INDY Week 6.16.21

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Raleigh | Durham | Chapel Hill June 16, 2021


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June 16, 2021

INDYweek.com


Raleigh W Durham W Chapel Hill VOL. 38 NO. 22

Putt-Putt Fun Center in Burlington, p. 16 PHOTO BY BRETT VILLENA

CONTENTS NEWS 7

A new executive order will kickstart the state's wind energy industry. BY ELLIE HEFFERNAN

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Tenants of an affordable housing complex in southeast Raleigh are worried about being put out of their homes with nowhere else to go. BY CARYL ESPINOZA JAEN

10 Two Durham residents are suing the city and four council members for allegedly violating N.C. open meeting laws. BY THOMASI MCDONALD

FEATURE 12

This Juneteenth marks a rebirth for Durham's Hayti community. BY THOMASI MCDONALD

ARTS & CULTURE

16 A journey to the center of Burlington's professional putt-putt tournament. BY BRIAN HOWE

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An interview with Raleigh hip-hop videographer Patrick Lincoln. BY KYESHA JENNINGS

20 Two June releases drift through dreamscapes and dystopias. BY DAN RUCCIA AND GRANT GOLDEN

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Revisiting Jaki Shelton Green's wrenching I Want to Undie You. BY THOMASI MCDONALD

WE M A DE THIS PUBLISHER Susan Harper E D I TO RI A L Editor in Chief Jane Porter Managing Editor Geoff West Arts & Culture Editor Sarah Edwards Senior Writer Leigh Tauss Staff Writer Thomasi McDonald Digital Content Manager Sara Pequeño

THE REGULARS 4 15 Minutes

5 Voices

6 Quickbait

COVER Model Taylor Webber-Fields portrays Erzulie, the Haitian Mother Mary and Goddess of Love PHOTO BY MADYLIN NIXON-TAPLET, LOVE ÖNWA PHOTOGRAPHY

Copy Editor Abigail O'Neill Theater+Dance Critic Byron Woods Contributors Madeline Crone, Jameela F. Dallis, Grant Golden, Spencer Griffith, Lucas Hubbard, Layla Khoury-Hanold, Brian Howe,

Lewis Kendall, Kyesha Jennings, Glenn McDonald, Anna Mudd, Dan Ruccia, Jake Sheridan Interns Caryl Espinoza Jaen, Ellie Heffernan, Rebecca Schneid

C R E AT I V E Creative Director

Annie Maynard Graphic Designer

Jon Fuller Staff Photographer

Brett Villena

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June 16, 2021

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BACK TA L K

For

the

Rebecca

web

last

Schneid

week, wrote

about UNC alum and New York Times contributor David Zucchino’s Pulitzer Prize win for his book about the 1898

Wilmington coup, Wilmington’s Lie. Readers were dismayed that

Chapel Hill

they never learned about such a significant event in the state’s history in school. “I first learned about it in the #StoryofNorthCarolina exhibit at the @NCmuseumhistory about a decade ago,” tweeted BIGFOOT_CIGARSMOKER. “I was so surprised something so huge was left out [of the] state history curriculum? Made me wanna learn more about the Old North State.” “I’m a graduate of @UNCWilmington and was completely floored to discover what occurred in our backyard without anyone mentioning a word throughout the entire four years that I was there,” tweeted RHPD3. “This is common amongst my fellow Alumni. What gives UNCW? Why the silence? Amazing read BTW.” “I grew up in Wilmington & had never heard of the Wilmington Massacre until there were a series of commemorations in 1998,” replied AYLETT COLSTON. “They didn’t leave it out of our history books accidentally.” “I didn’t learn about it until a history class at UNC! Thanks for making this knowledge more prevalent, David!,” tweeted SARAH MADIGAN. “This event has been in the American History II state standards since 2010,” tweeted MONTE HISTORY. He’s right: references to the “Wilmington Race Riots” do appear in the N.C. Department of Public Instruction’s American History II curriculum. We’re glad this pivotal event in North Carolina’s history is finally getting some of the scrutiny it deserves.

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backtalk@indyweek.com @indyweek

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15 MINUTES Rev. Michael A. Cousin, Sr., 58 Pastor at St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church. Founded in 1864, it is the oldest historically Black church in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area. BY ELLIE HEFFERNAN backtalk@indyweek.com

What does it mean to be the pastor of such a historically important Black church? Most of our movements of change have emanated from the church. Only one of late has not: the Black Lives movement. I commend those young people for bringing to the forefront the state of Black America. You have those that are trying to tear it down and say it’s Marxist, socialist, but we follow one of the biggest socialists—Jesus Christ. We must speak on those things that persons may not wish to hear. St. Paul has been instrumental in so many things around here—just a place where we were able to know we are someone because we’re God’s child. Black worship is a time to say, “I know that there’s a better way. I ain’t afraid of Hell ‘cause I’m catching Hell on Earth.”

What are the biggest issues facing the Triangle’s Black communities? How do you kill a community? Put a highway right through it. With Hayti, I saw them put in 147, as a child. I watched them plow through houses, widen Fayetteville Street. Now you go down Pettigrew. I don’t even recognize it anymore. There was a radio station, barber shops, even a movie theater. And with gentrification in Chapel Hill, why is that building right there in the middle of what was the Black community? I remember when I was younger I could stand on that porch and see onto Rosemary. I could wave at a preacher over at St. Joseph.

PHOTO BY ELLIE HEFFERNAN

to find out which officer it was. When you see the police, you feel safe. But, I’m 58 years old, educated. When I see the police, I get kind of nervous. They’ve dissected everything we have without any consequences. Where are all the Black folk? I ask myself all the time. Where are my people? We’re scattered.

Would you say the town and the University’s attempts to support racial justice are performative? It’s nice to make statements, but show me. Recently, the whole thing with denying tenure. This woman comes in with credentials out the wazoo. But there’s details you’ve got in terms of those back rooms. I used to think as a child, Duke was really racist. Me and my father talked “Duke, Private School—Racist. UNC— liberal.” No. It’s some of those hushed tones. Those conversations. I think it would be helpful if the school would respect the history. Make an attempt. Don’t make something that’s perfunctory, just going through the motions.

What can be done, if anything, to fix policing?

What does Juneteenth mean to your community, and what do you think of more mainstream celebrations of this day?

