History teacher Karla Albertson goes over civil rights cases with her students at Louisburg High School in Franklin County.
Reema Khrais

Over the last couple of decades, many of North Carolina’s public schools have become increasingly segregated. But in Franklin County, it’s a different story.

The district stands out as having some of the most racially balanced schools in the state—a bright spot in a system working to overcome several challenges.

school bus
Reema Khrais

Franklin County Public Schools are one of a handful of districts in the state bound by court desegregation orders. The federal orders are what helps keeps the schools among the most racially balanced in the state at a time when many districts are re-segregating.

Jim Grimsley was an 11-year-old boy growing up in Jones County, North Carolina, when the first black children enrolled in his all-white school.

It was more than 10 years after Brown v. Board of Education and Grimsley’s whole world was about to change. Grimsley gets into this in his new memoir, in which he describes the racist environment in which he was raised and how he began to rethink his assumptions.

An image of hands raised
Creative Commons

  From Ferguson to Baltimore, events have unfolded across the country with race at center stage.

American media coverage has reported on protests and investigated lethal altercations between black males and police officers.

North Carolina College Eagles, 1943-1944, from left to right: George Parks, Aubrey Stanley, James “Boogie” Hardy, Floyd Brown, Henry “Big Dog” Thomas.
Alex Rivera

On a Sunday morning in March 1944, most of Durham, North Carolina, was in church. That's the way basketball coach John McLendon wanted it when his all-black college team from North Carolina Central University (then the North Carolina College for Negroes) faced off against an all-white team from Duke University’s medical school. 

Dudley Flood speaks to the NC Air National Guard in 2011
North Carolina National Guard


It had been 15 years since the Brown v. Board of Education decision that struck down segregation in schools.  

But in 1969, most public schools in North Carolina were still segregated, so when Dudley Flood was called to desegregate every school in the state, he was overwhelmed, but he was not skeptical.

He had learned from his tiny hometown in northeastern North Carolina that education could be the great equalizer.

National Archives

After the stock market crash of 1929, Americans across the country were in danger of losing their houses to foreclosure. 

The federal government stepped in, providing bonds for homeowners to refinance their mortgages as part of the New Deal. But in larger cities, the government drew boundaries between neighborhoods that were eligible and ineligible for new loans. 

Segregation Again

Jun 26, 2014
Photo of African American students getting on a school bus in Grimesland, North Carolina in the 1950s
ECU Digital Collections/Flickr


This year marks the 60th anniversary of Brown V. Board of Education, the landmark Supreme Court decision that ushered in the era of school desegregation.

KKK Parade and Rally Chapel Hill, NC June 15, 1987
Michael Galinsky

The pictures capture a day that many in Chapel Hill, NC would like to forget. White-hooded figures marching carefree down Franklin Street. It was the day the KKK came to town: June 15, 1987.

About 60 people took part in the march and membership rally. The event started in Durham and then progressed to Chapel Hill. Two thousand people lined the parade route; some to support the participants, others to heckle them. 

Martin Luther King Jr.
UNC Librairies

The Reverend Martin Luther King Junior is remembered today for his dedication to racial equality and social justice. Many groups across North Carolina are gathering to march, pray, and volunteer in their communities.

Students and faculty from Duke and NC Central Universities and Durham Technical Community College will gather to assemble dry food packages for Stop Hunger Now. That organization provides food aid to disaster victims around the world.

Derrick Ivey (Left) as C.P. Ellis and Lakeisha Coffery (Right) as Ann Atwater / Manbites Dog Theater


  In 1971, civil rights activist, Ann Atwater, and ku klux klan grand exalted cyclops, C.P. Ellis chaired a community meeting to handle violence in the recently desegregated Durham school system. And those meetings started a unexpected lifelong friendship between the two. A play by Mark St. Germain retells the story of this unlikely friendship in the play, Best of Enemies

Saluting the Montford Point Marines

Jul 12, 2012

The U.S. Marine Corps remained segregated until 1948. The first group to break the color barrier was a group of African-American men who trained at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC. They became known as the Montford Point Marines. Earlier this summer, the Montford Point Marines were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in Washington, DC. FM Hooper was among the men who were honored at the ceremony.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit will hear arguments today in a case involving desegregation in Pitt County, the district that includes Greenville.

Dave DeWitt: Pitt County is one of just a few school districts in North Carolina still under a federal desegregation order from the 1970s. Because of that, the district must consider race when assigning students and teachers. Mark Dorosin is an attorney with the UNC-Chapel Hill Center for Civil Rights. He says Pitt County's latest student assignment plan did not do that.