Interview: Walt Wolfram and Jeffrey Reaser on the Dialects of North Carolina

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Language and dialects are culture, but like other aspects of our heritage, they have sometimes existed under the cultural radar. In part, this is due to the historical and political subordination of the South. Southern speech has become increasingly different from Northern speech since the Civil War, but it was interpreted as inferior due to the stereotypes of the South by outsiders. The effects of linguistic prejudice are just as harmful as other types of prejudicial attitudes, perhaps more so because their workings are often invisible. It takes time to raise linguistic awareness by countering myths and stereotypes with formal and informal education about the legacy of dialects. North Carolinians deserve to know and understand the truth about its distinct dialect and language legacy.

Interview: Johnny Molloy on Hiking North Carolina’s National Forests

As we continue to bind ourselves to the electronic universe it is more important than ever to reconnect with nature, and North Carolina’s national forests are an ideal destination to enjoy the the scenic splendor included within. So make some time to get back to nature on nature’s terms. Not only will it refresh your mind and exercise your body, it is a spiritually renewing experience to see the unimproved works of God laid out before us.

Interview: Jodi Helmer on Farming and Agritourism in Georgia

We’ve become so disconnected from the source of our food! While I was traveling through Georgia, several farmers told me that kids who visited their farms had no idea that chickens laid eggs and carrots came out of the soil. Agritourism provides a great opportunity to learn where our food comes from and meet the farmers who grow and raise it. Farmers work incredibly hard to put food on our tables; visiting farms shows that we value their dedication to growing fresh, local foods and want to support their work. If we want small farms to survive, we need to support the farmers.

Video: Jonathan Holloway on Jim Crow Wisdom: Memory and Identity in Black America since 1940

http://vimeo.com/84325265

A video of Jonathan Holloway’s talk about his book Jim Crow Wisdom, which was given at the Gilder Lehrman Institute in January 2014 in New York City. This video was made by the Gilder Lehrman Institute.

Interview: Tom Eamon on North Carolina Politics

Today, there is a gap. Many metropolitan areas and university communities are booming and attract migrants from all over. But farming areas once reliant on tobacco and old textile towns are withering and face high unemployment. And textiles were a low wage industry to begin with. More recently, public employees have faced salary freezes. Economic problems are here to stay. Despite great progress in many areas, North Carolina is a captive of its past.

Interview: Mical Raz on poverty, mental health, and U.S. social policy

Poverty is often seen as a personal failure, whereas success is a mark of hard work; thus economic status serves a surrogate for individual self-worth, and not an indicator of society’s structure and its limitations. Poor men and women are still often portrayed in stereotypical terms as being lazy and unmotivated.

Interview: Lawrence S. Earley on The Workboats of Core Sound

More than anything else in a Core Sound fishing community, a workboat is a living social history of the people who have been connected to it. It was built by one person for another person and named after a third. This little web of names expands over time as the boat is sold to other people and renamed, is repaired, and rebuilt by others, or is relocated to another community. Fishermen seem to have little difficulty in remembering this web of connections, and so workboats function as memory banks that contain much of the social history of the community and carry it from one generation to the next. As boats disappear, it’s not clear what will happen to this history.

Interview: Sandra A. Gutierrez on Latin American Street Food

I mean, what’s not fun about dressing a sandwich with all sorts of condiments, until it becomes a tower of goodness? You have to figure out how to eat it without wearing it, but that’s another story. One of my favorite things about street food is that so much of it can be prepared in advance—which not only makes it easy for entertaining but also makes it a cinch to put dinner on the table every day.

Interview: Adrian Miller on Soul Food

The deep-fried delights, the rich repasts, and the sugary triumphs fall in line with the time-immemorial tendency to show off one’s best dishes to those outside one’s group. That celebration food is not meant to be the sum of the cuisine. Soul food has a strong tradition of making delectable dishes featuring vegetables and unprocessed ingredients. In fact, many of the celebrated and faddish “superfoods” that are good for your body—dark, leafy green vegetables and sweet potatoes, for example—have been soul food staples for centuries.

Video: Bland Simpson on NC Bookwatch

In Two Captains from Carolina, Bland Simpson twines together the lives of two accomplished nineteenth-century mariners from North Carolina–one African American, one Irish American. Though Moses Grandy (ca. 1791- ca. 1850) and John Newland Maffitt Jr. (1819-1886) never met, their stories bring to vivid life the saga of race and maritime culture in the antebellum and Civil War-era South. With his lyrical prose and inimitable voice, Bland Simpson offers readers a grand tale of the striving human spirit and the great divide that nearly sundered the nation.

In this interview on NC Bookwatch, Simpson speaks with host D.G. Martin about Two Captains from Carolina and the fascinating lives led by Grandy, former slave turned Boston abolitionist, and Maffit, a midshipman in the U.S. Navy at age thirteen turned legendary blockade runner. Simpson also explains his reasons for contrasting these two men with each other in this “nonfiction novel.”

Interview: Kathleen Purvis on Pecans

I’m a fan of the slide-style of nut cracker: You place a nut in a trough, pull back a spring-loaded weight, and let it go. You tend to get more halves that way. There’s a bit of mess from all the shells, so I usually do it outside, spreading out newspaper to catch the shells. You also can use some of the shells to spread in a garden.

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