INDY Week 9.29

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Raleigh Durham Chapel Hill September 29, 2021

At Ideal’s Sandwich & Grocery, there are a lot of layers.


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September 29, 2021

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Dontae Sharpe speaking outside the Governor’s Mansion in support of the pardon of himself and others who have been wrongfully convicted of crimes, p. 6 PHOTO BY BRETT VILLENA


Activists are holding a sit-in outside the Governor's Mansion to urge Gov. Cooper to expedite pardoning Dontae Sharpe, who was wrongfully convicted. BY LEIGH TAUSS The recall of Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin looks poised to fail. Still, proponents say the recall mechanism will be needed when Raleigh switches to evenyear elections. BY JASMINE GALLUP Chapel Hill Town Council member Allen Buansi launches his bid for N.C. Rep. Verla Insko's opening seat. BY HANNAH OLSON

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10 At Ideal's Sandwich & Grocery, don't look for a sign—look for a line. BY LENA GELLER


On a new solo record, Mac McCaughan gets a little help from some friends. BY MADELINE CRONE

13 Is Slingshot a mini-Moogfest—or something more homegrown? BY BRIAN HOWE


A new documentary by Durham filmmakers follows falconers across the world to new heights. BY ZACK SMITH 15 The Eyes of Tammy Faye has a broad palette. BY LEIGH TAUSS 16 My Name Is Pauli Murray examines a brilliant life of firsts. BY THOMASI MCDONALD

THE REGULARS 4 15 Minutes 5 Op-ed

COVER Photo by Brett Villena / Design by Jon Fuller


MaryAnn Kearns Durham/Orange/ Chatham Counties

John Hurld EDITOR I AL Editor in Chief Jane Porter Managing Editor Geoff West

Arts & Culture Editor Sarah Edwards Senior Writer Leigh Tauss Staff Writers Jasmine Gallup Thomasi McDonald Editorial Assistant Lena Geller Theater+Dance Critic Byron Woods

Contributors Will Atkinson, Madeline Crone, Grant Golden, Lena Geller, Spencer Griffith, Lucas Hubbard, Layla Khoury-Hanold, Brian Howe, Lewis Kendall, Kyesha Jennings, Glenn McDonald, Anna Mudd, Dan Ruccia, Jake Sheridan



Creative Director

Wake County MaryAnn Kearns

Annie Maynard Graphic Designer

Jon Fuller Staff Photographer

Brett Villena

Durham/Orange/ Chatham Counties John Hurld

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September 29, 2021



Last week for our fall arts guide, we published an interview with Durham author Karen Tucker whose debut novel Bewilderness takes a hard look at love, loss, and opioid addiction. Tucker told writer Shelbi Polk that she carries Narcan, a prescription nasal spray, with her, as it can help bring a person out of an overdose.

“Looking forward to reading this!,” wrote Facebook commenter HEATHER CONNORS. “FYI Narcan is available at most pharmacies with no prescription in NC, most insurance and Medicaid covers it. If a person is an active IV drug user they can usually get it for free at their local harm reduction clinic. Please pick some up and have it with you at all times, you never know when you may need to save someone!” Jasmine Gallup wrote about Raleigh’s mask mandate and how we likely won’t see it come to an end any time soon. Our readers agree, but not because the county’s COVID-19 metrics are improving. “Wake County is currently at 5.4% positive test rate (per NCDHHS), and the Raleigh city council said that below 5% is when the mandates should end,” wrote Facebook commenter BRIAN PORTER. “This is with about 200K people living in cities within Wake County that don’t have a mask mandate at all. In the end this will be a political decision. Just look at Orange County (2.8%) who has the lowest positive test rate in the state. They haven’t given any metrics or an off ramp on when they will drop their own mandates.” But what’s the point of it anyway, readers asked, if the mask mandate isn’t enforced? “Half the city acts like we don’t have a mask mandate,” wrote Facebook commenter NICK SOVICH. “The number of people that continue to ignore these mandates is both frustrating and disturbing.” Finally, for our 15 Minutes column, writer Hannah Olson interviewed Erica Hoff, a Durham resident who is documenting her quest to trade up from a succulent plant to a Sprinter camper van. Erica hasn’t gotten her van yet; still, a reader found all of this a little bit suspicious. “I don’t understand what she traded for a Sprinter camper van,” wrote Facebook commenter CHRIS TELESCA. “First off, that she started all this after working for the Buttegig campaign is highly suspect.” Lol.


September 29, 2021 @indyweek


15 MINUTES Mike DeNardis, 44 Owner and head coach of the Raleigh Flyers ultimate frisbee championship team BY JASMINE GALLUP

How did you get into ultimate frisbee? I started in college at the University of Iowa. The summer before my freshman year, I discovered ultimate and started cross-training to get my cardio up. I just kept playing throughout college. Ultimate started in the late ‘60s and it was definitely a counterculture sport. When I started playing, it felt very kind of hippie-ish, very untraditional. Through the years, that’s changed. There’s a lot of people who come from high school sports, or who have come from traditional sports but maybe don’t want to play or can’t make it into college. (Now), there’s over 3,000 people that play in the Triangle alone.

What do you like about ultimate frisbee? It combines the dynamics of a lot of different sports. It’s played on a football field and you’re trying to score in the endzone. Once you have the disc in your possession, you can’t run, you have to pivot, so there’s a little bit of basketball in there. Plus a little bit of soccer in the way that the team moves up and down the field.

How does the game work? Everybody has to be kind of a quarterback because everybody has to have the ability to throw, but we do have positions. (The handlers) are the ones you’ll see with the disc in their hands a lot more and they’ll be trying to throw the more complicated throws. Then there’s cutters … who will receive the disc more, score more goals. That handler-cutter


dynamic is like a quarterback-wide receiver dynamic in football. The best teams, the ones that are really dynamic, everyone can play both those roles, everyone can throw and everyone can receive. It takes a lot of time to learn how to throw with accuracy, depending on the wind, how far a receiver is, what kind of angle you put on it. You can learn a forehand and a backhand and some of the over-the-top throws in a week, but to master them, it takes years.

How does professional ultimate frisbee work? As an organization, we pay our players. We don’t pay them a living wage yet, we hope to get to that spot. There’s a lot of people who come and try out. We usually have over 100 people. Only 15 to 20 percent of those people make it. Then, you have to make the roster which is even harder to do. It’s a highly competitive thing. You can’t just walk off the street and play, even if you’ve played high-level college athletics.

