The lieutenant governor made waves when he announced a new effort to investigate indoctrination in the state’s schools. Multiple experts say his secretive approach breaks state law // AP Photo, Gerry Broome
Powerful Senate Rules Committee Chair Bill Rabon made it his mission to legalize medical marijuana after a grueling fight with cancer. A decade after his election, he’s finally poised to make good on that promise // Photos by Eamon Queeney
In the summer of 1967, the slaying of Brenda Joyce Holland, a college student working behind the scenes for The Lost Colony outdoor drama in Manteo, became one of North Carolina’s most high-profile murder cases of that era. The mystery behind her death endures // Image Courtesy of The Coastland Times
Nikole Hannah-Jones declined UNC-Chapel Hill’s offer of tenure, the result of a costly and drawn-out governance debate. At Carolina, the backlash is just beginning // Photos by Ira Wilder
Nearly a decade after the UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor’s resignation, the story of powerful outside forces, rocky relationships with governing boards, and a well-intentioned leader has striking resonance today // Art by Casey Robertson
NASCAR’s roots in North Carolina are weaker than ever, as an ever-more-corporate sport looks for its identity amidst declining viewership. Does the back-of-the-pack—the scrappy also-rans and up-and-comers—hold answers? // Photography by Ash Bean
Durham-based photographer and father Cornell Watson traveled the state photographing Black dads—capturing the complexity of raising Black kids
The News & Observer and The Charlotte Observer remain the state’s most powerful and essential media outlets. But as North Carolina faces a dire local news and information crisis, the papers’ new ownership, shrinking footprint, and challenging business environment raise doubt about their future as the center of the state’s media world // Art by Israel Vargas
A murder 50 years ago rattled Chapel Hill’s Black community, laying bare the college town’s persistent inequality. As the university renames a slate of buildings on campus, it’s time for its historical reckoning to expand to its relationship with the town around it.
Politics wounded the state’s once-thriving film industry. But now, a bipartisan $68 million incentives bill offers a new script, marked by soaring post-pandemic demand and a shaky ideological truce. As neighboring states seize the regional film mantle, can North Carolina compete?
From The Assembly's Newsletter: Reaction and Pushback from Last Weekend's Bombshell Story on Nikole Hannah-Jones and Walter Hussman Jr., a Statement from Dean King, and an Update on the Greensboro Hog-tying Story
Emails obtained by The Assembly show that UNC-Chapel Hill’s largest journalism-school donor warned against Nikole Hannah-Jones’ hiring. Their divergent views represent a new front in the debate over objectivity and the future of the field.
A massive footprint, enormous budget, and complex mission: NC DHHS is an administrator’s nightmare. As the all-consuming pandemic fades, yet another undertaking looms this summer in Medicaid Transformation. Are Cohen and her agency ready?
Last year, Durham’s county manager accused a commissioner of racism. Last week, commissioners ousted him. This is the inside story of how North Carolina’s most progressive county is tearing itself apart // Illustrations by Lily Qian
In 2018, Marcus Deon Smith died after Greensboro police used “maximum restraint” on him. Now, The Assembly has obtained depositions from the officers and their bosses in the civil rights lawsuit filed by the family. These previously unreported documents shed disturbing light on why the officers used a form of restraint that neighboring cities have banned // Photos by Logan Cyrus
The tech giant’s proposed RTP campus, and its quieter investment in the foothills, demonstrates the unsettling power of global companies to shape a state like North Carolina. // Art by The Assembly
Ricky Hurtado bucked party strategists to run a different kind of campaign. Is he the vanguard of Latinx electoral power and millennial campaigning in North Carolina? // Photos by Cornell Watson
Kel Landis III personified civic leadership in small town and big city North Carolina alike. In the wake of his early death, what can his ethos of “losing yourself in doing” teach us about priorities in a reopened world? // Illustration by Carolyn Figel
Across two narrow strips of sandy, marshy land, a team of volunteers is making Currituck County unique in answering a statewide call to document lost Black gravesites. What can their efforts teach us about remembrance and memorial? // Illustration by Isabel Seliger
A new novel imagines a North Carolina that avoided the school resegregation of the ‘90s and explores the family struggles and community tension that accompany the fight to maintain integration. But the book takes a broad brush to the idea of place, leaving a North Carolinian reader feeling a little overtroped and underwhelmed.
Republicans and Democrats vehemently disagree about how to handle North Carolina’s elections, a fight that will only get more intense over the next two years. It’s time to find a modicum of common ground.
The past decade has seen landmark shifts in public opinion on LGBTQ rights. In North Carolina, Republican control has led to a backlogged wish list as advocacy groups work to drag the state up to national standards. Is this session when the dam breaks? // Art by Rob Dobi
A deeply divided city has banked on a renaissance fueled by outside investment and historic preservation. But can its reinvention take place without reconciliation?
Fear, stress, and a growing list of health dangers. “Forever chemicals” have seeped their way into North Carolina’s waters and public awareness. Does anyone have a plan to fix them?
A look at The Assembly’s game plan to create an ambitious read for a growing state // Art by The Assembly
North Carolina’s paltry hate crime legislation trails the rest of the nation. Now, with the blockbuster HB2 fight fully in the rearview, is the state finally ready to expand its protections? // Illustrations by Derek Abella
North Carolina stands out for its stringent liquor laws and sprawling control bureaucracy. That rigidity is now crashing headlong into a growing array of outspoken entrepreneurs, intent on exposing the system’s absurdities. // Art by The Assembly
In Cecil Staton’s three years as East Carolina University’s leader, football fans revolted, enrollment dropped, and an anonymous dossier questioned his hiring as “gross negligence.” What does his tenure say about ECU’s future? // photo courtesy of City of Greenville
How North Carolina’s legacy of a “citizen legislature” endures, with far-reaching effects on the state and its General Assembly // art by Rob Dobi
An interview with writer Belle Boggs and a look at the reporting behind "Today's Outlaws" // photography by Carolyn de Berry
An interview with writer Kevin Maurer and a look at the reporting behind "The Motivations of Phil Berger" // photography by Andrew Craft
Extraordinary actions by law enforcement in Graham, North Carolina, briefly captured national headlines last Halloween. But the long-rooted violence it exposed, and the protest movement that endured, are here to stay // Photos by Carolyn de Berry
A national reevaluation of Confederate monuments met small-town politics. As the statue came down, the town of 11,000 was left to ask, “What’s next?” // Photos by Hanna Wondmagegn
Best selling author of The Last Ballad, Wiley Cash, reflects on his father’s journey from mill town to middle class, and the tensions of character and politics that emerged // Animation by Jimmy Simpson
Buffeted by racism and urban development, Raleigh’s “premier African American suburb” was nearly lost in the wake of Cameron Village and Wade Avenue. As Raleigh reckons with its past, what’s next for a rising Oberlin? // Animations by Clay Rodery
The North Carolina Zoo intentionally left the “city-zoo” model behind, with its sprawling footprint at the center of the state. Today, as zoos question their foundations and principles, that decision looks prescient // Photos by Ucumari Photography