Durham

Photo: The Durham City Council debated night to require police officers get written consent from drivers before being able to search a vehicle.
Jorge Valencia

In Durham, members of the city council want to require police to get written consent from drivers before searching a vehicle.

The debate over vehicle searches stems from complaints that some Durham officers have unfairly targeted minorities.

Some residents and community groups say black men are often arbitrarily stopped and searched.

For decades, ten of thousands of workers walked in to the American Tobacco Company in Durham each day.  This is the story of one of those who stayed the longest.  Annie Lou Andrews is 92 years old. She is the second woman to work in a supervisory role at American Tobacco. She says her first day in leadership, you could feel the tension; the office was quiet enough to hear a pin drop. "I thought, 'uh-oh,'" she says. She spoke with Phoebe Judge.

Amy Laura Hall has organized the Labor Sabbath movement in North Carolina.
hearldsun.org

Some North Carolinians cringe at the phrase ‘labor union.’ 

In the right to work state, some opponents say unions cause harm to private businesses and do not benefit workers. This weekend in churches, synagogues and other holy places some clergy will talk about unions as part of a Labor Sabbath movement.  

Scene from "Frequency" (in picture actresses Lisa Gagnon and Meredith Sause).
KVWorks

 People rarely associate gay and lesbian films with the science fiction genre. But a Durham-based production company, KVWorks, created a sci-fi lesbian web series. 

Vernelle Mack, pictured second from the right, posing with the U.S. Welfare Band.
bullcitysoul.org / Durham County Library

  

Soul was a mainstay in the Durham music scene during the 1960s and 70s.

Durhamites were dancing to songs like "Bull City Party" in 1977. It’s one of many songs that show Durham’s soul music had strong ties to the city, and built lasting connections within the African-American community. 

Today, a group of artists and collectors is on a mission to archive and preserve Durham’s soul. The Soul Souvenirs exhibit is on display now at the Durham History Hub

Howard Craft, creator of the Jade City Pharaoh
Carol Jackson

Howard Craft created The Jade City Pharaoh. The superhero guards Concrete Falls, a place not unlike Durham, North Carolina.  The Jade City Pharaoh has been the subject of a stage play, a comic book, and a series of WUNC radio shorts.

The Jade City Pharaoh is one of the few African American superheroes in the world, and he's the only one to have his own radio show.

WUNC's Carol Jackson interviewed Howard Craft and other members of the cast and crew for this feature:

Duncan Webster and Leah Gibson make up the Durham duo Beauty World.
the artist

Duncan Webster and Leah Gibson have each honed their chops with bands including Lost in the Trees, Hammer No More the Fingers, and Bowerbirds.  Recently the two Durhamites joined forces to form Beauty World.

The duo is also a couple. They've both played in several bands, but were introduced by a mutual friend.

The five-song E.P. features the song, "Architect". Webster wrote it about his own challenges in learning building design.

  The late 19th century American South was marked by inequality; Jim Crow was the law of the land and racial segregation was both a social norm and a legal requirement.

Audio Under the Stars

  

Live storytelling events have increased in popularity recently, but audio listening parties are still relatively rare. A monthly event called "Audio Under the Stars" seeks to change that in Durham.

Its organizers see audio stories as vehicles to other times and occasions for social engagement. The latest installment, "Fish Out Of Water: Stories of misfits, oddballs, mariners and real fish", is Friday at 8pm at SPECTRE Arts in Durham.

Below is a taste of the kind of stories "Audio Under the Stars" showcases. 

A Fresh Tune For West Africa

Jul 11, 2014

  

Grounded in West African tradition and propelled by the funk and jazz of today, Africa Unplugged blends its own genre of music .

The Greensboro group explores new ways to formulate West African music on their new self-titled album.

The band performs as part of the “Find Your Cool” concert series at the CCB Plaza in Durham next Thursday.

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