An African American woman with her fist in the air looks a white man giving a Nazi salute

What happened in Durham

Like many people, a week ago I was feeling pretty down about the state of racial justice and just basic humanity in the United States. But then something happened.

In response to the hate and violence displayed in Charlottesville, hundreds of Durhamites came together for a huge vigil on Sunday night. Many friends of mine posted pictures and powerful testimonials to the collective love they felt gathered together.

But I also noticed that some activists had less satisfied responses, including frustration that the mostly-white event marginalized voices of color and those with more radical tactics. Much of that frustration fed into the Monday demonstration, which had already been planned to take place in front of Durham’s old courthouse, where there was a confederate monument with an inscription to “the boys who wore gray.”

Many times I have passed that statue and wondered what on earth it was doing there. Until last year, I really didn’t realize how pervasive these were and what drove their creation.

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RESIST

Bayard Rustin’s call for civil disobedience and direct action tells us that “the only weapon we have is our bodies and we have to tuck them in places so wheels don’t turn.” Even if it that’s not your jam, everyone has a role in creating a society where we divest from things that punish and invest in real community-based measures that keep us safe. It will take community organizers, cultural workers, farmers, caretakers and builders. Now is the time to go big; we have everything to gain.
– Charlene Carruthers

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Why I’m joining the Moral March on Raleigh

I have lived in North Carolina since I was two years old, and now I’m raising my son here. I have personally been from Murphy to Manteo (not all in one day!) and I truly love this state. I attended the very first HKonJ (Historic Thousands on Jones Street) 11 years ago, and almost all …

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Marvel on social justice in comics in 1969: “We can say we tried.”

Jill Pantozzi reminds us that “Marvel Has Been Ignoring Fans Telling Them to Stop Being So Progressive Since Forever.” Fan letters are a big part of comics culture since they get printed in the next issue, and in 1969 Stan Lee got a letter (from a Burlington, NC reader) that sounds like it could have been written …

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Proposed ‘Economic Terrorism’ law is straight up fascism

I really hate to use the word UnAmerican, so let’s just say I can hardly imagine anything more unconstitutional and unpatriotic. Public dissent is essential to the functioning of democracy. For example, no-one would have noticed Dr. King and the civil rights movement if they hadn’t disrupted businesses.

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Nonviolence is still a radical notion

All of the comics in The Village Voice‘s “The 10 Most Subversive Comics at New York Comic Con” look great, but I most appreciated the shout out to John Lewis’ new book March (which I just read) as well as the Fellowship of Reconciliation‘s 1957 comic explaining nonviolent direct action. I originally discovered The Montgomery Story when I …

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Women’s Voices, Women’s Voter Suppression

I just learned that the suspicious and misleading robocalls from “Lamont Williams” to North Carolina voters, were actually the work of Women’s Voices, Women Vote. WVWV is an organization that works to empower single female voters, and which I used to support. Turns out they have a habit of sending poorly-timed voter registration information, causing …

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