We had a conversation with Chief Blue, and Binkley Baptist— God bless them—every Saturday, they do their social justice and have signs up, talking about “Black Lives Matter.” And there was a police officer that saw the “Black Lives Matter” sign and gave a thumbs down. The chief said he’s still trying

It’s not just another party. I just hope with Juneteenth we understand the true significance of that date and honor those persons. It’s festive. And not an educational moment. To a child, it’s Juneteenth. It’s like the fair. No! Revere that day. W


voices

Duty Bound With shrinking space, Black people in Durham commemorate Juneteenth as a transfer of Black power to future generations. BY AYA SHABU backtalk@indyweek.com

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’ve noticed that the new white people in my neighborhood all seem to have large dogs. Despite how harmless they profess “Fido” or “Trixie” to be, the owner is issuing a not-so-subtle warning. The brand new, six-foottall border wall-like fence in their yard isn’t neighborly either. To me, it is a physical and cultural offense. The up-cropping of porch flags everywhere reeks of another settler colonial practice. This is the landscape that I’m navigating while passing out Juneteenth flyers to my Black neighbors. Feeling overwhelmed by whiteness extends well beyond my neighborhood. Last month, my mother came to visit me from the northeast. It had been several years, but we went to the Durham Farmers Market to buy chow chow, goat cheese, and banana butter. The demographics of the city’s recent population boom were evident that early Saturday morning. While many of the vendors were the same, I missed the Black family that sold mini cakes and hand pies. And I noticed that the majority of Black vendors were stationed on the outskirts of the main market plaza. What surprised me the most was the overwhelming number of white 30-somethings with infants and toddlers in tow. While we were happy to support local Black and white vendors, Mom and I didn’t stay long. As we were leaving I said to a friend on the phone, “Girl, there’s hardly any Black people here.” I don’t whisper these truths anymore. An older white person came up to me after overhearing my comment. ”Well,” they told me, “there’s a Black Farmers Market in Raleigh tomorrow.” Seemingly well-meaning white folk are so proud of themselves, eager to share

their knowledge of Black people with me. so much space. And unfortunately, racial “Actually, there are plenty of Black peo- equity education has given many of them the language, resources, and entitlement ple here,” they added. I was so much kinder in that moment to expand who and what they can control. I, too, am guilty. Since 2012, my than I wanted to be. “Well, these two of the five Black people social entrepreneurship—Whistle Stop Tours—has guided more than 100 groups here are leaving,” I told them. How is it that there are fewer Black- through Black neighborhoods. I love sharowned businesses downtown than there ing Durham’s history with Black family reunion and rites of passage groups. were before the city’s revitalization? When I moved to Durham in 2003, the But the majority of my engagements are city center was mostly composed of Black- contracted for undergraduate classes at P.W.Is (Predominantowned businesses. In ly White Institutions), addition to the bank non-profit retreats, and the post office, “There’s corporate orientaI mostly frequented an inverse tions, and research Mr. Scott’s one-room projects assigned by tailor shop, the Ethirelationship private schools. opian-owned conOver the past 10 venience store, Mr. between white years, I’ve seen heriShow clothing store peoples’ sense tage tourism become on Main Street, Talk profitable for everyof the Town nightof well-being one except the city’s club, a Kenyan restaumost vulnerable resrant at Five Points, and Black folks’ idents. I don’t blame Mad Stylz Barbershop, anyone for wanting to and, of course, Ronny access to understand their hisSturdivant’s TQ Busipublic space.” tory. But large groups ness Complex. of white people tourWhite and Black ing Black neighborfolk alike in Raleigh were afraid to visit Durham, even during hoods is, more often than not, another the daylight hours. Back then, Blacks made hallmark of gentrification. My employer, Village of Wisdom, partup 43 percent of the population. Our presence in Durham has been dwindling since ners with The Hayti Heritage Center each 2010. And yet, unsolicited, a white person year for Juneteenth. The Heritage Center’s is quantifying for me just how many Black evolution from a “brush arbor”—a place of worship—to an African Methodist Epispeople are “enough.” There’s an inverse relationship between copal church, Freedman’s School, civil white peoples’ sense of well-being and rights organizing space, and now, perforBlack folks’ access to public space. We mance hall and cultural center, still bears might as well be living in the 1950s the name of the first free Black Repubagain. White people continue to take up lic in the Western Hemisphere. The island

nation of Haiti is a global symbol of Black liberation. The Creole, or Kreyol spelling of Ayiti (translated in English as “mountainous land”) is an acknowledgment of the indigenous Taino people whose population was decimated to near extinction by Spanish invaders in the 16th century. The descendant community of Hayti resisted a similar settler-colonial practice known as urban renewal. In 1975, St. Joseph’s A.M.E averted demolition and was added to the North Carolina Register of Historic Places. Black people need our own spaces. Segregation forced the creation of many districts like Hayti, Wilmington, and Greenwood that nonetheless thrived until they were targeted by racist violence, and the nation’s interstate highway system that tore through the heart of those communities. Black holidays like Juneteenth in Durham and across the country are our time to come together again. It’s a time to pay homage to the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation whose land became a free-soil haven for African Americans during Jim Crow terrorism. It’s a time to rest from the labor of code-switching. We look forward to enjoying dedicated spaces away from the white gaze, oasis spaces where we can express ourselves through our food-ways, musical genius, remixed dance styles, and fashion, all the while remembering that there is history and legacy in everything Black folks do. This Juneteenth I’ve decided to raise the red, black, and green liberation flag in my yard. More than joy or pride, it is out of a sense of duty. I am reminded that sharing our history is also a transfer of Black power to future generations. Voices is made possible by contributions to the INDY Press Club. Join today at KeepItINDY.com.

AYA SHABU is the Associate Director of Arts and Culture at Village of Wisdom and the curator of its Juneteenth celebration on Friday, June 18 at the Hayti Heritage Center. Comment on this column at backtalk@indyweek.com. INDYweek.com

June 16, 2021

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Q UIC KBA I T

President Abraham Lincoln signs legislation abolishing slavery in present and future U.S. territories. The Emancipation Proclamation goes into effect at midnight. Although the proclamation has caveats—it freed folks only in states that seceded that weren’t already under control by the Union—it was inspiring for the enslaved people living in the Confederacy, and paved the way for Black men to join the Union military. Approximately 1 million people were still enslaved in the Union. Robert E. Lee surrenders the last major Confederate army at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia, effectively ending the war. The last battle of the Civil War is fought in Palmito Ranch, Texas, about a month later.

June 19, 1865

Union soldiers arrive at Galveston Bay, Texas, to inform some 250,000 enslaved people of the Emancipation Proclamation two-and-a-half years after it went into effect, and two months after the end of the Civil War. The Texas decree from a Union general was known as General Order No. 3: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.” This was the final decree of the Emancipation Proclamation. Texas was the last Confederate state to free its enslaved people, though slavery was still in effect in border states like Kentucky until the 13th Amendment was ratified on December 6 that year.

June 16, 2021

BY SARA PEQUEÑO spequeno@indyweek.com

January 1, 1863

April 9, 1865

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Juneteenth: A Historical Timeline

June 19, 1862

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uneteenth goes by several names: Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day are just a few. Here’s a bit of history on June 19, the oldest national holiday celebrating the commemoration of the end of slavery.

June 19, 1866

The first Juneteenth celebration, known as “Jubilee Day,” is held in Texas.

July 26, 1947

The Carolinian, one of the state's oldest Black community newspapers still publishing, first mentions Juneteenth in a story from the American Negro Press. At an American Federation of Labor convention in Texas, representatives suggested June 19 be a paid holiday for Black workers so that they weren’t penalized for missing that day.

June 19, 1964

The Civil Rights Act passes in the U.S. Senate after passing in the House that February; it was signed into law on July 2.

