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Vivica C. Coxx, p. 11

VOL. 37 NO. 35

PHOTO BY JADE WILSON

CONTENTS NEWS 9 11 12

Jenna Wadsworth wants to bring progressive ideas to N.C.'s most conservative state office. BY SUZANNAH CLAIRE PERRY The pandemic can't stop Durham Pride. BY MARY KING Remembering Randall Kenan, James Baldwin's heir apparent. BY THOMASI MCDONALD

13 Collecting unemployment poses an unprecedented challenge for North Carolina's immigrants. BY COLE VILLENA FEATURE 16 Is The Scrap Exchange losing its scrappiness?

BY SARA PEQUEÑO

FOOD 20 Non's Pinching Salts make your cooking inexplicably great.

BY LEIGH TAUSS

MUSIC 21 Country firebrand Lydia Loveless goes her own way. BY SARAH EDWARDS 23 The many deaths and lives of Squirrel Nut Zippers. BY ADAM SOBSEY 24 Sylvan Esso and Crystal Spiders, reviewed. BY BRIAN HOWE AND JORDAN LAWRENCE

THE REGULARS 4 Voices

6 Quickbait

5 15 Minutes

7 A Week in the Life

COVER Design by Jon Fuller

WE M A DE THIS PUBLIS H ER Susan Harper

Digital Content Manager Sara Pequeño

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Interim Editor in Chief Brian Howe Raleigh News Editor Leigh Tauss Deputy A+C Editor Sarah Edwards Staff Writer Thomasi McDonald

Theater+Dance Critic Byron Woods Voices Columnists T. Greg Doucette, Chika Gujarathi, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Courtney Napier, Barry Saunders, Jonathan Weiler

Contributors Jim Allen, Will Atkinson, Jameela F. Dallis, Michaela Dwyer, Lena Geller, Spencer Griffith, Howard Hardee, Laura Jaramillo, Kyesha Jennings, Glenn McDonald, Josephine McRobbie, Samuel Montgomery-Blinn, Neil Morris, James Michael Nichols, Marta Nuñez Pouzols, Bryan C. Reed, Dan Ruccia, David Ford Smith, Eric Tullis, Michael Venutolo-Mantovani, Chris Vitiello, Ryan Vu

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voices

Confirmation Bias The political turmoil of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death might dwarf anything we’ve seen this election cycle BY T. GREG DOUCETTE @greg_doucette

P

erhaps it’s a testament to the chaos that has typified 2020 that you are reading the third wholesale rewrite of this column. The original version was an omnibus complaint about the failure of our elected officials to substantively address the challenges facing the country. From Republicans in the U.S. Senate not even attempting to negotiate another coronavirus relief bill and their counterparts in the N.C. General Assembly adopting a laughably inadequate stimulus package to schooling disasters and wild fires and gun violence and so much else, it seems like we’re getting government with all of the costs but few of the benefits. But this is 2020. “Will it hold up topically in another week?” my editor wrote in an email before I sent him the draft column. And of course, the answer ended up being “no.” So I scrapped the original and started over with a focus on the UNC system, where on Thursday the Board of Governors followed up their wholesale mismanagement of back-to-school plans by giving System President Peter Hans brand-new powers to anoint his political cronies as chancellors of our public universities—a proposal I mentioned last month, which a competent governing board would have dismissed out of hand. Then came Friday night. I was talking on the phone with a client, through a face mask, waiting to pick up a pizza I’d ordered at my local Costco, when a buzzing on my wrist notified me of a text message. “RGB!!! NO!!!” it said. Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had passed away after her valiant fight against cancer. Needless to say, the second iteration of this column got deleted, too. Ginsburg—“Notorious RBG” to her fans—was a legend in the legal community. Long before she became a Supreme Court justice, her advocacy work as general counsel for the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project led to a string of court victories that fundamentally reshaped how courts and legislatures viewed the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. As just one anachronistic example, did you know states had different minimum drinking ages for men and women as recently as 1976? The case, Craig v. Boren, was one of several where Ginsburg argued the Constitution required the sexes to be treated equally under the law; the Supreme Court agreed. She carried that same commitment to gender equality with her when Jimmy Carter nominated her to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in 1980 and when Bill Clinton nominated her to the Supreme Court in 1993. Justice Antonin Scalia, the conservative firebrand with whom Ginsburg shared a well-documented

friendship, described her as “the Thurgood Marshall” of women’s rights. But before anyone had an opportunity to properly memorialize Ginsburg or her legacy, elected Republicans decided it was time to nominate her replacement. Senator Mitch McConnell released a statement saying the “rule” Republicans used to justify keeping Scalia’s seat vacant in 2016—“it’s an election year, let the people decide”—would be scrapped in favor of Donald Trump getting his replacement as soon as possible. On Friday night, the president released a surprisingly coherent statement honoring Ginsburg; by Saturday, he was joining his supporters at a rally in Fayetteville in a chant of “Fill That Seat!” Democrats and progressives, many of whom were far less motivated about the Supreme Court when Trump was replacing Scalia, now recognize the very real possibility of a 6–3 Republican-appointed majority on the Court that could roll back reproductive rights, voting rights, LGBTQ rights, and a host of other rights largely taken for granted since Ginsburg’s time as a lawyer four decades ago. The thought of a Yapping Yam getting a third Supreme Court pick is nauseating in itself. And it is the first time in more than a century—since Salmon Chase was confirmed as the sixth Chief Justice on the day he was nominated by Abraham Lincoln in 1864—that a Supreme Court vacancy has opened this close to an election. The political turmoil over Ginsburg’s replacement, and Republicans’ hypocrisy about “letting the people decide,” is likely to dwarf anything we’ve seen so far this election cycle. More than 200,000 Americans dead because of the government’s mishandling of the coronavirus? All eyes will be on the court. Mass protests in cities around the country over unending police abuse of racial minorities? All eyes will be on the court. Our daily march toward fascism, with the president claiming he’ll issue an executive order banning Biden from being president? Yes, that really happened—but all eyes will be on the court. The confirmation process is going to be a street fight in the halls of Congress. And if the people won’t get to decide, here’s hoping those opposed to Donald Trump’s recklessness brought their switchblades. Ginsburg’s legacy deserves nothing less.

“All eyes will be on the court.”

Voices is made possible by contributions to the INDY Press Club. Join today at KeepItINDY.com.

T. GREG DOUCETTE is a local attorney, criminal justice reform advocate, and host of the podcast #Fsck ’Em All. Follow him on Twitter @greg_doucette. 4

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Trey Roberts, 28 Community organizer, arts and culture curator, founder of Trey Roberts Presents BY JADE WILSON jwilson@indyweek.com

FOOD • NEWS • ARTS • MUSIC

Tell me about Trey Roberts Presents.

PHOTO BY JADE WILSON

I started off, honestly, by what happens in Durham. Durham inspired me—none of this happens in Raleigh. It was all Black and Brown led, like stuff that Gemynii was doing. House of Coxx. I was inspired by the Mamis and the Papis. I was inspired by what they were doing in Durham, and I was like, we don’t have any of that.

How did you build your brand?

What was your first event? My first party was the Dope Show that I held at VAE in 2018. My whole idea with the Dope Show was to bring a different type of DJ sound. I had heard so many DJs complain that sometimes certain bars and clubs want them to limit to the Top 40. I don’t think they have a problem playing it, but sometimes they want to venture out to what they like. I also wanted to highlight Black and Brown DJs. The first one was when Thien Lu and Luxe Posh played. I told them, basically, this is your night where you don’t have to worry about what the owner says to play.

Trey Roberts Presents didn’t happen alone. It’s the talents of Luxe Posh and Suzi Analogue that bring people out. It’s not just Trey Roberts’s name. I think Trey Roberts Presents brings out a different Trey Roberts than in real life. I play up on a wacky character who really doesn’t have any shame and just doesn’t care. I hope that energy of that character I play, which is a little bit of truth, rubs off on everybody when they get there.

Have you thought about what you would do post-COVID? If we had a day where we can finally exist together again and not have any concerns, I don’t know what it would look like yet, but I have been thinking about it. I think everyone will need that night of release, and we should not make it mediocre. W

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September 23, 2020

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Q UIC KBA I T

Unplugged and Unemployed BY COLE VILLENA backtalk@indyweek.com

% of adults who are broadband users (by education level) 100

75

A

ccess to the internet has become a virtual necessity during the COVID19 pandemic, with workplaces, classrooms, and entire communities moving online. Despite this—and despite the fact that around 98.4 percent of North Carolinians have access to broadband—only 59.4 percent of households statewide subscribe to an internet service. The effects of this digital divide are particularly pronounced for low-income and minority households (see story, p. 13), who rely on the internet to apply for jobs and unemployment but are statistically the least likely to subscribe to broadband. W

less than high school high school graduate some college college graduate

50

25

0

2002

2004

2006

2008

2010

2012

2014

2016

2018

Year

% of adults who are broadband users (by race) White

Black

Hispanic

100

Broadband by the Numbers

75

50

40%

of North Carolinians are not broadband subscribers

25

0

Sep. '10

Aug. '11

Nov. '12

(This has more to do with cost than actual access)

1,290,553 number of claims the N.C. unemployment office has received since the pandemic began (March 15–Sept 19)

Sep. '13

Nov. '15

Nov. '16

Jan. '18

Feb. '19

Year

% of adults who are broadband users (by income) 100

75

50

29%

of claimants denied due to ineligibility (incorrectly filledout forms can deem someone ineligible)

Less than $30,000 $30,000-$49,999

25

0

2005

2010

$50,000-$74,999 $75,000 2015

2019

Year

Sources: Pew Research Center, N.C. Department of Unemployment Security, Federal Communications Commission, N.C. Division of Employment

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September 23, 2020

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A WE E K IN THE L IFE

9/16

9/15

(Here’s what’s happened since the INDY went to press last week)

The remodeled DURHAM COUNTY LIBRARY on Roxboro Street reopens with a virtual kickoff event. CNN releases a new poll that shows a NARROW BIDEN LEAD in North Carolina. The Democratic nominee for president leads Donald Trump 49 percent to 46 percent among likely voters. The RALEIGH POLICE DEPARTMENT releases a report indicating that it spent $1.4 million responding to protests following George Floyd’s death in late May and early June.

