We did it! "The Bulls of Durham" launched on the 919th day of the project, which, by chance, is Durham's EXACT 150th anniversary of incorporation.
"The Bulls of Durham" living history book blends Durham's rich history dating back to 1701 with stories and perspectives of over 100 Durhamites that are continuing to mold and shape the city. Every interviewee was asked the same six questions, one of which was, “What changes would you like to see for Durham?” A pattern quickly emerged across the board over the two-year span of time the interviews were conducted: Less siloing behavior and more collaboration. The frequency and intensity of this answer only increased as time went on.
The fact is the Durham we all know and love is facing unprecedented changes. While the Bull City has always been a city of change and innovation, the changes that are going on in the Bull are unlike than anything that has happened in the 318 years our city’s recorded history. What now? Is “The Bulls of Durham” living history book a tome capturing the Durham we once knew?
Nah. We’re keeping Durham, Durm. If the Bull City can transform from a tobacco empire to a medical and tech Mecca, we can do anything. All it takes is faith the size of a tobacco seed and some grit. Time for that Bull City magic. Time to get to know your neighbors.
#ForTheLoveOfDurham your homework is to find someone in the Bull City who is the opposite of you in as many ways as possiBULL, interview them and submit that interview to TheBullsOfDurham.com. It is in the acts of seeking them, coming to the table with them and getting to know them that community is built.
How to submit your guest blog to TheBullsofDurham.com
The goal is to build community. We're hoping to share 150 of these blogs in Durham's 150th year.
The Bulls of Durham (Preorder)
$29.00 - $39.00
"The Bulls of Durham" living history book. Launched on April 10th, 2019, Durham's 150th Anniversary.
"The Bulls of Durham" living history book blends Durham's rich history with stories and perspectives of our city's greats that are continuing to build upon that history. And in this way, this is the story of Durham, North Carolina through the bulls' eyes.
Learn how a city that literally started from a tobacco seed in the ashes of the Civil War grew into the best city on earth. Discover how a stolen bull brought about a history shifting, global tobacco empire; and how 150 years later that relates to a British mustard company having beef with Sheila. #NotSorry
Find out the backstory to how the now hippest, foodiest, tech-hub of the South also gave rise to the bullpen, billboards, branding and baseball cards. Delve into our city's strong Black history that proves "Do It Like Durham" isn't a passing trend and will give you a profound sense of reverence walking down Parrish Street.
Best of all, see the common thread that runs through the stories of teachers, politicians, business owners, hip-hop artists, painters, activists, historians, architects and the real Bull City OG's. Hint: it's the BULLief that in Durham anything is possiBULL.
Welcome to Durham the incrediBULL place where grit meets grace. Here all you have to have is a dream and faith the size of a tobacco seed, because well, tobacco seeds build global empires, not mustard seeds.
Project book launch date: April 10, 2019 - Durham's 150th Anniversary.
Cover Art by DeCario Allen.
George Habel, former Vice President of Sports at Capitol Broadcasting and now the Vice President of Special Projects, stopped by TheBullsOfDurham.com as a guest blogger. George has been with Capitol Broadcasting for 36 years now and in that time has seen a great many changes in the Bull City. In tense times nationally, George sees Durham as a beacon of hope. While he admits we've still got our struggles and there's still a certain Bull City magic that makes Durham so unique.
Please welcome George Habel to our blog and look forward to more of his thoughtful inside in "The Bulls of Durham" living history book launching on April 10th, 2019, Durhams EXACT 150th anniversary.
UnBULLievaBULLy excited & grateful to announce "The Bulls of Durham" living history book project has been awarded one of the Durham 150 Committee grants under the category of History and Education. Grants in the History and Education category are sponsored by the A.J. Fletcher Foundation.
Excited to meet the other 35 awardees and learn more about what they do. Every day is a great day to meet someone new (to you) in Durham! After interviewing over 115 interviewees over the course of two years I'm obsessed with getting to meet people in Durham and hearing their story. If you're on this list I'll be reaching out to learn more about you and what you do.
Still can't BULLieve it. Feels incrediBULL. This grant will help us pay for half of the 1st print of "The Bulls of Durham," launching April 10th, 2019, Durham's EXACT 150th. This is everything we've been working towards since August 2nd, 2016. This book is a collaboration of over 200 Durham community members. It definitely takes a village y'all. There's no other village I'd rather be a part of & no other village who could have pulled this off!
