Overpowered by the smell of mold and mildew, Tina Pope, 37, breathes through her shirt collar as she shows off the kitchen of the duplex apartment in Henderson that she rented with her 5-year-old son and fiancé for 3 years. “I’m not a nasty person,” said Pope who works for a cleaning service and paid $225 dollars per month rent for the property. “I wouldn’t even advise a person coming off the street to live in here. I hate I had to live her myself.” The city has moved to condemn the home, though the landlord has expected her to continue to pay rent. She works two jobs to try to keep her family afloat.
Clarence, 45, reads a bedtime story to his 3 sons by kerosene lantern Thursday, September 26, 2013 at the rented home he and his wife share with their 5 school-aged children in Durham. The family has been without power since June after they got behind in their utility payments and have been unable to afford the back payments, reconnect fees and a deposit required to restore power. They are saving to have natural gas restored by winter. Clarence’s wife, 44, is a full-time student working towards a bachelor’s degree in business administration and Clarence currently collects workers’ compensation. The family did not want their last name published for fear their children might be teased at school.
It’s an all-too-real condition for almost one in five North Carolinians.
And it’s getting worse, not better.
Starting Sunday, The N&O launches a monthly examination of the faces and issues of poverty across our state with reporting and commentary by lawyer, professor and social critic Gene Nichol, who directs UNC Law School’s Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity. N&O photojournalist Travis Long is documenting the work for publication in print on online.
Find their reports the last Sunday of each month on the opinion page and collected at: newsobserver.com/ncpoverty
I can’t remember the last time I had a six column photo on 1A:
The 2011 North Carolina State Fair as seen from behind the screen of an iPhone 4 using Hipstimatic.
Scenes from the Hopscotch Music Festival, September 6,7 & 8 in Raleigh NC. Includes photos from: The Black Lips, The Love Language, The Flaming Lips, Future Islands, and Justin Robinson and The Mary Annettes
In 1976, after years of unpopular and failed proposals, North Carolina’s General Assembly merged Raleigh City schools with Wake County’s sprawling suburban school system in an effort to mitigate “white flight” and comply with court-mandated desegration. The district’s integration efforts eventually established a magnet program regarded a as a model for promoting balanced diversity in the classroom.
Today the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) is North Carolina’s largest public school district and the 17th largest in the United States with 143,289 students attending 163 schools during the 2010-11 academic year.
In 2009, an off-year election held in the county’s suburban outlying districts ushered in a Tea Party-backed school board majority that campaigned to end socioeconomic diversity based school enrollment. Promising their constituents neighborhood schools, the new conservative majority voted in 2010 to disregard the socioeconomic factors to determine school assignments.
“When you want to dismantle that, based on political ideology, not based on educational research, there’s something real wrong about that and we have to challenge it,” said North Carolina NAACP President William Barber.
Update – : January 13, 2011 U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, voiced his concerns for WCPSS in an editorial for The Washington Post.
Update – January 19, 2011: Wake County School Board member John Tedesco and the school system’s diversity controversy was the featured subject during The Colbert Report’s segment “The Wørd: Disintegration.”
Portraits from the 2010 edition of News & Observer’s “Great 8” spotlighting eight of the best and brightest music acts from the Raleigh Durham area. This year’s cast includes:
Photography and lighting: Travis Long, Juli Leonard
“No Ordinary Day” is a visual diary of the events, both large and small, that serve as milestones in people’s lives. The black and white photo column was published weekly in The News & Observer from 2003 to 2007 and was shared by colleague Takaaki Iwabu and myself. It was a celebration of the struggles, triumphs and tears we experience as we travel from birth to death. Our goal was to document moments in time that might otherwise have been missed; sometimes it’s the tiniest incident in one’s life that has the most profound effect.
A few old favorites and diptychs.
Aside from rushing, interceptions and touchdown passes, a secondary drama is played out each fall Friday night on the sidelines of North Carolina’s high school football fields. It’s the place were plays are conceived, victories are realized, and tears are shed. Football above all other high school sports has a culture and drama that extends beyond two end zones.
We’ll never fully know what the victims of Katrina lost. Six months ago, the storm tore apart houses, uprooted trees and shredded metal that still creaks in the wind. But it also shredded lives, strewing the personal effects of thousands of lifetimes across the Gulf Coast. A child’s photograph nailed to the wall of an empty New Orleans apartment. On the ground in Mississippi, the driver’s license of a man who drowned trying to ride out the storm. In a yard filled with debris, a bicycle twisted almost beyond recognition. Each artifact meant something to someone. Now these things have weathered the elements for months, caked in mud, becoming just more trash to shove into piles and haul away. Many can’t be traced to their owners. Most will never be claimed, but each one has a story.
Click images to enlarge:
After years of growth, the population of migrant workers is poised to become the dominant labor force on North Carolina farms. The reliance on migrants has been accompanied by a shrinking regard for the law on all sides — by thousands of workers who have entered the United States illegally from Mexico, and by many growers and contractors, who house workers in squalid camps and pay them substandard wages.
Light paintings of tobacco barns in Cameron, NC. A New York artists’ collective made pilgrimages to Cameron for years to paint the barns.
Technical: Photographs were lit with halogen lights using long exposures.