1978

First mention of a Juneteenth celebration in The Charlotte Post.

1979

Texas becomes the first state to make Juneteenth an official holiday.

1999

Winston-Salem holds its first Juneteenth celebration, drawing 2,000 people with a parade and performances. (Winston-Salem Chronicle)

June 19, 2020

Two Confederate monuments at the N.C. State Capitol building are brought down by protesters and dragged through the streets of downtown Raleigh.


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North Carolina

New Energy An executive order from Governor Cooper sets new targets for offshore wind generation BY ELLIE HEFFERNAN backtalk@indyweek.com

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orth Carolinians love the coast for its beaches, but that’s not all our shores are good for. Last week, Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order that will bolster the state’s efforts to expand offshore wind power production. The order establishes a goal of producing 2.8 gigawatts of wind power by 2030 and 8 GW by the start of the following decade. This energy would power roughly 2.3 million homes by 2040. “Offshore wind power will help North Carolina create jobs and generate economic development while helping us transition to a clean energy economy,” Gov. Cooper said in a press statement. “North Carolina’s national leadership in clean energy and manufacturing plus our highly trained workforce create a strong business environment for offshore wind supply chain and manufacturing companies.” North Carolina—and the Triangle—could attract much of the projected $100 billion national offshore wind market. The state has more offshore wind potential than any other along the Atlantic coast, according to a 2017 U.S. Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Lab report. Raleigh and Onslow Bay are some of the most promising locations for offshore wind energy, according to a 2009 study conducted by researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill. The order also directs various state agencies to create new positions related to the offshore wind plan. The Department of Commerce must name a clean energy economic development coordinator and establish the North Carolina Taskforce for Offshore Wind Economic Resource Strategies (NC TOWERS). The Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs must designate offshore wind coordinators and take steps to support energy development. A North Carolina Offshore Wind Interagency Workgroup must also meet quarterly to ensure offshore wind activities are well coordinated among leadership in relevant agencies.

A May report from the state commerce department forecasts that North Carolina could address and supply equipment for the entire East coast offshore wind market—not just projects directly off North Carolina’s coast. The East coast will likely see a total offshore wind capacity exceeding 40 GW by 2035. North Carolina is well positioned to address this demand due to its multiple port and water-front properties, according to the report, which was conducted by BVG Associates, a consulting company with extensive wind energy experience. The state’s integrated, up-to-date, and high-capacity transport system also includes rail, road, and both inland and coastal waterways that connect easily to adjoining states and the coastline. Reaching the level of capacity projected by BVG will require a manufacturing ecosystem to supply component parts for at least two dozen utility-scale wind farms. This means more jobs for North Carolinians. North Carolina already features one approved Wind Energy Area (WEA) under lease for development. The Kitty Hawk WEA is projected to potentially support 2,500 megawatts of energy—enough to power approximately 700,000 homes. This is slightly under a fifth of all households in the state. The state’s new commitments to offshore wind energy will create jobs in a variety of sectors, officials say, while helping achieve the North Carolina Clean Energy Plan’s goals, which include a 70 percent reduction in power sector greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. “This coordinated approach to developing our offshore wind supply chain will bring new jobs to North Carolina for generations to come,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders in a press release. “From building out the supply chain, to installing equipment, to operating the wind facilities, North Carolina’s manufacturers and workforce are well positioned to play an integral role in the entire East Coast market.” W INDYweek.com

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Raleigh

Put Out Tenants of a Garner Road affordable housing complex are facing homelessness and eviction BY CARYL ESPINOZA JAEN backtalk@indyweek.com

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ames Upchurch has lived at Wayside Apartments on Garner Road in Raleigh for eight years. The complex, located a few miles south of downtown, has served as affordable housing for many low-income residents for decades. But this month might be Upchurch’s and the other residents’ last living there. In mid-May, residents received a door notice that the complex had been sold, and the new landlords would be terminating all leases effective at the end of June, leaving Upchurch and dozens of others worried about housing. With Raleigh’s average monthly rent for a 956-squarefoot apartment estimated at $1,287—up 57 percent since 2010, according to the apartment listing website RENTCafé— the Wayside tenants filed a petition asking for their housing termination date to be extended. “There’s 32 families here that are being put out,” Upchurch says. “So a couple of them have already found something. But me, I’m a handicapped individual, so I can’t get around, and we’re waiting to try to find something.” The petition was sent to TradeMark Residential, a residential management firm working for the complex’s new owner, shortly after residents received the notices. Since then, many residents started contacting the Raleigh City Council and local activists for help. Diana Powell, executive director of Justice Served NC, says Upchurch contacted her about two weeks ago, shortly after he received his lease notice. “This is the part where we have to come in and work together with our resources that are being funded and the community as well, and that’s exactly what we’re trying to do,” Powell says. “If individu-

als find themselves totally with no support, nowhere to go, no family, no couch, nowhere to go, then we as a community, and these other programs, must come together and figure it out.” While tenants may reapply for housing in the renovated apartment complex, Powell says, many of the new requirements set by the new landlords are difficult for the current residents to meet. Rent, for example, is set to triple, and background and credit checks will now be part of the application process, on top of an application fee. “I would say probably 80 percent would not be able to continue to live there,” Powell says. “Their options are just to find somewhere else or to become homeless.” In a conversation with the INDY, Upchurch said that while he could manage to afford the higher rent, he would not be able to afford anything else. With the lease expiring soon, Upchurch contacted Corey Branch, the Raleigh City Council representative for District C, where the apartment complex is located. “I feel like he’s trying, and they tell us that they’re talking to the mayor,” Upchurch says. “All I have to go on is what they tell us. All any of us have to go on is what they tell us.” Branch says he has been in contact with several of the residents at the Garner Road apartment complex as well as with TradeMark Residential. Branch told the INDY that the new landlords are working on ways to extend the housing deadline for current residents. But the residents still face challenges, since the housing market in Raleigh has not only become more expensive but more competitive as well.

James Upchurch

PHOTO BY CARYL ESPINOZA JAEN

“Right now, because of the very low vacancy rate in the county, it’s really challenging to find a place for anyone,” Branch says. “For just someone moving here, looking for a space, there’s a lot of competing factors, so I think about that situation, but my overall goal is to work with the residents to keep them there.” Ed Batchelor, the president of TradeMark Residential, told the INDY that the management firm is working with the Raleigh/Wake Partnership to End Homelessness to help the current residents find homes after the lease deadline. Batchelor also confirmed he’s been working with Branch and the Raleigh City Council to find ways to house the residents. To combat the housing crisis, Branch says the city council is working on multiple affordable housing projects, including increasing Raleigh property taxes to cover upcoming affordable housing construction. But these complexes take months to build, Branch says. With the minimum wage in North Carolina still at $7.25 an hour, and the housing market expected to get more competitive in the coming years,

many residents are finding the City of Oaks increasingly unaffordable. “We need more landlords that are willing to not go for the market rate, that are willing to say ‘Hey, I can take a little less because I’m helping someone and that person is consistent with their payments,’” Branch says. “There’s a lot of people who are willing to pay and consistently pay, but they can’t afford the rate at which things are going or are increasing.” The residents’ June deadline is likely to be extended for a few more months, according to Branch and Powell. But residents who will be unable to meet the new housing requirements will now have to find backup plans for housing—and fast. For many, this means finding family, friends, or community groups who have space for them to temporarily reside, Powell told the INDY. As for Upchurch, he hasn’t been able to find any tangible housing plans yet with his family. “There ain’t but three of us left in all,” Upchurch says. “One lives in Richmond, and I’m here.” W INDYweek.com

