Race & Demographics

Cover of 'Going to School in Black and White'
Cindy Waszak Geary and LaHoma Smith Romocki

A few years ago, Cindy Waszak Geary and LaHoma Smith Romocki were sitting together in their writing group when they realized that not only did they both grow up in Durham, but they went to the same high school during a period of racial integration in the early 1970s.

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.

Laura Pellicer / WUNC

Sijal Nasralla grew up hearing stories about the bucolic hills his father used to roam as a shepherd in Palestine. He also learned early on about efforts his family members had made to preserve access to land they had lived on for hundreds of years.

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.

Actress Rose McGowan stands with Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo Campaign.
Paul Sancya / AP Photo

The number of women coming forward with accounts of sexual assault and harassment continues to grow.  The recent surge in allegations has put toxic masculinity in the spotlight, but many questions remain, such as: are black and white accusers are treated differently.

RuPaul Charles accepts the award for outstanding host for a reality or reality-competition program for "RuPaul's Drag Race" during night two of the Television Academy's 2016 Creative Arts Emmy Awards in 2016.
Phil McCarten / AP Photo

In art and pop culture effeminate men are cast in very different light. Some are revered, like artist Liberace or drag queen and TV star RuPaul Andre Charles. But other times, effeminate men are seen as simultaneously fascinating and grotesque.

When Connsuela Bautista got to school for her first morning class at Southeastern Randolph Middle School, she says she was immediately called to the principal's office. When she arrived, she saw sheriff’s deputies waiting for her. 

Robert Shetterly and 'Americans Who Tell the Truth'

Ella Baker spent decades fighting for civil rights and promoting grassroots activism. 

Khizr Khan, father of fallen US Army Capt. Humayun S. M. Khan speaks as his wife Ghazala listens during the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Thursday, July 28, 2016.
J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

 Khizr Khan stepped onstage and into the public eye at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. He says he was compelled to talk after then candidate Donald Trump proposed a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. 

Cover of 'The Hidden Rules of Race: Barriers to an Inclusive Economy'
Cambridge University Press

In the last 50 years, the wealth gap between white families and black and Latino families has more than tripled. Today the median net worth of white families is nearly 10 times that of black families, according to recent data from the Federal Reserve.The wealth gap is nothing new in the United States and has only gotten worse along racial lines. 

Courtesy of Kumarini Silva

 Kumarini Silva grew up in the midst of a violent civil war in Colombo, Sri Lanka between the government and rebel groups. She was mostly sheltered from the violence because of her father’s status as a U.N. diplomat, but her family still helped those they knew were in danger. They moved to Liberia when Silva was a teenager but had to leave after a few years after a violent conflict erupted inside the country.

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

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.

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. 

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