By Whose Authority? (Carolina Alumni Review, March 2018)
Politics and higher education have long been entangled. Where’s the line between setting policy and micromanaging? (Opens as a PDF.)
After the Progressive Revolution (The Nation, March 2018)
A dispatch from Durham, North Carolina: on the challenges of governing a bright-blue city in the middle of a hot-red state.
A Republican Voice of Dissent (The Nation, March 2018)
Haunted by his vote to authorize the Iraq War, North Carolina Congressman Walter Jones Jr. is standing up against U.S. military actions.
Why Southern Schools are Talking Secession (CityLab, February 2018)
Citing inefficiencies, North Carolina is considering breaking up its countywide school districts. Critics see this as opening the door to resegregation.
How Gerrymandering Silenced North Carolina’s Cities (CityLab, January 2018)
“Packing” and “cracking” voters boosted the GOP and muted urban voices. Now federal judges have struck down the latest redistricting plan.
Shutdown (Carolina Alumni Review, January 2018)
The University of North Carolina’s Center for Civil Rights taught litigation by going after governments on behalf of people who lacked legal clout. The system’s Board of Governors had a problem with that. (Opens as a PDF.)
Law and Disorder in North Carolina (The American Prospect, December 2017)
Throttled by the courts, Republican state legislators are trying to curb judges’ powers.
Democracy on the Line (The Nation, September 2017)
How the GOP uses redistricting to maintain power in the purple state of North Carolina.
Toppled! Ridding Durham of Its Racist Monument (The American Prospect, August 2017)
The liberal city wanted it down; the GOP state legislature forbade that; activists found a way to end that impasse.
North Carolina on the Brink (The American Prospect, December 2016)
At ground zero in the fight over LGBTQ rights, a special legislative session to repeal the state’s House Bill 2 devolved into name-calling and hostile stalemate.
Will GOP Power Seizure Become a National Model? (The American Prospect, December 2016)
The story of North Carolina’s legislative hijinks through the experience of an activist who was nursing her daughter when she was arrested for protesting.
History Matters (The Washington Post, December 2016)
North Carolina’s strongarm rule will feel familiar to anyone who lived here in the 1980s. But then there was a bipartisan push for reform.
Swamping the KKK (The American Prospect, December 2016)
A Ku Klux Klan gathering recalls North Carolina’s racially troubled history, and demonstrates the strength and diversity of its civil rights movement today.
A New Suppression Tactic: Voter Defamation (New Republic, December 2016)
By challenging the results of a governor’s race, North Carolina Republicans lay the groundwork for a Trump-era assault on voting rights.
How to Steal (or Nullify) an Election (The American Prospect, November 2016)
The GOP could use legislative fiat to pack the courts and overrule the popular vote in North Carolina.
N.C. Dems Make Gains Against Backdrop of Suppression (The American Prospect, November 2016)
Changing demographics, combined with a Republican effort to suppress minority and youth turnout, led to close races in a swing state.
A Hero’s Farewell (Indy Week, November 2016)
RIP Paul Luebke, a progressive icon.
Equality Becomes a Talking Point (The American Prospect, November 2016)
With the state’s demographics and political makeup shifting, backlash against anti-LGBT law may help send Democrat Roy Cooper to the governor’s office.
The Trump Show (Indy Week, July 2016)
Three North Carolina delegates—libertarian, a moderate, and a Christian conservative—try to resist the Trump juggernaut. Plus more on-the-ground reporting from Cleveland.
The 30 Years That Brought Us HB 2 (Indy Week and Triad City Beat, July 2016)
Bathroom panic was the spark. But the law that shot North Carolina to the front of the culture wars has a much deeper history. Plus this flashback to the 1990s.
Can Moral Mondays Produce Victorious Tuesdays? (The American Prospect, January 2015)
North Carolina’s protest movement has galvanized the state’s progressives, but couldn’t stop 2014’s Republican tide. Its leaders say they’re only just beginning.
In the Durham Bubble, N.C. Progressives Caught Off-Guard By Hagan’s Defeat (The American Prospect, November 2014)
Tar Heel progressives may not have loved their senator, but they worked hard to re-elect her—and thought they would.
