January 16, 2017

Agri-tourism in North Carolina’s Happy Valley

by Leda Hartman North Carolina's Happy Valley, in the Blue Ridge foothills, is known for its pristine beauty and its traditional music and stories. Development is threatening to eclipse the community's old way of life. But one local farmer is determined not to let that happen. Tony Jones hopes to protect the Happy Valley's heritage by inviting outsiders in to enjoy it. His plan rests on a story and a song. … [Read more...]

Prime Time Steppers

by Leda Hartman Stepping is a performance and movement style popularized a century ago by African American fraternities and sororities. Stepping has a strong link to the past, with roots that go all the way back to Africa. But it also has a vibrant future. These days, younger kids of all races are doing it. And this week, the first national high school competition will take place in Miami. Leda Hartman profiles … [Read more...]

Strike at the Wind: the Struggle to Sustain a Culture

by Amy Nelson In the southeastern North Carolina town of Pembroke, it's hard to come by anyone who hasn't heard the name Henry Berry Lowery. The 19th-century Native American is a cultural icon for the Lumbee population there. In 1976 a musical drama was created about Lowery’s life called “Strike at the Wind.” The production ran out of money and ceased running last year. Historian Malinda Maynor wants to revitalize … [Read more...]

Welcome to the Table

Are you a closet chowhound with a passion for our state's culinary history? A connoisseur of little country cafes, old recipes, and backyard barbecues? Do you turn every road trip into a chance to learn more history, and also a chance to find a new local delicacy or a great new restaurant? If you answered "yes" to any of these, we're looking for you. The North Carolina Folklife Institute is looking for folks who … [Read more...]

Hatteras Farewell

A couple weeks ago, I was a guest at the Hatteras fishing community’s Day at the Docks. It’s a wonderful celebration of that Outer Banks village’s fishing heritage and living traditions, and I felt deeply honored to be part of it.  Originally founded after hurricane Isabel in 2003 as a day to celebrate the island’s recovery, this very special event now spans four days every September. There’s something for … [Read more...]