Republican gubernatorial candidate DAN FOREST announces that he will push for schools to reopen without a mask mandate if elected to office. Forest trails incumbent Roy Cooper in most polls, with RealClearPolitics showing an 8.7 point lead as of press time.

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9/17

HURRICANE SALLY moves through North Carolina after touching down in Florida on Wednesday as a Category 2 storm. North Carolina was spared from the worst of the storm, which caused heavy flooding in states like Alabama and Florida.

9/18

Supreme Court Justice RUTH BADER GINSBURG dies at age 87. Ginsburg was the second woman ever named to the Court and a legal icon for her work on civil rights. Read T. Greg Doucette’s Voices column (see p. 5) for more on what Ginsburg’s death means for the presidential election.

9/19

President DONALD TRUMP holds a campaign rally in Fayetteville, his fourth visit to North Carolina in as many weeks.

9/20

To advertise or feature a pet for adoption, please contact advertising@indyweek.com

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reports 1,333 COVID-19 CASES, bringing the statewide total to 193,581.

9/21

To advertise or feature a pet for adoption, please contact advertising@indyweek.com MICHAEL JORDAN announces that he will fund a NASCAR Cup Series team with Bubba Wallace, the only Black driver at the sport’s highest level, as the car’s driver. The CHARLOTTE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE declines to prosecute police officers who did not give medical attention to To advertise or feature a pet a Black man whom they had taken into custody. The man fatally ingested drugs just before being taken into custody. for adoption, please contact KIMBRELL’S FURNITURE announces that it will close after 70 years on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh. Its locations advertising@indyweek.com on New Bern Avenue and Wilmington Street will remain open.

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North Carolina

The Chicken Coup Meet Jenna Wadsworth, the progressive farmer who wants to bring an LGBTQ perspective to North Carolina’s most conservative office BY SUZANNAH CLAIRE PERRY backtalk@indyweek.com

J

enna Wadsworth is used to blazing trails. At age 21, she became the youngest woman elected to a North Carolina office with her successful 2010 campaign for Wake County Soil and Water District Supervisor. Now, at age 31, she’s eyeing an even bigger goalpost: to oust Republican Steve Troxler and become the state’s next Commissioner of Agriculture. It’s one of the state’s more conservative offices, and Wadsworth is not only unabashedly progressive, but if elected, she’d be the first-ever LGBTQ person to serve on the council of state. Wadsworth sat down with the INDY to talk about how to celebrate Pride during the pandemic, legalizing weed, and what readers can expect if she’s elected. INDY: You grew up in rural North Carolina. How did that affect your experience coming out? JENNA WADSWORTH: Everybody’s coming-out story is a little different, and they all have merit. We should respect everybody’s process and timeline for coming out when they feel comfortable. I get asked about this a lot now, running as an out candidate, but you know, it didn’t feel like this ceremonious big event in my life. I am a North Carolina native. I was born in Raleigh, but I grew up on a hog, cow, chicken, corn, tobacco, and soybean farm on a dirt road in Johnston County. I always knew that I was not straight, and that really became clear when I was 15 or 16. I’ve always been proud to be who I am; I want to be very clear about that. But there are a number of folks who didn’t even realize that I was out until they saw that I was endorsed by the National LGBTQ Victory Fund or LPAC as an out

candidate. Everyone who was close to me always knew that I was bisexual. I have a degree of privilege being a cisgender feminine woman, especially since a lot of my more public relationships have always been with men. So people just assumed, and I don’t know if it was right or wrong for me to let them do that. I thought there were 100 things more interesting about me when I first ran for office in college than the fact that I could love someone who identified as a man or a woman. Even in 2010, when I ran for office for the first time as a junior in college, we weren’t where we are now. We had just started evolving, as the South has become more progressive in recent years. We were going through the fight for marriage rights, trying to overturn DOMA on the federal level. I think people still weren’t as open-minded as they are now. In the last couple years, in particular, I’ve seen so many violations of our human rights. I’ve seen it be questioned by people who hold positions of power, whether or not we, as members of the LGBTQ community, deserve the same rights and privileges as anyone else. When I occupied a position of power here in Wake County, and especially when I became the Democratic nominee for statewide office, I knew that it would be a waste to remain silent when so many other people who were members of my community were hurting, especially those who didn’t have the same privilege of being cisgender, like I am. Being able to use my voice to amplify the idea that we’re human beings who deserve love and respect and equality and dignity, the same rights and freedoms as everyone else, has been a really

Jenna Wadsworth

PHOTO COURTESY OF WADSWORTH FOR NC

powerful experience. It’s been so moving throughout this campaign to have people of all ages who have not come out reach out to me to talk to me about how much my visibility matters. This election is so much bigger than just me: It’s an opportunity for voters to prove that representation does indeed matter. Was it an easy choice to be so open about your sexual orientation when running for this office, especially in a state that has historically been so unwelcoming to LGBTQ+ individuals? I’ve never been one who was willing to or capable of staying silent in the face of injustice. That’s just not who I am. I am loud and unapologetic when it comes to fighting for what’s right.

Do you have any words of advice for others in situations where they might not yet feel comfortable being open about their sexuality or gender identity? I want to remind folks that they matter. You are important, and you are special, and you are valued, and you are loved, I’ll fight for you, and when you’re ready to come out, I’ll be there to support you and stand by your side. In certain professional settings, it can be so hard to come out and live authentically as yourself. More than anything, you hear criticism from outside voices, who would never have to experience not being their authentic selves. Folks with the privilege to not have to imagine how painful it is not to get to be yourself are the ones who often try to dull our shine, or shut INDYweek.com

September 23, 2020

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us down or keep us silent. I had a number of folks that tried to discourage me from being so open about being a member of the LGBTQ community. “Jenna, you’re running for one of the most conservative offices that’s on the ballot as an unabashedly progressive candidate, and then on top of that, now, we hear that you’re gay.” I saw that “risk.” I said, you know, at the end of the day, getting to be proud, getting to be authentic, getting to be myself, I think that’s the most important thing. How could folks expect me to lead and serve them if I couldn’t be transparent and authentic about who I am? What can our readers expect from you if you are elected to be Secretary of Agriculture? One thing I’m advocating for is the legalization of cannabis. I think that’s probably one of the more exciting things that urban readers would be particularly thrilled to hear, and I think it’s a huge economic opportunity for our farmers. COVID-19 has created major budget shortfalls in places, so legalizing marijuana is a way to really fill some of those gaps and to provide money for the things that matter, including public education, health care,

“I’ve never been one who was willing to or capable of staying silent in the face of injustice. That’s just not who I am. I am loud and unapologetic, when it comes to fighting for what’s right.” and transportation. Legalization also creates an opportunity to combat the opioid epidemic and to achieve social justice for communities of color who have for too long been disproportionately criminalized on the basis of possession charges versus Caucasian users, despite the fact that white folks and Black folks are using cannabis at the same rates. I also talk about bridging the urban-rural divide and figuring out how, no matter where you call home, your zip code doesn’t have to be a determinant to your longterm success and outcomes in this state. That means advocating for rural broadband access. Although a lot of us in the Triangle have strong broadband access, there are places that don’t, but in particu-

lar, rural and disadvantaged communities. If you want to help people build power, you’ve got to give them the tools necessary to succeed. I’m talking about advocating for investments in rural health care, because if you are not healthy, you could not be an economically productive citizen. It’s another failure of legislative Republicans to create policy that actually made a difference in the lives of the people that they’re supposed to be serving. The current commissioner doesn’t recognize climate change and sits as an honorary co-chair of the Trump-Pence 2020 campaign team. Because of the inaction, poorly implemented strategies, and personal opinions of the current commis-

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sioner, we’re seeing farmers suffer. They are worse off now than they were 15 years ago when he first took office. As a result of all these bankruptcies and farm stress, you’re seeing farmers committing suicide at nearly record rates, especially here in the South. When I talk about bridging the urban-rural divide and about making meaningful investments in health care, that absolutely includes mental health care and destigmatizing it in rural communities. But in general, when you destigmatize mental health care, that doesn’t just help our farmers: That helps people all over the state. It helps LGBTQ-identifying folks, especially LGBTQ youth, who are more likely to consider committing suicide, because again, they don’t feel welcomed or accepted in their communities. I see it as a form of advocacy for my community, my LGBTQ community as well. I think it is absolutely critical that the person who is leading our state’s biggest industry is able to give a nod to our past to learn from our agricultural heritage but has a vision for the future and the ability to implement that vision to create a more sustainable, just, and equitable future for every single person who calls this state home. W

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Durham

Pride Online The pandemic can’t stop one of Durham’s most durable, valuable LGBTQ+ institutions BY MARY KING backtalk@indyweek.com

