Raleigh | Durham | Chapel Hill August 18, 2021
THE LEGENDS OF
How North Carolina’s civil rights movement stormed through a Carrboro gridiron BY JOEL SRONCE, P. 12
Raleigh W Durham W Chapel Hill VOL. 38 NO. 31
Local filmmaker Michael Washington is on a mission, p. 20 PHOTO BY BRETT VILLENA
CONTENTS NEWS 4 5 6
What the 2020 Census tells us, at a glance. BY YANQI XU Republican lawmakers want to ignore racial data from the census in redistricting. Democrats say this could make it hard to comply with the Voting Rights Act. BY YANQI XU Raleigh's new top cop has a vision for community-based policing. BY THOMASI MCDONALD
The eviction moratorium was extended through September but experts say a growing crisis is looming. BY JASMINE GALLUP 10 Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools honors Stanley Vickers, whose family paved the way for school integration. BY SARA PEQUEÑO
Legacies of Lincoln: The Legends of Lions Park.
BY JOEL SRONCE
ARTS & CULTURE 15 Last week, North Carolina hip-hop artist RRome Alone released his first single. It was recorded on death row. BY THOMASI MCDONALD 16 BANGZZ makes a carthic garage-punk debut. BY BRIAN HOWE 18 Reviews of three new local releases. BY JORDAN LAWRENCE, DAN RUCCIA, AND BRIAN HOWE
20 In the documentary Dad Bod, a local filmmaker urges men to take their health seriously. BY ZACK SMITH 21 An unsettling horror flick presents a new kind of haunted house. BY GLENN MCDONALD
3 15 Minutes
COVER Illustration by Jon Fuller
WE M A DE THIS Arts & Culture Editor Sarah Edwards
Copy Editor Abigail O'Neill
C R E AT I V E
A D V E RTI S I N G
Senior Writer Leigh Tauss
Theater+Dance Critic Byron Woods
Wake County MaryAnn Kearns
Staff Writer Thomasi McDonald
EDITOR I AL
Digital Content Manager Sara Pequeño
Contributors Madeline Crone, Grant Golden, Spencer Griffith, Lucas Hubbard, Layla KhouryHanold, Brian Howe, Lewis Kendall, Kyesha Jennings, Glenn McDonald, Anna Mudd, Dan Ruccia, Jake Sheridan
PUBLIS H ER S Wake County
MaryAnn Kearns Durham/Orange/ Chatham Counties
Editor in Chief Jane Porter Managing Editor Geoff West
August 18, 2021
Graphic Designer Staff Photographer
Durham/Orange/ Chatham Counties John Hurld
C I RC U L ATI O N Berry Media Group
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BACK TA L K
It’s been a week of mask mandates from local governments and proof-ofvaccination requirements from local businesses, and, no surprise here, our readers have thoughts. For the web, Sarah Edwards wrote about Motoroco’s and other local businesses’ decision to require proof of vaccination (or a negative COVID test) along with a ticket for admission to upcoming shows.
“I deeply appreciate this announcement,” wrote Facebook commenter BRIAN E MAGEE. “Motorco cares for its employees and patrons. I hope other venues follow their lead.” “Very responsible decision,” agrees commenter CAROL PINKASAVAGE. Commenter GAIL LEVINE VANDERHEYDEN has some commonsense advice for show-goers: “Just get vaccinated. You can go to whatever show interests you.” But there were some….Naysayers? Skeptics? Conspiracists? Alarmists? ... on the thread. “Show me your papers!!!!,” wrote commenter MIKE GRUENEICH. “Glad that a business can do as it pleases in America. That will change soon though. Be careful what you wish for.” “Segregation returns to NC,” wrote commenter ALEX BIRD. “Imagine comparing having to get a life-saving public health shot in order to attend certain venues with racial segregation. Yikes,” wrote commenter BILL BOURRET in response. Also for the web, Leigh Tauss wrote about the deranged collective freakout over local indoor mask mandates. Our astute readers point out that wearing a mask is...really not that bad. “I’ll take a mask over wearing a bra any day,” writes Facebook commenter LUZ MOLINARI. “People are such babies. It’s easier than wearing shoes,” commenter ANDY LITTLE wrote. “It’s better than sunscreen!:)” wrote commenter SANDY ROCHELLE. Commenter JIM O’HARA made the winning analogy: “I hate wearing hats. They make me hot and sweaty and they give me hat hair. I don’t look that good in many of them. But I got too much sun as a kid, and I’m not stupid, so I wear a hat in the sun.” May we all not be stupid and take care of others and ourselves.
WANT TO SEE YOUR NAME IN BOLD?
15 MINUTES Tracy Stallworth, 25 Skateboarder BY SARA PEQUEÑO firstname.lastname@example.org PHOTO BY BRETT VILLENA
How did you get into skateboarding originally? When did it become the main thing you were doing? The Tony Hawk Pro Skater games were the first introduction I had. In the game you could collect little videotapes and you’d actually be able to see the real skateboarders’ footage. I saw that and instantly started begging my mom. I definitely got more immersed in the skate scene—being more fully into it and having it take over my life—probably in 11th grade of high school. I had been skating for a few years but I got to a point where I had been with my girlfriend for a while, so I wasn’t out doing other things. I was more focused on skating, and I’d always thought, ‘I want to do something more with skating, and I want to do something to be in the skate industry somehow,’ so that’s when I started actually thinking about it.
Skateboarding just made its Olympic debut. Do you think it’s changed the perception of the sport and the skills it takes to master it? Yeah, definitely. It’s changed people’s perception in a positive way, as to where maybe 10 years ago skaters weren’t as openly accepted. We’d have to work harder to get our own spaces to be able to skate, and get skate parks in our cities funded by the cities when there were always basketball courts and other things available. Now that it’s an accessible sport, people will want to support it more. As far as the skill level, for me, it’s kind of difficult because I’ve never been good at grading skateboarding. There’s people who are really good that have no opportunity to get to the Olympics and it’s hard to say what skill level it takes to get to the level to be at the Olympics. There are some people in the Olympics that aren’t as good as people—skill level, [technicality]—that I know
that are in a small city that don’t even care to try to go to the Olympics.
How has the skateboarding culture in the Triangle evolved since you got on the scene? In the last five years, there’s been a really good connection between all of these different cities. People have always known about the other skate scenes in the Triangle, but not everybody would travel to the other cities and befriend each other as much as they do today. There were a lot of smaller cliques—there was never any type of nobody getting along, but it wasn’t always a big, huge community. I feel like it’s probably the most united it’s ever been.
Do you have advice for folks who want to become part of the Triangle skate scene, or any parents whose kids want to get into skateboarding? Even though I don’t have kids of my own, but being an older figure at the skatepark and working at Manifest [Skate Shop] and being able to communicate with all these different parents, the biggest advice I would say—just from the examples I’ve seen, from these really good parents that come in—is just being as totally supportive as you can. Not to say just do everything that your kids want you to do and not take any precautions. W INDYweek.com
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North Carolina Fastest growing N.C. cities over 100,000 populations:
The Final Count
High Point city
What the 2020 Census tells us, at a glance.
Concord city Cary town
BY YANQI XU email@example.com
he Census Bureau released the long-delayed decennial census data last week, a key factor in how federal, state, and local funds are appropriated. It also triggers a new round of redistricting, in which state lawmakers draw maps for voting districts.
How does the census work? The census counts every person living in the U.S. at their residence, defined as where they sleep. For example, college students get counted in their dorms and people who are incarcerated are counted in their facilities. The census has a few caveats: First, some people of color are likely undercounted. Second, the census questionnaire asked about people’s identification of Hispanic or Latino origin in separate questions. This could skew the data about people of Hispanic origin because many households did not respond to both questions. The two-question design is also found to produce less-accurate data compared to that of one question that includes all categories of race and ethnicity. In addition, because of inconsistencies in people’s interpretations of race and ethnicity, as well as their identities, the self-reported race and ethnicity of someone can change from one census to another.
Race, ethnicity, and Hispanic or Latino origin The majority racial group in North Carolina is still white. Close to 60 percent of the state identifies as non-Hispanic white, a decrease from 70 percent in 2000. The non-Hispanic Black population makes up 20 percent, followed by 10.7 percent for Hispanic or Latino origin. People who identify as only Asian compose 3.3 percent of North Carolinians, a 4
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64 percent increase from the last census. Populations in other racial groups grew at a much slower pace. The American Indian and Alaska Native population increased by 6.5 percent. North Carolinians who identify as Black or African American alone grew by 4.5 percent. Those who identify as two or more races grew by 245 percent statewide from the last census. The racial designation is self-reported. People of two or more races are counted in the multi-racial category. The Census Bureau will include more detailed counts of individual ethnic groups in a later release. The Census Bureau developed a diversity index, which shows the likelihood of two randomly selected people being of different race and ethnicity groups. North Carolina’s diversity index trended upward toward higher diversity, from 52.1 percent to 57.9 percent, though still lower than the national average of 61.1 percent.
Counties Statewide, the population grew by 9.5 percent, from 9.03 million to nearly 10.44 million from 2010 to 2020. Wake County’s population count (1,129,410) exceeded that of Mecklenburg County (1,115,482) for the first time. Johnston (28 percent), Brunswick (27 percent), Cabarrus (27 percent), Wake (25 percent), and Durham (21 percent) are the fastest-growing counties in the state of North Carolina, according to data compiled by Carolina Demography of UNC-Chapel Hill. Tyrell and Hyde, the two least populous counties, also reported the largest population decrease statewide, of 26 percent and 21 percent, respectively. In total, population grew in 51 counties and dipped in 49 counties.