How did it feel to win the American Ultimate Disc League championship? It felt great because we worked so hard for so many years. We’ve been to the playoffs every year. We’ve had a really, really good record. We’ve always been a very competitive team, top five in the league, but we’ve never won. So this is a really big deal for the organization. There were a lot of people on the team who have been there since 2015 and even before there were pro leagues, they were playing in the area club teams. Seeing some of those guys win their first championship was really awesome for everyone. W

OP - E D

Equality Now


his month marks the 10 year anniversary of the official repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” As a veteran and North Carolinian, I’m proud that Senator Richard Burr was among the eight Republicans who voted to end the military’s notorious policy that barred LGBTQ Americans from serving openly. It was a historic moment that exemplifies how lawmakers can work together to address our nation’s problems. I hope the spirit of bipartisanship continues now that our lawmakers are back on Capitol Hill after the summer recess. At the top of their list should be negotiations on the Equality Act, a bill passed by the House and currently under consideration in the Senate. The Equality Act would update federal law to include express and enduring protections for LGBTQ Americans. As an ally to the LGBTQ community and Catholic with a deep love for this country, I’m grateful for our courageous LGBTQ active-duty service members and veterans every day for serving our country and protecting our freedoms. Unfortunately, they return to a country without those same freedoms. Equality and freedom are American values that I spent 22 years of my life defending. I joined the United States Army in 1997 because serving my country and being part of something bigger has always been a dream of mine. I took the leap after three years of college and I’ve never looked back. Throughout my years of service and leadership in the U.S. Army, I deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of the 82nd Airborne Division. I then transferred to the United States Special Operations Command as a Civil Affairs Officer, where I helped with nation building initiatives to bring stability and democratic values. Yet some aspects of this work were

“LGBTQ veterans— who have defended American freedoms abroad—should see their freedoms respected and protected at home.” overshadowed by measures that restricted the freedoms of LGBTQ soldiers. I had the honor and privilege to get to know and serve alongside people from all walks of life. I met brave LGBTQ soldiers who opened up and trusted me with their identities despite military policy that prohibited lesbian, gay, and bisexual people from serving openly. Fortunately, since Congress repealed the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in 2010, there has been historic progress in the military community. However, it’s now time for our lawmakers to address the stigma and discrimination that still exist here at home. LGBTQ active service members and veterans are still denied equality and inclusion in key areas of life. Because of the lack of comprehensive laws in states like North Carolina, more than one in three LGBTQ Americans reported facing discrimination of some kind in the past year, including more than three in five transgender Americans. More than half of LGBTQ people said they experienced harrassment or discrimination in a public place such as a store, transportation, or a restroom. Many times, LGBTQ service members return home in hopes of reintegration

into their communities, but instead are faced with harassment and mistreatment because of who they are or who they love. Not only is this wrong, it goes against our core values as Americans. Growing up in Puerto Rico, my mother instilled in me the Golden Rule. My faith teaches me that we are called above all things to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Treating and loving everyone we encounter means doing everything we can to ensure that no one faces discrimination. When my friend and veteran recently came out to me as a gay man, he asked, “How will you treat me?” I propelled myself into action and joined the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and over 500 veterans in calling on Congress to stand up for people like my friend by supporting a federal nondiscrimination law to protect all those who have defended our nation’s freedom and the more than 13 million LGBTQ people across the country. Our elected leaders should do the same. It’s time for Congress to do what is right. All Americans, including LGBTQ people, should be able to go about their daily lives without fear of harassment or discrimination. And LGBTQ veterans—who have defended American freedoms abroad— should see their freedoms respected and protected at home. Senators Burr and Tillis have shown us that working on bipartisan legislation is a promising path toward a better America. They’ve done it by supporting the infrastructure bill, and they can do it again by engaging in good-faith negotiations and securing another important Senate victory by passing the Equality Act. W


ke up w a W i

North Carolina Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis can continue on a bipartisan path towards building a better America by voting in favor of the Equality Act and protecting LGBTQ U.S. service members. BY ABRAM FLORES



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Abram Flores is a resident of Fayetteville and retired officer of the U.S. Army

September 29, 2021




A Stand, Sitting North Carolina NAACP President T. Anthony Spearman has camped outside the Governor’s Mansion since last week in protest of Governor Cooper’s delay in pardoning Dontae Sharpe. BY LEIGH TAUSS


f righteous indignation could pry open the gates of power, North Carolina NAACP President T. Anthony Spearman would have the pardon for Dontae Sharpe in his hands by now. For seven days, the sinewy 70-year-old has sat in a green camping chair and slept in a tent pitched beneath a Magnolia tree outside the Governor’s Mansion. He’s there in a dogged protest. “I’m taking a stand, sitting,” he tells me from beneath a royal purple cap, his eyes fixed upon the brick and iron gate. Last Wednesday, Spearman received what would normally be good news: that Governor Roy Cooper intended to pardon Sharpe, who was released from prison in 2019 after serving 26 years for murder, for which he’s long professed innocence. Sharpe was exonerated, but is yet to be pardoned. An official pardon will allow him to see compensation from the state for wrongful conviction. Sharpe’s pardon application has been received, a spokesman from the Governor’s office told the INDY, noting Cooper has granted seven pardons of innocence during his tenure. “The Governor plans to make decisions on this and other cases by the end of the year,” Press Secretary Jordan Monaghan said in an email. That’s not good enough for Spearman, who sees the delay as a politician’s gamesmanship. For Spearman, three extra months is just more time stolen from Sharpe, who was robbed of his youth by a corrupt criminal justice system. So, heeding a spiritual call, Spearman vows to remain outside the mansion until Gov. Cooper signs the pardon. “Slide it under the gate!” Spearman shouted during a Friday vigil. Diana Powell, executive director of NC Justice Served, has joined Spearman. The duo plans to continue hosting demonstrations outside the mansion every Friday until 6

September 29, 2021

Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, president of the NC NAACP, who has been sitting for three days in front of the Governor’s Mansion in support of the pardon of Dontae Sharpe PHOTO BY BRETT VILLENA Sharpe receives a pardon. Last week, about two dozen residents gathered alongside them for the Freedom Friday protest, listening to Sharpe and a phoned-in sermon from the Rev. William J. Barber II. So far, they’ve heard nothing from Cooper. “We’ve been getting a little pushback from security,” Powell said Monday afternoon. “Petty stuff, like having chairs on the sidewalk.” Sharpe was just 19 in 1994 when he was accused of murdering 33-year-old George Radcliff in a drug deal gone wrong. Since the beginning, Sharpe has maintained his innocence. Expert testimony discredited the prosecution’s theory of how the shooting that killed Radcliff occurred and Sharpe was granted a new trial in 2019. Lacking forensic evidence, Pitt County’s district attorney declined to pursue a new trial. For two years, Sharpe’s pardon has collected dust on Cooper’s desk. Under state law, once pardoned, he’ll be eligible to receive $50,000 for each year spent in prison, up to a maximum of $750,000. Without the pardon, Sharpe says he has struggled to find employment. Spearman says he was depressed after learning another North Carolina exoneree, Glen Edward Chapman, was

struggling following his release, according to his family. Chapman served 13 years in prison before he was freed in 2008 when charges against him were dropped. He has also not been granted a pardon yet. His petition has seen three governors in office. “They deserve to be dignified. I’m tired of it,” Spearman says. “We need truth, transparency, and accountability and we need it now.” Spearman approached the vigil’s portable podium wearing a gray Black Lives Matter sweatshirt. “Truth be told, you are all standing in my bedroom,” he joked. “I’m following the call of the almighty to be here and it’s not going to be pretty. It’s going to be real.” Sharpe also attended the vigil Friday. He commanded a humble presence. He thanked Cooper for the anticipated pardon and told the crowd this wasn’t about justice in his case, but addressing a broken criminal justice system. “I’m not even worried about me, I’m focused on the guys I left in there,” Sharpe says. With a simple stroke of a pen, Spearman says Cooper could pardon Sharpe today. “He does not have to wait,” Spearman says. W