P

ride is about bringing people together, but 2020 presented a unique problem—a pandemic that’s spawned necessary isolation topped off with a nightmarishly polarized political circus. “This year we have to focus on: How can we fill the hearts and minds of people who are desperate for connection?” says LGBTQ Center of Durham executive director J. Clapp, who is spearheading the Pride planning this year. The solution was simple: Instead of parading through the streets this year, the LGBTQ Center of Durham’s Pride celebration will be streaming over Twitch and Zoom. The virtual festivities will span Friday, September 25 through Sunday, September 27. Though it will be entirely remote, the weekend is packed with programming that includes documentary screenings, “education and restoration sessions,” and a star-studded lineup of performances. Performers include Atlanta-based musician and drag artist Taylor ALXNDR; rapper Dai Burger; Wafia, who was featured this year as one of The Advocate’s emerging queer artists; and Robin S., whom Clapp calls “a staple from the nineties nightlife scene.” Other performances from community members will also be featured on the Twitch stream. Pride will screen three documentaries—El Canto Del Colibrí, Brainchild’s Born Again, and MAJOR!—each of which was selected in an effort to uplift the community’s most marginalized voices, Clapp says. On Saturday, the party will segue into 16 breakout sessions on topics like mental

health, sex education, skincare, the history of Pride in Durham, and voter rights. Pose actress Dominique Jackson will host a closed session, “Sister Circle,” with trans women and femmes of color. If there’s room in the Pride lineup to fill, Clapp says, then Vivica C. Coxx, Clapp’s well-known drag alter ego, might perform—but only as “a bonus.” “She doesn’t need the recognition,” Clapp says. “And I don’t really believe in nepotism, so I try and allow for other people to have access to the stage.” In a year fraught with police brutality and a heated political climate atop a pandemic, Pride is an important space for hope and healing, Clapp believes. “We have to strike a very delicate balance of remembering why we’re here to fight and providing the community with some joy and some love so that they’re not constantly inundated with the negative,” Clapp says. “Because at this point, to be queer, to be Black, to be Latinx, to be trans is to experience trauma. And we want to help alleviate some of that trauma.” Clapp says part of what distinguishes Pride: Durham is that, as far as they know, it is the only municipal-based Pride in the Southeast that is led by a Black person. “And that automatically makes us different,” they say. “Because so often these Prides are not given to people of color, because if it’s led by a person of color, it’s been perceived as being a Black pride or a Latinx pride, instead of just being a municipal pride that involves everyone.” While Durham has its issues, Clapp says many queer and trans people say

ILLUSTRATION BY JON FULLER

they wouldn’t imagine living anywhere else. It’s a diverse city where many residents live full and joyful lives, and this diversity comes alive during Pride: “One of those really, really amazing snapshots of the beauty of Durham.” Clapp will miss that energy this year. “What I loved most about last year is looking out at the concert and seeing families with their children of zero years old, all the way up to my elders, celebrating and laughing and loving and embracing the beauty that is Durham,” they say. Participants are strongly encouraged to still dress up at home for the event. “Don’t lose the little things,” Clapp says. “I will be wearing my rainbow attire. I might even be in drag that day.” After exploring many ideas involving mask mandates and social distancing measures, the Center decided to take Pride virtual on August 1. Clapp says they’ve faced some challenges: “A lot of them emotional, but the rest are just a little operational.”

Fortunately, though, the virtual medium allows Pride to provide more diversity in its programming, like the documentary screenings, and it also frees up budget space to expand more fully into Friday and Sunday, they say. Clapp says if cisgender straight people would like to attend Pride, then they encourage them to do so. “I don’t think that Pride is only for queer people, but it is about queer people,” they say. “I encourage anyone who enters a space that’s not about them to use it as an opportunity to love and be present, but don’t take up space.” There is no advance registration for the watch parties—participants can simply go to twitch.tv/lgbtqcenterofdurham. For the educational and restorative sessions, the Center will announce links soon. Clapp wants the community to know two things: “That we love them,” Clapp says. “And that we will be back as soon as we can to provide an in-person festival.” W INDYweek.com

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Randall Kenan

Chapel Hill

PHOTO COURTESY OF UNC-CHAPEL HILL

Visiting Spirit Steeped in the legacy of James Baldwin, Randall Kenan’s essays illuminated the rural Black South BY THOMASI MCDONALD tmcdonald@indyweek.com

S

outhern literature scholar L. Lamar Wilson observed that the rage that informed James Baldwin’s work emerged from the time he spent as a child preacher behind the pulpit of a Black church in Harlem. “That rage you see in him, he had to get it out somehow,” says Wilson, an assistant professor at Florida State University. “And because he came from the pulpit, he was preaching all the time. Baldwin was a product of that tradition.” By comparison, Wilson says North Carolina Randall Kenan was a little boy sitting in the back of a church in the rural South. He “was observing and learning there was power, and it did not have to come from the pulpit,” Wilson told the INDY. “Randall was watching that and saying, ‘I don’t have to take that path.’” Kenan, an award-winning, often-underappreciated gay Black writer whose fiction draws ready comparison to master storytellers of Black literature, Afro-futurism 12

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INDYweek.com

and the multi-ethnic literature traditions, died in his Hillsborough home on August 28. The Duplin County native was laid to rest on September 2 during a graveside service at the family cemetery in Chinquapin. Family members say he had suffered a series of mini-strokes and had heart problems. He was 57. One day after Kenan’s body was found in his home, officials with UNC-Chapel Hill’s English and Comparative Literature program posted on Twitter, saying their collective hearts were aching with grief because of his passing: “We lost an incredible friend, colleague, mentor, professor & literary giant.” Durham native Cynthia Greenlee, an independent scholar, historian, journalist and 2020 James Beard Award winner also paid tribute to Kenan with an August 29 Twitter post. “Randall Kenan taught me that Black kids from North Carolina could be writers,”

Greenlee wrote. “I’m thankful for that, but more thankful for his words and his spirit. Long live Randall, but the colors of the world will seem washed out without him.” Kenan earned his undergraduate degree from UNC in 1985. He went on to work at Random House in New York, where he eventually left before teaching at schools like Columbia and Duke before returning back to the state in 2013 to join the faculty at UNC Chapel Hill. Kenan produced a body of nonfiction that includes a young adult volume about James Baldwin in 1993, followed by a 2010 work, The Cross of Redemption, that features an unpublished body of work by a man that’s arguably America’s greatest essayist. Wilson first met Kenan in 2010 when he was a Ph.D candidate studying Black and multiethnic literature. Although Wilson never took a class with Kenan, the two became very close. Kenan was in attendance for Wilson’s defense of his dissertation when the late James W. Coleman, a professor in the Department of English & Comparative Literature, was unable to attend. “Randall literally came to my rescue so I could finish my Ph.D,” Wilson says. One year after graduation, Wilson’s produced a short film, The Changing Same, a reflection on the 1934 lynching of Claude Neal in his hometown of Marianna, Florida. Kenan, who served on Full Frame’s selection committee played a role in getting Wilson’s work a prominent showing at Full Frame. “I know Randall did what he could do to make sure it wasn’t ignored,” Wilson says. Wilson said when he first met Kenan, he was “a cynical journalist with a feminized body,” and although he grew up in a world of men, he was wary of other gay, Black men as an adult. “Gay men,” Wilson explains, “endure so much trauma and it destroys them. They become transactional, with the expectation of ‘what’s in it for me?’” Wilson said Kenan dealt with his personal traumas by being kind. “Randall believed in love,” Wilson says. “His characters usually met their fate in the pursuit to be loved. When he loved you, he gave so generously to you.” Much of Kenan’s work is set in Tims Creek, a mythical township in York County, North Carolina similar to the place where he grew up. In that unlikely hamlet, Kenan

explored fabulism, magical realism, sexual identity, miracles, food, and an unforgettable cast of complex, full-bodied characters that readers identify with and recognize. Kenan’s latest book, If I Had Two Wings, was released this year and is on the longlist for the National Book Award. The 10 stories that make up the collection include a visit to Tims Creek by billionaire Howard Hughes in search of a woman who cooked him ham hocks. Then there’s the pastor who beats up an adulterer and imagines the small-town gossip that will follow: “Girl did you hear about that pastor over at Tims Creek? Said he took off his belt and whipped the shit outta boy who was humping his wife. Uh-huh. Said that nigger came up to him all drunk and told him the next time he calls his house he’d better put his wife on the phone.” If I Had Two Wings is a worthy follow-up to Kenan’s first short story collection, Let The Dead Bury Their Dead, which was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction in 1992. One of the stories in that collection, “Run, Mourner, Run,” chronicles a love story doomed from the start between Dean, a young white gay man and Ray, a closeted Black preacher: “Remembering how it went on for a month, the meetings at the homeplace. Remembering how good being with Ray felt as spring crept closer and closer. Remembering the daffodils and the crocuses and the blessed jonquils and eating chocolate ice cream in bed afterward and mockingly honey and listening to the radio and singing, and Ray quoting some damn poet…” After the publication of his 1989 debut, A Visitation of Spirits, observers thought he had emerged as the heir apparent to James Baldwin, who had written so vividly about homosexuality before he died in 1987. “Randall respected Baldwin so much,” Wilson says, “because Baldwin paved the way so he could be himself. Baldwin was born in a time when he was expected to be a spokesman for the race. With Randall, there’s a different posture on the page that’s instructive. “There are some Black writers who feel like they have to explain Blackness to white folks and that will make white folks love them more,” Wilson says. “That wasn’t Randall’s endgame. He was simply writing the truth he knew of rural southern Black folk.” W