Hispanic Population Growth
Hispanic Population Growth
Source: 2020 census redistricting file
“More counties than expected lost population and the losses were larger than expected,” Rebecca Tippett, director of Carolina Demography, wrote on the center’s blog. For example, Robeson County lost nearly 17,000 residents, Tippett told Policy Watch. She said her team will release more findings about what the population losses mean.
Cities Charlotte tops the chart of the city population, with 874,579 residents, followed by Raleigh at 467,665. Greensboro, Durham, Winston-Salem, and Fayetteville are in the 200,000 to 300,000 range. The growth of the Hispanic population seems to drive the growth of many cities with more than 100,000 residents.
Voting and redistricting Census data show that 78 percent of North Carolina residents are of voting age. North Carolina’s congressional and state legislative districts have varying degrees of overpopulation and underpopulation, compared to the baseline set by the constitutional requirement of equal population.
Therefore, state legislators will need to redraw district boundaries to account for the population change. North Carolina gained its 14th congressional seat. The number of state House and Senate seats remains unchanged—120 and 50, respectively. That means, ideally, each House district should contain 86,995 residents and each Senate district, 208,788. The legislature is responsible for drawing the voting districts lines, a contentious process. The final version of the redistricting maps are due in November.
Group quarters This is the first time the Census Bureau has included the count of people in group quarters such as institutionalized settings, like prisons and jails, nursing homes, and juvenile facilities, and those such as university student housing and military bases. This population makes up 2.7 percent of the state total. On April 1, 2020, North Carolina had an institutionalized population of 112,229, with 59,0999 in correctional facilities. 36,715 were counted at military bases. W This story originally published online at N.C. Policy Watch.
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Race Blind Republican lawmakers want to ignore racial data from the U.S. Census in redistricting. Democrats and watchdog groups say this could make it difficult to comply with the federal Voting Rights Act. BY YANQI XU firstname.lastname@example.org
tate lawmakers in the House and Senate have unveiled the rules for drawing new voting maps, as a new round of redistricting begins. The U.S. Census Bureau released new population and racial data on Thursday (see page 4). Shifts in population require new district maps for local and state elections that will be held in 2022. The legislature is solely responsible for drawing congressional and legislative districts in North Carolina. Lawmakers issued the criteria ahead of the census numbers. The criteria include ensuring equal population in each district and considering communities of interest, as well as geographical compactness and contiguity. To achieve that goal, lawmakers said they would try to avoid splitting counties, precincts, and municipalities. However, lawmakers also proposed excluding racial data in drawing the district lines. Several Democratic committee members expressed concerns about the committees’ ability to comply with the Voting Rights Act if racial data were excluded. Section II of the Voting Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, as well as diluting of minority groups’ voting power in elections. In 2016, a federal court threw out North Carolina congressional maps drawn by the legislature in 2011. The court found evidence of extreme racial gerrymandering, where map drawers intentionally concentrated minority voters in some districts but diluted their votes in others. Racial gerrymandering occurs when race is the predominant consideration in drawing districts, said Allison Riggs, co-executive director and chief counsel for the voting rights program at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice. During the 2011 redistricting cycle, Riggs said legislators segre-
gated Black voters into oddly shaped congressional districts. By doing so, the legislature limited the Black voters’ influence in other districts. “It bleached the surrounding districts,” Riggs said. In order to comply with the federal court order, the legislature’s solution has been to redraw district maps excluding racial data in considering district lines altogether. This is sometimes called a “race-blind” approach. Riggs criticized the solution as “recalcitrant” and “out of the mainstream.” Other states have used racial data in redistricting to comply with the Voting Rights Act. She spoke against the “race-blind” approach during public comment at an earlier meeting on Tuesday. In the North Carolina case, Cooper v. Harris, appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, justices reaffirmed that lawmakers can’t use racial data as a proxy for gerrymanders— even if there is no racial intent. “Of course I understand that North Carolina is obligated to comply with Section II of the Voting Rights Act,” said Sen. Paul Newton, R-Union. “The Supreme Court told us that there’s no sufficient evidence of racially polarized voting in North Carolina to justify the consideration of race when drawing districts.” “Just because you don’t look at something doesn’t mean you can’t generate the intent,” said Sen. Ben Clark, D-Cumberland and Hoke, in an interview. He told Policy Watch the legislature should study racial data in districts and evaluate their voting power. Clark noted the dramatic increase in the number of majority Black Senate districts for the first time, after the 2011 redistricting—in about a dozen counties, including Mecklenburg. “There was no need to do so,” he said, adding that the packing of Black voters was deliberate. Clark said during the committee hearing that it’s impossible to comply with the
Senate District 14 in Wake County after the 2011 redistricting was challenged as extreme racial gerrymandering PHOTO COURTESY OF COURT FILING, COVINGTON V. NORTH CAROLINA
Voting Rights Act without using racial data, and introduced an amendment to account for it. His amendment failed. Sen. Dan Blue, D-Wake, introduced an amendment to account for race, and to prohibit the packing of Blacks into districts. His amendment also failed. Rep. Destin Hall, R-Caldwell, said since the court-approved redrawn maps of the 2011 districts did not include any racial data, the committee chairs deem the exclusion the “best path forward.” Sen. Warren Daniel, R-Burke, and co-chair of the Senate Redistricting and Elections Committee, won approval for an amendment that added language stating: “The committee will draw districts that comply with the Voting Rights Act.” Daniel said the committee will account for race if there is evidence of racially polarized voting in the redistricting process.
Amendments to other criteria failed Dominated by Republicans, the two committees adopted only one technical amendment—on district contiguity—of the dozen amendments proposed by Democrats. Rep. Zack Hawkins, D-Durham, suggested that legislators “make reasonable effort to preserve communities of interest.” Communities of interest normally share common similar racial, ethnic, and cultural identities. As
an example, he referred to past redistricting that divided North Carolina A&T, a historically Black university, into different districts. Hawkins said there’s still room for improvement in the process and criteria. “2019 was our floor, and not our ceiling,” he said. Rep. Pricey Harrison, D-Guilford, proposed an amendment to allow for a difference of up to 150 people among congressional districts. She said the measure could help avoid splitting precinct, county, and municipal boundaries. It could also compensate for inaccuracies in the granular-level population count. This can occur because of “statistical noise” injected into the numbers by the Census Bureau to protect respondents’ confidentiality. Statistical noise in census data means it’s hard to guarantee that population counts will be exact among congressional districts, said Christopher Kenny, a PhD candidate in government and a redistricting researcher at Harvard University. Rep. Hall said the census data and geographical files will be ready for the public to propose their own maps in three to four weeks. The state will set up map-drawing terminals for this purpose. The redistricting committees meet Wednesday, Aug. 18 (today) at 9 a.m. to discuss the schedule for public hearings. W This story originally published online at N.C. Policy Watch. INDYweek.com
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Raleigh Raleigh police chief Estella Patterson PHOTO BY BRETT VILLENA
“Women are known to be a bit more detail-oriented, and we’re more organized in a sense,” she says. “That’s something you need in this job, especially because you’re multitasking things. And women bring more compassion. We’re maternal by nature. We care deeply most of the time. At this stage, where we are in law enforcement … that is so needed. To be able to take care of the community, take care of your personnel, and just having that natural strength, that God-given strength to be able to do all those things.” It’s not, she adds, that men can’t do these things, but that women “are naturally wired to do that.” And as a Black woman leading a major police force, Patterson says she brings “relatability” to the job during a time when much of the polarization taking place across the country has focused on race. “I can relate to what is occurring in our Black, underserved communities,” she says.
The New Guard Raleigh’s new police chief has a vision for community-based policing. Activists say she needs to clean house. BY THOMASI MCDONALD email@example.com
n 2011, Raleigh’s new police chief, Estella Patterson, and Lance, her husband of 24 years, adopted their 9-year-old nephews after their fathers were sent to prison in Memphis. “My husband and I raised them until they graduated from high school,” Patterson told the INDY late Friday afternoon, one day after she was sworn in as the top cop in North Carolina’s capital city. Their biological mothers are Lance Patterson’s sisters. “We were just committed in our minds that they were not going to end up in prison,” she explains. “We were going to get them out of that pipeline.” After a year of protests and continuing uncertainty, Raleigh residents hope they will benefit from a police chief who works proactively to prevent crime, in tandem with interventions to help troubled young people and by building better relationships from the ground up with communities throughout the city. 6
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Gracious, personable, with a warm smile at the ready, Patterson becomes Raleigh’s third woman, and second Black woman, to head the department. She’s part of a growing tradition across the Triangle, where more and more women are at the helm of local, county, and state law enforcement agencies. That list includes her Raleigh predecessors, Jane Perlov who served from 2001 through 2007, and Cassandra Deck-Brown, who stepped down in June after she was hired as chief in 2013. It also includes former Durham police chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis, Morrisville police chief Patrice Andrews, former Cary police chief Pat Bazemore, former SBI director Robin Pendergraft, and the agency’s former assistant director, Melanie Thomas. “I’m super proud of the women who came before me, who paved the way,” Patterson says. She adds that women bring a “different element” to police leadership.
atterson’s first encounter with a member of law enforcement was not a pleasant experience, and could well have soured her on a career in the field. She’s not even sure whether the person driving a Mustang who stopped her on I-95, when she was 18 years old, was even a legitimate member of the South Carolina State Highway Patrol. “I didn’t know if it was a trooper because it was an unmarked car,” she says. “He told me he had stopped me for speeding. I had never had any dealings with law enforcement so I didn’t know how to respond. I just did everything he said to do. And he told me he was going to write me a citation for speeding. He was a legal person so I listened to whatever he said. He told me, ‘You can pay it now, or go to jail.’” Patterson paid the fine but later found out the ticket wasn’t on her record. “There was never any record of it anywhere,” she says. Patterson says the questionable traffic stop didn’t change her viewpoints about policing. In college, at UNC-Charlotte, Patterson had a formative encounter that prompted her to consider a life in law enforcement. She met a Black woman who was a police officer and recruiter. “She looked sharp in her uniform,” Patterson recalls. “She looked good. She was a woman of color. And I could see myself in her. And so I applied and she ended up being my background investigator, and walked me step-by-step through everything. It was important for me to see somebody who looked like me in the profession, wearing the uniform, and she really was that person.”
atterson was born in Panama and is of Panamanian descent. The youngest of three children, she says her father was a military man, a paratrooper “who jumped out of planes.” Her mother was a homemaker. The family moved a lot. While growing up in Sacramento and San Francisco, she wanted to be a nurse or a teacher—“just driven to professions where you serve,” she explains.