Stalling Out The recall effort targeting Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin looks poised to fail, but proponents say the recall mechanism will be needed when the council switches to even-year elections. BY JASMINE GALLUP


ive weeks away from a self-imposed deadline, a group of neighborhood activists only have about 11 percent of the signatures needed to trigger a recall election against Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin. As the days and weeks slip by, it’s looking more likely that this effort, like those in years past, will die not with a bang, but a whimper. The campaign to oust Baldwin began this summer by Livable Raleigh, a local activist group critical of the mayor’s lack of community engagement and developer-friendly agenda. The straw that broke the camel’s back, however, was the city council’s decision to push elections back from next month to November 2022, buying officials an extra year in office. Successful recall efforts are often defined by a single unpopular policy decision, and the decision to postpone Raleigh elections was almost universally unpopular. Not only did the council make the dubious choice to push the election, but it did so in secret, earning censure from Governor Roy Cooper, Wake County’s delegation in the state Senate, and hundreds of angry voters. It was the kind of decision that earns condemnation from people on the left and right—a key element to a successful recall, says Mac McCorkle, a professor at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. When it comes to removing someone from office, it’s not enough to disagree with their platform, McCorkle told the INDY. The few officials who have been recalled are often perceived as betraying those who elected them. “It has to be a high crime, to say you’re gonna throw somebody out,” McCorkle says. “There has to be a really clear, compelling case like you aren’t who you said you were, or you simply can’t govern. As a consultant, I would find that a hard case to make.”

Baldwin has made the case easier to argue. The fact that Raleigh didn’t hold open meetings or listen to residents’ opinions on the election timing is “galling,” said Bob Hall, co-founder of the good-government group Democracy NC, during a Livable Raleigh event. “It was just a con job to say that they had to postpone the election in the manner that they did,” Hall said. “Respect is at the core of democracy. To not respect your citizens, and to not bring them in and ask them and talk to them about such a major policy decision, is deplorable.” It’s clear people are angry—but it likely won’t be enough to bring down Baldwin.

Recall difficulty Since August, some 1,500 people have signed the recall petition. According to the city’s charter, Livable Raleigh needs 14,000 notarized signatures, 25 percent of the total number of voters who turned out in the last municipal election in 2019. The group has set an October 31 deadline to collect signatures. Although Livable Raleigh chair Susan Maruyama remains optimistic about the chances of earning a recall election in January, she admits the campaign faces challenges. “What we’re doing in Raleigh is difficult because it’s never been done,” Maruyama says. “It’s daunting.” Like many cities across the state, Raleigh has high standards for removing lawfully elected officials based on political disagreement. One of the biggest obstacles is the city’s “antiquated laws,” which don’t allow the use of any digital tools to collect signatures, says Maruyama.

Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin


“We’re required to conduct this recall campaign according to the 1954 city charter rules,” she says. “It’s like being shot back in time. We cannot use any technology to help us, so everything is personal interaction.” The coronavirus pandemic creates an additional obstacle since many people are reluctant to join large gatherings. Maruyama and other volunteers have been holding outdoor signing events, but even with safety precautions, “people don’t really want to get together,” she says. Many recall efforts fizzle because of a lack of organization and funding, causing petitioners to fall short of the number of signatures required to force an election. In 1968, for example, an effort by conservatives to recall Durham Mayor Wib Gulley died because the petition failed to get enough signatures. Likewise, Baldwin says the recall is led mainly by her political opponents, particularly former city council members Stef Mendell and Russ Stephenson, who lost their bids for re-election in 2019. Baldwin’s critics take issue with her pro-development policies, which they say lead to gentrification and displacement. Baldwin has also come under fire for her job, with some saying her position as director of business development for Barnhill Contracting represents a conflict of interest. “If she (Baldwin) stays in power, she’ll continue to give kudos to the real estate companies and have things her way,” says one recall supporter, Steve Mayberry. “She’s not giving full credence to housing needs.”

Baldwin disagrees, saying her policies are an effort to increase the supply of housing and drive down the cost. “What we’re trying to do is build with more density,” she says. “It’s about giving people access to opportunity.”

Future of recalls Despite the group’s determination, it seems unlikely Livable Raleigh’s pursuit to recall Baldwin will succeed. Their pro-development grievances aren’t supported by all Raleigh residents. While some people find fault with Baldwin’s handling of protests in downtown Raleigh last year and her elimination of citizen advisory councils, there doesn’t seem to be enough widespread will for a special election. But even if the effort fails, Livable Raleigh says it has succeeded in drawing attention to a powerful political tool that can be used as a check on executives. During a city council meeting last week, resident Barry Eriksen argued in favor of maintaining a viable recall option, especially as elections are moved to even-numbered years when turnout is expected to be much higher. “The recall rules have been outdated for decades. Surely this is an appropriate time to update them,” Eriksen said. “If we are going to switch to four-year terms, we should reform our recall rules to allow a determined effort to recall an elected official to succeed, rather than be stuck with a bad apple in office for a full four-year term.” W

September 29, 2021



Chapel Hill Chapel Hill Town Council member/ N.C. House District 56 candidate Allen Buansi PHOTO BRETT VILLENA

fit to do whatever they could to move the ball forward. I wanted to fight for people. I want to do what I can to make life equitable.” Fast forward a couple of decades, and now, with a UNC-Chapel Hill law degree under his belt, Buansi has worked as a civil rights and municipal lawyer and is serving his first term on the Chapel Hill Town Council. In an exclusive interview with the INDY, Buansi laid out his plans to run for the North Carolina state House seat vacated by Orange County Rep. Verla Insko’s pending retirement.

Four years on the council

Early Contender Chapel Hill Town Council member Allen Buansi will run for retiring Rep. Verla Insko’s District 56 N.C. House seat. BY HANNAH OLSON


hen Allen Buansi was in seventh grade, bored in the way that only middle schoolers can be, he found his purpose in the pages of history books, reading about Black leaders making strides in both civil rights and politics. “I was lounging around the house and [my mother] catches me doing that, and she said, ‘Allen, why don’t you start reading some books?’” Buansi recalls. He read about Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American congresswoman; Thurgood Marshall, for8

September 29, 2021

mer Supreme Court justice; and Charles Houston, the architect of the NAACP’s legal strategy against Jim Crow laws. Buansi was inspired. “My mom encouraged me to think about what I want to do with my life and what my calling was. I gravitated towards this idea of public service, advocating for folks who are in need,” Buansi says. “These folks were operating at a time when things were really bleak, especially for Black people, especially for women. And yet they saw

Though inspired in middle school, Buansi says he did not recognize the power local governments have to effect change until he interned at the Center for Civil Rights at UNC-CH. There, he learned more about the continuing legacy of Jim Crow in North Carolina and how local governments can either be actors promoting discrimination or working to end it. “I had this newfound appreciation for the power that local government can have for actively dismantling systems of exclusion,” Buansi says. “What can I be doing at this point to promote equity right here in my own community?” In 2017, after taking a full-time attorney position at the civil rights center and working as policy director on attorney general Josh Stein’s successful campaign, Buansi decided it was time to run for office. Elected to the Chapel Hill Town Council in 2017, Buansi will serve only one term, ending in December. Buansi recently welcomed twin boys with his wife, Sarah, a professor in UNC-CH’s Department of Family Medicine. He told the INDY in July that his decision not to run stemmed from the time commitment it takes to mount a campaign, which would pair poorly with caring for two newborns. As Insko won’t leave her seat until December 2022, Buansi figures he’s bought some time. His council seat is one of four up for election this year. During his time on the council, Buansi led several initiatives, including a criminal justice debt program, a poet laureate program, affordable housing projects, and a community initiative to reimagine public safety. Reflecting on the past four years, Buansi says he is proudest of his work with fellow council member Karen Stegman on the criminal justice debt program and his efforts to reform local policing and assistance facilitated by the council during the COVID pandemic.

