On Tuesday, January 10th, the Walnut Cove Town Board of Commissioners denied an annexation petition filed by residents of Walnut Tree, a predominantly African American community adjacent to the majority white town in southeastern Stokes County. The town board denied Walnut Tree’s petition by a 3-2 vote, with the board’s three white members voting against annexation.
Walnut Tree residents filed their petition under North Carolina’s voluntary annexation statute, which was amended by the General Assembly in 2011 to provide historically excluded, low-wealth communities with greater opportunity to seek annexation into neighboring municipalities. These excluded communities, where a majority of residents are often African American, are unable to vote in municipal elections and frequently lack equal access to water and sewer, emergency services, and other municipal services.
The Walnut Tree subdivision was developed in the early 1970’s, with mortgages offered by the Farmers Home Administration (FmHA) as part of an effort to encourage rural economic development and African American homeownership in the South. Many of Walnut Tree’s first homeowners previously lived in rental housing within Walnut Cove’s town limits, and moved into their new homes with the understanding that they would soon be included in the municipality. However, the Walnut Cove town board has denied multiple annexation petitions filed by Walnut Tree residents since the 1990’s. Meanwhile, the town has annexed several predominantly white areas in the past twenty-five years.
Read More... (Walnut Tree Community Denied Annexation by Walnut Cove Town Commissioners)
The above map shows the town of Walnut Cove's municipal boundaries as of the 1990, 2000, and 2010 Censuses. The map also includes racial demographic data.
Posted by Brent J. Ducharme on Wed. January 18, 2017 5:33 PM
Categories: Annexation, Race Discrimination
The UNC Center for Civil Rights continues its series of county level profiles on the legacy of racial
segregation, focusing this time on Moore
County (). Building on last year’s statewide State
of Exclusion report (), this series includes prior reports on Lenoir () and Davidson () counties; all are available at www.uncinclusionproject.org.
Profiles of additional counties will follow in the coming weeks, each
highlighting particular aspects of that county’s history, ongoing impacts of
exclusion, and progress toward full inclusion of all residents.
Moore County, in the
southern part of the Piedmont of North Carolina, is the center of the Sandhills
region, known today primarily for its luxurious golf resorts, especially
Pinehurst, home to this year’s U.S. Open Golf Tournament. Despite significant
strides, Moore County remains nearly as deeply divided as described by the New
York Times in 2005, the last time it hosted a U.S. Open. Most basic
amenities have been extended to the excluded communities nearest the wealthiest
golf resorts, but when looking at the county as a whole, racial and economic
segregation persists. This report focuses on the impact of racial segregation
on affordable housing, public education, environmental justice, and access to
municipal services. The UNC Center for
Civil Rights continues to represent several excluded communities in the
county; the history of the Center’s work there informs the report, but like
prior reports all conclusions are based upon publically available data.
Read More... (State of Exclusion: Profile on Moore County)
Posted by Peter Hull Gilbert on Fri. June 6, 2014 4:07 PM
Categories: Annexation, Community Inclusion, Education, Environmental Justice, Fair Housing, Moore County, Race Discrimination, Segregation, Voting Rights
Following last year’s State of Exclusion report, in March the UNC Center for Civil Rights released a profile on Lenoir County (), the first in a series of in-depth examinations of exclusion and the legacy of racial segregation in individual counties. Today we are releasing the second profile in that series on Davidson County (). This release, the study on Lenoir County, and last year’s statewide report, are all available at www.uncinclusionproject.org. Profiles of additional counties will follow in the coming weeks, each highlighting particular aspects of that county’s history, ongoing impacts of exclusion, and progress toward full inclusion of all residents.
Between the Charlotte and Triad metropolitan areas, Davidson County is divided between its mostly white rural population and the more concentrated African American populations in the cities of Lexington and Thomasville. This report focuses on the impact of racial segregation on affordable housing, public education, political representation, and utility service. Almost all subsidized housing in Davidson County is clustered in Lexington and Thomasville, with very little subsidized housing available anywhere else in the county. One effect of clustering subsidized housing in already concentrated areas of poverty and non-white population is to exclude African Americans, Latinos, and low wealth residents from neighborhoods of higher opportunity that have greater access to employment, higher median incomes, and better educational opportunities. This county-wide pattern of exclusion perpetuates racial segregation and frustrates the purposes of the Fair Housing Act.