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Durham

Lawsuit Season Durham residents allege four city council members violated N.C.’s open meetings law by talking policy in public BY THOMASI MCDONALD tmcdonald@indyweek.com

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wo Durham residents are suing the city and four council members for violating the state’s open meetings law during a public appearance in which the members discussed funding cuts to the police department. At the crux of the complaint filed last week in Durham County Superior Court are claims that Mayor Pro Tem Jillian Johnson and fellow council members Javiera Caballero, Charlie Reece, and Pierce Freelon violated the law by appearing together in a virtual town hall in which the members pledged to redirect 10 percent of the police department budget to alternative budgets. Four council members constitute a quorum, and by law, that would require advance public notice of the gathering; two other council members and Mayor Steve Schewel were not present at the town hall. The complaint was filed by Durham attorneys Daniel Meier and Jonathan Jones on behalf of Deborah Friedman and Mark Rodin. Durham city attorney Kim Rehberg told the INDY that her office is evaluating the complaint. “The City Attorney’s Office needs an opportunity to review the complaint and discuss the allegations with our clients before publicly commenting on the substance of the suit,” Rehberg wrote in an email. “Based on what we know at present, again, without the benefit of conversations with our clients, I fully expect that we will present a vigorous defense against this lawsuit, and I look forward to presenting that defense in court.” On May 17, City Manager Wanda Page presented her proposed 2021-2022 bud10

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get to the council. The proposal included the creation of a Department of Community Safety and the reallocation of five positions from the police department, including four officers. Three days later, Johnson, Caballero, Reece, and Freelon appeared together at a virtual town hall, pledging to reallocate funds that had been earmarked for the hiring of 60 police officers. The event was hosted by Durham For All and the Durham Beyond Policing coalition, according to the five-page complaint. The council has taken no action this year to significantly reduce the size of the police department or transfer resources to the not-yet-existent Department of Community Safety. According to the complaint, Johnson indicated “she had a plan to reallocate 20 [officer] positions each year for the next three years to the Department of Community Safety,” and “Cabellero, Freelon and Reece all indicated agreement with Johnson’s plan.” The complaint claims “irreparable injury” to Friedman and Rodin, the plaintiffs, and the public at large “through impairment of their knowledge and understanding of the people’s business.” Meier, the plaintiff’s attorney, said the open meetings law is quite broad in its definition of an official meeting. “It goes well beyond voting to including deliberation and the transaction of public business,” Meier said in an email to the INDY. “That’s to prevent public bodies, such as a city council, from making decisions out of the public eye. “There are very few circumstances where a majority of the city council can meet and it would not be considered an official

From top left: Mayor Pro Tem Jillian Johnson and Durham City Council members Javiera Caballero, Charlie Reece, and Pierce Freelon PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE DURHAM CITY COUNCIL

meeting. In this instance four members of the council were discussing public policy and committing to vote in a particular way on an issue that was scheduled to come before them in just a few days. It is our contention that more than satisfies the requirements of an official meeting that requires proper notice and access to the general public.” Meier added that open meetings laws may seem onerous, but they exist for a reason. “It may not seem fair that if four are friends, they can’t get together for a cookout and discuss their plans, but they can’t,” Meier said. “It comes with the job and positions they chose to take.”

Meier says his clients do not support the reallocation of positions from the police department to the new Department of Community Safety and don’t understand why the city can’t fund both the police positions as well as the new community safety department. But his clients’ position is irrelevant to the complaint, he said. “Open meetings laws exist to protect against corruption, back-office dealing, and control by special interests,” he explained. “This lawsuit is simply about making sure the City Council conducts itself in accordance with the law. Despite the headlines, it’s not in response to any particular policy position.” W


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Model Taylor Webber-Fields portrays Erzulie, the Haitian Mother Mary and Goddess of Love PHOTO BY MADYLIN NIXON-TAPLET, LOVE ÖNWA PHOTOGRAPHY

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Hayti Reborn Juneteenth at Hayti Heritage Center in Durham will celebrate freedom while focusing on revitalizing the historic neighborhood BY THOMASI MCDONALD tmcdonald@indyweek.com

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uneteenth, America’s oldest national celebration commemorating the end of slavery, is experiencing a rebirth since the murder of George Floyd and the realization that the struggle for Black freedom in America continues. This week, community organizers in Durham will host a Juneteenth celebration at the Hayti Heritage Center to acknowledge the end of one of humanity’s most barbaric practices, which made white men rich and America a superpower. In addition to celebrating the end of slavery, the organizers of the June 18 event are touting the launch of a different kind of freedom—racial and economic equity for the Hayti district, a culturally rich neighborhood along Fayetteville Street that’s one of the city’s most historic communities. Hayti’s Juneteenth will serve as the launching of a community-based initiative, “Hayti Reborn,” which aims to rebuild the community along the Fayetteville Street corridor. The community has languished for decades, still traumatized by an urban renewal effort during the 1960s and early 1970s with the construction of Highway 147. The misnamed initiative destroyed 4,000 homes and 500 businesses in the neighborhood. As previously reported by the INDY, Henry McKoy, director of entrepreneurship at North Carolina Central University’s business school, believes the loss of Hayti’s presence is incalculable, possibly billions of dollars in lost economic value. The Durham Juneteenth event will feature a major economic announcement about the Hayti district from McKoy. “Hayti Reborn is just that,” McKoy said in an email to the INDY. “The vision is to see the rebirth of the community utilizing the same dynamic entrepreneurship ecosystem that it was once internationally known for. The vision is to see economic development within


Hayti was the undisputed center of Black capitalism and entrpreneurship ... the leading Black Wall Street in America.