“It’s an opportunity to take the work we’ve been doing in Chapel Hill to the state level.” Buansi and Stegman worked to establish a debt fund to assist non-violent offenders living in poverty and trying to better their lives. The fund is designed to help town residents pay high court fees and costs. Stegman says Buansi is “deeply committed to public service, a thoughtful and measured policymaker who listens, honors different perspectives, and approaches his role with respect and humility. “[Buansi] unfailingly centers equity and fairness, informed both by his experiences growing up in Chapel Hill as well as his work as a civil rights attorney,” Stegman wrote in an email to the INDY. “During his time on the Council, Allen has been a fierce champion for those historically underrepresented in our local government, bringing their voices forward powerfully and with authority. If not for his commitment to collaboration and ability to bring clarity as to what is at stake, [our joint] efforts would likely not have been successful.” Council member Michael Parker echoed these sentiments, calling Buansi a “truly effective” member of the council. “His ability to work and collaborate with the other members of Council has led to him having an important impact in the Town’s response to the George Floyd murder, creation of a criminal justice debt relief fund, and making sure that the voices of those who have underrepresented and marginalized are heard,” Parker told the INDY. “His voice and his leadership on Council will be missed.” Following Floyd’s murder, Buansi spearheaded a resolution reimagining community safety, calling for some short- and long-term changes to policing in Chapel Hill. Two immediate changes—one prohibiting law enforcement officers from using chokeholds as a policing tactic, and another that prohibits low-level traffic regulatory stops—will be crucial in alleviating the focus and burdens of policing on poor people. In the long-term, the Re-Imagining Community Safety Task Force will study public safety through the lens of accessibility as well as policing over the next year.

Lasting legacy If elected to the General Assembly, Buansi will have big shoes to fill. Insko, who announced this month she would retire at the end of her term, is one of the longest-serving Democrats in the state legislature. She’s held her seat for 24 years, or before the iPhone was invented, as she put it. Jonah Garson, an attorney and former chair of the Orange County Democratic Party, announced he is stepping down from that role to run for Insko’s seat in the House, according to a report from Chapelboro and confirmed to the INDY by Garson’s campaign manager. Buansi, a Chapel Hill native, recalls growing up and looking to Insko as a role model. “I would be committed to carrying on that mantle, that legacy,” he says. “I got to admire her from afar, and as I’ve grown older, especially when I was elected to the town council, I’ve gotten to work with her in a different type of capacity and see her work ethic and values up close and personal. The kind of legacy that she’s created is one of empathy, of a dogged pursuit of fairness, and equality, and equity.” Buansi says, if elected, he will approach the role as an opportunity to bring local issues to the statewide stage. “It’s a real opportunity to take the work that we’ve been doing in Chapel Hill to the state level,” he says. “Work that is centered in making our state and our community more affordable, more accessible, more inclusive, through the state legislature.” Buansi says his main priorities include addressing climate change, public education, and affordable health care. Environmental justice is also on the front burner, he says. “I’ve got a track record as a leader. I’ve done a lot of work on the ground as an activist,” he says. “I feel I have a lot to bring to the table, and I’m here to serve our people, our district, and all of North Carolina.” W

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September 29, 2021


FO O D & D R I N K

IDEAL’S SANDWICH & GROCERY 2108 Angier Ave, Durham |

The Ideal’s Roast Turkey on a focaccia round PHOTO BY BRETT VILLENA

What’s in a Sandwich? Ian Bracken and Paul Chirico had always dreamed of opening a deli together. In July, they opened Ideal’s Sandwich & Grocery in East Durham. It has a lot of layers. BY LENA GELLER


f you’re trying to find Ideal’s Sandwich & Grocery, don’t bother looking for a sign—look for a line. The shop’s exterior looks exactly the same as it did sixty years ago, save for some fading, with a 1940s red-brick facade and a roof-mounted board posing a large Pepsi logo next to the words “Andrew’s Kountry Kitchen.” The only indicator that the building isn’t abandoned is a modest chalkboard in the window listing the new restaurant’s hours—and, if you’re there around noon on a weekend, the Disneyworld-length queue of customers streaming out the door. 10

September 29, 2021

Ideal’s has sold out of sandwiches nearly every day since it opened, two months ago, on Angier Ave in East Durham. The shop’s rapid rise in popularity was perhaps most surprising to its owners, Ian Bracken and Paul Chirico, who say their lack of branding was intentional; they declined interviews with the press, refrained from spending money on marketing, and left their storefront untouched in hopes of staying underground. Temporarily, at least. “We wanted to wait until we were more presentable,” Chirico says, explaining that he and Bracken were waiting to receive money from a Durham revitalization grant and

couldn’t yet cover the costs of the deli case, coolers, and other fixtures that would make up the shop’s grocery section. They didn’t want to open in stages, but grant money was lagging. “So we said, ‘let’s just open with sandwiches,’ Chirico says. “We’re not gonna advertise, we’re not gonna tell anyone, we’ll make an Instagram post and that’s it.” This post then led to two truisms: One, there’s nothing more alluring than something that doesn’t want to be found. Two, never underestimate the power of a good sandwich photo. The sandwiches at Ideal’s, with their oozing cross-sections, are droolworthy, partly by nature—in classic, North East deli fashion, they’re offered on hoagie rolls or pressed focaccia and stratified with even portions of meats, cheeses, and condiments—but also by nurture. The bread is baked fresh by Bracken every morning (“We make bread for sandwiches, not sandwiches out of bread,” is one of the shop’s mantras) and to call it merely a “vehicle” for the sandwiches’ ingredients would be a grave injustice. Eating an Ideal’s sandwich sans bread would be like carving the minerals out of a geode; sure, the insides can stand on their own, but the outer casing is integral to the magic. Regarding fillings, Chirico says there are two main tenants: “even amount of meat, cheese, and whatever else is in there,” and “condiments on both sides, all the way to the edges.” On the Uncle Primo, for example, a generous shmear of herbed mayo flanks equal portions of fresh mozzarella, prosciutto di parma, and arugula salad, each matching the width of the sandwich’s crown jewel, a fried-to-order chicken cutlet. Chirico and Bracken’s affinity for North East-style sandwiches is rooted in their upbringings; they were raised in New York and Boston, respectively, and each have one Italian side of the family. Their shop is named for Bracken’s grandfather, Ideal Saldi, whose own story, though also conveyed on the shop website, is too compelling to omit here: born on April Fools’ Day (alongside a twin sister named Idea), Ideal Saldi formed a union for the paperboys at six years old and hasn’t slowed down since; now eighty-seven, he works full-time running his own greenhouse. Bracken calls him a “true inspiration of humility, kindness, and hard work,” and hopes to sell roses at Ideal’s in his honor. Chirico and Bracken started tossing around the idea of Ideal’s more than ten years ago. In their early days of friendship as classmates at the Culinary Institute in New York, they frequented a deli and sandwich shop called Rossi’s, where they developed a fondness for both the cuisine and the friendly neighborhood atmosphere.