“She looked sharp in her uniform. She looked good. She was a woman of color. And I could see myself in her.” Her father’s military career influenced her decision to enroll in the Reserve Officers Training Corps while an undergraduate. She went to Officer Candidate School. At the end of her nearly decade-long career as a member of the U.S. Army Reserve, Patterson attained the rank of captain. Before she was tapped to lead more than 800 sworn officers and 108 civilian employees in the nation’s 41st largest city, Patterson spent 25 years with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD), where she worked her way up through the ranks as a patrol officer, instructor, sergeant, division commander, recruitment director, and internal affairs commander. In 2019, Patterson was named deputy chief of CMPD, North Carolina’s largest police force, with more than 2,000 employees. Each Raleigh police chief has left their unique imprint on the department. Perlov decentralized the department and Raleigh saw a 30 percent drop in major crimes by the end of her tenure. Perlov’s successor, the eminently quotable Harry Patrick Dolan, advocated for community-oriented policing that addressed quality-of-life issues in tough neighborhoods, gaining more recreational and educational outlets for young people accompanied by a get-tough approach to dealing with violent criminals. Deck-Brown, too, focused on building community relationships, most notably with a series of “face-to-face meetings” several years ago where residents at various locations throughout the city sat down with police officers to share their concerns. But last year, the wheels fell off those efforts. As the INDY reported, Deck-Brown oversaw the creation of a police advisory council, but personally, she vehemently opposed the group. She also came under fire for her handling of a series of protests last year when officers used expired tear gas on protesters. Meanwhile, an independent review recommended a series of changes to the department. Months before the George Floyd protests in downtown Raleigh, where many businesses were damaged, a group of protesters demonstrated outside of the former chief’s home after the police shooting of 26-year-
old Javier Torres, who officers say had a gun. Deck-Brown said the protest crossed a line. She announced in December that she was stepping down. Patterson says she supports a community advisory board but stopped short of saying its members should have subpoena powers. “At this point … I’m still learning what the policies [are] here … So, I think it’s too soon for me to talk about subpoena power,” she says. “Once we get this advisory group functional and really running, and have some structure to it, then we can talk about that.” Akiba Byrd, a community activist, former leader with the city’s Police Accountability Community Task Force (PACT), and executive director of N.C. Fair Share, says that, in addition to exploring subpoena powers, he hopes the new chief will support PACT’s “whole ask” for transparency and a board with investigative and disciplinary powers—“or at least work with us and not hide behind police personnel matters and things get swept under the rug,” he told the INDY. Byrd, who was sharply critical of DeckBrown, says he hopes the new chief will also make a “real, good-faith effort to address past community issues, including officers who have violated the community.” “She needs to clean house,” Byrd adds. Patterson says her leadership approach will focus on “community” and “really repairing the relationships in this time.” “Because last year was damaging, and so being able to come out of that—rebuild, restructure, strengthen the relationships— that’s going to be my signature,” she says. Patterson says she wants to rebuild trust for the police department with high visibility, starting with her, and every officer, being visible in neighborhoods and meeting leaders and community members. She says every officer should be a community officer. If the past is an indication, and Raleigh communities get their wish, Patterson will see success. Her two adopted nephews, whom she and her husband were determined to keep out of the prison pipeline, “both went down the path of serving their country:” one serves in the U.S. Army, and the other just got out of the Air Force. “I’m so proud now,” she says. W
NOTICE OF CITY OF DURHAM MUNICIPAL PRIMARY ELECTION
Tuesday, October 5, 2021 The Primary Election for Durham City Council will be held in Durham County, NC on Tuesday October 5th. All City of Durham precincts will be open from 6:30 am until 7:30 pm. Precinct 26– Rougemont will not be open because no city area lies within this precinct. 17-year-old City of Durham voters who are registered and will be 18 years old on or before Nov. 2, 2021 may vote in Durham’s Primary. The following contests will be on the City of Durham ballot: •Durham City Mayor •Durham City Council Ward I •Durham City Council Ward II •Durham City Council Ward III Early voting schedule: Thursday, Sept. 16th through Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021. Hours will be consistent at all early voting locations. •Weekdays: 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. •First two Saturdays: 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. •Final Saturday: 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. •Sundays: 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINE: The voter registration deadline for the October 5, 2021 Primary Election is Friday, September 10, 2021 (25 days prior). Voters that miss the registration deadline may register and vote during the early voting period. Voters who are currently registered need not re-register. Registered voters who have moved or changed other information since the last election should notify the Board of Elections of that change by Sept. 10, 2021. SAME DAY REGISTRATION: Voters are allowed to register and vote during early voting. It is quicker and easier to register in advance, but if you have not registered you can do so during early voting with proper identification. This same day registration is not allowed at polling places on Election Day. Information regarding registration, polling locations, absentee voting, or other election matters may be obtained by contacting the Board of Elections. Website: www.dcovotes.com | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 919-560-0700 | Fax: 919-560-0688 PAID FOR BY DURHAM COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS INDYweek.com
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North Carolina PHOTO VIA SHUTTERSTOCK
An Imminent Crisis The eviction moratorium was extended through September, but experts say, for the most part, it’s just kicking the can down the road. BY JASMINE GALLUP email@example.com
bout a year ago, Wendell Longshore got a letter saying he and his wife Karen were getting evicted. “[My landlord] tried to give me notice when the pandemic first happened,” Longshore told the INDY. “She said she was gonna give me 72 hours to move. They tried to strong-arm my wife and I to move out of here. We had to protect ourselves.” The couple had been paying the bills on their rental home in Burlington with disability money, since both were unable to work. In September, however, an administrative snafu caused a delay in their disability payments, putting them several months behind on rent. Longshore isn’t alone. As of June 8, more than 20,000 households in Wake County were behind on rent, with debt averaging about $3,855, according to nonprofit research group Surgo Ventures. While Longshore’s nonpayment was due to red tape, thousands of other North Carolinians became unable to pay bills when they lost jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic. 8
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Renters got a last-minute reprieve earlier this month when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control issued an emergency extension of the moratorium on evictions. But there are still plenty of problems they’re struggling with, not least of which is the fact that the moratorium expires October 3. The current moratorium covers counties experiencing “high” or “substantial” community spread, which, in North Carolina, is currently all 100. As the pandemic eases or worsens in certain areas, however, that could change, says Isaac Sturgill, a lawyer with Legal Aid of North Carolina. If a county’s transmission rate falls to “low” or “moderate” and stays that way for 14 consecutive days, then people in the county are no longer protected from eviction. “The hope of the government is to … allow people to stay in place and give enough time for the rest of the (federal) rental assistance to be distributed,” Sturgill says. “What we are worried about … is that without some
strong, centralized guidance from the [Administrative Office of the Courts] that we may see variances in how judges and clerks across the state carry out this order.” Eviction lawyer Jamie Paulen has seen that variance in action. Paulen, who practices in multiple counties and was preparing to go to court in Alamance County earlier this month, says enforcement of the moratorium changes depending on where renters live. “Some jurisdictions are continuing the cases and saying, ‘You have to wait to have your trial until after the moratorium expires,’” Paulen says. “Some other jurisdictions have been hearing the cases and then they issue a judgment, but the clerk won’t issue a writ of possession or the sheriff won’t execute a lock-out.” Paulen adds that in some cities, such as Winston-Salem, “they’ve just completely ignored the moratorium full-stop.” “During the entire pandemic, thousands of people have been evicted in Forsyth County,” Paulen says. Even with the moratorium in place, there are other ways landlords can force out their tenants, Paulen says. With no rent control, landlords can raise the rent after a one-year lease expires and kick out a tenant if they don’t agree to the new terms—during a pandemic that has already surpassed the one-year mark. Some landlords have been selling their property or postponing repairs because they can’t afford upkeep, Paulen says. Others have taken matters into their own hands, despite not legally being allowed to evict tenants for nonpayment. “[On] April 7th of last year, I had a person contact me from Durham because her landlord drilled out the deadbolt in her door because she didn’t pay rent on April 1st,” Paulen says. “There’s no way this guy was that hard up … It was basically like, ‘If you’re not gonna leave, I’m gonna force you out.’” Likewise, at Longshore’s home, a property manager arrived one day to try to take down his front door. Repairs, as well, were delayed. Today, Longshore’s situation hasn’t changed much. He’s still behind on rent, but he has nowhere else to go. Longshore has been searching for another place to live, he says, but his main concern at the moment is scraping together enough money to bury his wife Karen, who died two weeks ago after 37 years of marriage. “I want a service first, but it’s gonna cost me $3,500,” Longshore says. “I have to raise this money so I can see her buried. After that, I can deal with the rest.”