Juneteenth Events Around the Triangle JUNE 16-20

The Inaugural Capital City Juneteenth Celebration A mix of in-person and virtual events, with the main celebration at Dix Park on June 19th Learn more here: juneteenthraleigh.org/

the community without forced displacements of residents. The vision is to build autonomous economic power, such that Hayti’s rebirth can serve as an inspiration for how we connect the Black community to economic progress in contemporary times. The vision of Hayti Reborn is that the world can see the Black community in Durham, and beyond, worthy of being invested in.” The free event for the public will take place at the Hayti Heritage Center (804 Old Fayetteville Street), formerly St. Joseph’s A.M.E. Church, and will coincide with the old church building’s 130th anniversary. The celebration will feature a Black Futures photo booth, Capoeira workshops, karaoke, a Haitian dance workshop with live drumming, the Hillside High School drumline, two African dance ensembles, live jazz, and a tribute to Erzulie, the Haitian Mother Mary and Goddess of Love whose veve (a religious symbol) has adorned the steeple of the Heritage Center (formerly the church) for 130 years. The Hayti event is this Friday, 3-9 p.m. Interestingly, part of the event’s celebration will pay tribute to the Haitian veve for Papa Legba, the “spirit of the crossroads” who facilitates communication, which sits atop of the William H. Robinson Science Building on the NCCU campus. Legba sitting atop the science building, which was built in 1939, does not appear to be a happenstance occurrence. Both veves can be seen simultaneously while standing in front of the home of NCCU founder James E. Shepard. The old church steeple appears to sit in the middle of Fayetteville Street, nearly a mile away. With the church's completion in 1891, roughly 90 years after the Haitian revo-

lution, one can only wonder if community leaders during that period were trying to transmit a message of self-sufficiency to future generations. The special Juneteenth presentation will be curated by Village of Wisdom, a Durham nonprofit that helps Black parents help their children navigate racial bias in the classroom. Village of Wisdom partnered with Be Connected Durham, whose founder Angel Dozier says the Juneteenth celebration is part of a series of events titled Live! From the Fayetteville Street Corridor that happen on the third Friday of each month at the Hayti Heritage Center. The first event took place on March 19. In addition to live jazz, speeches, and poetry, the events have featured vendors, Black-themed art, and Black-owned food trucks. Dozier says she designed the series “to present critical cultural work like Village of Wisdom's to the broader community.” Dozier describes the events as an alternative to Third Friday Durham in the downtown district, where art galleries and studios open their doors to the public to enjoy wine, cheese, and the arts offerings. “Our neighbors have told us that downtown is not necessarily inclusive for them, so we are modeling what equitable engagement looks like,” says Dozier, who created the event after canvassing the neighborhood. Dozier says the irony of exclusion is that “the genesis and origins of Durham’s culture started in the Hayti neighborhood.” “They are the people who made that vibrancy happen and now they are shut out.” Her solution to feelings of exclusion? Start the third Friday events at the Hayti

JUNE 16-20

The Town of Cary's Juneteenth Celebration A combination of virtual and in-person events, including scheduled performances at the Sertoma Amphitheater at Bond Park Learn more here: townofcary.org/recreation-enjoyment/events/special-events/ juneteenth

JUNE 17

Juneteenth: Looking Back While Moving Forward Presented by N.C. Central University’s James E. Shepard Memorial Library, 2 p.m. Register for the virtual event: bit.ly/NCCUJuneteenthEvent

JUNE 18-20

Celebrate Black Community & CultureThe Inaugural Chapel Hill-Carrboro Juneteenth Celebration A kickoff celebration, book talk with Annette Gordon-Reed, motorcade, Save the Music series, and much more Learn more here: chapelhillarts.org/calendar/juneteenth-celebration/

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Heritage Center, and eventually stage the event at other locations along the Fayetteville Street corridor, including W.D. Hill Recreation Center, Lincoln Community Health Center, NCCU, and the Chicken Hut areas. The plan for this year’s Juneteenth event, Dozier says, is to create a directory of artists, businesses, and vendors. “We are going to take the same model to the [Wellon’s] Village and Braggtown neighborhoods,” Dozier says. “We aim to build business capacity and unity in the community.” City council member DeDreana Freeman, whose constituents live in the Hayti district, says a project to improve the economic fortunes of the community would have a positive impact on the entire city. “Any work done in this economic climate that focuses on Black and Brown businesses would have an exponential impact on our local economy,” Freeman told the INDY. “The residential and commercial gentrification has devastated homeowners and businesses of color. We need targeted approaches that take history into account.” McKoy says that during its heyday, the Hayti district was unparalleled, especially after the destruction of the Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “It was the undisputed center of Black capitalism and entrepreneurship … the leading Black Wall Street in America,” McKoy says. “It was known as the ‘City on the Hill for Blacks,’ and ‘Capital of the Black Middle Class.’” McKoy notes that Hayti was the home of North Carolina Mutual Insurance Company, the world’s largest Black-owned business for much of the 20th century and that Durham had more Black millionaires per capita than any other city in America at its apex. “One way to identify the economic and social strength of Hayti at its height is that in the midst of segregated Jim Crow South, Durham was a net gainer of Black people, even as a great migration from the South was happening with Blacks heading North,” McKoy adds. “And the Hayti community produced one of the most diverse array of Black entrepreneurial ecosystems in history, essentially covering every economic sector that whites were represented in.” It’s fitting that the launch of a community rebirth is taking place at the Hayti Heritage Center. The old St. Joseph’s A.M.E. Church building is one of Durham’s finest architectural landmarks and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Prior to the building of the church,

the site was the home of a brush arbor that served as the church’s first sanctuary. The arbor was built by the church’s founder, Rev. Edian D. Markham. A log cabin house was then built on the site, which was also Durham’s first Black school, where Markham taught. According to a joint 2016 report by the city’s historic preservation commission and the city-county planning department, the old church was “a center in the Hayti community” and “remains today as the last authentic physical reminder of early Hayti.” Aya Shabu, Village of Wisdom’s director of arts and culture and INDY Voices columnist, says part of her role is “to identify, celebrate, replicate, model, and create culturally affirming activities” for the nonprofit’s students, both inside and outside the classroom. “The Juneteenth event itself is a classroom,” Shabu told the INDY. City council member Mark-Anthony Middleton says the Fayetteville Street corridor “is not just a hotbed for Black business and cultural activity, it is perhaps the most prominent approach to our downtown district.” “It should be considered the center jewel in our city’s crown, and regarded with the same mystique and awe as Atlanta’s Sweet Auburn and Harlem’s Sugar Hill.” Mayoral candidate Elaine O’Neal, a retired Durham superior court judge and former dean of NCCU law school, is scheduled to speak at the event. “So much of the stuff that was good about us was there,” O’Neal told the INDY. “When you look at it in its current condition it does something to our psyche. And for it to come back to life is a rebirth in more ways than one.” O'Neal, a lifelong Durham resident, was born at the old Lincoln Hospital on Fayetteville Street, about two blocks away from the Hayti Heritage Center. She told the INDY that Fayetteville Street was a “connector” for Black people living all over Durham and who patronized restaurants like the near-legendary Green Candle or the Chicken Hut that still stands. There was also the old Harriet Tubman YWCA, Mechanics and Farmers Bank, the Stanford L. Warren Branch Library, W.D. Hills, and nightclubs. There were momand-pop shops, prominent churches, and striking homes of the community’s leading citizens—all crowned by the flagship educational institutions, Hillside High School and NCCU. “It was like the gateway street,” O’Neal says. “We want Fayetteville Street to be a change agent for Durham.” W


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PUTT-PUTT FUN CENTER

1340 North Church Street, Burlington | puttputt.com/burlington

Brian Patterson, owner of Putt-Putt Fun Center in Burlington PHOTO BY BRETT VILLENA