N E WS

North Carolina

Access Denied It’s hard to get unemployment benefits in North Carolina. For immigrants, it can be next to impossible. BY COLE VILLENA cvillena@indyweek.com

N

orth Carolina’s unemployment office has become swamped during the COVID-19 pandemic, with claims filed by 1.3 million workers since the beginning of the pandemic on March 15. The N.C. Department of Employment Security has quintupled its staff to deal with the newfound demand, and its website indicates that 69 percent of workers who’ve applied since March 15 have been approved for benefits totaling $7.5 billion. But receiving unemployment insurance benefits assumes that a worker is able to file a claim in the first place. For the state’s 800,000 immigrants—who make up 11 percent of the overall workforce—that’s far from guaranteed. “Whether it’s with unemployment insurance or schooling and education or our health system, a lot of these disparities have been heightened greatly,” says TK Posada, WHO IS WHO?. “This pandemic has really made [this] unequivocally evident for anyone who had any questions about it.” One of the most immediate obstacles to filing a claim is internet access. In North Carolina, workers must file weekly unemployment claims online to receive benefits, but 41 percent of North Carolinians don’t subscribe to broadband internet, according to the Federal Communications Commission. The so-called digital divide is particularly pronounced among low-income populations who are most likely to depend on unemployment checks. The FCC doesn’t track broadband adoption among immigrants, but the Pew Research Center found that the Latinx households that Posada serves are the least likely nationwide to be internet subscribers. “While it’s felt across the board, and no one’s immune from it—rural, urban, white, Black—it does disproportionately affect the most vulnerable,” says Amy Huffman, a research and policy specialist for North Carolina’s Broadband Infrastructure Office. Getting online is just one hurdle. Nandini Sridhar, who works with refugees at Church World Service, says that filling out a government form that’s only available in English can be intimidating for immigrants unfamiliar with navigating the American bureaucracy. “Just because of the complicated system and the terminology, we’ve spent a lot of time on the phone with our

clients providing essential services and advocating to help them get through the process,” she says. Posada tells a similar story. El Centro employees regularly hold calls with immigrant families to walk them through the unemployment application process, but because the DES site has been so inundated with applicants, they’ve had to log on at low-traffic times to avoid crashing out of the server. “That’s great, but at the same time, that shouldn’t be happening,” Posada says. “You shouldn’t be needing two or three people to help you fill an application before dawn because the system is so convoluted that you can’t do it alone.” North Carolina is home to an estimated 325,000 undocumented immigrants who make up 5 percent of the state’s overall workforce. These undocumented immigrants paid an estimated $262.7 million in state tax, but none of them qualify for unemployment insurance. “Those are the folks that we hear the most from, and there’s no way for us to help them as far as unemployment insurance,” Posada says. “We would tell them, ‘There’s really no reason for you to apply because of your status. You won’t be able to receive any benefits, so don’t even waste your time on that.’”

ployment benefits in 2019—but for immigrants, who have to spend time overcoming a host of additional obstacles, the wait can become unbearable. In some cases, Posada says, qualified families may actually seek out jobs that pay them less than DES would just to pay bills. “People still have to eat,” he says. “If they had anything left over or saved up, it’s already gone. Rent’s going to still be due.” Organizations like El Centro and the Church World Service have helped provide a stopgap for families who are either awaiting or unqualified for benefits by connecting them to jobs, helping with bills, and providing food. The N.C. Broadband Infrastructure Office, too, is stepping up to bridge the digital divide. The Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) Program, for example, has already awarded $15 million in state funding to increase access to the internet with an additional $32 million to be awarded by the end of the year. “COVID is both an encouraging time to do this work and also very, very hard, because closing the digital divide is something we’ve been advocating for a number of years,” Huffman says. “I don’t think this pandemic would have hit this hard if all the meaningful steps had been taken to fully close divides prior to this.”

“ You shouldn’t be needing two or three people to help you fill an application before dawn because the system is so convoluted that you can’t do it alone.”

T

he Department of Employment Security told the INDY that interpreters are available to help non-native speakers with the initial filing of claims, adjudication, and appeals, and benefit seekers are technically allowed to file their weekly certifications over the phone. Doing so risks a lengthy wait time, but Posada and Sridhar also say that the process of receiving unemployment is frustrating for everyone and that DES is stretched very thin. “I do know that the office has an unprecedented surge in applicants, which definitely is a challenge to quickly navigate around, especially when people can’t seek out in-person services,” Sridhar says. Wait times to receive benefits for an unemployment claim are abysmal for everyone in North Carolina—the state ranked worst in the country for timely payouts of unem-

It’s also not unheard of for a state to expand unemployment benefits to undocumented workers. California unrolled a $75 million disaster-relief fund specifically for undocumented workers alongside its earliest COVID-19 relief measures. But that was in a state where foreign-born residents make up more than a quarter of the total population— and where Democrats control both houses of Congress and the governorship. Just last year, North Carolina’s legislature passed a bill that would have required state law enforcement to cooperate with ICE officials who deported undocumented immigrants. That bill was vetoed by Roy Cooper, but Posada says it clearly illustrates that unemployment insurance for undocumented people is “not going to be on the table.” “I’m not asking for North Carolina to pay all the bills of all undocumented people and get them a house. That’s ridiculous,” Posada says. “What I’m asking for is, let’s give them the fair share that they’ve earned by being contributing members of society, by being part of our workforce, and in many cases being the backbone of industry.” W INDYweek.com

September 23, 2020

13


PHOTOVOICE 14

From the archives

September 23, 2020

INDYweek.com


Throwback to Durham Pride 2019 WORDS + PHOTOGRAPHY BY JADE WILSON

Last year, Duke’s East Campus was filled with the LGBTQIA community and allies, vendors, and floats. Due to COVID-19, Durham’s annual Pride celebration, held the last weekend of September, will be hosted virtually this weekend (see p. 11).

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September 23, 2020

15


The Scrap Exchange

PHOTO BY JADE WILSON

2019, when Laura Nicholson took over from Ann Woodward as executive director, the organization they love has lost its way. They describe an environment of insensitivity to physical and mental illness, abrupt firings, arbitrary disciplinary practices, and dulled-down stores.

A

Sick of This Scrap Employees of one of Durham’s most beloved businesses say the community re-use center no longer privately aligns with its public values BY SARA PEQUEÑO spequeno@indyweek.com

T

he flyers that appeared around Durham over the last few days depict the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion, and the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz on the front—an allusion to the yellow brick road that leads to The Scrap Exchange. On the back are three demands from a group of Scrap Exchange employees: “Creative and respectful leaders on track with the Scrap mission, a living wage, and keep Scrap scrappy.” This sign of discontent might come as a surprise unless you caught the “pay your workers a living wage” comments that flooded a recent Instagram post from the creative re-use center. After all, The Scrap Exchange is one of Durham’s most beloved businesses. But in conversations with the INDY over the last month, over half of its staff, as well as one supervisor, and 13 former employees said they think that, under new management, the Scrap has privately failed to live up to its public values. Born in Northgate Mall in 1991, The Scrap Exchange was originally helmed by a group of artists and educators who envisioned a reused art-supplies store and community cen16

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ter. After eight years floating through different mall suites, the Scrap landed downtown in Liberty Warehouse, where it stayed for more than a decade until the roof collapsed in 2011 and the city condemned the building. After a few years in the Cordoba Center for the Arts, it moved to its current location in a historic Lakewood shopping center in 2014. At first, it focused on selling tools to make art, but the vision quickly grew into a “Reuse Arts Center.” As the mission grew, so did the footprint: In 2016, the organization bought 10 acres in the northern part of the shopping center. The next year, it opened Scrap Thrift, a more conventional secondhand store. The Scrap made headlines recently when it announced the construction of a 33-unit affordable-housing complex there, and INDY readers have voted it the Best Salvage/Re-Use Store in the Triangle almost every year since 2010. “Reuse, create, educate, ar at, and community” are the watchwords of The Scrap Exchange’s marketing—on its website, in every pamphlet, hanging on banners in the store. But employees claim that, especially since April

number of employees, especially those with illnesses and disabilities, have found the Scrap to be an inhospitable work environment under Nicholson and Retail Stores Director Terri Murray. Paola Kipp, who worked there for more than five years, showed the INDY a disciplinary form from Nicholson and former manager Jillian Lea filed about “controlling behavior” related to her Asperger’s syndrome and ADHD. She says she never received a verbal warning, even though the employee handbook said there had to be two, and that Nicholson told her she had just forgotten prior incidents because of her ADHD. (Her managers, she says, couldn’t find any record of prior complaints about her.) Kipp also claims that Murray once told her that her mental illness was getting in the way of her job because she couldn’t follow directions; other employees have similar stories of insensitivity. Current employee Katy Maehl, who has epilepsy, had a nonconvulsive seizure at work before the pandemic. Murray, despite not witnessing the event, disclosed Maehl’s illness in an “incident report” emailed to the entire staff. Three employees described moments when Murray wouldn’t let them or other coworkers sit despite chronic pain or illnesses, and when diabetic employees weren’t allowed to keep sugary snacks at the register. Employees also say Murray has a temper, which occasionally leads to screaming. Rashod Anderson, the processing manager at the art store, recalls a time when he placed fabric rolls in the wrong spot. He says Murray, who was in charge of fabrics at the time, asked why he was “disrespecting her” by putting the fabric rolls there, saying she was too old to move them. He told her he would move them after completing another task. When he turned to leave, he heard a slam. He looked back and saw Murray had shoved a fabric roll to the ground. Kipp says she tried to file a complaint to Nicholson, who was acting as HR at the time, about Murray making comments about her mental illness. Kipp says Nicholson told her she had to deal with the issue with Murray directly, who then accused Kipp of “backstabbing” and “crucifying” her. Murray was contacted twice for comment but did not respond. Nicholson says only she and the Board of Directors are allowed to speak with the press and declined to comment on any matters regarding current or former employees.

