Part III: North Carolina Pride

A sense of comradery, innovation and beauty. 

"NC is a weird state. It’s a state of high peaks, rolling valleys, and sandy beaches. It’s hard to pinpoint. It’s the smell of smoke coming off of a whole hog in a low fire pit. The sound of crunching leaves under your feet in the Great Smokey Mountains. The bustle of cars heading to work on the crowded interstates around Charlotte and the Triangle. It’s the look of abandoned tobacco plants and high rise multinational tech conglomerates. The basketball bouncing on broken pavement. The purple color of the political parties smashed together. It’s a state that has as much in common as it has not in common with its neighbors. It’s been sleepily behind the times and on the forefront of dramatic change. It’s a weird state, and that’s what makes me most proud." –Michael, Durham, NC

"NC is a weird state. It’s a state of high peaks, rolling valleys, and sandy beaches. It’s hard to pinpoint. It’s the smell of smoke coming off of a whole hog in a low fire pit. The sound of crunching leaves under your feet in the Great Smokey Mountains. The bustle of cars heading to work on the crowded interstates around Charlotte and the Triangle. It’s the look of abandoned tobacco plants and high rise multinational tech conglomerates. The basketball bouncing on broken pavement. The purple color of the political parties smashed together. It’s a state that has as much in common as it has not in common with its neighbors. It’s been sleepily behind the times and on the forefront of dramatic change. It’s a weird state, and that’s what makes me most proud." –Michael, Durham, NC

North Carolina is home to 10.27 million people.

For Neptune, Baloch and Blackburn, the state has been home since birth. Olverson moved to North Carolina a couple of years ago and said the community has welcomed him.

"The aspect of North Carolina that I think is truly special and unique are the communities and the people that prop them up," Olverson said. "People care about their cities and towns and are proud of them. At the same time, they are willing to share what makes those cities with anyone who wants to partake.

"I have found North Carolina to be inclusionary, welcoming and focused on quality of life for everyone here."

Baloch said community has always made the state feel like home, and people visiting her in Raleigh have noticed that sense of togetherness.

"When they visit, they talk about how unique the community is, to be so diverse, to also just be a community that when something needs to get done or something happens or you need something, people are just willing to give — and that is also Raleigh.'" Baloch said.

"We’re very diverse. We have many different races and ethnicities here. When the city really needs something, when something happens, people are more than willing to give."
Photo courtsey: Nick Neptune

Photo courtsey: Nick Neptune

Neptune said North Carolina has a lot of accomplishments to be proud of because of its proactive mindset.

"This is the state that gives birth to ideas, and then turns it to action," Neptune said. "We have a lot to be proud of, but especially right here in the capital city. We give birth to the Red Hats. We give birth to the share files that becomes Citrix. We give birth to wildflowers. We give birth to The Assembly. We give birth to ideas in this city. I think that’s worth celebrating."

proud-survey.jpg

He added not only do we have our past to be proud of but our potential future.

"We have so much to be proud of in this city," Neptune said. "It’s a bright future. It will be brighter when we find more ways to equitably share the fruits of that future."

Wilmington, North Carolina sunset over the Cape Fear River

Wilmington, North Carolina sunset over the Cape Fear River

Triple Falls outside of Asheville, North Carolina

Triple Falls outside of Asheville, North Carolina

For Blackburn, the North Carolina’s beauty is why he’s proud to call it home, especially since he is unhappy with some of the choices the state has made.

"The biggest bragging point for me is just the beauty in the state, the natural benefits of it,” Blackburn said. "The mountains are gorgeous, but then you can go to the beach in the same day. … I’m still more embarrassed by it than the majority of North Carolinians, so I sell the beauty, the scenic stuff. Eventually people will figure out when they move here, yeah it’s nice weather, but [there are] some are assholes here."


More in this series

Issue NC