Here at the Linnean Society in London, I have found an extraordinary treasure from the North Carolina coast: the first written record of the Venus flytrap in history.
Today I am exploring the story of a historic strike and union organizing campaign that occurred in Lumberton, N.C., in 1937. That story involves more than a thousand cotton mill workers and a legendary champion of social justice struggles named Myles Horton, the co-founder of the Highlander Folk School.
My daughter and I recently visited the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama. It is the nation’s first memorial dedicated to the victims of racial terror and lynching.
For decades, the Jack Roach Indian Medicine Show wandered the backroads of the North Carolina coast.
A year before I was born, in the small town where I grew up, three African American children walked into my future elementary school while a line of U.S. Marines with rifles watched over them.
On the 23rd of May, 1963, Corporal Bernard Shaw, a 23-year-old black Marine, sent an extraordinary letter to the commanding general of the Second Marine Air Wing and to other senior officers at the Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station in Havelock, North Carolina.
When I was visiting my son in Washington, DC recently, I went to a breathtakingly beautiful exhibit of Katsushika Hokusai's paintings that is currently at the National Museum of Asian Art's Freer Gallery.
An anthropologist named Frank Speck took this photograph of an American Indian woman and child on Roanoke Island, N.C., in 1915. He referred to them as "Machapunga Indians" (though I will not), a tribe whose homeland had historically been the area around the Pungo River and Lake Mattamuskeet.
This is my tenth and last photo essay dedicated to Charles Farrell's photographs of fishing communities on the North Carolina coast in the 1930s and '40s. I think it's time to talk about what happened to him, and why he and his photographs were forgotten for so long.
The struggle of enslaved African Americans to get access to books, and most particularly the Bible, and the efforts of slaveholders to keep them from doing so, is one of the central themes in the history of American slavery.
For half a century, James Earll "Jim" Grant was there when people needed him, standing by the side of the persecuted and oppressed: migrant and seasonal farm workers, tenants facing eviction, victims of police brutality and anyone else who yearned for justice.
When Charles Farrell took these photographs, Salter Path was the only settlement of any kind on the western two-thirds of Bogue Banks. Lights were few and far between and on clear nights you felt as if you could see every star in the heavens.
My friend Betty Motes recently told me a story about a flotilla of boatmen and their families that used to come from the shipyards of Camden, New Jersey, and spend their winters on Clubfoot Creek.
Whenever I visit Plymouth, N.C., a small town near where I grew up, the first thing I think of is the massacre of African Americans that happened there on April 20, 1864.
In the 1880s fishermen began to leave Carteret County, N.C., and go to the mullet fishing grounds of Southwest Florida, where they made new homes in places such as Cortez and Punta Gorda.
This is a photograph of Charles P. Dey and his brother John Wesley Dey’s menhaden oil and scrap mill at Lennoxville, a mile and half east of Beaufort, in Carteret County, N.C., circa 1890.
Whether they were in New York City, Boston or Hartford, the Sons and Daughters of North Carolina kept a close eye on what was happening back home in the Tar Heel State.
On January 12, 1934, the New York City chapter of the Sons and Daughters of North Carolina held an Emancipation Day celebration at Mother AME Zion Church in Harlem, one of the most historic churches in America.
In the spring of 1940, the Sons and Daughters of North Carolina held its annual dance at the Renaissance Casino, one of Harlem's most famous ballrooms.
While doing research on her family’s history, Yvette Porter Moore discovered that her ancestors had organized a chapter of the Sons and Daughters of North Carolina in Worcester, Mass., in the fall of 1888.
The second time that the Sons and Daughters of North Carolina made national headlines was the 1st of December, 1898, when they gathered at Association Hall in Brooklyn, N.Y., to protest the Wilmington, N.C., massacre and coup d’etat of 1898.
The first time that the Sons and Daughters of North Carolina attracted national attention was a winter night in Brooklyn, New York, in 1897. Composed of African American migrants who had left North Carolina, the group was holding a memorial service in honor of Harriet Beecher Stowe.
A little more than a century ago, a group of seagoing people from the “Down East” part of Carteret County, N.C., settled on the shores of Lake Erie and began commercial fishing.
In the autumn of 1938, the photographer Charles Farrell visited a gang of mullet fishermen from Varnamtown while they hauled their nets on Bald Head Island, down in the far southeast corner of the North Carolina coast.
Through the eyes of Sneads Ferry's oldest residents, I came to see Charles Farrell's photographs as a window into a time when most of the village's people still made their livings from the sea.