T

he employees say there is also a tendency for people to be fired abruptly when they question Nicholson’s decisions or have a “bad attitude.” Anderson, who was recently promoted, was put on a 90-day probation for being “ill-prepared” for an increase in the cap for donations, which surged after COVID-19, despite that added responsibility not being disclosed to him in advance. His notice says that he could also be fired earlier for showing a “bad attitude.” At least 13 employees were not taken back when the COVID-19 furlough ended, including Woodward, who had been overseeing the Reuse Arts District since stepping down as director. Current staff say their workload has dou-


bled with the rise in donations, while less than half the staff has come back. Many say they’re doing the work they used to have two people for. In July, the Scrap stopped paying hazard pay, saying it couldn’t afford it. Despite this, employees say that the stores have been consistently busy. Their salaries remain just under $12 an hour, including those that had worked there for half a decade. While they receive medical benefits, this is at least $4 under the living-wage minimum for Durham. Some say they have to go to the food bank next door regularly. While Nicholson would only give a pay range, she says 70 percent of the organization’s budget goes to paying employees, and that she asked for more money in the budget for employee appreciation. When asked how that budget was used, she said there were quarterly luncheons, and that employees returning from furlough were given a bonus. Employees say that there has only been one lunch. On September 15, both of the Scrap’s Instagram accounts (@scrapexchange and @scrapthrift) posted photos soliciting votes for a Chapelboro contest, saying they needed funds for their Social Justice Initiative. Commenters flooded the pages asking why they didn’t pay their workers a living wage or release a statement on Black Lives Matter. On June 4, The Scrap Exchange shared a statement about George Floyd’s death, saying that the store was deciding to step aside to make room for Black voices. The post does not use the words “Black Lives Matter.” “We will be here, quietly creating an environment where communities of color feel welcomed and resisting the temptation to highlight our journey or drown out important voices that need to be heard right now,” the post says. “Tokenism is as harmful to the community as complacency and it’s not the time for more words. But employees say this wasn’t the reason they were given. Amy Centner created handmade Black Lives Matter signs for her yard. A few weeks after she was hired, she says, she asked Murray and another supervisor if they would post similar signs at The Scrap Exchange and Scrap Thrift. She says she was told that Nicholson “didn’t want to be political,” and the idea was not brought to the director. “They just were getting so annoyed with me,” Centner says. Centner noticed how many Black Lives Matter shirts were being donated and began hanging them up as a display. Murray, she says, made her take them down, saying they were inventory they should be selling. Centner moved the shirts to man-

nequins, so the phrase was still visible. The next day, a scarf was covering the words.

T

it here,’” Woodward says. “And the flip side, if someone said, ‘We want to do a Trump pin-making class,’ we couldn’t say no to that, too. We had to be nonpartisan, essentially; we could not discriminate.”

his wasn’t the first time politics have been contested in The Scrap Exchange. In September 2019, the Roxboro Road Chickmployees also question The Scrap Fil-A shared a Facebook post using the Exchange’s definition of “communiScrap’s logo, saying they were partnerty.” Kipp says the organization has ing with the store for an event. Social never offered programs in Spanish, despite media users and employees complained, having Spanish speakers employed. Employupset that Scrap would partner with a ees feel the space is becoming less accessicompany that donates to conversion ble in subtler ways, too. In February, Nicholtherapy and anti-LGBTQ political son brought on her husband, Billy, to work campaigns. security at both “This is not stores, first as a a question of volunteer, then whether we as a five-hour-ashould tolerate week employee. ‘opposing views Some employand values,’” ees felt uncomformer employfortable that he ee Mad Bankwas involved in son wrote in an the construction email. “When a of a fence along company’s views the store’s picnic and funding allotables over the cation undersummer, as if to mine my right to shoo Lakewood’s safety, freedom neighbors away, from discriminaand they say he tion, and peacewould give them ful existence, orders. One says that is not a he threatened to viewpoint that give her “walkwe should accept ing papers” for even passively.” popping bubble In an all-staff This flyer, made by Scrap Exchange employees, wrap, and she meeting, employ- starting appearing in Durham over the weekend. couldn’t tell if he ees expressed was joking. their frustration to Nicholson. The FaceAnderson says Billy Nicholson once book event was changed to say that the asked him to help perform a “sobriety Kids Morning Out event was “using materi- test” on another coworker. He also set als from The Scrap Exchange,” but the event up a security system, including a series went on. Employees say one person quit of Ring cameras in both stores. Some over the incident. employees say they feel like they’re being Nicholson told the INDY that it wasn’t watched at all times. A few weeks ago, a partnership, but the organization being Anderson says, he was in the parking lot hired for an event, then attending it. She after work, teaching his partner to drive. also mentioned that later in the year, Billy drove up to them, not knowing it the Scrap partnered with the Bull Town was Anderson, as if he’d been watching Strutters for the organization’s first Pride the cameras from home. parade float. Laura Nicholson says her husband no “Our mission is to promote creativity, longer works at Scrap Exchange after environmental awareness, and community being laid off in July. She also says that he through reuse,” Nicholson says. “Commu- doesn’t have access to cameras, although nity means everyone, and this has been it’s unclear if he did prior to his terminasomething that Scrap has held up for a tion. Finance Director Wendy Smith has very long time.” told employees that the board is aware Woodward says that this was also stan- of the concerns brought to them about dard when she was in charge. Billy Nicholson. “People would come to us and say, ‘We Employees also say that the Scrap no want to do an Obama pin-making class,’ longer values arts and creativity the way and we’re like, ‘That’s fine. you can do it once did. While the Scrap has always

E

thrown away material it can’t use, many allege that Murray throws out more usable material than ever before. Maehl is worried about the store being turned into a “classy boutique,” forsaking its scrappy origins. She says some of its most beloved features—an art installation made of baby doll heads and other staff-created art projects—have been tossed. “I’m frustrated with [Murray] draining the feel or the vibe of creative expression,” she says. Employees that had good relationships with Nicholson and Murray also voiced their support of the staff speaking out. Former processing lead Kyle Knight says he and Nicholson and Murray got along well, but he couldn’t ignore the “evil they do.” Board members have been made aware of staff concerns. At least three emails have been disclosed where employees wrote to the Board of Directors to detail issues with Nicholson and Murray. Other employees confirmed that current board president Stacey Poston—who also works for the City of Durham as the Arts, Culture and Sustainable Communities Division Manager—responded to one whistleblower complaint, saying their concerns would be taken more seriously “if [they] had mentioned even one thing that the new Executive Director had done well during her 15-month tenure.” Poston declined to comment on the complaint. “It’s up to the new director to kind of do what she wants, and it’s up to the board, and I feel like she did do good things when she came in,” says Rebecca Currie, Scrap Exchange’s former chief financial officer. “So I think the board is in a difficult decision right now, because of COVID, because there’s all this stuff going on. They’re looking at the whole entirety of her tenure, and seeing it stabilize the finances.” Almost every employee that spoke with the INDY said they still love The Scrap Exchange. Many began shopping there as children or found it comforting after a long move. Kipp says the store has a lot of potential for neurodivergent folks, as it gives them a safe way to explore different sensory experiences. Employees believe in it so much they’re willing to risk their jobs for it. Some who were laid off due to COVID or left on their own accord say they’d take their job back if they could. “I’m doing it to see the Scrap Exchange thrive and be better and get what it deserves as a living, breathing entity and a leader in the creative reuse industry,” Knight says. “If art and community are taken out of the Scrap Exchange, it’s nothing.” W INDYweek.com

September 23, 2020

17


Best LocaL activist Group

Best pLace to peopLe watch

You Can Vote

North Carolina State Fairgrounds

youcanvote.org FINALISTS Equality North Carolina, Free Mom Hugs NC, V-Day Raleigh

FINALISTS Durham Bulls Athletic Park, Raleigh-Durham International Airport, Transfer Co. Food Hall, Weaver Street Market

Best LocaL FaceBook paGe Best pLace to run

Fuquay-Varina Memes

American Tobacco Trail

FINALISTS Chapel Hill - Carrboro Foodies, Pope Farms, Salon Serenity Spa

triangletrails.org/American-tobacco-trail FINALISTS Duke University, North Carolina Museum of Art, William B. Umstead State Park

Best LocaL instaGram account

Best pLace to take visitors From out oF town

Fuquay Memes (@thefvmemes) FINALISTS Durham, NC (@durhamnc), NC Eat and Play (@ nceatancplay), River the Three Legged Dog (@ riverthethreeleggeddog)

Sarah P. Duke Gardens gardens.duke.edu

Best LocaL poLitician in Best LocaL twitter Feed need oF a reaLity check Every Member of the North Carolina Republican Party FINALISTS Dan Forest, Every Member of the North Carolina Democratic Party, Thom Tillis

