“[Harry] Golden claimed that Jews and African-Americans shared a friendly history in the South because Southern Jewish store-owners allowed black customers to try on clothes and addressed them as ‘Mr.’ when others did not. ‘The white Protestant in the South loves “the Jewish people,” but is highly suspicious of the individual Jew. His emotions are in reverse with respect to the Negro. He loves the individual Negro, but hates the “people,”‘ Golden wrote.”
– From “Race And Identity In The ‘Golden’ Era” by Eliza McGraw in the Jewish Week (Oct. 20, 2010)
Posted in Just A Bite | Tagged harry golden, southern racial attitudes | Leave a Comment »
On this day in 1856: Benjamin Hedrick, chemistry professor at the University of North Carolina, publishes a defense of his abolitionist views in the North Carolina Standard of Raleigh.
In response, the faculty denounces him, the board of trustees dismisses him and an unsuccessful attempt is made to tar and feather him at an educational conference in Salisbury. Hedrick, a native of Davidson County, flees to New York and spends the rest of his life in the North.
Posted in On This Day | Tagged benjamin hedrick, nc abolitionists, salisbury nc, university of north carolina | 1 Comment »
“Townsmen did not take lightly affronts to their virgins. In Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1845, for instance, three young men had made up enormous posters directing obscenities against ‘some of the respected young ladies of the community,’ the local editor said, and had nailed the signs to the courthouse door.
“Early the next morning the villagers were highly agitated. The town’s young men found the culprit out, gained confessions and rode all three on a rail, each covered in the customary feathery garb. The newspaper piously denounced the rough work, but excused it on the grounds that all townsfolk had agreed about the imperative for ‘summary punishment.'”
– From “Southern Honor: Ethics and Behavior in the Old South” by Bertram Wyatt-Brown (2007)
Posted in Just A Bite | Tagged antebellum nc, bertram wyatt-brown, charlotte nc, southern honor | Leave a Comment »
Although television ads for the U.S. Senate race have been at saturation level since early summer, the traditional campaign season started just this month. Before long our mailboxes will be filled with postcards, letters, and flyers touting or demonizing one candidate or another. You may not love this, but we in the North Carolina Collection do. The North Carolina Collection attempts to document the heritage of the state—and that includes our politics. Would you save the political postcards, letters, and flyers that you receive and send them to the North Carolina Collection?
We’re interested in races at all levels—county sheriff to senator. We would like our collection to be representative of the whole state, both geographically and ideologically. Those of you who are registered as independents are likely to get the most mailings. People who are registered with a party affiliation will get fewer, but many of us have family members or friends who are independents or whose politics differ from ours. Would you consider asking them for the mailings that they get? Whatever you collect can be put in a box or envelope and send them to:
North Carolina Collection
P.O. Box 8890
CB 3930, Wilson Library
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27515-8890
We collected over 1,400 pieces of campaign ephemera relating to the 2008 election and somewhat more than that in 2012. Let’s do it again!
Posted in Tar Heelia | Leave a Comment »
“In the eyes of some, passenger pigeon parts [beyond the feathers used for stuffing pillows and beds] held one more valuable property: medicinal.
“Dr. John Brickell, writing on the natural history of North Carolina in 1737, stated that the blood was effective in the treatment of the eyes and, when swallowed, ‘cures bloody fluxes.’
“He also had a good word for the dung, saying it could relieve most anything that ails, including headaches, pleurisy, apoplexy and lethargy. How the physician administered the dung is left obscure.”
– From “A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight to Extinction” by Joel Greenberg (2014)
For everything you could ever imagine wanting to know about the passenger pigeon in North Carolina, check out Greenberg’s Project Passenger Pigeon.
Posted in Just A Bite | Tagged a feathered river across the sky, dr john brickell, joel greenberg, passenger pigeon, project passenger pigeon | 1 Comment »
On this day in 1865: The Raleigh Daily Standard reports on what may be the state’s first road gang, organized under the military government immediately following the Civil War:
“The military on yesterday picked up a large number of gentlemen of color, who were loitering about the street corners, apparently much depressed by ennui and general lassitude of the nervous system, and, having armed them with spades and shovels, set them to play at street cleaning for the benefit of their own health and the health of the town generally.
“This is certainly ‘a move in the right direction’ for the indolent, lazy Sambo, who lies about in the sunshine and neglects to seek employment by which to make a living, is undoubtedly ‘the right man in the right place’ when enrolled in the spade and shovel brigade.”
Posted in On This Day | Tagged nc reconstruction, raleigh daily standard, road gangs | Leave a Comment »
Q: You’ve lived in New York over 17 years, but I understand you’re from a small town in North Carolina. Was that a difficult transition?
A: It’s impossible for people who grow up within the orbit of large cities to fully understand how alien and incredible and impossible and overwhelming a place they appear to those far outside their sway. Where I grew up, at the time a dry county in the buckle of the Bible Belt, we’d drive 40 miles to the closest small city to buy alcohol, which had a 24-hour Krispy Kreme, and I’d marvel at its neon sign, conveyor belt — I felt unsophisticated even there.
“Although culture certainly wasn’t kept from us — I knew who Thomas Wolfe was by the time I was 10, but I didn’t see a work of modern art up close until I was 20 years old — it was [Robert] Rauschenberg’s combine painting, ‘Bed,’ and nearby was one of Jasper Johns’ Flag paintings. I stood there frozen for the longest time — I couldn’t speak, tears in my eyes.”
– From “Evan Smith Rakoff: The TNB Self-Interview” (March 14, 2013)
Rakoff, reared in Asheboro and educated at UNC Greensboro, is a freelance writer and associate web editor at Poets & Writers.
Among his essays: a comparison of Andy Griffith to Robert Burns.
Posted in Just A Bite | Tagged evan smith rakoff, krisy kreme, poets & writers | Leave a Comment »
“First, half a grapefruit. Cereal — Cream of Wheat. One poached egg on whole wheat toast. No bacon. And coffee, no cream, no sugar.”
– Retired headwaiter Chauncey Mann, having no trouble recalling in 1980 the breakfast ordered by Eleanor Roosevelt at the Hotel Charlotte in 1940.
The First Lady was staying overnight after a controversial speaking engagement at Winthrop College in Rock Hill, S.C.
Posted in Tar Heelia | Leave a Comment »