Race & Demographics

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. 

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.

Courtesy of Leslie Isakoff

Leslie Isakoff grew up climbing, flying and spelunking in Alabama and on international trips with her family, where she made friends with local kids and saw firsthand the effects of hunger.

Jocelyn Casanova
Courtesy of Jocelyn Casanova

Joceyln Casanova grew up in North Carolina and was a high achiever who dreamed of going to college and becoming a lawyer. A few days before she graduated from high school near the top of her class, a college interviewer revealed a secret her parents had kept from her her whole life: Jocelyn was undocumented. 

Duke University

Makeba Wilbourn has been immersed in the subtleties of language since she was a child.

As the daughter of a northern white mother and southern black father, she constantly changed the way she spoke to her own family. And as she grew older, she realized she had to be an expert at code-switching in order to succeed as a biracial woman.

Today, Makeba studies how children develop those differences in language, and how that might contribute to our racial biases.

Confederate Monuments, Robert E. Lee, Duke Chapel, Duke University
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Confederate monuments have become flash points for a national debate about free speech, race and memory. Statues have been removed in more than a dozen states including Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Florida and New York. 

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

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

LEONEDA INGE / WUNC

Protesters toppled a confederate monument in Durham last night. The statue came down during a demonstration against the violence that erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend.

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. 

A stone obelisk honoring  Zebulon Vance
Travis / Flickr - Creative Commons -https://flic.kr/p/dsjqqa

 In the heart of downtown Asheville sits Pack Square, a bustling center lined by popular restaurants and ongoing construction projects. A stone obelisk stretches skyward from the center of the square honoring Zebulon Vance, North Carolina’s governor during the Civil War. 

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.

UNC Asheville

Growing up in South Los Angeles, Dwight Mullen remembers constant tension between the community and police. He specifically recalls the 1965 Watts riots and the impact it had on the city.

pipeline construction
Public Herald / Flickr - Creative Commons

The federal regulatory body responsible for assessing for the environmental effects of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline recently released their final report. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission determined the project will incur “some adverse effects” but proper safety and environmental mitigation will reduce the risk “to less-than significant levels.” 

Emily Yue / NextGen Radio

  Eva Panjwani and Qasima “Q” Wideman maneuver around each other in the kitchen of their east Durham home on a Tuesday afternoon.

The smell of curry permeates the air. A string of gold paper letters spells out “Ramadan Kareem” across a bookshelf. They are observing one of the pillars of their Islamic faith. Panjwani cuts vegetables and Wideman stirs other ingredients into a simmering pot.

“How many types of garlic does one couple have?” asks Panjwani as she opens the refrigerator door.

Of all the tributes that Farris Barakat has seen for his three slain family members, one of his favorites is a wooden plaque that bears their silhouettes and the American flag.

Barakat’s brother Deah, along with Deah’s wife Yusor Abu-Salha and her sister Razan Abu-Salha, were fatally shot in February, 2015 in their Chapel Hill condominium. A neighbor is awaiting trial for three counts of first-degree murder.

Many people around the world called it a hate crime against Muslims, though police have not officially declared it one.

Photo of Reverend Mykal Slack
Courtesy Mykal Slack

Mykal Slack grew up in rural Georgia in an enormous extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins. He was raised as a girl — the sex on his birth certificate — but from a young age he remembers crafting imaginary worlds in which he had a boy’s name.

Children sitting at the base of a tree.
World Relief Durham / World Relief Durham

In January President Donald Trump issued an executive order that capped the number of refugees who could enter the United States at 50,000. That number more than halved the quota the previous administration had advised resettlement agencies to prepare for. 

Outdoor Afro / Outdoor Afro

There is a common misconception that black people do not hike, camp or spend much time in the outdoors. This perception is perpetuated by images featured in nature magazines and fitness Instagram accounts that still predominantly feature white individuals and families. 

Image Couresty of Kerra Bolton

One year ago today black motorist Philando Castile was fatally shot at the hands of a police officer. The aftermath of the incident was captured and broadcast in real-time by his girlfriend and fueled an ongoing conversation about racial tension and police violence in the United States. The event struck a particular chord with Kerra Bolton, a black writer and artist, who had witnessed the impact of police violence firsthand as a teenager.

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.

Jordan Green / Triad City Beat

Triad City Beat Senior Editor Jordan Green spent a year investigating housing ownership in lower income neighborhoods of High Point, North Carolina.

Host Frank Stasio speaks with Green about the racial lines of poverty in lower income neighborhoods, and how nearly more than 80 years of racial economic housing policies has limited access to loans and squashed opportunities for upward mobility for many African-Americans in High Point. 

Betsy Blake / American Friends Service Committee

Juana Luz Tobar Ortega is a mother of four and grandmother of two who has lived in Asheboro, North Carolina for more than 20 years. Tobar Ortega works, pays taxes, and is active in her local church. She is also undocumented. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ordered Tobar Ortega to return to her native Guatemala by the end of May 2017. Instead, Tobar Ortega made the radical decision to take refuge at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Greensboro, where the vestry voted to shelter her and protect her from deportation.

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.

Courtesy of Cheryl Williams

Residents of a historically African-American neighborhood in Raleigh are petitioning the city to protect the area with a historic overlay. Oberlin Village was settled by black freedmen after the Civil War, and its early residents made many contributions to the city. The area has now become a predominantly white neighborhood under development.

Southerners on New Ground

Many families will not be able to celebrate Mother’s Day together this weekend due to barriers in the criminal justice system. In the United States, nearly 80 percent of women in jail are mothers, and most of those women are also single parents, according to a 2016 report from the Vera Institute of Justice. 

Abingdon Press/2017

In 1947, dozens of white men in Greenville, South Carolina kidnapped and murdered a young black man named Willie Earle. Several of the men later confessed to the crime and said it was retaliation after a black man allegedly stabbed a white cab driver. However, after a trial, nobody was convicted for the murder.

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.

A collaged picture of a diverse women's face
Addicting Info

A report on the well-being of young women in North Carolina shows overall improvements, but racial barriers still exist.

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