Tag Archives: Scuppernong Books

WUNC to broadcast interview with Brian Lampkin about The Tarboro Three

The Tarboro Three will be a lead story on WUNC’s The State of Things next Tuesday (August 20) at noon.

Frank Stasio will interview author and former Tarboro resident Brian Lampkin about Brian’s recent book, The Tarboro Three: Rape, Race, and Secrecy (Scuppernong Editions/2019).

The Tarboro Three is of interest for the story itself of course, but it’s also worth reading to see how a Tarboro immigrant, now emigrant, observed and now interprets Tarboro.

The interview will air on Tuesday, but then it’ll be posted on WUNC’s website as a podcast after that. WUNC is on “terrestrial radio” at 91.5 FM in the Chapel Hill/Raleigh/Durham area; at 88.9 FM from Manteo, serving the North East outer banks and coastal communities; at 91.9 from Fayetteville; at 91.1 just south of Winston-Salem in the Welcome, NC, area; and, at 90.9 FM from Rocky Mount.

New book about Tarboro, worth a close look

Two weeks ago Brian Lampkin’s book came out. The Tarboro Three: Rape, Race, and Secrecy.

No time yet to read it, but MidLaw has given it a heavy skim. The publisher’s blurb sets it in line with Blood Done Sign My Name, Oxford’s “raw mix of memoir and history.” And no story of race, sex, and the legal system set in a small Southern town can be without its relationship to To Kill a Mockingbird.

A preliminary skim suggests that The Tarboro Three looks well written, fair minded, and after bigger game than simply recounting news stories or skewering villains. Lampkin, who wrote for the Daily Southerner for a time and is now in Greensboro, recaptures much of what set Tarboro apart from similar small places — its history, its legends, the people, and its racial culture — and displays them in the light of an awful event.

Looks like he saw complexity and decency as well as injustice and drama. His book is worth a close look.

Education in the true sense – is “a furtive and illicit thing” – creates people who can think for themselves

FC9781609382810Greensboro’s exceptional independent bookstore, Scuppernong Books, recently brought Hillsborough authors Lee Smith and Hal Crowther to town. Both Smith and Crowther have just published new books. (The combination of Scuppernong’s Brian Lampkin, Smith, and Crowther – all of them his friends – drew Tarboro publisher Farrar Martin and daughter Mary Marshall to Scuppernong, as well.)

Crowther’s new book is An Infuriating American: The Incendiary Arts of H. L. Mencken. It opens with this Mencken pronouncement:

Education in the truest sense – education directed toward awakening a capacity to differentiate between fact and appearance – always will be a more or less furtive and illicit thing, for its chief purpose is the controversion and destruction of the very ideas that the majority of men – and particularly the majority of official and powerful men – regard as incontrovertibly true. To the extent that I am genuinely educated, I am suspicious of all the things that the average citizen believes and the average pedagogue teaches. Progress consists entirely of attacking and disposing of these ordinary beliefs.

Set that alongside the not-as-incendiary vision of Nereus Mendenhall that Guilford College will:

produce men and women with well-trained minds and good hearts; people who can think for themselves and not be blown about by every wind of doctrine.

Are these two views the same as the current vision that higher education should “prepare students for the workplace”? Could be I suppose, if the workplace is hungry for independent thinkers.

Independent thinking is pretty much what’s needed in lawyers. “Controversion.”

Guilford College prepares independent thinkers who are practiced at collaboration. Now, that’s what the workplace needs.

Eat your heart out, H.L.