Digital North Carolina Blog

Digital North Carolina Blog

This blog is maintained by the staff of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center and features highlights from the collections at DigitalNC, an online library of primary sources from institutions across North Carolina.

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Viewing entries tagged "underrepresented"


New Batch of Q-notes Traces LGBT Issues from 1997-2004

Youngsters at Charlotte Pride 2002 as seen in the May 25, 2002 issue of Q-notes

More issues of the newspaper Q-notes, provided by our partner the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, are now up on DigitalNC. These new issues cover the years 1997-2004 and join previously digitized issues from 1986-1996.

Q-notes is a newspaper that serves the LGBT community of Charlotte as well as the greater LGBT community in the state of North Carolina. Over the years that have been digitized, Q-notes grew as a publication from an 8 page newspaper published once a month to a 40 page paper published every two weeks. Currently Q-notes is published both online and in print form.

With the expansion of the publication, Q-notes was able to tackle more content ranging from coverage of local events, news stories, and advertisements to national and international news stories and features. The late ’90s and early ’00s was a time of many changes for the United Sates LGBT community, and Q-notes articles reported on the changing attitudes and experiences surrounding LGBT culture.

Headline from the January 20, 2001 issue of Q-notes

Q-notes was able to report many firsts. The first legal same-sex wedding in Canada was held in 2001, followed by the first legal same-sex wedding in the United states in 2004. In 2001, the first openly gay soldier completed his term of service in the United States Army Reserves despite facing potential discharge. LGBT centers opened up throughout the state of North Carolina and there were many pride festivals, marches, and demonstrations on both local and national levels.

Headline from the January 22, 2000 issue of Q-notes.

Lt. Steve May, the first openly gay soldier to complete his army term of service as seen in the April 28, 2001 issue of Q-notes

From an article on Wold AIDS Day in the November 23, 2002 Q-notes

In addition to these achievements, articles from this batch of Q-notes also reported on discrimination and violence that LGBT community members continued and still continue to face. These issues often played out in the arena of politics. Q-notes kept a close eye on the 2000 US presidential election and reported on both overtures and discouraging comments made to and about the LGBT community by candidates. Local politics were also covered, with Q-notes reporting on local elections, giving endorsements to candidates, and identifying local issues that would be of interest to Q-notes readers.

During this time Q-notes also continued to report on the AIDS crisis. Although by the end of the ’90s new AIDS diagnoses were decreasing, many LGBT individuals and the LGBT community continued to be affected. Awareness campaigns were championed by Q-notes, and articles intended to reduce stigma surrounding both the disease and ideas of safe sex were published.

Though turbulent times for the LGBT community, Q-notes continued to promote spaces where LGBT individuals could feel safe, comfortable, and have fun. Monthly event calendars and coverage of community activities remained strong throughout the years. With more pages in Q-notes, a regular culture section was established. Fun advertisements continued to permeate the pages, both from business specifically catering to the LGBT community, and increasingly from larger national companies.

An advertisement from the December 7, 2002 Q-notes

To browse all of the digitized issues of Q-notes click here. To learn more about the University of North Carolina at Charlotte visit their website, or check out their partner page to see previously digitized materials. To see more recent issues of Q-notes, visit the Q-notes website.

 

 

Six Months Later and We’re Not Done: Underrepresented Voices on DigitalNC

About six months ago we asked our partners to help us increase the diversity of voices shared on DigitalNC. We had an outpouring of interest, and partners have shared a number of rich collections from the African American and LGBTQ communities. Here’s an update of what has been added to DigitalNC as a result of this call.

Excerpt of a census page that includes school house census details and student names.

This 1903 Census Report for Morton Township, Alamance County, lists names, ages, and the names of parents of African American students. 

Alamance County Public Libraries shared a wide variety of materials documenting African American communities in that county. Two groups of photographs, the Heritage of Black Highlanders and Asheville YWCA Photograph Collection, are parts of larger collections held by University of North Carolina at Asheville

Several partners added African-American newspapers to those already shared online at DigitalNC. 

We’ve also been working with University of North Carolina at Charlotte to share issues of Q-Notes, which covers updates, events, and issues of the LGBTQ community.

Diversifying DigitalNC isn’t a one-time event – it’s ongoing every day. If your institution has or will be targeting collections that document racial, ethnic, or geographic communities who are underrepresented on DigitalNC, and you’re interested in sharing these materials online, get in touch.


Newspaper serving Lumbee Tribe members in Robeson County, The Carolina Indian Voice, is now available

Headline from the September 24, 1998 issue of The Carolina Indian Voice.