Read More... (UNC Center for Civil Rights Inclusion Project Spotlight on Exclusion in Davidson County)
Posted by Peter Hull Gilbert on Mon. April 28, 2014 3:12 PM
Categories: Annexation, Community Inclusion, Education, Fair Housing, Race Discrimination, Segregation, Voting Rights
Monday, December 2, 2013, the Halifax Board of County Commissioners voted to
approve a settlement to resolve an ongoing lawsuit with the residents of the
Brandy Creek. Gary et al. v. Halifax
County, was scheduled to go to trial in January. The settlement is a
milestone in the residents’ struggle for justice following the failed plans to
develop the Carolina Crossroads entertainment district and the Roanoke Rapids
Theater in their neighborhood. The community was represented by the UNC Center
for Civil Rights and Halifax County attorney Bettina Roberts-Flood.
Read More... (Halifax County Settles Lawsuit with Brandy Creek Residents)
Posted by Jennifer Watson Marsh on Wed. December 11, 2013 12:01 PM
Categories: Annexation, Community Inclusion, Halifax County, Halifax Taxes
Ms. Florine Bell outside an abandoned home on Branch Avenue in Lincoln Heights, NC
students spent their Spring Break on the Wills Project, providing free wills,
powers of attorney, and living wills for low-wealth clients in Halifax, Lenoir,
Pitt, Avery and Watauga counties. The biannual Wills Project is sponsored
by the UNC Pro
Bono Program, Legal Aid, and the
UNC Center for Civil Rights. Before meeting
their first clients, students on the Eastern NC team were led on a walking tour
of Lincoln Heights, and excluded community in Halifax County, by community
advocate Ms. Florine Bell. Ms. Bell has
been a minister and organizer in Lincoln Heights for several years and has
spent her life fighting for economic, legal, and social justice in Halifax
outside the Lighthouse of Deliverance Church on Branch Avenue, Ms. Bell gave a
brief history of Lincoln Heights. Community Inclusion Attorney Fellow Peter Gilbert then gave an overview
of community exclusion, the layered effects of disempowerment faced by Lincoln
Heights, and the Center’s work there and in other excluded communities.
Continue reading for more pictures, student remarks, and a video of Ms. Florine Bell's introduction and Center Attorney-Fellow Peter Gilbert speaking about community exclusion.
Read More... (Community Leader Florine Bell walks students through Lincoln Heights, NC, Halifax Co. excluded community)
Posted by Mark Dorosin on Tue. April 10, 2012 3:56 PM
Categories: Annexation, Community Inclusion, Community Leaders, Education, Environmental Justice, Halifax County, Heirs' Property, Law Students, Pro Bono, Race Discrimination, Segregation
Concerned citizens listen to speakers about continued poverty concerns in the state
The Truth and Hope Tour of Poverty in North Carolina
organized by the NAACP, the NC Justice Center, and the UNC Center on Poverty
Work and Opportunity, on January 19 and 20 visited
six counties in North Eastern North Carolina to hear from some of the most
excluded and exploited residents of North Carolina about their experience of
poverty. Story after story revealed the truth that poverty is not an
individual or personal problem, does not result from laziness or personal
morality, but too often results from specific government action or
inaction. The most recurring problems we heard were issues the UNC Center
for Civil Rights focuses on - manifestations of community exclusion, including lack
of access to water and sewer, segregated and underfunded schools, and unreasonably
high electric bills.
Read More... (Truth and Hope Tour of Poverty in North Carolina)
Posted by Peter Hull Gilbert on Wed. January 25, 2012 2:07 PM
Categories: Annexation, Community Inclusion, Education, Environmental Justice, Halifax County, Heirs' Property, Segregation
The UNC Center for Civil Rights and our client communities have been working in the legislature since 2006 to remove the hurdles to low income underbounded communities seeking annexation and needed municipal services. The enacted bill lowers the signature requirements for voluntary annexation of these communities, provides priority funding to municipalities to extend water and sewer service to these communities, and in certain cases requires municipalities to annex communities they have historically excluded. In partnership with the N.C. Justice Center, we hope these communities will soon be able to seek annexation and access to clean water.
Read More... (N.C. Enacts Center for Civil Rights' Suggested Annexation Law Changes to Aid Excluded Communities)
Posted by Taiyyaba A. Qureshi on Fri. July 1, 2011 3:35 PM
Categories: Annexation, Community Inclusion, Halifax Taxes