Wake County Public School System (@WCPSS)

FINALISTS Major the Bull (@MajorTheBull), RDU on Stage (@rduonstage), Triangle Food Guy (@ TriangleFoodGuy)

Best LocaL radio station Best LocaL-interest weBsite or BLoG WUNC

FINALISTS G105, That Station 95.7, WKNC 88.1 FM HD-1/HD-2

18

September 23, 2020

INDYweek.com

Today in the Quay FINALISTS Chatham Life & Style, Discovering Raleigh, RDU on Stage, Singing & Spooky Stuff - Alex Matsuo

Dog-Eared Books

FINALISTS Durham Bulls Athletic Park, Museum of Life and Science, North Carolina Museum of Art

Best Kept Secret

Best poLitician in durham county Best pLace to hike

Steve Schewel

Eno River State Park

FINALISTS Jillian Johnson, Nida Allam, Vernetta Alston

ncparks.gov/eno-river-state-park FINALISTS Bass Lake Park, Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area, William B. Umstead State Park

Best poLitician in oranGe county David Price FINALISTS Damon Seils, Earl McKee, Graig Meyer


Best Politician in Wake county David Price FINALISTS Aaron Wolff, Deborah Ross, Mary Ann Baldwin

Best Reason to leave the tRiangle Lack of public transit infrastructure FINALISTS Housing prices, Traffic, Uncontrolled growth

Best Reason to love the tRiangle Quality of life FINALISTS Amount of green space, Breweries, It’s not a rectangle

Best use of PuBlic money Affordable Housing FINALISTS Education and Training, Greenways and Parks, Public Transportation

Best-kePt secRet Dog-Eared Books facebook.com/DogEaredBooks FINALISTS The Greenway Club at Falls River, Kenny’s Tree Removal, Sadie Rock and the Mad Ryans

Biggest Waste of PuBlic money Silent Sam “agreement” FINALISTS Bike lanes that never get used, Having to fight the confederate flag lovers, Politics

INDYweek.com

September 23, 2020

19


FOOD & DR I NK

Eat This

R ECI P E S

The Family Salt

Non’s Sunday Salad

Non’s Pinching Salts came down through four generations to make your cooking inexplicably shine

YOU’LL NEED:

Fresh greens 1/8 cup red wine vinegar 1/4 olive oil 3-4 pinches Non’s Original

BY LEIGH TAUSS ltauss@indyweek.com

Kristina: This is a simple favorite that my Noni would prepare for Sunday family dinners. Toss all ingredients in a bowl and let sit 30 minutes at room temperature before eating.

K

ristina Morando-Stewart remembers fresh, pungent basil plants basking in the sun on the porch of her grandmother’s home in Western Pennsylvania. She’d visit her nonna—Italian for grandmother—every weekend as a kid, traveling down the familiar dirt road to the home where Non, as they affectionately called her, raised four kids. Non taught her grandchildren how to properly pick the basil— and the leaves and other herbs would fill the kitchen table—as she hunched over, wearing an apron, in the midst of some strange alchemy, fussing, and mixing. There’s no cooking involved, just a finely tuned blend of fresh herbs and non-iodized table salt. Even so, Non fiercely guarded the secret recipe of the family salt, passed down over four generations from Morando-Stewart’s great-grandmother, Adelicise, who emigrated from the small Italian town of Finale Emilia in 1914. “She would never reveal the recipe,” Morando-Stewart says. “It took until she was late in her years.” After Non passed away, Morando-Stewart kept the recipe alive, filling jars of the spice for relatives at Christmas. When she moved to Raleigh with her husband in 2015, she wondered if the salt could take on a new life. Labels were printed and health inspections were passed, and a year later, Morando-Stewart found herself setting up shop at farmers markets and small pop-up events. All of the herbs she uses are locally sourced, which necessitates small batches. The salt, in effect, cures the fresh herbs that are mixed in. The result is a powerful punch of flavor in every pinch. “It’s concentrated because that salt has drawn out all the oils from the fresh herbs and garlic,” Morando-Stewart says. “There’s no additives. The preservatives is the salt.” Here, I must confess: I am personally obsessed with the stuff. I can’t explain why, but two years ago, I stumbled across Morando-Stewart’s booth during some downtown event as she was handing out samples—just a pinch of salt on a tomato. It blew my mind, drawing out the flavors of the fruit while infusing it with depth from the basil and pepper. During the pandemic, as my cooking became more experimental, the salt went on my eggs, my toast, in my sauces, and 20

September 23, 2020

INDYweek.com

Avocado Toast YOU’LL NEED:

Non’s Pinching Salt

PHOTO COURTESY OF NON’S

sprinkled on my meat until I found myself scraping the bottom of the jar to get at the final few grains. Inexplicably, it made everything I cooked better. I’m not alone, Morando-Stewart says. The salt has grown a small following in Raleigh. You can now find it at places like Raleigh Provisions or at bona fide dive bar Johnson Street Yacht Club, where they use Non’s coffee rub to coat the rim of the glass for Bloody Marys. Morando-Stewart hasn’t just stuck to her Non’s original recipe. She’s been experimenting too, creating batches that awaken the senses with a peppery punch or the soothing fragrance of thyme. Her latest creation, Tenebroso, is a dark and spicy concoction infused with Carolina Reapers that hit the palate with heat that fades into a smokier flavor. For now, she’s continuing to make small batches like her Non did, about two dozen jars at a time. “This is not meant to be mass-produced,” she says. Maybe that’s the secret. W Learn more about Non’s by visiting the website: nonssalt.com

Fresh sourdough bread (toasted and buttered) Sliced Avocado Cherry tomatoes (cut in quarters) Non’s Pepper Complex Fresh lemon Olive Oil

Place the Avocado and tomatoes on toast. Squeeze fresh lemon, drizzle olive oil and finish with a pinch of Non’s Pepper Complex.


M U SIC

LYDIA LOVELESS: DAUGHTER

[Honey, You’re Gonna Be Late Records; Sep. 25]

Lydia Loveless PHOTO BY JADE WILSON

with the edge of someone who is used to being described from a distance. “Hello,” it began, “you have reached firebrand cowpunk badass Lydia Loveless. I can’t come to the phone right now because I’m too busy saving country music.” The jury may be out on the salvation of country music, but the raw, ribald Daughter makes a convincing case for her work on it. The record is, by Loveless’s own admission, her most vulnerable music yet. The title track is a punk cri de coeur that asks what it is to hold value outside a patriarchial relational framework—what it means to exist beyond sexual object, mother, daughter, or sister. “What is my body worth to you without your blood in it?” she sings with her flamethrower contralto. “Is my story worth a read without your name on it?” “I spent a large part of my twenties being like, ‘Guide me, relationship’ instead of taking charge of my life and figuring out who I want to be,” Loveless says. “I’m turning thirty tomorrow. I feel a little terrified of being in my thirties, but also feel relief. I don’t really feel like I can’t say what I want, or ask for what I want, anymore.”

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Free Country Bucking the limits of labels and love, Lydia Loveless makes her own way BY SARAH EDWARDS sedwards@indyweek.com

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n early September, the day before Lydia Loveless’s 30th birthday and a few weeks before the release of her sixth album, Daughter, the punk-country musician appears on a Zoom screen from her home in Morrisville. When asked whether she identifies as a Virgo, she’s emphatic: “Hell yes.” Virgos are not known to be particularly generous with themselves, and Loveless immediately rattles off a deadpan list of Virgo traits she identifies with, including being hyper-critical, perennially unhappy, and a control freak. “Hopefully I also have some of the good stuff,” she adds with a laugh. “But, you know. We’re famously not emotional.” Restraint may be the stereotype provided by the stars, but Loveless’s music is anything but unemotional. Her songs are full of bruised personal fault lines—lying, cheat-

ing, regret, sex, sexism, desire, depression—at the mercy of Loveless’s cow-punk intensity. Daughter, which she’ll release September 25 on her own label, Honey, You’re Gonna Be Late Records, has a good bit of that, but it’s an intensity grounded in the perspective of a seasoned artist who’s been through the industry wringer and come out stronger. There’s been a sea change for Lydia Loveless, and you can sense it. Listening to Daughter feels like catching your balance on a beam: a totter followed by a firmness of feet and flood of relief. Daughter is her first record in four years and the first since she moved from Ohio to North Carolina in 2017, following a divorce from the former bassist in her band. For a while, after moving, Loveless’s voicemail greeting lingered in punk purgatory, between earnest and wry,

oveless was born one of four children in rural Coshocton, Ohio. She grew up homeschooled on a farm with a preacher for a father; when she turned nine, he split from the church and bought a country-western bar—a detail that looms large in the Lydia Loveless mythos. It’s easy to see why: Her music has the haunted edge of someone who cut their teeth singing at dirty dives. She says, though, that while she has some fond memories of drinking Shirley Temples with wizened bartenders after dance practice, the bar was sold when she was still young, and it was never the backwoods honky-tonk that the press paints it as. More influential were early experiences playing music with her family. When she was 14, her family lost their family farm; they also formed a New Wave–influenced rock band, Carson Drew, named for the intrepid fictional detective’s father. That band, composed of her father and two older sisters, disbanded when she was 17. But by then, Loveless had begun striking out on her own, with her own country flair. In 2007, she began working with two Cincinnati-area producers on The Only Man, which took nearly three years to release, and which she had little creative control over. It was a frustrating period, but it did attract the attention of the alt-country label Bloodshot Records, known for launching talent like Justin Townes Earle and the Old 97’s. Loveless joined the fold and leaned back into controlled mess with her breakout album, Indestructible Machine, in 2011, which she recorded in a devil-may-care whirl and released just after her 21st birthday. There’s mythology to growing up in a honky-tonk, and there’s mythology to being a woman who comes to prominence at a young age. Indestructible Machine established her as a wry, gifted songwriter, unafraid to touch roughINDYweek.com