If they ever ended up in the same place, they vowed, they would start a business that emulated Rossi’s. “A few years ago, I called Ian and was like, ‘Hey, I’m moving to Charlotte,’ and he was like, ‘Wait, I’m moving to Durham,’” Chirico says. Chirico spent a few months in Charlotte helping his brother open a cocktail bar, but as soon as he and Bracken decided to make Ideal’s a reality, he started renting a house in East Durham. While searching for a location, they discovered the vacant building on Angier Avenue in East Durham that formerly housed Andrew’s Kountry Kitchen, a family-run restaurant that closed more than a decade ago. Before making the purchase, they talked to other business owners on the street, including Joe, of Joe’s Diner, the Russells, of Russell’s Pharmacy, Derrick, who owns The Nest, and Jason, from CFB4Life. “We met everybody in the neighborhood before we bought the building to make sure nobody had an issue with us being here,” Bracken says. Bracken says he is acutely aware of the gentrification that has pushed many longtime homeowners out of the area. “The development around here is nuts, and there’s no stopping it,” Bracken says. “How can we help? We can buy a building and we can hold that shit down.” In January, at the city council meeting where Bracken requested a revitalization grant, council members shared concerns over the shop’s proposed location—specifically, how he and Chirico planned to make their business accessible to East Durham residents. Bracken told the council that “community building is the basis of our business,” stating that he’s committed to making Ideal’s affordable—they’ll always have a $5 sandwich on the menu, he said—and eager to connect with the neighborhood. Now, after being open for a few months, Bracken feels he’s kept his word. “It’s very personable, you can just say what’s up,” says Bracken. “There’s no disconnect. Gentrification, in the grand scheme of things, is a giant disconnect between developers and the communities they develop in.” Keeping prices low with rapidly rising food costs is tricky, he adds, but he and Chirico are willing to take the hit. And by including a grocery in their shop—which, upon receiving the grant money in August, is mostly filled out—Bracken and Chirico hope to provide the community with a resource that it’s been missing. “Part of doing this in East Durham is that this is considered a food desert,” Chir-

Left: Ian Bracken & Paul Chirico Right: Ideal’s Philly Roast Pork on a hoagie roll PHOTOS BRETT VILLENA

ico says. “We want to supply groceries to a neighborhood that doesn’t have any grocery stores.” Though the shop is limited by space, its grocery area manages to squeeze in most of the basics—there’s fresh produce, milk, eggs, cheese, pasta, bread, and wine—as well as a number of imported Italian goods that aren’t available at chain stores. The deli case is still in the works, but once completed, will hold a variety of housemade salads, pasta dishes, and meats. At the January meeting, council members had also expressed unease that Bracken didn’t intend to pay employees a living wage, to which he responded, “A lot of people get into that living wage thing by guaranteeing a specific amount of tips,” and, “If we have the profits to pay people $15 an hour, that will be the first thing on my agenda.” In a conversation with the INDY this month, Bracken and Chirico echoed this sentiment. With tips, their employees are currently making close to $15 an hour, Chirico says, but until their numbers are more solid, they don’t want to claim to be paying a wage that may vary week to week. “Once we’re making profit, all that profit is going toward raises for everyone

who’s working here, and doing cool shit,” Bracken says. Said “cool shit” potentially includes a rooftop garden, which they aim to start building in the spring. Chirico says they’ve been inspired by pharmacy owner Darius Russell, who’s “always volunteering his time,” and foresee the garden as a space to collaborate with Russell on holding nutrition and cooking classes for students in the East Durham Children’s Initiative. Chirico and Bracken have also connected with Durham Tech to offer culinary school students externship opportunities at Ideal’s, and are working to impart as much cooking knowledge as possible to their staff. “They have no problem being generous with the knowledge they have, the resources they have,” says employee Shay Hendricks. When Hendricks came in for a job interview, they say, Bracken referred to them using they/them pronouns before asking which they preferred. “As a person who is gender nonconforming and still learning what that means to me, that was very important,” Hendricks says. “That was something I wasn’t even receiving from people who looked like me.

So for him to give me that not knowing me, it meant a lot.” As of now, Hendricks is one of just two employees at Ideal’s, but two more will be joining the team in October, including a new baker who Bracken says will up their bread production enough that the shop will hopefully only sell out “very rarely.” The new employees will also help Ideal’s work toward expanding its hours—the shop is currently only open about three hours a day, or until they sell out—to 9am to 6pm, five days a week. And, as part of shifting away from their stint as a sandwich speakeasy, Bracken and Chirico are working on putting up a sign that actually says their restaurant’s name. Bracken is getting married in October and, he says, Grandpa Ideal will be in town for the wedding. “I know my grandfather’s gonna come in here with one hand in his left pocket, juggling change like an old Italian guy,” Bracken says. “My mom wants his name on the building by the time he gets here.” They plan to refurbish the Andrew’s Kountry Kitchen sign so it looks the same but with new lettering. “I like that it’s very unassuming,” Bracken says. “That’s our whole thing.” W

September 29, 2021




[Merge Records; Sep. 24]

Alone Together On his latest solo album—with a little help from his friends—Mac McCaughan finds existential reprieve BY MADELINE CRONE


ost people can recall the feeling of a momentary cringe when hearing their own voice resounding through a foreign body. A video playback or a conference call echo can induce a dissociative shudder and the age-old question: “That’s what my voice sounds like?” According to musician Mac McCaughan, this phenomenon doesn’t get easier—even after 12 Superchunk albums and another six with Portastatic. On his new solo album, The Sound Of Yourself, the dynamic musician and Merge label co-founder explores this phenomenon with veteran poise. Released September 24 via Merge Records, McCaughan’s third solo effort contains boundless self-expression spurred by the silence of a global pandemic and supported by an impressive cast and dear friends and career-long collaborators. The album concept came to him on one of those lockdown walks that McCaughan, like many, took for the sake of sanity last spring. On a walk through the woods, he was listening to a recording of Amy Rigby reading her memoir, Girl To City. “She was talking about [how] if you’re someone who plays guitar and sings, but you’re used to just playing in your room or apartment, the first time you hear your voice come out of like a monitor on a stage or recorded in a studio, it’s different,” McCaughan explains to the INDY. “Maybe it’s weird sounding or not as natural as you thought.” Struck by this idea, the indie-rocker got to work on what would become a deeply personal project. Until this point, he’d had no formal conception of what this project would be, beyond the simple fact that he wanted to make an album this year. As the label head overseeing 2021 release plans for 12