Borrowed time The CDC’s extension of the moratorium bought everyone more time to figure out their next steps, but by all accounts, a housing crisis is on the horizon. Raleigh city councilman David Cox says he is worried about the imminent influx of people needing a place to
“I had a person contact me because her landlord drilled out the deadbolt in her door because she didn’t pay rent. It was like, ‘If you’re not gonna leave, I’m going to force you out.” live once the moratorium expires. The city is currently dealing with more than 300 people who are homeless and more than 5,000 people on the waiting list for the Raleigh Housing Authority, he says. “This need combined with the pending end of the moratorium on evictions has me very concerned,” Cox says. “We have great non-profit organizations that we partner with. However, if we see a large increase in evictions, I worry that the need will far exceed our ability to address it.” Since the start of this year, more than 2,000 eviction cases have been filed at the Wake County Courthouse. Of those, 954 remain active, meaning a decision in the case has yet to come down. From January to May, the number of active cases filed hovered around 30 each month. In June, however, as the moratorium looked like it was about to expire, filings shot up. The number of active cases filed that month was 110, followed by 495 in July—a 350 percent increase. During the first two weeks of August, 177 active cases were filed, both before and after the moratorium lapsed. Many of the people behind on rent have no hope of ever “coming current,” Paulen says. “It’s just kicking the can down the road.” The federal government has dispensed billions of dollars in aid to states and counties in an effort to help people pay back rent and utility bills, but distribution of the money has been slow. Of the $33 million Wake County received in March, only $4.35 million has been distributed to households for rental and utility assistance. As of August 9, according to Wake County officials, 1,777 households had been helped. In Orange County, about $1.5 million had been distributed through the N.C. HOPE program, which provides aid statewide, as of August 9. Checks went to 687 applicants, according to state spokeswoman Janet Kelly-Scholle. One of the biggest problems in getting aid to people is that there is no formal framework in place for distributing money, Sturgill says. In the face of such massive demand, some county and state officials are struggling to process the influx of applications.
“It’s a daunting task to try and build that type of infrastructure in such a small amount of time, but [the N.C. HOPE administrators] have been working hard to speed up the process,” Sturgill says. “A lot of the money is still available and has not been spent yet, the challenge has been getting it out fast enough.” Another issue is that many tenants still don’t know about the N.C. HOPE program, Sturgill says. Even when they do, some may find accessing or completing the application difficult, since much of it is online, he says. A tenant may also have to provide documentation of being laid off, reduction of hours, or increased childcare expenses. Paulen says that while some of the renters she knows have been able to tap into relief money, others are simply moving, either to smaller units that cost less or similar units with different landlords. With a shortage of affordable housing, that’s exactly what county and state officials are trying to prevent. “We are really pushing these opportunities to mediate between landlord and tenant, to keep them in their place (of residence),” says Matt Calabria, chair of the Wake County Board of Commissioners. He and other officials are encouraging landlords to participate in federal relief programs where, “everyone’s made whole,” says county manager David Ellis. “The resident has a place to stay. The landlord will have back rent provided to them. In my world, it’s a win-win for everyone.” Per a recent change by state officials, landlords can now refer their tenants to the N.C. HOPE program for aid, whereas before tenants had to apply on their own. Other landlords have worked with their tenants during the pandemic, accepting less rent but continuing to house them. But those landlords are in the minority. “One of the things I wish landlords would understand is that it really is in their best interest to be supportive and help their tenants,” says Paulen. “Let’s say the moratorium expires at the end of the 60 days. Who is your new tenant gonna be? It’s gonna be somebody who didn’t pay their rent somewhere else.” W
Durham County Board of Elections
RESOLUTION TO MAINTAIN OUT-OF-PRECINCT POLLING PLACE CHANGE IN DURHAM COUNTY At a meeting duly called and held on the 17th day of August 2021, at the Board of Elections Operations Center (2445 S. Alston Avenue), the Durham County Board of Elections unanimously passed the following resolution: WHEREAS the county board of elections by unanimous vote of all its members may establish a voting place for a precinct that is located outside of that precinct in accordance with N.C. Gen. Stat. §163-130.1; WHEREAS there are limited facilities within the boundaries of Precinct 54 to act as a suitable polling place; WHEREAS the Durham County Board of Elections has not been able to acquire an alternative polling place within the boundaries of Precinct 54; WHEREAS representatives from South Regional Library, located at 4505 S Alston Avenue, Durham, NC 27713 have agreed to allow continued use of their facility as a polling place for Precinct 54; WHEREAS South Regional Library is located in Precinct 33, which is adjacent to Precinct 54, and is in close proximity to the southeastern boundary line of Precinct 54; WHEREAS South Regional Library has been used as the polling place for Precinct 54 since 2010 according to archived records; WHEREAS a Polling Place Accessibility Survey has been completed for this site and it was found to be ADA compliant; WHEREAS establishment of a polling place located outside of a precinct boundary requires the approval of the Executive Director of the State Board of Elections and is valid for one primary and election; and NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Durham County Board of Elections hereby unanimously approves the continued use of South Regional Library, located at 4505 S Alston Avenue, Durham, NC 27713, as the polling place for Precinct 54 for the 2021 Municipal Elections. This the 17th day of August 2021. —Dawn Y. Baxton, Chairman INDYweek.com
August 18, 2021
N E WS
A New Page Sixty years ago this month, Stanley Vickers’s parents made a decision that changed Chapel Hill and Carrboro forever BY SARA PEQUEÑO firstname.lastname@example.org
ast week, Stanley Vickers made a special journey back to Chapel Hill, his childhood home. At a Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board meeting, Vickers, a Black man in his 70s with a balding head, wearing a blue tie, was honored for a decision his family made that changed the course of history in North Carolina. When he was 12 years old, Vickers’s family won him the right to attend an all-white high school, with the help of future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. “We knew it then: every child should have a right to a good education,” Vickers said at the August 12 meeting. “We have come a ways, but there is still a long way to go.” In August 1961, the Vickers family won a U.S. district court case that declared that the Chapel Hill Board of Education had to let him attend Chapel Hill Junior High, instead of the all-Black Lincoln Junior-Senior High School. The decision came one year before Durham schools were forced to desegregate, and a decade before the same was ordered in Charlotte. District court judge Edwin Stanley, who became known for his work desegregating North Carolina schools, wrote in the opinion that “the conclusion is inescapable that race was an important factor in the decisions made with respect to the transfer of the minor plaintiff.” Stanley Vickers’s mother, Lattice Vickers, said she wanted Vickers to attend Chapel Hill High since it was solely a junior high and because she didn’t agree with race-based school separation. Stanley was just starting school when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, and declared school segregation unconstitutional. According to later interviews with Stanley’s sister, Gloria Vickers Warren, Lattice was particularly invested in her children’s education, and doggedly followed desegregation movements in other school systems across North Carolina. Years prior, she’d gone back to finish high school while pregnant with her third child, Laverne. Lattice’s husband, Lee Vickers, worked at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Sigma Nu fraternity house. Stanley attended Northside Elementary, despite living half a mile closer to the all-white Carrboro Elementary School. In 1959, Lee and Lattice Vickers asked the school board to allow him to transfer to Carrboro for the 19591960 school year. The request was denied 4-2; the two 10
August 18, 2021
PHOTO COURTESY OF CHAPEL HILL–CARRBORO CITY SCHOOLS
voters who wanted to induct Stanley into Carrboro Elementary were a local Black pastor and a UNC law professor. The law professor ultimately resigned from the board out of frustration with the outcome. Despite the denial, the school board decided that all incoming first graders for the 1960-1961 school year could petition to attend whatever school was closer to them. Stanley, about to enter junior high, applied to transfer to Chapel Hill, instead of attending Lincoln. That he lived closer to Lincoln was the reason the board gave to deny a request from the family request once again. “I can only imagine what your life was like as that only person,” board member Rani Dasi told Vickers at the meeting. “When we talk about what we know today about social-emotional learning, and the impact of how a child is treated outside the academic setting, being alone in the classroom–having teachers literally dismiss you or ignore you, and to persevere through that—I have so much gratitude and respect for you.” Today, 11 percent of the students in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools are Black, and no school within the district is “predominantly Black” according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The closest example of a racially divided school would be Frank Porter Graham Elementary School, which is predominantly Hispanic thanks to its bilingual curriculum. Chapel Hill and Carrboro, however, are not perfect parallels of North Carolina’s demographics. Both towns
have a slightly higher number of white people than the rest of the state; while more than 22 percent of the state is Black, the towns each have closer to 10 percent Black residents. There is also a higher number of Asian residents in Chapel Hill and Carrboro—they make up less than three percent of North Carolina’s total population, but 13 percent of Chapel Hill’s and nine percent of Carrboro’s. Deon Temne, the board’s vice chair, asked if Vickers felt that the sacrifice he made was worth it, based on the loss that accompanied desegregating the school system. The Black students were forced to give up their school, their team colors, and their mascot (see story, page 12), although, later, Chapel Hill High adopted the tiger mascot as its own. Following the creation of a new Chapel Hill High School in 1966, Lincoln High School—a source of pride in the town’s Black community—was dismantled for integration. “We also lost some things,” Temne said. “We lost some of that community, some of that to get something better, or maybe worse.” Vickers says that, for him, it was worth it. But he says he just wishes other folks were given the same opportunities he was when his family made that call. “I got to see and meet people who [are] renowned, as it were, in a lot of different areas because of where I was,” Vickers says. “I was in school with the children of university professors and businesspeople. I was fortunate.” W