The Course of True Love Professional Putt-Putt converges on Burlington for a close contest and a fond farewell BY BRIAN HOWE arts@indyweek.com

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hey came from High Point and Charlotte, from Virginia and South Carolina, from Kentucky and Pennsylvania. They wore baseball caps, cotton pants, and Under Armour polo shirts. They were about 90 in number, a far-flung yet close-knit society coming together, as they had so many times before, to make a new champion. They brought their own clubs. Their arena was the pair of miniature golf courses at the Putt-Putt Fun Center in Burlington, which has been on North Church Street since 1962. On the weekend of June 5 and 6, it hosted the Professional Putters Association’s annual PPA Invitational Tournament and its amateur counterpart, the APA. During the penultimate round on Sunday afternoon, the unrelieved sun made the minigolf franchise’s distinctive orange trim and green carpets appear to blaze. But 16

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the play was cool and methodical. Shows of agony were restrained to soft groans and dark laughs, though camaraderie was evident in the back slaps and shoulder squeezes that passed among these men who reunited—a few times a year, somewhere in America—to do their favorite thing. Though each competed alone, they played in pairs. They kept their own scores, with only their fellow putters and a few family members to cheer them on. Here was Graham Sigmon, a polite, sun-pinked 12-yearold from Madison, North Carolina. Despite his young age, he finished mid-pack, just a few places behind his dad, in the amateur division. It was won by Earl Davis, whose brief speech about his emotional final hole was warmly received. He was the only African American player in the tournament, which was otherwise composed almost entirely of white men of at least middle age.

Here was Ken Hastings of Pittsburgh, who has been crisscrossing the county for PPA events with his friend John Bambling for 50 years. Neither of them did so well, but Hastings didn’t seem to mind. “He’s heard all my jokes 77 times, and he still gives me a chuckle,” he said of Bambling. “We do it because we love the game.” Here was Joe Aboid, the PPA’s commissioner since 1985, who has the shorn pate, kind eyes, and tired, patient voice of a beloved college professor. He gave up competitive play when he went to work for the company and got “more interested in making sure the carpets were clean than in scoring an ace.” He sold his course in Virginia a few years ago, and now just runs the tournaments—a volunteer position. And here was owner-operator Brian Patterson, a youthful 48-year-old Burlington native whose clean, well-kept courses have earned the PPA’s respect. When he drove down to Fernandina Beach, Florida, for the PPA championship last year, he wanted to see the oldest Putt-Putt in existence, but he had another motive, too. He wanted to ask Aboid, who allocates tournaments to the dwindling number of official Putt-Putt courses that remain, for one more chance to host one. In the week before the tournament, Patterson announced to the PPA community that it would be his last before he sold his business—the only place he’s ever worked, other than a couple of teenage jobs—to a new owner, a man from Maryland named John Wilder, in August. Besides Patterson’s retirement, the talk of the tourney was Randy Reeves, an Alabaman who broke a PPA record by scoring 26 consecutive holes-in-one. But in the last round, all eyes were on Greg Newport of South Carolina and Kevin Rutledge of Tennessee, who were locked in a close battle, and who had history. Newport knew the course well and had won several tournaments before. Rutledge had never played in Burlington or won a national tournament, though he had often lost to Newport by a single stroke. When Newport’s daughter found Rutledge practicing, he’d said, “Tell your daddy not to worry. He’ll still beat me by one.” But after the underdog from Tennessee aced the 17th, taking a daring route in between a pair of metal triangles, the friendly rivals tied, initiating a playoff—18 holes, one on one. With everyone else, Brian Patterson drew in close to watch.

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on Clayton founded Putt-Putt in Fayetteville in 1954, deep in the postwar leisure boom. The company once had more than 300 franchises around the world, though now it’s down to a few dozen in the South and East, with outposts in Texas and California. Among brands so iconic that they became proper nouns, it is unique: whereas a Kleenex really is just a facial tissue, Putt-Putt is not just minigolf. Beneath the family fun


“We pride ourselves on it being more of a skill-based game, as opposed to just hoping you get lucky and hit the ball in a clown’s mouth.” lies a schematic, no-frills game geared for technical competitive play. The PPA, which Clayton founded under a different acronym in 1959, competes exclusively on Putt-Putt courses. This was one of two national tournaments—the other, larger one will be in Richmond, Virginia, in September—that it runs for dues-paying members each year. The competitors had already proven their mettle on the local circuit and earned the cosign of a trusted operator like Patterson. The top prize in Burlington was $1,200. The greens were outlined by orange bump boards and dotted with orange obstacles: simple bricks, triangles, discs, posts, and brackets, all made of the same extruded aluminum, which gives a consistent bounce. The holes—each a par-two on which a hole-in-one is possible—were hidden in plain sight, resting on curves or behind angular scoops. It’s all by the book of regulation designs that the company dispenses to franchisees. “It’s not like when you say, ‘Let’s go play putt-putt’ at Myrtle Beach,” Patterson says. “We pride ourselves on it being more of a skillbased game, as opposed to just hoping you get lucky and hit the ball in a clown’s mouth.” As a kid, Patterson liked coming to “Super Saturdays,” when you could play all the Putt-Putt and video games you wanted for a flat fee. In the beginning, it’s not that he was all that ardent about minigolf—he just liked being there, goofing off and eating pizza. As a high school junior, he needed a parttime job; his uncle was a manager at the Putt-Putt, so he got one there. He started as an attendant in the game room, where tokens, plastic prizes, and games of minigolf changed into one another in an endless loop of small rewards. When he went to UNC-Charlotte, he kept coming back to work at the Putt-Putt on weekends. After one semester there and a few nearer to home, his upslope momentum ran out and his life rolled back into the hole it had been bound for, all along. “When I quit college, I was like ‘All right, Brian, you gotta figure out what you’re gonna do with your life. If you like working

at Putt-Putt, let’s ask [owner] Bobby [Gilmore] if you can be his manager, try to learn the trade and see where it goes,’” he says. After several years as manager, Patterson bought the business in 2001. Now he’s also a married father of two teenage boys, one of whom will be among the dozen employees he brings on this summer, when camp and daycare kids will pour through by the busload. But during slower times, he’s often the only one there. When Patterson bought this franchise, it had already adapted to the arcade boom, and subsequent arcade crash, of the 1980s and 90s. He has weathered the 2008 economic crash by shortening off-season hours; and the coronavirus pandemic by sheer luck and dedication. “I’m just thinking I’ve had enough PuttPutt fun, and it’s time to have a midlife crisis and change gears,” Patterson says, laughing. “I would really like to find myself in something a little more lucrative and easier on my body. People think I’m just standing behind the counter, selling Putt-Putt, but there’s a lot more to it, the painting and pressure-washing and mowing and blowing and weeding and scrubbing bathrooms.” He’ll miss the place, the people, and the local celebrity. “It’s kind of cool when you go out in town, and kids go, ‘Mommy, that’s the Putt-Putt guy!’” he says. But inasmuch as Putt-Putt is about doing the same thing the same way in the same place, again and again, deceptively simple obstacles can be hard to overcome and apparently unshakable patterns can suddenly change. “Do your thing, Rut!” someone yelled before the 16th hole of the playoff. Newport took practice swings in the grass nearby. A little girl ran by wearing plastic fangs from the arcade. Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know” played softly on the PA. Rutledge skimmed it twice for a bogey, bringing his rival within range, before rallying to defeat Newport by one stroke. A few minutes later, Rutledge was among the well-wishers who came to embrace him, but the crowd was already thinning out. Some people had very long drives, and anyway, most of them would see each other in Richmond in the fall. W

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M U SIC

Her Take: On Carolina Hip Hop ILLUSTRATION BY JON FULLER

hours and send them all messages hoping someone would give me a chance without any body of work to show besides some old GoPro edits. Did you receive formal training?

