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Thirty-five years ago, two men took 17 hostages at a Robeson County newspaper to protest corruption and racism. One of the captors hasn’t lost his commitment to recognition for the Tuscarora.

Secrets in a Small Town

De’Shawn Charles Winslow’s new novel, Decent People, blends murder and cultural conflicts in the fictional town of West Mills, North Carolina.

Who we are

The Assembly is a digital magazine about the people, institutions, and ideas that shape North Carolina. Founded in 2021, we feature interesting, deeply reported, nuanced stories about our state. 

We’re telling big stories and giving our journalists space to be ambitious. We want everything published at The Assembly to surprise, inform, and leave you with a better understanding than when you started. 


The Paradox of Power

As the U.S. House struggled to elect a speaker, some former N.C. legislators recalled a dramatic coalition that overthrew an entrenched leader and created a memorable moment of bipartisanship.

People & Place

Changing A River’s Course

A new movement wants to establish that the Haw River has its own independent, inalienable rights. It’s a long shot, but organizers hope it can change the framing of environmental protection.

Featured Stories

Schism in the Body

After years of acrimonious debate, the United Methodist Church has started to rupture. One church—with members ranging from ‘flaming progressive to dang near fundamentalist’—tries to reconcile an increasingly unavoidable divide.

Who’s Your People?

North Carolina’s Lumbee have been fighting for federal tribal recognition for over a century. Their story reveals a great deal about race, identity, and who does—and does not—count as “Native.” 

Below the Fold

North Carolina’s third-largest city, Greensboro, once had a thriving newspaper in the News & Record. What’s left after years of media-conglomerate cuts is a shell of the paper’s former self.