“In September 1923, a white woman in Mitchell County, in the mountains of western North Carolina, reported that she had been raped by a black man.
“Within hours, a white mob began rounding up black residents. Drinking whiskey and carrying guns, the mob marched their hostages to the train depot, stopped a southbound train and loaded them onto the railcars.
“Nearly a century after the ethnic cleansing, Mitchell County remains one of the whitest counties in the state…. Close to 80 percent of voters supported Donald Trump in the 2016 election….
“All of which makes it more striking that Mitchell County and its neighbor, Yancey County, are home to a large, thriving branch of the NAACP. Formed in 2013, the Yancey/Mitchell County NAACP branch has around 140 members. Virtually all are white.”
— From “This North Carolina County Has a Thriving Branch of the NAACP—and It’s Mostly White” by Michael Schulson in The Nation (Oct. 31)
Mitchell County has been listed as a probable “sundown town.”
“Black Mountain College], a short-lived, unaccredited school at the back of beyond, which never had enough students to pay its way? It could be the school’s believe-it-or-not story and how, the more you learn about it, the more unlikely it seems….
Why the recurring preoccupation with [
Between Black Mountain and most of today’s universities (and art schools), there lies an unbridgeable gap between teachers willing and able to make a full commitment to students who would do the same, and institutions staffed by poorly paid adjuncts who’d be mad to invest any more care in their fleeting charges than Uber drivers do in their next fare. It’s the gap between a society of members who take responsibility for the whole, and bloated administrations and boards that imagine schools can be run like corporations. It’s the gap between the desire to live and work together as a community day and night, and the fantasy that massive open online courses will allow fewer teachers to impart information to ever more numerous and ever more atomized recipients. It’s the gap between a desire for equality, on the one hand, and the bottom line of profit-making corporations, on the other….”
— From “ by Barry Schwabsky in the Nation (Feb. 24, 2016) The Weirdness and Joy of Black Mountain College”