My aunt recommended a program called Film Connection, which was very new at the time. It was a two-year program that allowed you to be a student remotely. They would also reach out to production companies in your area to place you in an internship. I was at Uptone Pictures for two years before deciding to give freelancing a shot. Uptone gave me a foundation of skills, but I learned most of what I know now by throwing myself into the fire and failing many times. YouTube was also, and still is, a huge source to learn filmmaking. You do a really good job branding on social media. Where did that skillset come from?

Behind the Lens Raleigh hip-hop videographer Patrick Lincoln has an eye for perfection, and the long game BY KYESHA JENNINGS

music@indyweek.com | @kyeshajennings

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f you live in the Triangle area and are immersed in the hip-hop community, you’ve probably heard of Torch House Media, a “full-service production house that creates content at the cornerstone of culture.” The company is founded by Patrick Lincoln, a videographer based in Raleigh known for his level of professionalism and eye for perfection who has worked with high-profile clients like HBO, PBS Roc Nation/JAMLA artist Rapsody, and a host of other Carolina artists. Recently, the INDY spoke with Lincoln to learn more about his career trajectory and goals with film production. 18

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INDY Week: What inspired you to get into videography? Was the goal always to shoot music videos? PATRICK LINCOLN: This may sound very

cliche, but movies have always been a huge part of my life. It was always a way of bonding with my father, who introduced me to the classics at a very early age. Then in high school I took a Visual Arts class that really dissected the symbolism in certain films and gave me a glimpse of the behind -the-scenes process. Music videos were definitely the goal when I was first starting out. I used to sit in my room and research local artists for

I honestly have always thought I didn’t do enough on social media, so I appreciate you saying that. It’s very reassuring. My only goal for my account was to be myself and come across as approachable. I had a friend early on tell me that the way I presented myself on social media was going to prevent any corporate clients from reaching out and I was fine with that. Who are some of the Triangle artists you have worked with?

I started offering free concert recap videos for local artists to get my foot in the door. They would just be one-minute highlights, but it was the perfect opportunity to develop a certain style and gain exposure in the community. At one of these shows I met ZenSoFly and we hit it off. She was gracious enough to allow me to film and edit her video for “Getting Started.” That was my first music video and things kind of took off from there. I’ve been lucky to work with so many talented artists in NC whether it was for a recap or music video. People like Young Bull, Pat Junior, NANCE, G Yamazawa, Reuben Vincent, Kooley High, Boulevards, Laura Reed, Jooselord, Lord Fess, Wreck-NCrew, and so many others. Super grateful for all of them trusting me over the years.

Many of them I’m still working with and consider friends. I noticed that you recently began working with Jamla/Rapsody—what was that exerperience like, especially in the midst of racial injustice and police brutality? Did you have creative input, and are you aware of the criticism the video received on social media?

[Rapsody’s] creative energy is off the charts and extremely contagious to be around. This started a marathon of working together, which then led to her asking me to direct the video for her new track “12 Problems.” Rapsody came into the office shortly after and presented all her ideas for the concept. She knew exactly what she wanted and it was our job to execute. This was my largest project to date and I was definitely nervous, but also confident that someone of Rapsody’s caliber was trusting me with her vision. I doubt I noticed all of the criticism online, but we completely understood that there would be passionate opinions about the subject matter from both sides. I know there were some heated exchanges in the YouTube comments, but starting those conversations was kind of the point. Who are some videographers/filmmakers that you admire?

I’m always inspired by directors who are also incredible editors. The ones who stand out to me are Omar Jones and Lonewolf. They both have super unique styles and are just killing it right now. Around here I really look up to what Summit Collective produces; everything they work on is impressive. I’ve been lucky enough to work with a couple of their members on recent projects. I also got to give shout-outs to Andrew Kennedy, Ryan Pham, and Brandon McCarrell. Where do you see yourself and your company in five years?

Although I love working on music videos, it would be nice to dedicate more time towards other avenues of filmmaking—documentaries, short films, features, commercials, television. All of it. W This interview has been edited for length and clarity.


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Sleeping With One Eye Open Two new albums drift through disorienting dreamscapes and gritty, glitchy dystopias BY DAN RUCCIA AND GRANT GOLDEN music@indyweek.com

NOAH DEEMER: THE SLEEPWALKER [Self-released; June 4] HHH1/2

BRUTAL JR.: PARTY GARBAGE [Broken Sound Tapes; June 21] HHH

The sleepwalker, as a metaphor, is all about indistinct edges, mismatched images, unexpected changes, and the freaky realization that your body can still act, even while your mind is somewhere else entirely. It’s a surrealist’s ideal image, pointing towards a space of pure, undifferentiated possibility where seemingly anything could happen without conscious intention. Thus is Noah Deemer’s new EP of the same name, full of buzzing synthesizers, non sequiturs, and a crazed mismatch of approaches that somehow flow by in a half-recognized haze. After years of playing with the Toddlers, Gross Ghost, No One Mind, and many other Chapel Hill art-pop groups, Deemer (his given name is Noah Dehmer, but he plays as Noah Deemer) steps into the leader role for the first time here with bedroom psych that is as woozy as it is self-assured. Take, for instance, the drum-machine waltz of “Underwater Green / Counting Down,” in which three or four different singers/narrators describe some abstract decadence over a sea of Fender Rhodes, saxophone punches, and burbling feedback. The ground seems to dissolve as everything becomes aqueous, but it doesn’t seem to matter. (Is there a more perfect sleepwalking instrument than a drum machine playing a soft, skeletal beat? It just keeps pattering, unaware of anything going on around it. Deemer certainly isn’t the first to take advantage of this particular mood, but he uses it so well.) And the Ohsees-like heavy psych of “Please Life” feels more like a passing dream than a real disturbance or change in direction—even if I kinda wish Deemer spent more time in this particular somnambulation. More than anything, Deemer seems to be drawing on the many moods of Angelo Badalamenti to color the instrumental components of his dreamworlds. The EP’s titular centerpiece seems to channel the theme music from Twin Peaks through a mix of vibraphone, fuzz guitar leads, and synthesizers working through a melody rife with portentous yet strangely unhurried chord progressions. There is a ton of activity on the surface, none of which seems to disturb its overarching stillness. It is nominally wakeful—it’s maybe the only track with live drums—but also fully submerged. And when Deemer starts languidly singing “sleepwalker” over and over in the song’s closing moments, it’s like an incantation, although who is doing the conjuring and what is being conjured remains unclear. He seems to be reaching for some perfectly Lynchian transcendental space, one which he chooses, wisely, to inhabit just briefly. To dwell there for too long would risk bursting the bubble and waking up disoriented in some unknown and potentially terrifying spot. —Dan Ruccia