August 18, 2021
ILLUSTRATION BY JON FULLER
LINCOLN Part I: The Legends of Lions Park
How North Carolina’s civil rights movement stormed through a Carrboro gridiron BY JOEL SRONCE email@example.com
August 18, 2021
he lights shone bright at Lions Park when the Mighty Tigers played. Spectators surged into Carrboro from all corners of Chapel Hill. The towns’ Black neighborhoods of Pottersfield and Sunset, Windy Hill, and Tin Top all emptied. People flooded in from Durham and Pittsboro and farther out. They congregated as several thousand, as many white onlookers as Black ones, to see the segregated Black football team from Lincoln High. As kids in the 1950s, before donning Tigers uniforms themselves, Fred Baldwin and Jimmy Weaver couldn’t afford tickets to the games at Lions Park. So they’d slip under the tin fence that encircled the field. As they brushed themselves off and looked out on the enormous standing-room-only crowd, they’d spot some of the white players from UNC’s segregated football squad, who had chosen to spend their Friday night watching one of the great teams in North Carolina history. But this was no colorblind age. On those same evenings that Baldwin and Weaver squeezed under the fence, a kid named Thomas Bell tiptoed through Carrboro toward Lions Park on Fidelity Street. Decades later, he remembered how so many of the old mill houses crowded right up against the street. As dusk fell, the silhouettes of white residents would appear in doorways, and sudden racist abuse would come shrieking off porches like bottle rockets aimed right at his chest. Thomas Bell would get into the middle of the street and run as fast as he could. On his way to the game, alone or in a small group, he might be overcome with fear. But on the way home, it didn’t matter. Instead of fear there was power. “… after the game, it wouldn’t be no problem because there’d be so many of us coming,
coming through, and they’d be gone…” Bell recalled 50 years later in an interview archived at the Marian Cheek Jackson Center. Walter Durham, another Lincoln High student, remembered this, too. “It would be a line of people a mile long coming back into Chapel Hill that just left the football game,” he said in another oral history. Durham wasn’t exaggerating. While in 1960 the population of Carrboro was only 2,000, the Chapel Hill Weekly estimated the homecoming crowd in 1958 as 6,000 strong. That October night, a young man named Braxton Foushee recovered a fumble late in the first quarter, setting up the Tigers’ second trip to the end zone. Another young man named Harold Foster scored the game’s final touchdown on a 67-yard punt return. The Tigers won 34-0, and their opponent, Monroe Avenue High School of Hamlet, N.C., never got past its own 40 yard line. A few years later, in September, 1961, Lincoln began arguably its greatest season. They were undefeated, and to this day many who look back swear no opponent ever scored on the ‘61 Tigers. That year in late November, on the eve of the segregated AA Division State Championship against Hickory’s Ridgeview High School, student Laura Burnett’s words in the school newspaper, the Lincoln Echo, captured the excitement of “strolling through the bright lights towards Lions Park:” “Perhaps it is the youth, optimism, and delight of the students which makes this game so thrilling or possibly it is the sound of the band’s music and hundreds of voices sounding through the pines. Maybe it is merely the spirit of a group of people with a single purpose that catches you up and floats you along like a cloud.” Burnett illuminates the energy of the Mighty Tigers, perhaps the greatest galvanizing force of the Black community in Chapel Hill and Carrboro in the 1950s and early 1960s. Yet her words conjure something else, too: … the spirit of a group of people with a single purpose… Another such group, ingenious and rebellious, was growing at Lincoln. As one of its leaders, Harold Foster—the punt-re-
Excerpt from the Coach Peerman Scrapbook from the Lincoln High School alumni photo archives PHOTO COURTESY OF LINCOLN HIGH SCHOOL ALUMNI
turner on Homecoming Night in 1958— said, they were “disobedient to those who told [them] to be obedient, but obedient to [their] own consciences.” This group’s militancy, courage, and strength all rivaled the football team’s. In many ways, that’s because the group and movement arose from it. Each member, young men and also many young women, played a role in the force that rattled the town’s status quo, reverberated through the state, and echoed out across the country. And as their struggle resonates today, like voices sounding through the pines, a new generation is organizing to take on the forces responsible for the backlashes and backslides that have clawed at progress.
Lincoln’s Legacy: The First Wave – 1960-61 A year and a half after his homecoming heroics in 1958, Harold Foster—now a senior and starting quarterback at Lincoln—met a group of his peers near the Morehead Planetarium on UNC’s campus. They walked westward in the cold night, through the frozen gaze of the Confederate statue, Silent Sam, toward the Colonial Drug Store on West Franklin Street, discussing their plan. That night, in the wake of the Greensboro Four’s sit-in less than a month earlier, this group of Lincoln students ignited the civil rights movement in Chapel Hill with their own sit-in at a segregat-
ed drugstore. They became known as the Chapel Hill Nine. Most played for, or had other roles with, the Mighty Tigers football team. The following day, as many as 100 Lincoln students took to the streets, protesting. The day after that, the Chapel-Hill Carrboro Committee for Racial Equality formed, with Foster, still a highschool senior, as chair of the Executive Committee. “Where we had been the leaders in football… so were we in the Civil Rights Movement,” Foster later said in an oral history. His teammate, Braxton Foushee, agrees. “The same guys that played football were the same guys that you would see in the street protesting,” he said in an interview with me at Weaver Street Market in late June. The students’ militancy gained attention. In April, 1960, Ella Baker was so impressed with the movement in Chapel Hill that she invited Harold Foster and his fellow Lincoln classmate William Cureton—another of the Chapel Hill Nine— to be part of the foundation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Raleigh. By May, the Lincoln students’ movement had brought Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to Chapel Hill. Despite the attention, change was coming too slowly for Foster and his peers. In late July, the Chapel Hill Nine and two others sat in again at Colonial Drug. Arrest warrants were issued for 11 of them the following day. The other two young men, only 15 years old, had their charges dropped. The Nine were found guilty of trespassing. The struggle for desegregation was feeling the weight of its opposition, but Mighty Tigers football certainly was not. In the late autumn following the Lincoln students’ sit-ins, the Tigers faced Hickory’s undefeated Ridgeview High in the state championship. One of the Chapel Hill Nine, fullback Albert Williams, who was arrested the previous July for trespassing, battled his way into the end zone to give Lincoln its first touchdown. The Tigers never looked back and flattened the formidable Panthers, 38-8. The following year, in their famous undefeated season of 1961, two quarterbacks led the Mighty Tigers team. One was James Brittian, a sophomore and one of the 15-year-olds cited for the sit-in at Colonial Drug. The other quarterback was freshman Fred Baldwin, who now held court within the tin fence. INDYweek.com
August 18, 2021
"The same guys that played football were the same guys you would see in the streets protesting."
BILL BURTON ATTORNEY AT LAW Un c o n t e s t e d Di vo rc e Bu s i n e s s L a w UNCONTESTED In c o r p o r a t i o n / L LC / DIVORCE Pa r t n e r s h i p MUSIC BUSINESS LAW Wi l l s INCORPORATION/LLC WILLS C o l l e c t i o n s SEPARATION AGREEMENTS Mu s i c
August 18, 2021
In the ’61 championship game on a Wednesday night at Lions Park, Lincoln once again demolished the undefeated Ridgeview Panthers, shutting them out, 22-0. Baldwin’s quarterback sneak brought the Tigers their first touchdown. A young man named Fred Battle would score the game’s final points. Sixty years after the Tigers’ 1961 championship, on an early July afternoon in the basement of St. Joseph C.M.E. Church, right on the border of Carrboro and Chapel Hill, Fred Baldwin and Jimmy Weaver spent more than two hours with me, chronicling the Mighty Tigers’ heroics of the 1950s and '60s. Their recollections were precise, recounting game-winning drives, final scores and opponents’ names (not to mention sneaking under fences) as if it were yesterday. “Remember, Baldwin?” Weaver asked again and again. Fred Baldwin always remembered. They recalled those on-field glories (and the occasional tragedy) flawlessly, but the struggles off the field in those same years were clear as well. “When we’d get out of church,” Baldwin explained, referencing this church, St. Joseph C.M.E., “we’d march all the way down Rosemary [Street], hook back over to come down Franklin. We did
this for a long time, man. For a long time. Then we’d be sitting down there at John’s [Colonial Drugstore] on our knees, and people would throw water on you and that kind of stuff. You put up with a lot of abuse.” Neither Baldwin nor Weaver were leaders in the movement. But as proud Mighty Tigers of Lincoln, their participation in one way or another was without question. “Jimmy and I were three or four years younger than [Foster and Braxton Foushee] were, so we came along later,” Baldwin explained. “But when they said 'march,' we marched. When they said 'go,' we went!” They both agreed that the movement’s leadership came from Lincoln, and for them, from Mighty Tigers football in particular. “Fred Battle, Harold Foster, all those guys were key people,” Baldwin ensured. “Dave [Mason Jr.] didn’t play football but he was the statistician. And I knew that whatever those guys stood for, it was the right thing. And not just for me but for everybody. And it was due. It was due way before that, but it was due then.” “Those people stepped out way ahead of their time,” he finished. “But somebody had to do it. Somebody had to do it.” Baldwin explained that it was football that helped him take defeat in a way in which he could still exist and express himself—and still have courage to show up against Jim Crow racism, violence, and abuse. When the Mighty Tigers team rode home on the bus, win or lose (as rare as a loss was), they said the same prayers. Either way, they sang the same songs. So it was, too, in the larger struggle. W In this three-part series, Joel Sronce documents the role that the Mighty Tigers football team from Chapel Hill-Carrboro’s segregated Lincoln High School played in the movement for civil rights. Their struggle still resonates today as systemic racism endures. Sixty years later, a youth-led movement grows anew, and is once again shouldered by stars of a Carrboro gridiron. In Part II next week: In the fall of 1963, as the Mighty Tigers return to the state championship game, arrests and violence in Chapel Hill reach their peak. Movement leaders—Mighty Tigers among them—are hospitalized or thrown in jail. When the doors to Lincoln are closed to high school students three years later, the difference between desegregation and integration becomes increasingly clear.
M U SIC
RROME ALONE: “LIVE ON DEATH ROW”
Now streaming on Spotify
Behind the Bars On Friday, the rapper RRome Alone released his debut single. It was recorded from North Carolina’s death row. BY THOMASI MCDONALD firstname.lastname@example.org
he late Charlotte artist, activist, and poet T.J. Reddy wrote that “between the confines of cracked brick, a tiny sprout begins to grow.” The painted word imagery conjured by Reddy in his 1974 poetry volume, Less Than A Score, But A Point, was written while he was behind bars serving a 20-year sentence that was commuted by former Governor Jim Hunt in 1979. Reddy’s vision of near-impossible hope calls to mind the musical artistry, grit, determination, and ingenuity of Michael Jerome Braxton, who makes music under the name RRome Alone, and who was sentenced to die in 1996 for the death of a fellow prisoner. On Friday, Braxton who has lived on North Carolina’s death row for nearly 30 years released his debut hip-hop single, “LIVE on Death Row,” with the independent label Nu Revolution Entertainment. The prison work songs recorded by Alan Lomax at Mississippi’s Parchman Farm notwithstanding, “LIVE on Death Row” may be the first song ever recorded at a death row prison. Braxton certainly thinks he’s making history. “Unquestionably,” he told the INDY during a phone call from Central Prison’s death row. “I would like to think that it’s the first time in the history of the world that it’s ever been done.” Nu Revolution Entertainment is also set to release Braxton’s upcoming album, Mercy on My Soul. The recording label and artist may make history a second time when Mercy on My Soul becomes the first music album ever recorded and released from death row. The single’s release is accompanied by a 3-minute video and a documentary that runs a little over two minutes. He has signed on to work with Wordsmith, a Baltimore-based songwriter, performer, and owner of NU Revolution Entertainment. Braxton says signing with Wordsmith’s record label “is a dream a long time in the works.” Braxton, 48, has lived for the past 28 years on North Carolina’s death row. He first came to the public’s attention last year after the INDY reviewed Tessie Castillo’s, Crimson Letters, which chronicles the bleak and harrowing existence he and he and his fellow prisoners have on death row.
Braxton grew up in Raleigh. He was 13 in 1986 when he fell in love with writing raps. He assumed the rapper handle, “AC J,” he says, “for alternating current. Jerome is my middle name. It’s been the one consistent thing in my life, on both sides of the wall.” In the brief documentary, Braxton, the son of a white mother and Black father, said self-hatred and confusion about his racial identity led him to a life of crime. “All I know is prison All I know is pain” Between 1996 when he first arrived on death row, until 2004, Braxton says he spent seven and a half years in solitary confinement. He honed his skills, rapping for his sanity to an audience of four walls. “During that time I was writing raps to change things inside of me, and pretty much using it as a form of therapy,” he explained. “And also, I was writing it down to recite to memorize the thoughts and feelings I had.”
After decades of writing and rapping, Braxton grew frustrated. There’s no recording equipment on death row. “I could write but I couldn’t actually be heard,” he says. The game-changer turned out to be the telephones on death row. Up until 2016, death row prisoners could only use the phones during the winter holidays. Once he had greater access to make phone calls, Braxton realized he could use the telephone to record his raps. But after two decades on death row, he didn’t have anyone’s phone number on the outside. In 2018, Braxton called Michael Betts II, the director of continuing education at the Duke Center for Documentary Studies. Betts, in a statement to the INDY, said he was surprised to get a call from death row. “You think death row is reserved for the biggest and baddest, but he was really down to earth, very approachable,” Betts said. The a capella lyric Betts posted on SoundCloud earned RRome a following. Still, the Duke educator did not have the capacity to sync Braxton’s lyrics with music. He contacted Mark Katz, a professor of music and director of graduate studies at UNC-Chapel Hill. Katz, a distinguished professor knee-deep into hip hop, was a righteous choice for Braxton. “We became great friends,” Braxton said. Katz reached out to producers and connected with Nick Neutronz, a New York-based producer and DJ whose list of collaborators includes Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, and Styles P. Braxton says the title, “LIVE on Death Row” was inspired by a book, Live from Death Row, authored in 1995 by Mumia Abu-Jamal and described by the New York Times as “perhaps the world’s best-known death row inmate” when a federal court overturned his death sentence in 2001. The “LIVE on Death Row” video opens with a televised news broadcast format featuring animated Betts and Katz anchoring the breaking news desk with an unseen Braxton reporting events that take place in what he describes as “the shadow of death.” The debut cut evokes the passion of Public Enemy’s Chuck D, with the unsettling imagery of sonorous Jamaican poet Linton Kwesi Johnson’s “Sonny’s Lettah,” or his landmark, Dread Beat An’ Blood album. Braxton wonders if generations to come will try to understand what he and others have experienced while awaiting death in the land of the free that has the highest incarceration rate in the world. “I equate it with the slave narratives and the old slave songs,” the rapper known as Rrome Alone says. “I’m using my voice for the purpose of documenting and preserving my experience.” Braxton adds that there is an “inherent invisibility” that comes with being on death row. “I feel like I deserve to be heard and acknowledged,” he says. “I exist.” W INDYweek.com
August 18, 2021
M U SIC
BANGZZ: YOU TOOK MY BODY LONG AGO AND NOW I AM TAKING IT BACK
[Potluck Foundation; Aug. 13]
Bangzz bandmates Erika Libero and Jess Caesar
PHOTO BY BRETT VILLENA
Name Your Poison BANGZZ calls out and purges a lifetime’s worth of cultural junk food in one cathartic garage-punk debut BY BRIAN HOWE email@example.com
alfway through the video for “Hell Is Other People,” BANGZZ’s headlong garage rock stops mid-avalanche, and Erika Kobayashi Libero picks up a drill. Mercifully, she will opt instead for a knife when she finally opens her cranium and starts pulling out Top Ramen. “Release the poison,” she sings with alarming vibrato, and “get it out of my head.” Bandmate Jess Caesar, who has logged on to watch this “DIY self-lobotomy” tutorial, reacts with something between fascination and disgust. 16
August 18, 2021
Food, its expulsion, comedy, and horror also swirl together in the local duo’s latest video, for “I’m Fine Thank You and You,” which came out last week alongside their debut full-length album, You Took My Body Long Ago and Now I Am Taking It Back. Froot Loops bounce on Caesar’s snare drum as Libero cowers under bed sheets, wearing a covetable vintage MTV shirt and singing about hiding her depression on Facebook. That deceptively nutritious breakfast cereal is later consumed from a giant Saturday-morning bowl and
then puked up behind The Cave in Chapel Hill, where so much puke has come before. But these are more than punk-rock gross-out gags. “My partner pointed out that this is a lot of body horror,” Libero says, on a Zoom call alongside Caesar. “The videos came out that way because it’s me trying to reclaim my body by removing parts I don’t like. “I’m Fine Thank You and You” is about the kind of depression where you’re immobile, feeling like you’ve swallowed too much poison for too long about how to think about yourself and your body. It’s about purging that: noticing it’s there, noticing it’s hurting you, and wanting it out.” Though the music is the furthest thing from immobile, these themes recur throughout, and the song titles leave little to doubt: “Your Boyfriend Is Really Bringing You Down,” “Your Asian Fetish Is Racist,” “Never Mistake Marriage for an Achievement.” Featuring new recordings of several songs first heard on BANGZZ’s 2019 debut tape, Fresh Cut, with a greater number of completely new ones, the album has a desperate, defiant sound, shaken with anger and anxiety yet thick and complete, thanks to Libero’s bassy guitar attack and Caesar’s relentless, rock-solid time. The music summons fond thoughts of The Gossip, Bikini Kill, and, closer to home, Dirty Little Heaters: sleek, roaring garage bands with big-voiced, almost bluesy singers. As it happens, Caesar is a Dirty Little Heaters alum who has also drummed for local punk bands like Pink Flag and The Dry Heathens. She grew up in Los Angeles, playing drums in church, school marching band, and a Mexican ska band in which she also sometimes played guitar and sang in Spanish. In 2005, she moved to Durham, her mother’s hometown, and got into the punk scene by picking up an ad at Guitar Center. She and Libero, both 37, barely knew each other until they formed Bangzz in 2019. Caesar,
“As someone who’s hidden their music for a very long time, even from partners, until late in my life, [it] was a big deal for me to share anything like that. This record brought my love for this town, this indie scene, full circle. I stayed here for a reason.” a sneakerhead, instantly remembers the year, because she wrote it on her white Vans to commemorate the occasion. “I tried playing these songs out with different configurations, but it just didn’t work,” Libero says. “I was like, well, Jess is the best drummer in Durham—punchy, purposeful, driving. There’s a power and steadiness at the same time that makes you feel really secure. I just cold-called her. We met that weekend, practiced twice, played a show, and just kept going.” Recorded in home studios and mastered by the ubiquitous Nick Petersen—a local indie rite of passage—the record falls into a riot-grrl lineage that the duo embraces broadly, though they don’t really come from it. Caesar draws more of her aggressive inspiration from hip-hop, while Libero, who grew up abroad, discovered punk later in life. “It’s riot grrl because more than half the songs were me trying to put words to misogyny, trying to punch through a wall of what people want me to be,” Libero says. “But I grew up in Japan, and we didn’t get riot grrl. I only got the Top 40 stuff I heard on armed-forces radio. When I learned who Kathleen Hanna was, I was 30, and I was like, why. Didn’t. Anyone. Give me this!” Like Caesar, Libero was 18 when she moved to the area, in her case to attend Wake Forest University. The child of a “kind of absent” Japanese father and an American mother, Libero thought that college would be like the international school she attended in Japan. She thought she would live in a forest. She was in for the shock of her life. “It’s a melting pot; that’s what it said in the brochure,” she remembers. “But I couldn’t drive anywhere, and everyone kept asking me why I could speak English. I was like, what is even happening here? I’m really bitter that I’m still paying for this American university experience where it was like ‘ching chong chang’ the whole time, and it made me smaller and smaller.”