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much of his roster—which includes artists like Hiss Golden Messenger, The Mountain Goats, Wye Oak, and more—he worked within a two-month window to record and mix the new music, wrapping up in record time. To discover the depth of his own voice, McCaughan kicked aside some of his characteristic indie-rocker elements that might clutter the vocal centerpieces. An intentional sparseness evokes an ethereal soundscape throughout the LP. “One thing that I am always trying to do—and I’m not always successful—is slow down and allow more space to exist in the songs,” he says. “I tend to kind of rush things, whether it’s the tempo of the song or just the fact I’m always anxious to hear a finished recording.” The title track is exemplary of this new intentionality. McCaughan had shaped the sounds for that song in his head and when inspiration finally struck, he crafted lyrics around the title. “The Sound of Yourself” starts with a sparseness induced by the lulling drum machine and a hypnotic bass line. “Even when things come in, they come in incrementally and texturally, rather than ‘Here’s this guitar solo to listen to now,” he says, likening this project to an early Portastatic record. Unlike his previous solo work, The Sound of Yourself showcases a pioneering spirit through instrumental tracks in a process he describes as “more all over the place.” “This album is me trying to incorporate randomness and accidents and end up with something that still sounds balanced and not totally out of whack, but, with enough weird things left in there to feel human,” he adds. Best exhibited in the introductory single “Dawn Bends,” McCaughan’s venturesome approach welcomes Superchunk bandmate

Mac McCaughan


Jon Wurster, as well as the band Yo La Tengo, into his deceptive doom-driven track. McCaughan, who says he is “not a great bass player,” credits James McNew (Yo Lo Tengo) for the critical instrumental contribution. “This idea of having a whole other band on a song is so, so cool, and it’s people that I’ve known and admired for so long,” he says. “I was really excited about everyone who was able to contribute.” Trying not to pile too much on top of a simple synthesizer or drum beat goes against his natural instincts, but slow-building songs leave room for interpretation. On the other hand, he points to album-opening “Moss Light”—which features his brother Matt’s percussion—and closer “Found Cricket” as “purposely cluttered.” The distinctive layering allows the listener to hear elements on their way in and out of the songs, like Mary Lattimore’s celestial harp. These bookend tracks conjure up ambiguity with a slow burn to balance uncharted sonic territory. The broad list of contributors seems ironic, considering the titular sentiment. But McCaughan’s close, collaborative relationship with these artists suggests that maybe friends can know us better than we know ourselves. Mackenzie Scott (TORRES) scorching vocals meet Matt Douglas’ (The Mountain Goats) saxophone for a groove-strick-

en album highlight, “Burn A Fax,” while Sabrina Ellis (A Giant Dog, Sweet Spirit) adds necessary levity to “Sleep Donor. “Circling Around” features Telekinesis’ Michael Benjamin Lerner, who teams up again with Spent’s Annie Hayden to provide shimmering vocal harmonies on “I Hear a Radio.” The invaluable lessons he learned through these collaborations are part of why he continues with his solo artistry. “I’m always learning things I can bring to the other projects,” he says. Writing for Superchunk, Portastatic, and most recently composing a movie score for the new Amy Poehler-directed Netflix movie, Moxie, requires an influx of influence no artist can maintain on their own. The Sound of Yourself is also the product of being productive in a psychologically stressful situation. “For me, being able to make music was really like a saving grace during the pandemic,” says McCaughan. Listening through the tracks, he is reminded of the sounds that brought him comfort amidst a bleak era of knowing very little for sure. Over two decades into his career, the accomplished artist fills the void between foreign and familiar across 11 transcendent tracks. “If you’ve been making music for as long as I have, it’s just what you do,” he says. “It’s both edifying and comforting.” W



Friday, Oct. 1 & Saturday, Oct. 2, 7 p.m., $25 | The Fruit, Durham |

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Moogfest But the shared history of Durham’s lapsed electronic music fest and the newcomer Slingshot is more layered than it seems BY BRIAN HOWE


o it’s basically a mini-Moogfest?” each and every one of us wondered, not unfairly, when we heard about Slingshot, which makes its local debut at The Fruit on the first weekend of October. Both festivals focus on electronic music, art, and technology. Both moved to Durham from other Southeastern cities. Both feature Kai Riedl in a leading role. The likeness is undeniable, but the shared history is more layered than it might seem. For one thing, Slingshot predates Riedl’s time at Moogfest. In fact, it got him hired there, and you might just as well say that Moogfest was a maxi-Slingshot for much of its time in Durham. In the late nineties and early aughts, Riedl played in Macha, a band from Athens, Georgia that featured future Deerhunter guitarist Josh McKay. They made waves on college radio by infusing American post-rock with Indonesian folk music, though I’ll always remember them most for their Postal Service-y cover of Cher’s “Believe” with the band Bedhead in 2000. Even with the melody typed on a touchtone phone, it was a bellwether of the Auto-Tuned poptimist era of indie music to come—and of Riedl’s far-spanning curatorial ambit. Slingshot started small in 2013, with a Kickstarter, Macha, and a few other bands. “There’s a strong DIY culture in Athens, and everybody was going to Austin to play South by Southwest and bemoaning it as it got too large,” Riedl says. “I looked around and thought, we can do everything we need right here.” Riedl says that he was aware of Moogfest, which had been happening in Ashe-

ville, 150 miles away, for several years, but he had never gone. At the time, he was pursuing a PhD involving music and tech at the University of Georgia, a worldview that also informed Slingshot. He did take notice in 2014, though, when Moogfest was importing expensive European icons like Kraftwerk to the North Carolina mountains. “Oh my god, we could never compete with that,” Riedl remembers thinking. Nevertheless, from 2013 to 2016, Slingshot grew from a one-day concert to a multi-day, multi-venue festival with city support. It drew in big names like James Murphy and Jamie xx alongside tastemakers’ favorites like Holly Herndon. In 2015, before Moogfest started its four-year run in Durham, its only presence was a presentation at Slingshot in Athens. When the festival offered Riedl a job as executive director in 2017, there was an undeniable logic to freeing himself from the fundraising cycle, which he did for three years, until Moogfest imploded into its current lawsuit-choked limbo. After Moogfest, Riedl rolled up his sleeves again with a new creative and business partner, Vivek Boray. They started envisioning how to relaunch Slingshot in Durham, a city much like Athens, both in its rich DIY principles and embryonic electronic-music culture. They first bonded near the end of the Athens days, when Boray was curating South Asian experimental music at SXSW; he currently hosts a show on the Indian indie station and works with the Mumbai hip-hop label Azadi Records.

