Cotton pickers’ strike exposed rift in populism

“Leonidas L.  Polk, president of the Southern Alliance and a former Confederate colonel, best expressed the white Alliance leadership’s perspective regarding…  the proposed cotton pickers’ strike. Not for one moment, he declared through his paper the Progressive Farmer, did he ‘hesitate to advise our farmers to leave their cotton in the field rather than pay more than 50 cents per hundred [pounds] to have it picked.’ Polk went on to accuse the organizers of the strike of trying ‘to better their condition at the expense of their white brethren’…

“[Polk’s] double standard reveals just how divorced white landowners were from — indeed in direct opposition to — the mostly landless African Americans who comprised the base of Black Populism.”

— From “In the Lion’s Mouth: Black Populism in the New South, 1886-1900” by UNC Greensboro historian Omar H. Ali (2010)

Polk’s house, restored circa 1890 and most recently resituated to Blount Street in Raleigh, opened to the public this week.

Special Showings of Gridiron Glory for Community, Nov. 19

The Wilson Special Collections Library will offer the community two lunchtime showings of Gridiron Glory on Friday, Nov. 19, at noon and 12:30 p.m., in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room.

The archival film clips in Gridiron Glory feature highlights from Tar Heel football games past, including footage of football legends Charlie “Choo Choo” Justice and “Famous Amos” Lawrence. The action is called by Woody Durham, “Voice of the Tar Heels,” who recorded the play-by-play in the Wilson Library sound preservation studio.

The films are drawn from the University Archives in Wilson Library, where they are part of the records of the UNC Football Office. In the 1930s, the Football Office began filming games in order to help coaches evaluate and train players and review strategic plays. Many of the films provide unique camera angles and views of the games not captured by broadcasters.

Gridiron Glory was shown during football pre-game festivities on October 2 and 30.

Feel free to bring your lunch and enjoy the show on Friday, Nov. 19!

For detailed information, see the following link:

No Tar Heel can escape Bill Friday’s dragnet

“Couple of times a year, Mother could be counted on to call me: ‘Frank, turn on the public TV! Bland’s on Bill Friday’s show!’

” ‘Mother,’ I said, ‘who isn’t on Bill Friday’s show? Before he quits, Bill Friday will have interviewed every single person in the state. That’s why they call it “North Carolina People.” He’s using the alphabet — when he gets to the Waynesville Qs, then it’s you and me, Mom.’ ”

— From Frank G. Queen’s introduction of Bland Simpson as recipient of the North Caroliniana Society Award for 2010

Today’s link dump calls for banner headline

— Secesh quote machine Catherine Ann Devereux Edmondston rips into her family for clinging to “the old striped rag.”

— Auction house expects “rag” that flew above Fort Fisher to fetch 25 G’s.

— Ah, to be a  black vulture in Pisgah National Forest.

Farmers (!) want cigarette ingredients on packs

“The filter boom is doubly gratifying to manufacturers. Filter cigarettes sell for 2¢ to 10¢ a pack more than regulars, but cost less to produce. Chief reason: they use a low-grade, high-nicotine, heavy-bodied tobacco to get the taste through to the smoker….

“Manufacturers are also trimming tobacco bills by salvaging the stems and scraps they once threw away, pulverizing them into homogenized tobacco to mix with regular leaf. As a result, makers bought 35 million lbs. less tobacco last year than in 1955, and tobaccoland farmers are howling. In North Carolina, where two-thirds of U.S. cigarette tobacco is grown, the state senate recently urged Congress to order that cigarette ingredients be stated on every package. Complained State Senator Henry G. Shelton [of Edgecombe County]: ‘What is happening to the cigarette is a shame. It is scrap tobacco at one end, cellulose at the other and tissue paper all around.’ ”

— From Time magazine, April 22, 1957

Link dump makes case for high-fiber diet

— Why General Stoneman went raiding in a buggy.

Spanish stone stackers restoring ancestors’ work on Blue Ridge Parkway.

— Hank Williams Jr. revives Popcorn Sutton‘s moonshine recipe.

— “If we submit now to Lincoln’s election, your homes will be visited by one of the most fearful and horrible butcheries that has cursed the face of the globe.” Another installment in the New York Times’ superb “Disunion” series.

— Lively audio reminiscences about widespread panic provoked by underground newspaper at East Mecklenburg High in 1968.

A triumphant day for ‘No Day of Triumph’

“In an event unprecedented in the South, a Negro last month won North Carolina’s Mayflower Cup, awarded annually by the North Carolina Society of Mayflower Descendants, for the best book by a resident of the State. This year’s winner is 37-year-old J. Saunders Redding, professor of English literature and creative writing at Virginia’s Hampton Institute [and former chairman of the English department at Elizabeth City State College].

” ‘No Day of Triumph’ [commissioned by the University of North Carolina with Rockefeller Foundation funds] is a study of Southern Negro life beginning with Redding’s own family background and finally based on a recent six-month tour of the South. ‘No Day’ scored over 29 competitors, including Betty Smith’s best-selling ‘A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.’ Previous cup-winners include Jonathan Daniels’  ‘A Southerner Discovers the South’ and Archibald Henderson’s ‘Bernard Shaw: Playboy and Prophet.’

“Son of a Wilmington, Del., mailman, Redding was educated (M.A., Ph.D.) at Brown University. In 1939 he published his first book, ‘To Make a Poet Black,’ a critical analysis of Negro poetry and verse.”

— From Time magazine, Jan. 3, 1944

Even after slavery, blacks held against their will

“Why does the Negro not emigrate? He has not a cent to emigrate with, and if he had, and desired to exercise that right, he would be arrested for debt, for nonfulfillment of contract, or be shot down like a dog in his tracks.

“When Southern senators tell you they want to be rid of the Negro, they are speaking simply to mislead the North. Only a few days ago armed resistance was made in North Carolina to colored emigration from that state….[The Negro’s] labor is wanted to-day in the South just as it was wanted in old times when he was hunted by two-legged and four-legged bloodhounds.”

— Frederick Douglass, addressing the Bethel Literary and Historical Society, Washington, D. C., April 16, 1889

A Veterans Day Look Back at “The Great War”

In honor of Veterans Day, let’s take a look back at North Carolina’s involvement in World War I:

“North Carolinians and the Great War”

“‘North Carolinians and the Great War’ examines how World War I shaped the lives of different North Carolinians on the battlefield and on the home front as well how the state and federal government responded to war-time demands. The collection focuses on the years of American involvement in the war between 1917 and 1919, but it also examines the legacies of the war in the 1920s.”

You can also take a look at the following postcards from the World War I-era from the North Carolina Postcards digital project:

World War, 1914-1918 — North Carolina

Link dump adds restaurant review section

— “It was actually the worst apple pie I ever had, and the coffee was only marginal.”

— Haven’t tried the barbecue at Glenn’s, but I swoon over the neon pig.

— All politics is local? Tip O’Neill, meet Danbury, N.C.

Brooklyn isn’t only borough with North Carolina namesake.

— God Save the (Azalea Festival) Queen.