Almost ten years of The Carolina Indian Voice, a newspaper out of Pembroke, North Carolina, are now up on DigitalNC thanks to our partner the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Carolina Indian Voice was established in 1973 and was published on a weekly basis until 2005. Issues from 1996-2005 are now available digitally. The paper primarily served the interests of members of the Lumbee Tribe living in Robeson County, who make up more than a third of the population of Robeson County and almost 90% of the town of Pembroke.

The paper includes articles and editorials concerning local issues such as politics, social events, civic projects, and more. Although there is a strong focus specifically on issues relevant to members of the Lumbee Tribe, the paper also covers news and events pertaining to American Indians throughout the state of North Carolina and nationally.

Image from the 1998 First Annual Fall Pow Wow in Hoke County as seen in the November 11, 1998 issue of The North Carolina Indian Voice.

Headline from the February 25, 1999 issue of The North Carolina Indian Voice.

The paper also focuses on advocacy with many articles covering struggles against the discrimination American Indians face regarding employment, education, and housing in the United States.

To browse through issues of The North Carolina Indian Voice click here. To see more materials from our partner, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, visit their partner page.


New partner and new yearbooks – Winchester Avenue High School from Union County Public Library

Thanks to our new partner, Union County Public Library, DigitalNC now features 3 yearbooks [1956, 1958, and 1962] from Winchester Avenue High School, which was the black high school in Monroe, North Carolina.  Winchester first opened as a K-12 school serving the black community in the 1920s.  It was an important institution in Monroe’s black community, serving as a community center and point of pride for the many students who graduated from the school.  That all changed in March 1966 when a fire heavily damaged the school.  The high school students finished the year in the undamaged parts, but it was the end of Winchester as a high school.  As a result, with no other options,  the black students and faculty from Winchester all went to the all white Monroe High School for the 1966-1967 school year, making Monroe High the first fully integrated high school in the state.  

 

One of Winchester’s graduates is a trailblazer whose story has been highlighted very recently, Christine Darden. Darden is a retired engineer and executive from NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA, and her story is one of the one’s highlighted in the book “Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race.”  Darden [Christine Mann is her maiden name] attended Winchester School through sophomore year before transferring to the Allen School, a boarding school in Asheville in 1956.  She served as a sophomore class officer while at Winchester. 

To learn more about our new partner, Union County Public Library, visit their partner page here.  To see more yearbooks from across North Carolina, visit here.


New Materials Tell Powerful Stories from Alamance County Public Libraries

Alamance County Prison Farm Inmates use Bookmobile

Alamance County Prison Farm Inmates use Bookmobile

More than 30 new objects are now available on DigitalNC thanks to our partner, Alamance County Public Libraries. Items in this collection are more additions within the 6 month in-depth digitization effort documenting underrepresented communities in North Carolina.

Charles Richard Drew: Alamance County Memorial, page 3

Charles Richard Drew: Alamance County Memorial, page 3

This batch of materials tells important and powerful stories from Black communities in Burlington, Graham, and other townships in Alamance County. Below are highlights from the batch.

Several documents in the batch tell the story of Dr. Charles Richard Drew and his tragic connection to Alamance County. Drew was an internationally-renowned black physician credited for developing improved blood storage techniques, which was important for establishing large-scale blood banks during World War II. He was considered to be the most prominent African American in his field and actively protested racial segregation in blood donation as it lacked any scientific foundation.

Tragically, Drew was killed in a car accident, while driving through the Haw River area of Alamance County in 1950. Many myths surrounded his death, all of which are covered in some of the materials in this batch. Learn more about Dr. Drew, his life, death and memory through the links below:

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 affected many communities in North Carolina ,especially with regard to school integration. This batch also includes several primary and secondary sources relating to the desegregation in Alamance county. Linked below, you can find a copy of the letter sent to parents of students in Burlington City Schools, announcing the upcoming change. In addition, there are several newspaper articles that document some of the lasting reactions. These items could be excellent tools for teachers who are looking for documents to support curriculum goals. Learn more about integration in Alamance County at the links below:

Black Youth Killed in Night of Violence, page 1

Black Youth Killed in Night of Violence, page 1

Responses to change are not always peaceful, as was the case in Burlington after integration. This batch also includes a selection of newspaper clippings that document the violence that occurred in May, 1969. A night of riots resulted in the death of 15 year old Leon Mebane, which is documented in several of the articles below. Material like these and others from this batch tell the important stories of many community members who are often underrepresented in mainstream formats. These items and all of the new additions are full-text searchable and available for research and teaching. Learn more about Leon Mebane, his family, and the Burlington race riots below:

Other highlights from this batch also include information about Alamance County Bookmobiles, Alex Haley’s Roots and connections to the county, genealogy in the African American community, and the legacies of segregated high schools in the area. Browse these materials at the links below: