#EverythingNC: Author Series Launches This Fall

Monday, August 26, 2019

This September the North Carolina Government and Heritage Library will launch the #EverythingNC: Author Series. Join us for conversations with local authors to discuss North Carolina’s people, culture and history. 

 #EverythingNC: Author Series Launches This FallAbout the Series 

The series kicks off with a discussion and book signing of The Rise and Fall of the Branchhead Boys: North Carolina’s Scott Family and the Era of Progressive Politics with Rob Christensen, former News and Observer political columnist on Saturday, September 28. Timothy Owens, State Librarian of North Carolina will introduce Mr. Christensen.

Then on Saturday, October 26th Durham author Sheila Amir will discuss her book, The Bulls of Durham with Joshua Gunn aka J. Gunn, international recording artist. Audience members will have an opportunity to ask Ms. Amir questions. She will have signed books available for purchase.

Concluding the fall #EverythingNC: Author Series will be a discussion and book signing with Dr. Lea E. Williams author of We Who Believe in Freedom: The Life and Times of Ella BakerDr. Williams will be introduced by Dr. Valerie Ann Johnson, chair of North Carolina African American Heritage Commission. Sheilah Barrett Carroll, Historic Publications Editor and Dr. William’s editor for We Who Believe in Freedom will serve as the moderator for the discussion.

Books for each of the signings and discussions will be available for purchase during the event. Please continue reading for further information on the authors and descriptions of their books that will be presented at each program.

#EverythingNC: Author Series

September 28, 2019, 11:00 AM – Rob Christensen

Louisiana had the Longs, Virginia had the Byrds, Georgia had the Talmadges, and North Carolina had the Scotts. In this history of North Carolina’s most influential political family, Rob Christensen tells the story of the Scotts and how they dominated Tar Heel politics. Three generations of Scotts—W. Kerr Scott, Robert Scott, and Meg Scott Phipps—held statewide office. Despite stereotypes about rural white southerners, the Scotts led a populist and progressive movement strongly supported by rural North Carolinians—the so-called Branchhead Boys, the rural grassroots voters who lived at the heads of tributaries throughout the heart of North Carolina. Though the Scotts held power in various government positions in North Carolina for generations, they were instrumental in their own downfall. From Kerr Scott’s regression into reactionary race politics to Meg Scott Phipps’s corruption trial and subsequent prison sentence, the Scott family lost favor in their home state, their influence dimmed and their legacy in question.

Published by UNC Press, The Rise and Fall of the Branchhead Boys: North Carolina’s Scott Family and the Era of Progressive Politics weaves together interviews from political luminaries with deep archival research, offering an engaging historical account of not only the Scott family's legacy but also how race and populism informed North Carolina politics during the twentieth century.

During the program audience members will have an opportunity to ask Christensen questions. After the book discussion, Mr. Christensen will be available to sign books.

Rob Christensen covered North Carolina politics for 45 years for The News and Observer. In addition to The Rise and Fall of the Branchhead Boys, he is the author of The Paradox of Tar Heel Politics.

October 26, 2019, 11:00 AM - Sheila Amir

The Bulls of Durham blends rich history with the stories and perspectives of Durham’s greats, including teachers, politicians, business owners, hip-hop artists, painters, activists, historians, and architects. The book was released on April 10, 2019 on the city of Durham’s 150th anniversary. Ms. Amir says in the introduction of The Bulls of Durham that the book serves as a love letter to and about the city of Durham.

Sheila Amir is a former nutritionist turned writer. Sheila used her skills as a seasoned writer and content strategist, to create both Durham's bestselling book Welcome to the Bull City and The Bulls of Durham. Currently, Sheila is turning The Bulls of Durham platform over to the community creating opportunities that do good in Durham while allowing small businesses to market themselves.

November 16, 2019, 11:00 AM - Dr. Lea E. Williams

We Who Believe in Freedom: The Life and Times of Ella Baker is the second volume in the True Tales for Young Readers series published by the Historical Research Office of the N.C. Office of Archives and History. It focuses on Ella Baker, who grew up in Littleton, North Carolina, and is best remembered for the role she played in facilitating in April 1960 the organizational meeting of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee at Shaw University, her alma mater. With passion and clear understanding, Dr. Lea E. Williams outlines the life that brought Baker to this crucial point in U.S. history.

We Who Believe in Freedom recently was named an American Library Association 2018 Notable Government Document.

Dr. Lea E. Williams, an independent scholar in Greensboro and former administrator at Bennett College and North Carolina A&T State University, teaches English at Guilford Technical Community College. Williams is the author of Servants of the People: The 1960s Legacy of African American Leadership (1996) in which she profiles eight leaders in the civil rights movement.

Join us for these events!

All the events in this free series will take place in the auditorium of the State Library Building, 109 E. Jones Street in downtown Raleigh. For more information or questions, please contact 919-814-6790 or GHL.info@ncdcr.gov or visit https://statelibrary.ncdcr.gov/library-events.

Please look out for future blog posts about the #EverythingNC: Author Series.

Rebecca Hyman, Educational Programs & Outreach Librarian