North Carolina: Courageous Conversations in a Climate of Fear

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North Carolina is in the headlines after an attack on Moore County’s electrical grid, which left tens of thousands of citizens unsettled, frightened and without power or heat for days. Nearly two dozen shell casings from a high-powered rifle were recovered after gunfire disabled two electric substations in what officials called a “malicious, intentional” attack. While no individual or group has claimed responsibility, the attack adds to a growing climate of fear and intimidation. In this moment, The Laura Flanders Show is releasing a unique conversation among anti-racist activists, recorded earlier this year. Meet Curtis Hill, the NAACP president in Columbus County where sheriff Jody Greene was recently re-elected despite having been suspended for making racist remarks about Black employees, as well as Keith Rivers, Hill’s counterpart in Pasquotank County, where Andrew Brown was killed by sheriff’s deputies in 2021. Joining them is Serena Sebring, the Executive Director of Blueprint NC, the largest coalition of grassroots groups in the state with nearly 60 partner organizations, and Mab Segrest, one of this nation’s leading researchers on the right wing and the author of among other books, “Memoir of a Race Traitor: Fighting Racism in the American South”. “North Carolina: Courageous Conversations in a Climate of Fear” is part of a series of reports by The Laura Flanders Show on the local roots of the January 6th Insurrection. Part One, on the rise of private, for profit military training facilities, and Part Two on the history of white violence against multi-racial democracy, are available now.

“This is a full assault on everybody’s rights in America. I believe that we have the power as individuals to transform our communities, one person at a time, having real courageous conversations, empowering each other, understanding and being a leaning voice.” – Curtis Hill

“That percentage of people that are extremists, we can put them in a box and let people know that they are not the ones running this country. We’re not going anywhere.” – Keith Rivers

“The questions of sheriff accountability, or responsiveness to the needs of community, which include COVID-19, disaster relief, safety — I know that Black people have to have a seat at that table and be able to express the needs of our communities.” – Serena Sebring

“I want the conversation about white courage, and what I learned is white courage is really Black and Brown courage . . . I would invite people into these conversations to take risks, because you would get your life.” – Mab Segrest


  • Curtis Hill: President, NAACP Columbus County, NC
  • Keith Rivers: President, NAACP Pasquotank County, NC; Director, Sunshine Station
  • Serena Sebring: Executive Director, Blueprint NC
  • Mab Segrest: Author, Memoir of a Race Traitor; Anti-racist Activist & Consultant, Blueprint NC


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