African-American History

The State of Things
10:28 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Lifelong Folklorist Unearths Stories From The South

Bill Ferris' new book, The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists, presents 40 years of interviews and photographs.
Credit UNC Press

For decades, Bill Ferris documented Southern African-American folklore.  His latest book The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists presents material from 40 years of interviews with writers, scholars and artists who reflected southern culture in their work.

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The State of Things
1:01 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Historic Marker Dedicated To Elizabeth Cotten

Elizabeth Cotten at the 1968 Newport Folk Festival
Credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/63204614@N08/ / flickr

In the early 1900s in Carrboro, a young Elizabeth Cotten took her brother's handmade guitar from under his bed.

She started playing the instrument upside down - with her right hand on the fret and strumming with her left hand. The young woman went on to become a famous blues and folk musician. Next weekend, Carrboro will dedicate a historic marker to honor Cotton’s legacy and ties to the town.

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Arts & Culture
12:16 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Culinary Historian Pays Homage To African-American Food History

Culinary Historian and Judaics Scholar, Michael Twitty
Credit http://www.stagville.org/events/ / Afroculinaria

This summer, celebrity chef Paula Deen’s use of the N-word stirred controversy. Food historian Michael Twitty wrote an open letter to Deen criticizing her appropriation and misinterpretation of African-American culinary tradition. Twitty will cook and speak about his work at Historic Stagville Plantation's Harvest Festival in Durham this Saturday, September 7th.  

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The State of Things
12:02 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Movie Series Looks At History Of America's Music

America's Music is a film and performance series at the North Regional Branch of Wake County Libraries.
Credit http://www.wakegov.com/libraries/events/Pages/americasmusic.aspx

America’s Music is a film and performance series that traces the soundtrack of a nation. The program features documentary screenings and discussions about the history of 20th century American popular music from blues to Broadway and bluegrass to rock 'n' roll. 

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Arts & Culture
5:46 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Change Of Step At Civil Rights Museum

The International Civil Rights Center and Museum opened in February, 2010. They will soon begin allowing self-guided tours for the first time.
Credit Jeff Tiberii

The International Civil Rights Center and Museum opened in Greensboro nearly three and a half years ago.  A national sit-in movement began on February 1st, 1960 at an F.W. Woolworth lunch counter on Elm Street, and today that site remains a commemoration and celebration of a chapter in American history.

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The State of Things
10:51 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Abandoning The Black Hero

The film adaptation of Frank Yerby's 1946 best-selling novel, The Foxes of Harrow.
Credit wikipedia.org

African-American literary authors like James Baldwin or Zora Neale Hurston are famous for their depictions of black life. But these novelists have also written books with white protagonists. Why is this unexpected? Is there a mandate that black authors write only about black characters?

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The State of Things
12:13 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Buncombe County Puts Slave Records Online

The original deed book of slave records from Buncombe County.
Credit Max Cooper, via mountainx.com

During the Great Depression, the New Deal funded a project to collect the narratives of former slaves.  Sarah Gudger came forward to give an account of her life as a slave in Buncombe County.  Her testimony was the same brutal story that is familiar to many of us.  She described a “hard life” of nothing but “work, work, work,” under the threat of abuse. 

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The State of Things
12:14 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

SBI Investigates Oldest Incorporated African American Town

Freedom Hill in Princeville, NC
Credit wikipedia.org

Princeville, North Carolina is the first town created by African Americans in the United States. It was almost wiped out by Hurricane Floyd but survived. Now, it’s facing another threat.

Audits revealed that top-town officials may have been inappropriately using town dollars, and the state has taken over control of Princeville. Host Frank Stasio talks about the situation with Gurnal Scott, assistant news director at WUNC; and Rudolph Knight, a history columnist for The Daily Southerner in Tarboro.

The State of Things
9:52 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Pulitzer Prize-Winner Discusses Definitive Volume On Civil Rights

The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement
Credit taylorbranch.com

  Taylor Branch's trilogy on Martin Luther King, Jr. -- "The King Years" -- is widely considered the seminal work on one of the 20th century's most important figures. But at 2,300 combined pages, the three volumes can be a bit daunting for even the most interested reader.

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State of Things
10:04 am
Thu July 12, 2012

The Life of Huey P. Newton

The origins of the Black Panther Party were as a group that wanted to provide self-defense and support to communities overlooked and abused by the authorities. American government and media portrayals dismissed the Panthers as thugs, but filmmaker Dante James wants to tell the true story of the revolutionary members of the radical organization.

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