Acting as an umbrella organization for all Asian American groups on campus, the Asian Student Association published East Wind: The Asian American Student Voice. In 1998, the focus of the publication was to share Asian American culture and experience with students at the University and surrounding community through educational, service, and social events. In addition, it sought to invoke change to the University’s cultural diversity course curriculum and faculty demographic to actively reflect and be representative of Asian Americans on campus.
Now named the Asian American Students Association (AASA at UNC-CH), the Association’s mission is to advance the interests and needs of the UNC-CH’s Asian/Asian American student population. To do this they provide members with resources and opportunities to define themselves Asian American’s roles as part of American culture through 1) uniting students interested in Asian/Asian American culture, 2) promoting Asian/Asian American cultural awareness, and 3) encouraging dialogue about the Asian American identity.
A frequent topic discussed in issues of East Wind is the experience of double consciousness as an Asian American. Introduced in 1903 by W.E.B. DuBois (pronounced “Do-Boys”) in The Souls of Black Folk, the concept of double consciousness, in very simplified terms, is a feeling that you have two or more social identities which makes it difficult to develop a sense of self. Melissa Lin writes about her experience and frustration with double consciousness in her article titled “The Asian American Experience” in the Spring 2001 issue of East Wind.
In her article, “The Asian American Experience,” Melissa Lin writes about her frustration and experience with double consciousness as an Asian American. A first generation Chinese American, Lin emphasizes the importance of getting to understand oneself with cultural identity being a large part of that. She recounts trying to redefine the Asian heritage that she viewed through her parents as well as her realization that being Asian American made her both different and affected how others treated her in America and Asia. Lin concludes that the Asian American experience in 2001 “can at best be to live in both spheres, continuously adapting,” so that she, along with others, can create a niche for themselves somewhere in the middle.
The same 2001 issue presents a glimpse into anime and Pokémon’s rise in popularity in the United States. Although seen as a ploy created by advertisers and the anime industry by older anime fans at the time, Pokémon reached (and continues to hold) an incredible level of popularity in the early 2000s.
Before the late 1990s/early 2000s, it was difficult to find or watch anime on cable television in the United States. The author, Melissa Loon, credits the early Pokémon explosion with pushing “anime to new heights in North America.” After the explosion, supply began to accommodate the demand with video stores, movie theaters, and basic cable beginning to offer anime as part of their selections. Whether a ploy or not, Pokémon and the anime industry remain incredibly popular in the United States with a market value in the billions.
Like in the previous batch, these scrapbooks focus on newspaper clippings from a variety of local papers that ran news about Mitchell. For example, in 1935, The Statesville Record ran a full page honoring the 26 graduates, which lists their names and photos in yearbook style. The accompanying article notes that Mary Logan King was awarded a “ten-dollar gold piece” for typing. Her typing speed was apparently 72 words per minute, which is still impressive by today’s standards—and then you remember she was doing it on a typewriter.
As a prequel to the praise of Mitchell’s traveling choir in 1939, there is also news of Davidson College’s glee club visiting to perform. According to the news bulletin accompanying the photo, “The Davidson College Glee club is well known all over the state and a large crowd is expected to attend the concert.” It sounds like the MCC choir had a little bit of musical competition.
The town of Pine Knoll Shores celebrates its 50th anniversary this year (2023). In commemoration, The Shoreline began a column in 2022 recounting some of the history of the area. Beginning in the February 2022 edition, several authors, including Barbara Milhaven, Phyllis Makuck, Martha Edwards, Walter Ellis Steele Jr., Michelle Powers, Deb Frisby, Jean Macheca and Susan Phillips, contribute small histories. The first is about a visit from Giovanni da Verrazzano, an Italian explorer, in 1524. In a letter to François I, then King of France, he described some of the native people he saw living along the coast (though it’s unknown whether they were in modern-day North Carolina or further north). The March 2022 edition follows up with a timeline of Pine Knoll Shores’ pre-history, from 1524-1954.
The December 2022 edition wraps up the pre-incorporation era with a careful mapping of how land was divided and sold along the coast as several of the beach towns we love today were formed. Now that we’re in the 50th anniversary year, we may get to learn even more about the beach town’s modern history—alongside articles from the present day.
Have you ever wondered what fire fighting was like in the 1930s and ’40s? Our latest batch of materials from the Greensboro History Museum offers a look into some of the gatherings of the North Carolina State Firemen’s Association through a set of booklets documenting their annual convention and tournament.
The convention rotated between several North Carolina cities, including Asheville, Winston-Salem, and New Bern, among others. The convention booklets contain lists of officers, transcripts of speeches from the leaders, and memorial pages dedicated to the fire fighters lost in the line of duty. They also include editions of the Association’s constitution and bylaws.
The tournament part of the gathering seems to include competitive drills that test fire fighters’ abilities. The last few pages of the most recent booklet (from 1942) list the records of some of the events from previous years, including the Horse Hose Wagon Contest (tied between Kinston and Morehead City in 1916 at 27 and 2/5 seconds), the Hand Reel Contest (won by Kannapolis in 1937 in 16 and 2/5 seconds), grab races and motor contests.
Recently added to DigitalNC are issues of the Bryson City Times (1895-1938, 1940-1945) and the Smoky Mountain Times (1947-1984, with 1963-1984 being the most complete). Fontana Regional Library and Western Carolina University are the two partners who requested that these papers be added.
Published in Swain County, the Times includes local news items related to urban development, social life, businesses, sports, relgious organizations, crime, and elections. Issues from the late 1960s – 1970s document the election of “lady mayor” Ellen Hyams. Longtime secretary at the local bank, Hyams was unanimously elected mayor by the local Board of Aldermen in September 1967. This happened right after her husband – who was serving as mayor at the time – passed away. Hyams went on to serve a second term when she was elected by a margin of 6 votes in the 1971 election.
Hyams wasn’t the first woman who wasn’t initially elected Bryson City mayor by popular vote. In the mid-1940s, Mary Moody, who was married to Mayor Bill Moody, stepped in to his position when he left to serve during World War II.
Thanks to one of our latest partners, the Western Regional Archives, we’ve added more issues of Black Mountain Newsfrom Black Mountain, N.C., to our North Carolina Newspapers collection. This batch includes issues from 1977-78 and 1981-83 and features some of the local happenings from the area.
According to our partner, these photographs were taken in the 1950s by Arthur Hill London III, grandson of Arthur Hill London Sr. (1974-1969), who was the secretary and treasurer of the Odell Manufacturing Company at the time.
These photos are only part of a batch from our partner, which also includes a set of yearbooks and an early home movie of the Siegrist family on a visit in Pittsboro around 1933. The movie shows some of the centennial celebration of the St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, scenes of a cemetery, and some footage of people gathering at a family member’s home.
One yearbook in this batch is the 1940 edition of The Seniorogue yearbook from Siler City High School. It is the second-oldest edition in our digital collection so far (after the 1939 edition), and it has a surprising amount of information about each student along with their picture, including the names of their parents.
One of the recent SHSAFA events was a fashion show and dinner, which showcased the styles of several members and their families. Perhaps it was inspired by the “Miss Fashionetta Style Show,” another event documented in the 1963 edition of The Eagle. Dorothy Isler (left) is pictured in the “Senior Hall of Fame” since she was nominated as Savannah’s contestant for the event.
This blog is maintained by the staff of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center and features the latest news and highlights from the collections at DigitalNC, an online library of primary sources from organizations across North Carolina.