September 23, 2020

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and-tumble subjects like stalkers and serial killers and oral sex and drinking and addiction. Her voice quickly earned comparisons to Neko Case and Lucinda Williams and gigs alongside Americana heavy-hitters like The Mountain Goats, Indigo Girls, and the Drive-By Truckers. At the age of 20, Loveless married Ben Lamb, her bassist, who is nearly two decades older than she is, and they hit the road. Three more acclaimed albums followed: Somewhere Else in 2014, Real in 2016, and Boy Crazy and Single(s) in 2017. In early 2019, following her divorce and move to North Carolina, Loveless released a statement on Instagram that bravely detailed “casual predation” from the Chicago musician Mark Panick, the partner of Bloodshot’s Nan Warshaw. The predation, she said, included years of groping, verbal sexual harassment, and alarming comments on her Facebook. “I didn’t know who to tell about these behaviors because I felt afraid, as for me, shows are work events and Mark was a part of the label from my eyes—my label,” she wrote in her statement. In response, Bloodshot co-owner Rob Miller issued an apology, stating that the label had “failed” Loveless, and Nan Warshaw stepped down. That same month, the label released a statement addressing the allegations against Ryan Adams, who’d been with Bloodshot in the late nineties. “I still feel enraged every time I see a new story,” Loveless says in reference to #MeToo. “But also, I think we all know that it’s been since the dawn of time that things have felt this way. It’s just louder now.”

timeliness. Loveless wrote it in 2018, amid the Kavanaugh hearings, when the phrase “As the father of daughters” became a very specific form of political currency. In turning 30, Loveless says that she is coming to peace with the decision to not have children; in a particularly raw chorus, she asks, “If I gave you a daughter, would you open up?” “I’d see billboards on the side of the road imploring people not to hurt women because they were somebody’s daughter or sister or mother,” Loveless said in a press release for the album. “And I was living as an individual for the first time, and don’t have maternal desires. My family was in turmoil, so defining myself as a daughter or sister didn’t give me much comfort.” Daughter was recorded in The Loft, Wilco’s Chicago studio, with Tom Schick (Norah Jones, Wilco, Mavis Staples) as producer and bandmates Todd May, Jay Gasper, and George Hondroulis. The album is the first that Loveless has played piano on, and the room to experiment is evident.

“I can’t come to the phone right now because I’m too busy saving country music.”

D

aughter makes it very clear that Loveless is disenchanted with platitudes. In “Love Is Not Enough,” a single from the album released in July, Loveless sings that “being kind is just a phrase you wear on a T-shirt.” It can—and does—double as a song about heartbreak, but it was written in the aftermath of the election and what she describes as the “toxic positivity” of phrases like “Love Wins.” Yeah, sometimes. But not always. The pandemic has laid bare the empty calories of bumper sticker activism; listening to the album while walking around my neighborhood—which is tattooed with phrases like “Everything Will Be Okay”—it felt all the more resonant. “Daughter” is a particular standout in its songwriting, musical craftsmanship, and

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Loveless is the first artist on her new Honey, You’re Gonna Be Late Records label. With an uncertain future ahead of the music industry, she doesn’t know when another artist might be brought on. For the present, it’s given her time to be creative and experiment away from the crowds and shows and commentary. And, on her remote Morrisville property, she’s found a new normal. There was a brief encounter with a ghost, at the beginning of the year—Loveless’s home sits on the site of a plane crash—when she and her boyfriend, the magician Michael Casey, separately heard the distinct sound of a woman humming. (Loveless admits her fervent desire to have a paranormal experience belies the stereotypes of rational Virgos). But the ghost has left the couple alone during the pandemic—she says this with reluctance—and in her new home, she’d found quiet: A place to walk around barefoot, to experiment, and to write new songs. With this freedom comes hope, though maybe not the bumper sticker kind. “I don’t know if I’m optimistic or not,” she says, “I guess I’m just trying to live and not ‘let the bastards get me down.’ I’m trying to be more hopeful.” W


n 2018, s, when aughters” of politiless says with the a particgave you ?” e of the t women ughter or n a press living as and don’t y was in daughter mfort.” The Loft, m Schick s) as proJay Gasalbum is ed piano s evident.

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SQUIRREL NUT ZIPPERS: LOST SONGS OF DOC SOUCHON

[Southern Broadcasting; Sep. 25]

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her new Squirrel Nut Zippers PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ARTISTS Records re ahead n’t know brought her time way from mentary. e properere was a he begin- BY ADAM SOBSEY music@indyweek.com e sits on she and ael Casey, und of a t’s a band that couldn’t have started anywhere else,” Jimbo Mathus says. s her ferHe’s talking about the Squirrel Nut Zippers and Chapel Hill—specifically the rich xperience alt-nineties ferment that produced nationally charting acts such as Ryan Adams, Ben Virgos). Folds, and the Zippers, as well as local legends such as Flat Duo Jets, Chicken Wire Gang, ple alone Zen Frisbee, and presiding folk eminences the Red Clay Ramblers, all “doing this take on this with deep roots,” Mathus says. me, she’d Mathus is from Mississippi and lives there today. He’s 53. Nearly 30 years ago, he was und bare- working as a deckhand in New Orleans but “looking for someplace to start what I wantrite new ed to do,” he recalls. “I met some people at Mardi Gras who lived in Chapel Hill, and I es hope, thought, next time I get off the barge I’m gonna drive up there and check it out. I was up cker kind. there two hours and called the barge company and said I quit. I got a job washing dishes or not,” at Pyewacket within hours of arriving in town.” o live and Meanwhile, he spent his time learning about American music, theater, visual arts, and n.’ I’m try- puppetry in Chapel Hill’s libraries, bookstores, and record shops. “There was an abundance of information,” Mathus says, and “it was encouraged to try new things.”

To Hell and Back

The many deaths and lives of Squirrel Nut Zippers

“I

After his first new thing, the indie rock band Metal Flake Mother, came and went, Mathus started organizing backyard hootenannies like the ones he’d grown up with in Mississippi: “social music,” he calls it, serious about song but informal in energy, complete with fish fries and watermelon. Out of this “exuberance, joy, explosiveness—the manic craziness” came the Zippers, some of whose “original cast,” as Mathus says—he still calls the act “a theatrical troupe” and has even written a vaudevillian play for it to perform someday—“had never even done music.” It did not take long for the music to be done. The Zippers went platinum in 1996 and were kaput by millennium’s end. Death, divorce, dollars, drugs. “Watch twenty-four straight hours of Behind the Music, and you’ll hit every single thing that took us down,” original Zipper Tom Maxwell said in 2006. Ten years after that, and 20 after the Zippers scored big with Hot and “Hell” (a more perfect union of album and single titles there has never been), Mathus was approached about an anniversary tour. It was fitting that by then he was working largely in New Orleans, the world’s most necrophiliac city. After all, the iconic “Hell” video was an old cartoon of skeletons frolicking in a graveyard. Death was always about. (Of course, Mathus spoke to the INDY while on his way to play music at a funeral in Muscle Shoals.) Mathus called the 2016 Zippers not a “reunion” but a “revival,” brought back to life with “cats I knew that I sort of earmarked if I ever put the Zippers back together,” says Mathus, the only remaining original member. The revival tour led to the Zippers’ first album of new material since 2000, the bon-temps-rouler LP Beasts of Burgundy (2018). Freshly enshrined in the 2020 class of the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame, with The Lost Songs of Doc Souchon coming out September 25, the Zippers are very much alive again. This version, Mathus says, has “a new level of skill and artistry and showmanship,” although, as musical director and co-producer Dr. Sick says, “I try to keep it sounding just shitty enough.” Mathus recruited most of the core group from the Little Big Horns, a polished brass outfit. The Zippers have been unzipped from the old body bag as “a New Orle-

ans band with a New Orleans cosmology,” Mathus says. The Lost Songs of Doc Souchon sounds like a titular conceit à la Sgt. Pepper, but Doc Souchon was a real New Orleans musician, folklorist, and preservationist. Mathus discovered his only album in a secondhand shop. A couple of its tunes also appear on Lost Songs, which is mostly a covers album: a take on deep roots. It’s the sign of a well-steeped band that the three Mathus-penned tunes aren’t obvious ringers, even though they appear in sequence on the album. “I wanted to interweave them so you couldn’t tell which was which,” he says. In order: “She’s Ballin’” is old-fashioned swing; “Train on Fire” is a doomy, Tom Waits-like dirge (“We had to do something that was really creepy or it wouldn’t be a Zippers record,” Mathus says) that features the return of early Zippers’ violinist Andrew Bird, who is now a music and screen star in his own right; “Mr. Wonderful” is a lounge lizard’s jealous croon to the titular character, whose razzmatazz stole the singer’s girl away. The self-referential wink is that “Mr. Wonderful” is the nickname Mathus gave the Zippers’ sax player, Hank West, who also delivers the song’s vocal, and takes the solo along with the girl. The seven covers range from chestnuts like “Can’t Take My Eyes off of You,” in a slightly sinister arrangement by Dr. Sick, to obscurities like “Purim Nigrum,” a klezmer tune of uncertain Eastern European-Jewish origin. Dr. Sick learned it in another band (called Mazel Tov Cocktail, naturally), and heard in it an affinity between traditional Yiddish “Bulgar” rhythm and Afro-HaitianNew Orleanian Bamboula. Such a mashup befits the spirit of the Zippers, who have kept the old backyard Chapel Hill spirit. According to Dr. Sick, “Jimbo will ask the band, ‘What do you want to do? What are you already doing that we would sound good on?’” “Gut instinct,” Mathus says. “And I’ve been fearless about taking advantage of the opportunities that have been presented to me. I was aware enough to see one in Chapel Hill. It was urban enough; it was funky, eccentric; but it was still Southern, and I couldn’t see myself not being in the South. Chapel Hill spoke a language I understand.” W INDYweek.com

September 23, 2020

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Opposites Attract Sylvan Esso’s inverted polarities and Crystal Spiders’ methodical metal BY BRIAN HOWE AND JORDAN LAWRENCE music@indyweek.com

SYLVAN ESSO: FREE LOVE

HHHH [Loma Vista Recordings; Sep. 25]

S

omewhere between American indie-folk and European electronic dance music lies Sylvan Esso, the most popular band Durham has produced in years. After showing us what they were on their first album and what they might become on their second—after the Grammy nomination, the late-night TV appearances, the Tiny Desk concerts, the sold-out DPAC shows—Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn show us what they are on their third album, Free Love, out September 25 on Loma Vista Recordings. By Free Love’s lights, what they are, more distinctly than a band with a powerhouse singer that writes fine electro-pop songs, is a band that harmonizes far-flung extremes by inverting their usual properties. Sylvan Esso makes hedonistic dance music feel intimate and lonesome ballads feel communal. They make minimalism feel monumental and maximalism feel streamlined. They make experimental production sound like pop and stripped-down pop sound experimental. They make whimsy sound professional and meticulousness sound adorable. They make playground chants sound sexy and romantic lyrics sound like nursery rhymes. 24

September 23, 2020

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Most of all, they make larger-than-life sound palm-ofyour-hand—they’re pop stars you can put in your pocket. Free Love comes on the heels of Sylvan Esso’s WITH tour, in which they enlisted a big band to flesh out their spindly songs in large halls, and while Meath and Sanborn are mostly back to musical monogamy (other than a few key contributions from ringers like drummer Joe Westerlund), the collaborative impulse leaves ample traces on the album, which they recorded at their new studio, Betty’s. Meath has mentioned the erosion of the strict roles of singer and producer in recent interviews, and you can feel that loosening of creative borders in ways that are hard to quantify. The album begins and ends with “What If” and “Make It Easy,” vocoder hymns resembling humbler versions of Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek.” Indeed, though Sylvan Esso’s production is consummately modern, something about their songs often puts me in the mind of the warm, buoyant indie electro-pop of the mid-aughties: “The Ring,” a singalong with pattering percussion and pillowy bass, has something of The Blow’s classic “True Affection,” and might have made for a more obvious single than the decompressed electro-folk of “Rooftop Dancing,” if not than the chanting immediacy of the undeniable meet-cute “Ferris Wheel.” Even “Train,” a throwback to the deathless nineties Miami bass hit by Quad City DJ’s, feels tugged toward some mid2000s golden age—you keep expecting Gwen Stefani to start spelling “bananas.” Though the sound is spacious as always, Free Love features some of Sanborn’s most detailed music. “Numb,” which reminds me of a Tracey Thorn song (if you know Thorn’s post-Everything but the Girl work, you know that’s high praise), has a big, rubbery, Germanic bass sound as filters gulp and spit. The staticky, pulsing “Frequency” I can describe only as cuddlestep, and “Runaway,” with its elephant-trumpet bass, is mutant house warped to the edge of 4/4 time. Free Love launches with an online release party starting at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 24, but just days before, the band released another video, this one for “Free,” perhaps the album’s conceptual centerpiece. A Mountain Man-like folk song with the barest electronic backing, it finds Meath reckoning with moderate fame, and it’s another example of inverted polarities: Freedom sounds an awful lot like constraint. But as always, she wears the pressure with generosity and grace. —Brian Howe

CRYSTAL SPIDERS: MOLT HHH 1/2

[Ripple; Sep. 25]

T

he opening minute of Crystal Spiders’ debut LP is ominous and methodical. Dark, fuzzed-out bass trudges through a bone-weary march as Brenna Leath sings of a daunting expanse with terrified restraint: “There’s no one out here, just wild dogs and dust/Fill up the empty space with unholy sound and deathly grace.” But on that last word, everything turns. Leath belts it out with raspy, reverberating power, as guitar and bass form a lunging and lumbering groove. The playing gets looser and livelier as the song progresses, and Leath attacks her words with arena-sized grandeur. If the Raleigh duo of bassist Leath and drummer Tradd Yancey (joined on record by Mike Deloatch) ever were faced with such a lonely apocalypse, it’s clear that they could fill it with volume and creativity. With a fairly primitive stoner-doom template, they showcase a bold spirit that reflects such divergent heavy touchstones as the trance-inducing Sleep and the endlessly restless Boris, but also the outsize charisma of sixties and seventies classic rock—and not just because Leath’s wowing vocals soar to Janis-Joplin-esque heights. The title track stomps and sprints with breathless proto-punk vigor without sacrificing the album’s wonderfully weighty guitar and bass tones (no surprise with Corrosion of Conformity’s Mike Dean handling production). “Chronic Sick” mutates through drawn-out riffs and stridently bruising crescendos, by turns meditative and enraged. “The Call” pumps impressive velocity and heft into its opening Motörhead-ish burst, leading to an impressive coda struck through by huge, expressive guitar lines and ghostly siren calls from Leath. These highs reveal deep stores of ingenuity for the band to build on in the future, though Molt reveals itself as a debut on lesser songs that test the Spiders’ skills and chemistry on more familiar poses. While “Fog” is proficient and satisfying—a suitably moody and massive doom epic—its arrangement is decidedly standard-issue. And though “Tigerlily” is one of the album’s most instantly gripping numbers, enlivened by playful rhythmic variations, pounding drum flourishes, and tenaciously winding guitar solos, its approach to beefed-up Sabbath riff-rock is “if it ain’t broke, don’t fuck it up.” In these moments, the Spiders lean on Leath’s show-stopping vocals to distinguish them, and while they do, the album becomes truly thrilling when it leaves convention in the dust. —Jordan Lawrence


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September 23, 2020

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NOTICES NOTICE OF DURHAM COUNTY GENERAL ELECTION Tuesday, November 3, 2020 PHOTO ID IS NOT REQUIRED TO VOTE The General Election for Durham County will be held in Durham County, NC on Tuesday November 3rd. All Durham County precincts will be open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. The following contests will be on Durham County ballots*: •President of the United States •State and Federal Offices •U.S. House of Representatives •N.C. Senate •N.C. House of Representatives •N.C. District Court •N.C. Superior Court •Durham County Board of Commissioners •Durham County Register of Deeds •Durham County Soil and Water *Offices will only appear on your ballot if you are eligible to vote for the respective contests. ABSENTEE ONE-STOP (EARLY VOTING) LOCATIONS • South Regional Library – 4505 S Alston Avenue, Durham • North Regional Library221 Milton Road, Durham • Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship4907 Garrett Road, Durham • Hope Valley Baptist Church- 6900 Garrett Road, Durham • Greater Emmanuel Template of Grace – 2722 E Main Street, Durham • Mt. Sylvan United Methodist Church – 5731 N Roxboro Road, Durham • East Regional Library – 211 Lick Creek Lane, Durham • The River Church – 4900 Prospectus Drive, Durham • Criminal Justice Resource Center – 326 E Main Street, Durham • Durham Tech – Newton Building – 1616 Cooper Street, Durham

• NCCU Turner Law Building – 640 Nelson Street, Durham • Duke University Karsh Alumni Center – 2080 Duke University Road, Durham • Southern High School – 800 Clayton Road, Durham • Main Library – 300 N Roxboro Street, Durham Early voting schedule: Thursday, Oct. 15th through Saturday, Oct. 31st, 2020 Hours are consistent at all fourteen early voting sites. • Weekdays: 8:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. • First Two Saturdays (Oct. 17th and 24th): 8:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. • Final Saturday (Oct. 31st): 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. • Sundays: 2:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. ELECTION DAY POLLING PLACE LOCATION CHANGES • Precinct 15, previously located at Shepherds House United Methodist Church has moved to Holton Career and Resource Center, located at 401 N. Driver Street, Durham, NC 27703. • Precinct 17, previously located at First Presbyterian Church has moved to Durham County Main Library, located at 300 N Roxboro Street, Durham, NC 27701. • Precinct 35.3, previously located at City of Durham Fire Station #18 has moved to Triangle Bridge Club, located at 5110 Revere Road, Durham, NC 27713. • Precinct 48, previously located at Woodcroft Clubhouse has moved to the Boys and Girls Club of Durham and Orange Counties, located at 1010 Martin Luther King, Jr. Parkway, Durham, NC 27713. VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINE: The voter registration deadline for the November 3, 2020 General Election is Friday, October 9, 2020 (25 days prior). Voters that miss the registration deadline may register and vote during the

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HEALTH & WELL BEING Absentee One-Stop Voting Period (Early Voting). 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 October 9, 2020. 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 One Stop 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.

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