From day 1 I've said that this is Durham's book, I'm just the human lucky enough to be the medium. And I'll say that again on the 919th day when WE launch this book.
Grateful for this Durham 150 grant. And like all things Durham, it's timing was divine. This project has officially cost twice what I paid for all 4 of my college degrees combined. Yowza! 17% has been via sponsorship & the other 83% has been straight outta my paycheck, Bull Love Mugs, mini books and other TheBullsOfDurham.com goodies. Now y'all know why I'm out here hustling Bull Love Mugs & "Welcome to the Bull City" mini books.
Someday I'll break down the whole adventure, lessons learned, all the kismet moments, the challenges, the heroes, the villains, oh, and the writing process. But for today, in this moment, all I want to share is my unconditional love of Durm and gratitude for the Durham 150 grant & EVERYONE who has helped along the way.
Thank y'all for BULLieving in me & this wild idea.
Special thanks to Arturo Perez for the photo. Who knew getting this grant would give me magical floating logo powers? Also, thanks for being a true friend Arturo. I appreciate you mucho.
Love. Faith. Gratitude. Durham.
Durham’s unique, strong Black history paired with geographical location set the stage for the city to be on the forefront of the Civil Rights movement. Durham’s progressive Black youth tired of the generations of poor treatment spilling over from the atrocities of slavery and who emboldened by the Civil Rights movement took the lead with non-violent protests for better education, housing, employment, and treatment.
The city became a magnet for the leaders of the movement. One such leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., came to Durham frequently to give speeches and lend his support to Durham’s youth on the forefront who inspired him. On the third Monday of every January we honor the great Martin Luther King Jr. and his work, but that wasn’t always the case. What inspires us today and inspired those on the right side of history during his time, terrified and angered those who benefited from the systems built on white supremacy ideology.
With help from NCCU Archivist Andre Vann, author of several incrediBULL North Carolina history books such as "Durham's Hayti" and "African Americans of Durham County," we've uncovered that King spent more time in the Bull City that previously thought. It was his connection to Reverend Mickey Michaux that brought him to Durham and the brave actions of Durham's youth that kept him coming back. King recognized Durham's key role in the Civil Rights movement.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Good deal, because there’s no other way to fully capture the Bull City in 250 pages. Durham’s rich history and quickly evolving narrative could fill a tome of 2000 pages, but alas ain’t nobody got time for that. Solution: pairing a reasonaBULL amount of words with dozens of stunning photos of the people and places that make Durham the greatest city.
From its inception I have said that “The Bulls of Durham” living history book is Durham’s story, I’m just lucky enough to be the medium. In line with that over 115 Durhamites have been interviewed for the book and the Durham community chose the cover art for the book in the #CoverTheBulls cover art contest. There were over 3000 votes total in the contest. Artist and Bull City native DeCario Allen won first place and artist Relly Moorer won second place becoming the famous hand on the cover of “Welcome to the Bull City.” Keeping with the mission of the project we’re finishing strong with an entire photography squad, I mean herd. Meet the incrediBULL Durhamites capturing the Bull City for the project.
The Bull City has always had a way of making headlines. Starting with the tobacco empire then onto Black Wall Street, major strides in the the Civil Rights Movement, greivously misreported crime, the downtown renaissance and :::POOF::: next thing you know Durham's the Tech Hub and foodiest city of the South. The underdog had come out on top and the former neighsayers flooded in for the jobs, entertainment and eats. Classic heartwarming story, right?
Durham. It's complicated.
In the age of mass digital media, content has become king and the internet is awash in a deluge of puff pieces. At the same time an international publication deemed Durham "the hippest city in the South," the gauntlet had been dropped IRL (in real life) in the most heated Mayorial race in the Bull City's history with the issues of racial equity, gentrification and affordaBULL housing at the forefront.
Durham. It's a tale of two cities.
A city known for it's rich history, grit and unapologetically BULLish ways is being reduced to listicles and highlight reels online. While the same estalishments garner recycled accolades, the number of minority businesses in center center dropped to the single digits. There's one black owned building on Black Wall Street in 2018.
While the Bull City can escape the clutches of foreign content farms, it hasn't been able to escape the clutches of transplanted exploitation creating homegrown content farms that make gains off of unpaid contributors. If exposure paid the bills Durham wouldn't have an unbudging, high level of poverty.
Durham. It's not going anywhere.