Landing somewhere among doom metal, punk rock, and synthwave, the music of Carrboro’s Brutal Jr. is nothing if not ambitious. Produced by Mike Robinson (Lonnie Walker, Annuals), their first full-length record Party Garbage is a sprawling sci-fi concept album about narrator OC-666’s tumultuous return to their homeland. Taking shape as a glitchy transmission from OC-666, Party Garbage catalogues a world ravaged by drugs, corruption, pollution, and the subsequent fight for retribution. Brutal Jr.’s music is built around a dense, fuzzed-out low-end that’s split between synthesizers and bass guitar and propelled by John Meier’s (Naked Naps, Noah Cross) tight percussion. Distorted vocals and sludgy bass lines are trademark features in the album, but the tracks that shine brightest juxtapose this darkness with moments of levity. Daniel Morales’ strained, discordant vocals capture the narrator’s desperation in “The Cursed Image” while shimmering, marimba-esque keys evoke a sense of hopefulness. Meanwhile, “inthecity” serves as our narrator’s triumphant rallying cry with chunky guitar riffs and slicing synth lines, capped off with a spastic solo from guest guitarist Elijah Melanson (Zephyranthes). However, those moments wouldn’t feel so powerful without the grit and grime of tracks like “Sin Trading” and “OC-666.” By blending the breakdown styles of hardcore and metal, Brutal Jr. crafts a signature sound full of growling bass lines, snappy percussion, and fervid vocals. For all its strong points, Party Garbage still feels like the band hasn’t quite found their core sound. “Eyes Roll Back” features a clunkily-placed “Pop, Lock & Drop It” sample, and while it’s an interesting textural element, it comes in too strong and detracts from the story. Morales’ vocals also are in danger of getting lost in the soundscape, detracting from the emotion embedded in this dystopian tale. While bumpy at parts, Party Garbage is a successful debut for this experimental punk trio. It’s both expansive and succinct, and packs in enough detail to warrant multiple listens with new enjoyment on each spin. —Grant Golden W

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JAKI SHELTON GREEN: I WANT TO UNDIE YOU

[Jacar Press; first published in 2017] Raleigh's Community Bookstore

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o know Jaki Shelton Green is to love her, because one knows how deeply she loves and feels. Long before Gov. Roy Cooper in 2018 appointed Green as the first Black American and third woman to serve as North Carolina’s Poet Laureate, her gifts as a masterful wordsmith were readily obvious to those who know her. Much of Green’s work is informed by a pragmatic mysticism immediately recognized by Black women raised in the downhome folkways of Southern traditions. In the decades that I have known her, Green has encouraged my work as a writer. One night while I was visiting her home in Efland that she shares with her gracious husband, Latif, she gifted me a wonderful black and burgundy-striped hat knitted by her mother. During the 1990s, she was a frequent visitor at the home I shared with a woman who would braid Green’s hair while they sat at the kitchen table on Saturday mornings that stretched into afternoons. Green’s latest volume of poetry, I Want To Undie You, was first published in 2017 by Jacar Press here in Durham. A second, pocket-sized edition was released this year as Voglio Strapparti Alla Morte, by the Italian publisher, Lebeg Edizioni, in Rome. Written in English and Italian, the volume is a powerful and poignant meditation—a long-play prayer, no less—that chronicles the death of Green’s daughter, Imani, who died in 2009 at the age of 38. Green describes the work as “a love letter to Imani,” and “a universal statement about loss, and the “healing spirit as an artist.” “I turn to language to be the canvas,” she told the INDY, adding that in writing, she wanted to “un-die” her child. She was unable, she says, to write about Imani’s death until 2017, nearly a decade after it occurred. “It would come to me in bits and pieces, in paragraphs,” she said. “At four o’clock in the morning, the poem would wake me up.”

I Want To Undie You pays homage to the ancient tradition of art as a catharsis that cleanses both the artist and observer, as Green struggles to come to terms with the death of her daughter, in this slim, emotionally fraught, 67-page work. Along the journey, Green acknowledges the West African proverb “it takes a village” when she chronicles the communities that shared in her grief, gathering “to hold me / they came with food flowers holy water words open” as they “gently unraveled the [strings of our hearts releasing you and your new wings into a new sky].” One-third of the way into Green’s journey, she offers the volume’s tour de force, “I Want You To Un-Die. Come Back Said The Mother.” Here, while resorting to a grammatical style employed by e.e. cummings and Ntozake Shange, Green deploys words with the power of a Conjure Woman in the act of spiritual resurrection. She speaks with painful authority to the universal grief of a parent losing a beloved child. It reminded me of how my own mother simultaneously shook and trembled with unfathomable grief when my kid brother was murdered in 1993. “I Want You To Un-Die. Come Back Said The Mother” is akin to a sermon by a Black Southern preacher who calmly announces a Sunday morning text that builds into a song. Green does not sing with the cool elegance of a Dinah Washington. There’s a rawness that recalls the anguish of an Etta James song if the source of heartbreak and loneliness were the death of her baby instead of romantic love. “i want you to un-die. i want the dust of you unscattered./ i want the hush of you un-hushed./i want the cries for you un-cried./i want you to un-die./i want the tomb of you un-tombed./i want the dirge of you un-sung./i want the grief of you un-grieved.” Prepare to be moved by Jaki Shelton Green’s song. W

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In-Store Shopping Curbside Pick Up www.regulatorbookshop.com 720 Ninth Street, Durham, NC 27705 In-store and pick up hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10a-6p

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this week’s puzzle level:

© Puzzles by Pappocom

There is really only one rule to Sudoku: Fill in the game board so that the numbers 1 through 9 occur exactly once in each row, column, and 3x3 box. The numbers can appear in any order and diagonals are not considered. Your initial game board will consist of several numbers that are already placed. Those numbers cannot be changed. Your goal is to fill in the empty squares following the simple rule above.

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June 16, 2021

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HOW TO BUILD A TINY HOME Join us for a special outdoor, 8-part, hands-on workshop series in Franklinville, NC to learn the basics of home building from the trailer up. Second Sunday of every month JUNE 2021 – JANUARY 2022 www.deepriverfolkschool.com 919.799.6819

EMPLOYMENT Accounting Coordinator (Raleigh) Accounting Coordinator. Raleigh. Coord bookkeeping/ acctg services for small acct. firm, collect/ organize/ maintain data, docs & records. Bach. In Acct. or Business w/ exp. Send resume to HR Dept, Bookkeeping 101 Inc., 3722 Benson Dr., Ste 201, Raleigh, NC 27609.

919-416-0675

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