James Murphy plays at Slingshot Festival in 2015 The three headliners that Riedl and Boray have assembled for Slingshot’s Durham debut, a streamlined weekender to warm up for a full outing in 2022, neatly summarize the festival’s musical purview. Juan Atkins, the living legend who literally invented techno, represents a firm foundation in the history of electronic music. Ela Minus, the Brooklyn-based Colombian composer of experimental club jams, represents a blurry perimeter where electronic classicism mingles with countless global tributaries. And chillwave avatar Washed Out is a name-recognition olive branch to the indie fans who compose much of this area’s festival audience, and who should take note that Ela Minus and Washed Out are both playing DJ sets. There will also be a free public discussion with Atkins about his career at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday. Filling out the lineup are nearly three dozen other artists, mostly from North Carolina, who represent the Triangle’s most active electronic strains, such as the modular synthesis of Moroderik Musik, the house and UK garage of Maison Fauna, and the hip-hop-adjacent beat music of Raund Haus. The latter two collectives were enlisted as local curators. “We want to bring people from around the world and connect the dots that way, but


also provide a platform for local people so everyone feels ownership,” Boray says. “It’s not just big money pushing something off on people; we want everyone to get involved.” Indeed, if there is one clear difference between Moogfest and Slingshot, it’s that the latter is still a decidedly homegrown affair, though Riedl and Boray have already secured grant funding from the City of Durham, which they call a great partner. Though this COVID-era debut is heavily audio-focused, except for Boray’s audiovisual project ThisOnly and the usual A/V shenanigans of locals like thefacesblur, the full festival to come promises to build on the art and tech components that manifested in copious side programming at Moogfest—though it’s hard to say just what that will look like yet. “The word ‘festival’ is a little tired even in itself,” Riedl says. “Honestly, what we’re doing next week is a small thing in the scope of what’s possible. But we’re here for the first time, bringing the founder of techno and curating the local scene in a way that’s really interesting. It’s humbling that people want to be involved in what we’re doing. You want to grow the creative culture and the economy, but you want to do it in a curated way that the town is proud of.” W

September 29, 2021




Thursday, Sep. 30, 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 2, 2 p.m | North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh

Bird’s-Eye View In a new documentary, Durham filmmakers Elisabeth Haviland James and Revere La Noue urge reconnection with “your inner wild side” BY ZACK SMITH


ike many filmmakers, Elisabeth Haviland James and Revere La Noue faced the frustration of seeing movie theaters shut down in 2020 right when their new movie was ready to premiere. For the married Durham co-directors, the delays on Overland, their documentary on falconry, were especially painful given that the film’s expansive, award-winning visuals were made for the big screen. “It’s a little heartbreaking to have made this film with such care and such ambition in terms of imagining how it would unfold for a communal audience on a large screen,” says James, an Emmy and Peabody-award-winning director of such documentaries as The Loving Story and Althea. “The majority of people who have seen it thus far are doing so through these virtual film festivals—where, hopefully, they’re at least streaming it on their TV, but it could be they’re watching it on their phone. That’s not how this film is meant to be experienced.” The filmmakers—who initially met while making a documentary about the rediscovery of the ivory-billed woodpecker, once thought to be extinct—will finally get a chance to let the Triangle see Overland as it was intended, in an epic outdoor premiere at the North Carolina Museum of Art on Thursday, September 30, with an additional family matinee screening on October 2, followed by related programming, including a birding session with a ranger on the museum grounds. The premiere on September 30 also includes one of the film’s subjects, Lauren McGough, an anthropologist who trains injured eagles and delivers one of the film’s best lines: “Time collapses when you have an eagle on your fist.” 14

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Overland, which took five years to film, covers the journeys of McGough, along with falconers Giovanni Granati and Khalifa Bin Mujren, across seven countries on four continents over several years, showing how their stories parallel and occasionally overlap. “We discovered on like, day two of shooting, that what we were interested in was less about the ins and outs of how to be a falconer and more about what it is psychologically and emotionally that brings this group of people—and as a result, the audience—into the wild,” says James. The film explores not just the 6,000-year-old art of falconry, but the nature of the connection and obsession that falconers have with their birds, the connection between the birds and humanity, and of course, between man and nature. All the while, these themes play out against visuals from the deserts of Dubai to the snow-covered mountains of Mongolia. “We had no idea that the film would develop the way that it did when we started, that we would become so entranced by these three characters that are the core of the story, or that it would take us to so many interesting places,” James says. “It was a real joyful experience to be able to be with these people as their lives evolved, their relationships with their birds evolved, and their research evolved, and to travel alongside them.” The film deliberately emphasizes shots and landscapes devoid of modern technology and structures, the better to help

FalconerGiovana Granati


the audience get in touch with what La Noue calls “your inner wild.” “I think that a lot of people right now, as they’re dealing with cell phones and video games and traffic and all those things that kind of compress our sense of wild, will find [that] this film will help channel that feeling of freedom, of being wild,” says La Noue. “And of course, the birds of prey themselves are so magical. And we always see them in the sky or the trees, and you just watch every move, and you just feel privileged to see a bird in the wild. To have these wild birds inches from our camera and the falconers able to bring these wild birds in front of our camera and for us to be able to design shots and

make great cinematography with these birds is like a bridge to that wild that I don’t think anybody else has made in a movie yet.” While plans to bring Overland to theaters remain in flux as movie theaters themselves remain influx, James and La Noue say they’re just happy for the Art Museum screening, where their film can be seen as it was meant to be. “Our executive producers, the musicians who play live on the score, so many people involved with the film are from the area,” James says. “To be able to bring Overland back home and show it, not only to them but to their families and then to our friends, and then to the general public—it’s really exciting for us.” W



Now playing in theaters Raleigh's Community Bookstore

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Joe Posnanski, Baseball 100 Available


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Trisha Yearwood, Trisha’s Kitchen





R.J. Palacio, Pony


Still from The Eyes of Tammy Faye Bakker



Broad Palette

Jes Averhart & Terresa Zimmerman, Oh Lords!: Who We Date, Why We Date Them & What We’ve Learned


Jessica Chastain transforms into Tammy Faye Bakker in a biopic that dismantles a caricature to reveal radical kindness and faith. BY LEIGH TAUSS

10.2 11AM



he sight of typically chiseled stars Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield’s cheeks padded by facial prosthetics is jarring at first. So are Chastain’s dark tattooed lip liner, weighty eyelashes, and Betty Boop voice. But beyond the Oscar-worthy makeup, The Eyes of Tammy Faye Bakker, directed by Michael Showalter, paints a surprisingly moving portrait of an unlikely hero, martyred for her radical kindness and faith in humanity by the cruelty of public stigma. But Bakker’s story is more triumph than tragedy, owing to the strength of Chastain’s performance and a script that works to undermine stereotypes rather than reinforce the prevailing public narrative. Many people, myself included, knew little of the real Tammy Faye Bakker other than the ghoulish caricature—a living meme before memes—that popped up occasionally as tabloid fodder or as a side gag on Saturday Night Live.

