollof rice, a popular dish in many West African countries.

Durham City, Durham County, Aging, Parks and Rec
Durham Parks and Recreation

End of the year and New Year holiday events were popular across the Triangle in recent weeks, but one of the biggest parties was the senior holiday party in Durham. The event sells out every year and is mostly attended by African Americans, despite the area’s diverse population, according to the city's parks and recreation officials. The party is an example that may lend credibility to new research on “social status” and race.

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