Fortunately, Durham's been authentic before authentic was a buzzword and, as a whole, it seems the locals aren't interested in progress exclusively for progress's sake. The locals aren't interested in being puff piece fodder. They're interested in making a future where everyone has equitable access to real, lasting success. The untapped talent of the Bull City has been overlooked far too long. It's not about speaking up for the voiceless. It's about passing the mic.
Durham. It's not interested in lip service.
An echelon of change agents have come to the forefront using the Bull City classics for success - art, education, grit, grind and community. When you cut through the haze of the hype you'll discover one such change agent humBULLy clearing the path for those to come and digging in his heels against the ravaging of the Bull.
Meet Durham Native, artist, public servant, disruptor and non-profit professional Derrick Beasley.
Digging into Durham’s history you’ll quickly come across a man named William Thomas Blackwell. W.T. Blackwell was an intense man[*]. So much so that 5 minutes into reading about him has you wondering why there hasn’t been a major motion picture about his life starring Daniel Day-Lewis or perhaps Joaquin Phoenix.
The stress he brought to the world is palpable in even the driest of history books and you’re left trying to unwind on his behalf long after you’ve put the book down. To say that Blackwell was focused on being the most successful in the tobacco industry would be a horrific and grievous understatement.
Many have recalled in books and oral history that rather than sleep Blackwell would pace the streets counting all the tobaccoo packages littering the thoroughfares and factoring how many were his brand and how many were their competitors’. Needless to say, if the ratio wasn’t to his liking the next morning’s meetings were nothing short of pure hell for all those in his employ.
Blackwell was successful at what he did. The global remnants of Bull Durham ads and the casualties of lung and throat cancer by way of tobacco are the lasting evidence of his marketing genius.
Ever been to a city that’s proud of its bricks? Throughout Durham, you’ll come across bricks with an intriguing design. To newcomers, they’re interesting and artsy. To locals, and those who’ve been here a minute, they’re a major pride point. If you’ve walked on these you’ve officially stood where history was made. These are Fitzgerald bricks.
Richard Burton Fitzgerald. Know that name for it is one of the most important in both black history and Durham’s history.
R.B. Fitzgerald was born free in Delaware in 1843 to Thomas and Sarah Fitzgerald[*]. Richard's middle name Burton was Sarah's maden name. In 1869, after the Civil War ended, and the same year Durham was officially incorporated as a city, R.B. moved to North Carolina and built a brick empire with his brother Robert as Durham grew, brick by brick. It was actually Robert who had the brick business ideal and talked R.B. into coming to Durham.
11/20/2018 0 Comments
On November 20th, 1910 the world got a bit brighter with the arrival of Anna Pauline Murray.
At the age of 13, she became an orphan. Her mother Agnes Murray passed away in 1914, when Pauli was four, due to a cerebral hemorrhage. In 1923 her father, William Murray, was killed by a guard at Crownsville Hospital, where he had been receiving treatment for long-term effects of typhoid fever.
This would be the beginning of Pauli turning tragedy, challenges and difficulties into triumphs that, over time, made her one of the most legendary, inspiring and transformational human beings in modern time.
After the passing of her father, Pauli, who still went by Anna at that time, moved to Durham, North Carolina to live with her aunt Pauline Fitzgerald and her grandparents Robert and Cornelia Fitzgerald. Yes, those Fitzgeralds - the Fitzgerald family of brick business and Black Wall Street. Her grandfather Robert was actually the brother who had the idea for the brick business that ended up garnering his brother Richard Burton Fitzgerald the acclaim, success and money.
Did you feel that?
Something incrediBULL just happened right here in Durham, North Carolina. Today a little girl and her family opened up a book. Not just any book. She opened up the 1 millionth book that Book Harvest has put in a child’s hands.
1 million books given to children in a powerful impact statement and it all started with a community of friends, a dream of getting books to children and a bit of space in a garage.
Today’s press release shared how it all began. “I could never in my wildest dreams have imagined this day,” shared Book Harvest Founder and Executive Director Ginger Young. The organization began with a simple idea that Young shared with friends in 2011: as their children outgrew their books, they could bring them to her and she would make sure they got to new homes with children who would love them as much as their own children had. Young knew that book ownership was key to academic success for children, and she also knew that many children right in her own backyard didn’t have the overflowing home libraries that her own children had been privileged to grow up with.”
Book Harvest Communications and Events Manager Daniele Berman shared with us, “Ginger Young founded Book Harvest in her garage in 2011, and since then, our programs have been fueled by donations from people right here in our community -- with books going out and coming in from all over the state, but the majority right here in our hub of Durham.”