In Bladen County, before integration, a former military man and his family were stewards of the first North Carolina state park open to Black families. There, amid acres of longleaf pines and a sprawling lake, families and friends gathered to eat, play, and pray.
If a walk in the woods meant peaceful meditation for 19th-century naturalists like Henry David Thoreau, it signaled danger for African-Americans. An outdoorsman is changing that narrative by leading Charlotte's Outdoor Afro hiking club on journeys to reclaim natural spaces.
For a small gathering of parishioners with no immediate ties to the Charlotte area, an after-church breaking of bread reveals the richness of a new, extended family — and the gifts that grow out of it.