Timothy Tyson’s book “Blood Done Sign My Name” brought widespread attention to the 1970 murder of Dickie Marrow in Oxford, North Carolina. Emblematic of the complex race relations in the South, Tyson’s book was made into a 2010 movie with the same title. I thought the movie didn’t quite do justice to the book, which was one of my inspirations to learn more about Southern race relations (now the focus of my history degree). Continue reading
I’m certain that every genealogist starts out as an accidental genealogist. For me, it was the passing of my great-aunt Ruth in my childhood. Many of her papers (including her genealogy worksheets for her application to the Daughters of the American Revolution) landed in my parents’ lap, and I wisely squirreled them away knowing instinctively that I was a historian and curator at heart.
About a year and a half ago I undertook an intensive study of the origins of the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina. Surprisingly under-researched and not particularly well understood, the roots of the Klan are found in rural Alamance County. One of the city’s prominent citizens, Jacob Alson Long, figured prominently. Continue reading
Back in 2005 I started the Absent.Canadian blog. Still finding my identity in North Carolina, I was in a very different place then. And that’s fine and good … but that particular identity isn’t quite right now.
I’ve decided to start blogging again, but I’m going to do it under the far more original “Michael Helms” moniker. Not that I’m not proud to be Canadian (I very much am), but I’m not really absent anymore. North Carolina is my home.
I’m going to get a few more posts up before I do any sort of shameless blog self-promotion, so I’ll cut this short and free up my megabytes for more interesting topics.