Whenever she said she was from Japan, she felt that she was met with accents and random remarks instead of interest or questions. Soon, she began to internalize the belief that no one cared what she had to say. “I realized just recently, I don’t talk about myself a lot because of it, because usually something stupid is said about it and I just shrink,” Libero says. But You Took My Body Long Ago and Now I Am Taking It Back is the clearest possible repudiation of that way of thinking—a searingly personal statement with a steadying drummer and a whole stabilizing community behind it. Libero’s first job after graduating was at UNC-Chapel Hill, working in AIDS clinical research while also falling into the embrace of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro indie scene. She learned to record by working with Chris Wimberley at Nightsound Studios and to perform by playing in the prog-metal band Henbrain. These days, she lives in Carrboro and works at Wall of Sound Music Center in Durham. But it was at that first UNC job where she met John Harrison, an approachable pillar of the scene who helps run Potluck Foundation, which is “releasing” BANGZZ’s album. The scare quotes are simply because Potluck is less of a normal label than a collective of collaborative, self-releasing indie artists, and to Libero, that’s the best part. “It’s like a family thing; it’s not traditional, which is probably for the best because traditional labels steal your masters!” she says. “In 2006, I sent John the first demo I ever made—on [the software] Audacity, where there’s no lock-in-place and you’re hating life—and he was super sweet and encouraging. As someone who’s hidden their music for a very long time, even from partners, until late in my life, [it] was a big deal for me to share anything like that. This record brought my love for this town, this indie scene, full circle. I stayed here for a reason.” W
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August 18, 2021
M U SIC
Washed Away From strung-out psych-funk to custom synthesizers, the sounds of three new releases test the waters BY JORDAN LAWRENCE, DAN RUCCIA, AND BRIAN HOWE firstname.lastname@example.org
The song with vocals that works best on Kudzu is “Fishing Report.” The tune finishes the first half of the fourth album from Unaka Prong, a self-proclaimed “genre-bending jazz fusion and progressive rock” quintet that started in Boone before moving to Durham. Atop strung-out psych-funk that staggers and skronks, singer and guitarist Daniel Stevenson throws on a playful country accent and plays the role of an online fishing expert. He unspools into despair about his wife leaving as he attempts to advise fellow anglers: “I get so lonely sometimes. All I have now are my fish, my beautiful fish. I’ve mastered catching them, holding them so tight, they can never leave me, not like the others.” It’s ridiculous but affecting, its absurdity and poignance reinforced by the music. The problem with Kudzu is that this is the only time the vocals and instrumentals are so well matched. Unaka Prong is a gifted ensemble, ably mutating from delicate jazz flourishes to muscular funk to brightly atmospheric indie rock. The album’s three instrumentals are dynamic and engaging, perfect for burning one down and letting the music take you. But the three singers (Stevenson, drummer John Hargett, and bassist Jonathon Sale) have voices that feel nondescript by comparison. When Unaka Prong meets them halfway, the songs work. “Phenobarbital,” a cosmic country lament about seizures, lets Stevenson flex his gritty twang. “Shifty,” a bristling bit of garage rock scuzz, lets Sale sing with abandon. More often, though, the vocals feel misplaced. Stevenson’s blunt delivery can’t match the band’s roiling tension on “Sam the Inventor”—the song explodes into colorful life during the awesome instrumental outro. “On My Own” is a spirited rocker, but it cranks down for Sale’s verses, foregrounding the song’s least interesting sound. Unaka Prong has all the components to be a truly invigorating band. Kudzu just doesn’t assemble them quite right. —Jordan Lawrence
UNAKA PRONG: KUDZU HHH [self-released; July 23]
August 18, 2021
CHORUSING: HALF MIRROR HHH1/2 [Western Vinyl; August 13]
It’s easy to get lost in the synthesizers when it comes to Matt O’Connell. My first encounter with him was when he was a member of his brother Joe’s band, Elephant Micah, for whom he created a custom synth called The Mutant on their 2018 album Genericana. In the early 2010s, he worked at Moog, building synths and testing chips. And “Watching the Beams,” the lead single of his new album as Chorusing, Half Mirror, centers on another custom synth he calls Balsam. Its eerie, minorkey arpeggiations evoke the theme music from Stranger Things as O’Connell’s singing wobbles gradually into existence, an aqueous blur. When the drum machine and bassline enter at the halfway point, you’d be excused in thinking this was some new cold wave group. “You’re being eclipsed” is one of the few comprehensible lyrics in the song. Its video, which traverses an endless series of starkly lit, empty subway cars, only drives home the feeling of synthetic, collapsing emptiness. But that single is a bit of red herring. While O’Connell uses synthesizers somewhere on pretty much every song, his actual goals here lie elsewhere, in a capacious brand of folk that’s not too far removed from what his brother Joe does in Elephant Micah. Over a backing of gently strummed guitars, reverbdrenched leads, and, yes, synth washes, O’Connell uses his reedy tenor to recall fragments of his past: a curative escape to the mountains, a moment of revelry on the banks of the Ohio River, or the feeling of stepping into cold water. Thus, the album’s connective tissue is the distinctive way all the sounds reverberate through its sonic architecture. There’s the gauzy reverb on the lead guitar in “Whitewaterside” that pulls at the steady heartbeat synth pulses crafting some intricate dome that expands endlessly upwards. Or the nacreous synth chord pillars that wobble around O’Connell as he describes falling asleep to the sound of someone else’s breath in “Billowing.” He always prioritizes space and emptiness, which lends that much more definition to the sounds that
are there, especially as each song/space smears into the next. In that context, the claustrophobic subway cars of “Watching the Beams” make sense next to the endlessly bending and looping guitar sounds. Each is a different, imperfectly recalled memory given shape by the moment it is recalled. —Dan Ruccia
ME, I’M COUNTING: MACAU EP HHH1/2 [Moroderik Musik; Aug. 20]
The local label Moroderik Musik launched in April with a unique vinyl release by Chapel Hill’s TRIPLE X SNAXXX, the duo of vintage-modular-synth hounds Alex Maiolo and Patrick O’Neill. If that epic, blade-running calling card didn’t shed enough neon light on the label’s purview, its name leaves nothing to doubt: Mix the driving, robotic “motorik beat” of techno-utopian krautrock bands like Neu! and the sensuous splendor of disco dad Giorgio Moroder into a decidedly 1970s flavor, then count to infinity. The label’s second release also herds expensive synthesizers in intricate formations through infinity signs of arpeggiated bass and metronomic drums, but it complements SNAXXX’s molten organic feel with a smoother, poppier finish. Me, I’m Counting is the project of Nick Williams. (Disclosure: Williams occasionally writes for the INDY.) “Macau,” the title track of his four-song EP, aims to capture how it felt to ride in an air-conditioned car after stumbling feverishly through a sweltering day in a Chinese city: delirium, then relief. A sticky swarm of claps, whirs, and strobes forms a shuddering symphony until a mammoth bass finally drops a throbbing grid over it all, predictable yet effective. Still, for home listening, 12 minutes is a daunting length, even in a genre fueled by the trancing effects of minute variations in protracted repetition. “Wave Age,” though, distills the style to a six-minute essence: bright, dewy, danceable, and lensed with colorful effects that are well illustrated in its music video. Williams excels in this smaller footprint; the livewire “Laska,” in particular, seems to generate shifting dynamics from within rather than embellishing a bassline. And “Pulse Minima’’ suggests that eight minutes might be Williams’s sweet spot, with its sinuous, surprising twists through flute-like timbres, triplet rhythms, and smoky harmonies. Williams may be seeking hypnotic euphoria, but it’s his more flexible composition— less motorik, more Moroder—that infiltrates MACAU for the best. —Brian Howe W
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August 18, 2021
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SAVE THE DAD BOD
Picture of Health Local filmmaker Michael Washington is on a mission to get men to the doctor BY ZACK SMITH email@example.com
hen Michael Washington moved to Raleigh from the suburbs of Maryland in 1998, two things about the area jumped out at him. First, everything was slower. Second, he says, was that “everyone was talking about this place called Bojangles.” Two decades later, the Durham filmmaker still struggles with the constant availability of deepfried everything—and with the medical realities that many men are afraid to face. His battles with kidney cancer and obesity inspired his new documentary, Save the Dad Bod, an argument for men to surmount their fears of going to the doctor that is illustrated by his family’s health scares, including his own cancer diagnosis at 26 (“If my now-wife hadn’t made me go to the doctor, I’d be dead,” he tells me, bluntly) and his father’s near-fatal heart attack (the first of three) at age 42. Washington, who shot the film in the summer of 2020 through his company Argyle Rebel Films, is front and center in Dad Bod, relating his experiences to the camera with a stand-up comic’s self-deprecating rhythm. He also includes testimonials from doctors, family, cancer survivor, and Olympic gold medalist Phil Ford, and former Chapel Hill Mayor Howard Lee, who combine
facts, statistics, and sometimes painful stories about people they’ve lost because they refused to see a doctor until it was too late. “I didn’t want to put the focus entirely on food, though there is a lot of that,” he says. “The main focus is on the rebellious nature a lot of men have when it comes to going—or rather, not going—to the doctor, and the consequences of that.” Save the Dad Bod began as a series of blogs Washington wrote after the self-described “fast-food junkie” began to focus not only on his health, but also on realistic ways of getting and staying healthy. “If it’s fried and covered with horrible stuff and you make it the largest size possible, I love it, man,” he says. “But as you get older, it’s not like you can still go, ‘I’ll eat that and do a five-mile run later.’ Number one, you don’t have time, and number two, that’s a young man’s game! You have to realize that everything is about balance—calories, exercise, water intake, everything—and moderation. Always moderation.” Washington, whose day job is senior manager of ticketing and customer care at the Durham Performing Arts Center, says he’s currently working to get the film broadcast on local outlets such as PBS or Capitol Broadcasting’s TV sta-
“The main focus is on the rebellious nature a lot of men have when it comes to going—or rather, not going—to the doctor.”