Chastain, in a brilliant performance, brings that two-dimensional character into focus. Bakker, we learn, is more than a naive chubby-cheeked ingenue to Garfield’s televangelist (and convicted fraudster), Jim Bakker—she’s the one with the ideas, including to start a faith-based puppet show that would eventually transform into The PTL and The 700 Club. Her version of faith, however, doesn’t exactly mesh with that of the dominant conservatives of the era, including Jerry Falwell, who is played convincingly by Vincent D’Onofrio. Falwell and other leaders of the Christian right at the time touted an exclusionary version of morality, where God’s children excluded members of the LGBTQ community. Early on in the film, Bakker bucks this notion, suggesting God’s love is not restricted only to those that abide by their worldview. Despite pushback from her husband, Bakker refuses to back down from her

stance, and as the AIDS crisis emerges, becomes an outlier of the religious community when she conducts a groundbreaking interview of a man suffering from AIDS. Bakker speaks to him with sympathy and love rather than judgment. But Bakker’s heart of gold is also her Achilles heel. When her husband is forced to resign from the ministry in disgrace in 1987, Bakker also becomes a target for public ridicule, her sincerity masked by the make-up tattooed on her face. The more tragic dimensions her life takes on, the more misshapen her face looks beneath the prosthetics. I went into The Eyes of Tammy Faye a skeptic and left disarmed of my assumptions. Chastain, who also served as producer of the film, made a bold choice in embodying Bakker as more than a punchline. Once you get past appearances, there’s a lot to love about Chastain’s Bakker. Her risk pays off. W

Caroline Janney, Ends of War: The Unfinished Fight of Lee’s Army After Appomattox


10.3 2PM

with Philip Gerard



Naomi Novik, The Last Graduate

10.4 7PM

with Hank Green


Warren Milteer, Beyond Slavery’s Shadow: Free People of Color in the South


10.5 7PM

Register for Quail Ridge Books Events at • 919.828.1588 • North Hills 4209-100 Lassiter Mill Road, Raleigh, NC 27609 Offering FREE Media Mail shipping and contactless pickup!

September 29, 2021




Now in theaters; streaming on Amazon Prime beginning Oct. 1

A still from My Name is Pauli Murray PHOTO COURTESY OF THE FILMMAKERS

A Life of Firsts A new documentary explores the indelible thumbprint that Durham’s Pauli Murray left on gender, race, and equality. BY THOMASI MCDONALD


auli Murray, the Durham-bred, Hillside High School graduate, attorney, poet, and priest whose childhood home still stands in the city’s West End, established a scholarly brand of activism decades ahead of her time. Decades after Murray’s death in 1985, the world is finally acknowledging this remarkable activist-scholar whose 1944 law school thesis served as the philosophical premise of Thurgood Marshall’s arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court, years later, which ruled that segregation in the nation’s public schools was unconstitutional. In 1965, Murray co-authored “Jane Crow and The Law: Sex Discrimination and Title VII,” a pioneering article that pointed to an array of laws across the United States that prohibited what women were allowed to do. In 1971, the brief that Murray wrote was cited by future associate justice of the Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in Reed v. Reed, which ruled that the 14th Amendment’s equal 16

September 29, 2021

protection clause applied to women. It’s truly the season of Pauli Murray, and this child of the Bull City is worthy of all praise. This month, officials with the Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice announced that it had received a three-year, $1.6 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The grant money will go, in part, toward renovating the house, which is a National Historic Landmark. Murray was born November 20, 1910 in Baltimore, the fourth of six children. Her mother, Agnes Fitzgerald Murray, died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1914 and her father, William Murray, was a high school teacher and principal who suffered from depression. He was eventually confined to a mental hospital, where he was murdered by a white prison guard in 1923.Murray then went to live with her aunt and namesake, Pauline Fitzerald, as well as her grandparents, Robert George and Cornelia Smith Fitzgerald,

in Durham. The home that Murray was raised in—and which the Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice is now based in—was built by the Fitzgeralds in 1898. Of course, Durham residents who have been paying attention already know that Murray’s legacy is part of the nation’s treasure chest: there are five murals in the West End and downtown district that honor various stages of a remarkable life well-lived. “True Community is based upon equality, mutuality, and reciprocity. It affirms the richness of the individual diversity as well as the common human ties that bind us together,” reads a Pauli Murray quote that is part of one mural, down the street from where the 91-minute film, My Name Is Pauli Murray, is showing at downtown Durham’s Carolina Theater. It also premieres on Amazon Prime on October 1. Largely told in Murray’s own voice, the film chronicles a list of “firsts,” in the struggle for human rights, including her refusal to give up a seat on a segregated bus, 15 years before Rosa Parks. Still, the documentary’s lasting impact gives particular voice and recognition to the struggles faced by Murray, who was Black and queer. Her triumphant quest serves as an inspiration for LGBTQ people everywhere, including Durham. One of the leading voices in the film is Delores Chandler, the former coordinator of the Pauli Murray Center, whose self-description is as a gender non-conforming queer person of mixed race. “When I came to know and learn about Pauli Murray I was so amazed,” Chandler says in the film. “I wanted to hold it so tightly, and also I was angry. I was so angry that in some ways I had been robbed of my history.” No matter one’s gender identification, not knowing about the legacy of Pauli Murray anymore is akin to leaving out important pages in this nation’s history when we mouth the words, “with liberty and justice for all.” W

P U Z Z L ES If you just can’t wait, check out the current week’s answer key at, and click “puzzle pages” at the bottom of our webpage.

su | do | ku

this week’s puzzle level:

© Puzzles by Pappocom

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

If you just can’t wait, check out the current week’s answer key at, and click “puzzle pages.” Best of luck, and have fun! solution to last week’s puzzle


9.29.21 September 29, 2021




Tuesday, November 2, 2021


The Municipal General Election will be held in Durham County, NC on Tuesday November 2nd. All Durham County 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.

On September 7, 2021, the Durham County Board of Elections met in Durham, North Carolina, at its office and adopted the following resolution:

Municipal residents who will be 18 years of age by the November 2nd election will be permitted to vote in the election if properly registered by the deadline. The following contests will be on the ballot: • City of Durham Mayor and Council • Town of Morrisville Mayor and Council • Town of Chapel Hill Mayor and Council • Town of Morrisville Referenda Early voting schedule: Thursday, Oct. 14th through Saturday, Oct. 30th, 2021 Hours will be consistent at all early voting locations.


WHEREAS the county board of elections is authorized upon adoption of a resolution to begin counting of absentee ballots between the hours of 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Election Day; WHEREAS such resolution also may provide for an additional meeting following the day of the election and prior to the day of canvass to count absentee ballots received pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. §163-231(b)(1) or (2); WHEREAS the times for these meetings will be at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 5th and at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, October 11th for the purpose of counting absentee ballots; WHEREAS the location of these meetings shall be held at the Durham Board of Elections Warehouse, located at 2445 S. Alston Avenue, Durham, NC 27713;

• 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.

WHEREAS the board shall not announce the results of the count before 7:30 p.m. on Election Day;

VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINE: The voter registration deadline for the November 2, 2021 Election is Friday, October 8, 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 October 8, 2021.

WHEREAS the adoption of this resolution is in compliance with North Carolina General Statutes §§ 163234(2) and (11) and will be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county within the statutory time frame.

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: Phone: 919-560-0700

WHEREAS these meetings are open to all who may want to attend; and,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Durham County Board of Elections hereby unanimously approves the time for Counting of Absentee Ballots as set forth above. This the 7th day of September 2021. Dawn Y. Baxton., Chairwoman

Email: Fax: 919-560-0688



919-416-0675 18

September 29, 2021




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September 29, 2021


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