Tragedy, Privation and Hope: Joy Boothe’s Inspiring Journey (The American Prospect, October 2014)
Horrifically orphaned and raised with prejudice, she built a house and a new life with her own hands. Now hers are among many building a movement for justice.
Court Rules NC Voting Rights Rollback to Stay In Place (The American Prospect, August 2014)
Since taking control of state government in 2011, Republicans rolled back North Carolina’s progressive voting laws. A new regime of fewer voting days and voter ID requirements will be in place for November’s legislative and congressional elections.
Courtroom Drama: Voting Rights Paid for in Blood Under Siege in North Carolina (The American Prospect, July 2014)
“It was, bar none, the worst legislative process I’ve ever been through,” Rep. Rick Glazier told the U.S. District Court.
Shifting Tactics, Moral Monday Movement Launches a New Freedom Summer (The American Prospect, July 2014)
Fifty years after the murders of Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman, North Carolina activists move from civil disobedience to big voter mobilization push.
Moral Mondays: Capitol Showdown (The American Prospect, June 2014)
Fifteen protesters have a breakthrough night in North Carolina’s long-running budget battles. Posted in conjunction with this slideshow of Jenny Warburg’s photos.
Meet the Doctor Who Went to Jail to Save Lives (The American Prospect, May 2014)
There is right, and there is wrong. And having to watch patients die because legislators refused the administration’s Medicaid expansion—that’s just wrong, says physician Charlie van der Horst. An audio slideshow.
Moral Monday Movement Gears Up for Round Two (The American Prospect, May 2014)
As the North Carolina state legislature reopens on May 14 with no ideological reversal in sight, the Monday takeovers of the rotunda will resume. So, likely, will the arrests.
A Mighty Shout in North Carolina (The American Prospect, February 2014)
The Moral Monday movement entered its second year with a bang on Saturday. But can it channel that upbeat energy to reverse a conservative tide?
The End of Moderation? (Duke Magazine, November 2013)
North Carolina’s government has lurched to the right, bucking a 50-year bipartisan consensus first articulated by Governor Terry Sanford. Plus, a profile of state budget director of Art Pope, widely seen as the architect of the Republican takeover.
Long Division (Indy Week, September 2012)
At the Republican National Convention, an intimate look at the battle between the party establishment and its dissenters.
The Morning After Amendment One: Your World. And Mine. (Indy Week, May 2012)
A meditation on community and outsiderness.
“Godless American” Actually a Retired Bible Teacher (Indy Week, October 2008)
Imagine retired Bible teacher Rick Stone’s surprise to find himself in an Elizabeth Dole ad.
A Mean Machine (Indy Week, September 2008)
For all its combativeness, the Republican National Convention failed the address the country’s most fundamental issues. Scenes from a week in St. Paul.
Whitewash (Indy Week, Sept. 2005)
In his new autobiography, Jesse Helms sees himself as a humanitarian—not as a racist supporter of brutal right-wing regimes.
If I Were A Rich Man (Indy Week, September 2004)
A Tar Heel tour of the Republican National Convention: protesters, fundraisers, seared tuna, and Sodom and Gomorrah.
Generation Bush (Indy Week, August 2000)
Republicans are counting on America’s youth for a November victory—and they found a few in North Carolina.
1990s and earlier
Between 1986 and 1999, Barry covered North Carolina politics for The Independent Weekly (now IndyWeek). Most of those articles have not been digitized.
No Ways Tired (Southern Exposure, Summer 1996)
Kmart workers in Greensboro, North Carolina, are invoking the spirit and tactics of the civil rights movement to create a new model for union organizing. (Opens as a PDF.)
No, Jesse, No (Out, May 1996)
Is Senator Helms Gay Public Enemy No. 1?
Statesmanship vs. Helmsmanship (The Nation, February 1996)
How the senior senator from North Carolina holds the world hostage to his isolationist agenda.
Highway Robbery (Indy Week, May 1992)
An award-winning five-part investigative series examining how campaign contributions influence North Carolina’s $1.6 billion transportation budget, harming communities and the environment in the process.