August 18, 2021
Michael Washington PHOTO BY BRETT VILLENA tions, or shown at more local theaters. “As a guy who went to high school in Raleigh (at what is now St. David’s School), it’s my dream to get it screened at the Rialto,” he says. “Our goal is for as many people to see it as possible, and we want to distribute it ourselves, so that means setting up whatever local screenings we can.” He’s working on a number of other films through Argyle Rebel, including one about the first Black student
at UNC, another about the first Black basketball player at that school, and a film about climbing. He hopes to move into other genres, including horror films, through his company, and to make them all in North Carolina. “We have a very diverse landscape, different cultures, and different people here, and we want to give people who’ve been historically disenfranchised in terms of telling stories a shot at telling theirs on screen,” he says. W
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THE NIGHT HOUSE | HHH1/2
Opens Friday, Aug. 20
Rebecca Hall in The Night House PHOTO COURTESY OF SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES
House of Cards In The Night House, the death of a spouse leads to the discovery of some seriously unsettling blueprints BY GLENN MCDONALD firstname.lastname@example.org
ad horror movies are exhausting. They evoke unpleasant feelings for the sake of cheap thrills, then dump you back into the real world feeling wrung out and diminished. A good horror movie, though, can send you home energized, chewing on questions that, if not quite pleasant, are at least interesting. The Night House, starring ace British actress Rebecca Hall, is a good horror movie. In the spirit of The Shining or Crimson Peak, it explores the “house” part of the haunted house movie and eschews violence for deliciously creepy ideas. Hall plays Beth, a college professor whose husband Owen has just committed suicide in the lake fronting the couple’s gorgeous dream house. Left alone to drink too much and pick up the pieces, Beth inevitably finds a trail of clues that suggest Owen’s death may not be what it seems. She discovers a snapshot of a woman who looks just like her, some sinister books concerning dark magic, and a set of deeply confusing architectural floor plans for the house itself. Then the poltergeist stuff starts happening. Those strange blueprints turn out to be the axis upon which the whole story tilts and turns. Director David Bruckner creates an unsettling psychological effect by playing around with distance and perspective inside that weirdo house. Angles don’t match up somehow, mirrored images abound, and light doesn’t fall like it should. Bruckner also uses parallax effects and precise camera angles to create images out of negative space. This generates the perceptual phenomenon of pareidolia, in which the mind imposes meaning on random patterns. Like seeing a face in a cloud, say, or your dead husband in a shadowed doorway.
ke up w a W i
Meanwhile, the script develops a kind of doubling narrative effect as we learn more about Beth and Owen’s marriage. Conversations with a neighbor (Vondie Curtis-Hall) and a friend (Sarah Goldberg) reveal that the couple had a fundamental difference of opinion. Owen believed in an afterlife. Beth didn’t, and doesn’t, although recent events are opening her mind. None of this is particularly new to the horror genre. Stanley Kubrick famously played with disconcerting geometries in the Overlook Hotel. And the husband-witha-secret thing is practically a requirement in domestic thrillers. What’s interesting is how the film threads the two lines together. In a sequence of third-act twists, The Night House delves into classic cosmic horror themes of existential dread in a cold and indifferent universe. Kubrick once said he found the idea of the ghosts in The Shining comforting, in that they suggest there is some sort of afterlife, as opposed to leaving us looking straight into the maw of eternal nothingness. I get that, and it lends a clever resonance to director Bruckner’s use of negative space imagery. None of this works without the typically brilliant work of Rebecca Hall, who really is one of our great current screen performers. Hall comes up with a neat trick: She plays Beth as just stubborn enough—and just drunk enough—to do all those dumb things people do, in horror movies, regarding locked doors and dark staircases. It’s notoriously difficult to stick the landing in these stories, but The Night House finds a decent-enough way to fade out. It avoids the typical Scooby-Doo explanatory ending and leaves us with some itchy ambiguities. Most scary movies are content with approximating coherence for 90 minutes. The Night House has real ideas, which it develops if never quite resolves. Is not believing in ghosts scarier than believing? What if what we’re frightened of is, quite literally, nothing at all? W
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NOTICES Durham County Board of Elections RESOLUTION TO ADOPT POLLING PLACE CHANGE IN DURHAM COUNTY At a meeting duly called and held on the 17th day of August 2021, at the Board of Elections Operations Center (2445 S. Alston Avenue), the Durham County Board of Elections passed the following resolution: WHEREAS the county board of elections shall have power from time to time, by resolution, to establish, alter, discontinue, or create such new election precincts or voting places as it may deem expedient, under G.S. 163-128(a); WHEREAS Precinct 35.3 Polling Place was located at the Triangle Bridge Club, located at 5110 Revere Road, Durham, NC 27713; WHEREAS recently representatives from the Triangle Bridge club informed the Board of Elections that they ended the lease agreement on their building and
therefore would not be able to serve as a polling place for 35.3;
Fire Station #18 located at 1403 Seaton Road, Durham, NC 27713.
WHEREAS Durham Fire Station #18, located at 1403 Seaton Road, Durham, NC 27713 has agreed to allow usage of their facility as a polling place for Precinct 35.3;
This the 17th day of August 2021.
WHEREAS Durham Fire Station #18 is within the prescribed boundaries of Precinct 35.3, and is permitted for use as a polling place consistent with G.S. 163-128(a); WHEREAS a Polling Place Accessibility Survey has been completed for the new site and was found to be ADA compliant; and WHEREAS the Board of Elections shall notify all voters of the polling place change. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Durham County Board of Elections hereby unanimously approves the relocation of Precinct 35.3 Polling Place from Triangle Bridge Club to Durham
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—Dawn Y. Baxton, Chairman Durham County Board of Elections RESOLUTION TO MAINTAIN OUT-OFPRECINCT POLLING PLACE CHANGE IN DURHAM COUNTY At a meeting duly called and held on the 17th day of August 2021, at the Board of Elections Operations Center (2445 S. Alston Avenue), the Durham County Board of Elections unanimously passed the following resolution: WHEREAS the county board of elections by unanimous vote of all its members may establish a voting place for a precinct that is located outside of that precinct in accordance with N.C. Gen. Stat. §163130.1; WHEREAS due to recommendations from the
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding social distancing as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the polling place for Precinct 48, Woodcroft Clubhouse, located at 1203 W Woodcroft Pkwy, Durham, NC 27713 remains insufficient to serve as a polling place for the 2021 Municipal Elections;
WHEREAS the Boys and Girls Club of Durham and Orange Counties was used as the polling place for Precinct 48 during the 2020 General Election;
WHEREAS the Durham County Board of Elections has not been able to acquire an alternative polling place within the boundaries of Precinct 48;
WHEREAS establishment of a polling place located outside of a precinct boundary requires the approval of the Executive Director of the State Board of Elections and is valid for one primary and election; and
WHEREAS representatives from the Boys and Girls Club of Durham and Orange Counties, located at 1010 Martin Luther King, Jr. Pkwy, Durham, NC 27713 have agreed to allow continued use of their facility as a polling place for Precinct 48; WHEREAS the Boys and Girls Club of Durham and Orange Counties is located in Precinct 41, which is adjacent to Precinct 48, and is in close proximity to the northeast boundary line of Precinct 48;
WHEREAS a Polling Place Accessibility Survey has been completed for the new site and it was found to be ADA compliant;
LAST WEEK’S PUZZLE
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Durham County Board of Elections hereby unanimously approves the continued use of the Boys and Girls Club of Durham and Orange Counties, located at 1010 Martin Luther King, Jr. Pkwy, Durham, NC 27713, as the polling place for Precinct 48 for the 2021 Municipal Elections. This the 17th day of August 2021. —Dawn Y. Baxton, Chairman
August 18, 2021
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