The exodus of manufacturing jobs brought out a hidden problem in many North Carolina communities: a lot of workers never learned to read or write well. Now they are facing a fact they left behind at school: To make a living wage, they need to read. Michelle Johnson reports for our series “North Carolina Voices: Understanding Poverty.”
Archive for April, 2005
Chris Rowland is an artist and poet who lives in Raleigh. Rowland is more often recognized by his adopted name, Langston Fuze. He is a fixture in the local spoken word community and, although it was not his intention, he now makes his living from his art. Intelligent, educated and outspoken, Rowland is hardly the face that many people see when they think of poverty. Paul Overton reports for our series “North Carolina Voices: Understanding Poverty.”
A textile manufacturing job in North Carolina used to mean life long security. Not anymore. Families who pulled themselves from lower to middle class on the strength of one or more wage earners are finding themselves back where they started as textile mills close across the state. Thousands of textile workers are paying the price for a major shift in the global economy. Like many mill town families, the Murphs of Rowan County have had to make major adjustments since Pillowtex closed a year and a half ago. Leoneda Inge reports for our series North Carolina Voices: Understanding Poverty.
What are the connections between poverty, mental illness and addiction? Does the stress of poverty drive people to seek escape in drugs? Or do mental illness and addiction place families in poverty, and keep them there? Producer Dawn Dreyer knows from experience that mental illness, like poverty and addiction, can span generations. Her desire to explore these relationships led her to a residential drug treatment center in Durham. For our series \”North Carolina Voices: Understanding Poverty\” she spent six weeks working with a group of women in a writing workshop at TROSA – Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers.
Tucked away in southern Moore County is a close knit community called Jackson Hamlet. Blacks started migrating there in the late 1800s looking for land, work, and a fresh start. Generations of those families helped build the popular golf resort town of Pinehurst just down the road. But as Pinehurst and other nearby mostly white towns flourish, Jackson Hamlet is deteriorating. It has no functioning sewer system, garbage pick up, or police protection. Even though Jackson Hamlet is rural, it is densly populated. Its landscape resembles the poverty of the urban poor. Now residents are organizing and demanding change in order to preserve what\’s left. As part of our series \”North Carolina Voices: Understanding Poverty,\” Leoneda Inge reports.