By D.G. Martin D.G. Martin hosts “North Carolina Bookwatch,” which airs Sundays at noon and Thursdays at 5 p.m. on UNC-TV. For more information or to view prior programs visit
  • Spring reading: Food, basketball, race, waterways, politics, and a new literary thriller

    March 22, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Primary elections are over, spring has come, we’ve sprung forward an hour, and it is time for me to suggest books for you to consider for the new season’s reading. Memories and recipes for family meals, how a basketball game broke the rigid rules of segregation long before the 1960s, a primer on our state’s […]

  • Tracing the cause of discontent to some demagogue

    March 15, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Have you had enough of presidential candidates flying in and out of North Carolina looking for primary votes? Wouldn’t it be nice if they came to see us after the election, like our first president, George Washington, who visited North Carolina soon after he took office? Thanks to a new book by Warren Bingham, “George […]

  • She’ll be thanking him in November

    March 8, 2016 at 1:01 am

    If Hillary Clinton is elected president in November, her very first thank-you should go to Bernie Sanders. “What?” you ask. “How could she thank Sanders when his vigorous campaign took people away from her natural and expected support groups– progressive women, young African Americans, and other liberals? “He is smearing her for the Clintons’ ties […]

  • A Firebrand North Carolinian and the President’s Wife

    March 1, 2016 at 1:00 am

    One more question before we forget about the black history month just ended: How did President Franklin Roosevelt’s 1938 visit to the University of North Carolina lead to a long friendship between the president’s wife and a young North Carolina African American woman? In 1938 in Chapel Hill, Roosevelt made a speech praising UNC for […]

  • Would a name change be enough?

    February 23, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Should Fayetteville State University, the state’s oldest public HBCU (historically black college or university), change its name to the University of North Carolina at Fayetteville? Last week The Fayetteville Observer reported that the name change was being considered in the General Assembly. The proposed name change drew mixed reactions from the school’s alumni and students. […]

  • Lee Smith’s best story yet

    February 16, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Lee Smith’s upcoming book, “Dimestore: A Writer’s Life,” tells her best story yet. After publishing 13 novels and numerous short stories that have won for her a passionately loyal group of fans and friends, the best-selling Hillsborough author has written a memoir, her first non-fiction book. It turns out that the real stories she tells […]

  • Discarding unelectable candidates, but holding on to their supporters’ enthusiasm

    February 9, 2016 at 1:00 am

    The trick to winning elections, old political warhorses say, is to rally the enthusiasm of the young, the idealistic, and the angry crazies, without getting stuck with a presidential candidate who cannot be stomached by the voters in the middle, the persuadables who decide elections. The Democrats found such a candidate in 2008 in Barack […]

  • Coughs and sneezes about campus monuments and names

    February 2, 2016 at 1:00 am

    “When America catches a cold, Britain sneezes — eventually.” Writing in The New York Times, Matthew d’Ancona, a graduate of Britain’s Oxford University and columnist for British papers, The Guardian and The Daily Evening Standard, reported, “The argument about the proper limits of free speech and ‘political correctness’ that has raged for years on American […]

  • Cultural Competency not just for journalists

    January 26, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Last week, as the story of African American protests over the absence of black nominees for Academy Awards was developing, Sam Fulwood explained what he learned reporting the 1992 Los Angeles riots that broke out after a jury found the police officers accused of beating Rodney King not guilty. Covering a newly created “race beat,” […]

  • Yard signs and State of the Union speeches: Wasted efforts?

    January 19, 2016 at 1:22 am

    They are a waste of time, don’t change anybody’s mind, and have little or no impact on the outcome of elections or the support of a politician. Does this comment describe the impact of political yard signs on elections or the effectiveness of speeches, such as President Obama’s State of the Union message last week? […]