The research process began with determining key themes in the national and regional history of food inequity and then identifying primary and secondary sources specific to Durham, to interpret the unique local story of food inequity around these core themes. Locally-focused scholarship helped clarify local historical timelines, identify key actors and events, and support the analysis of food inequity at the intersections of race and class. Additionally, local memoirs and personal accounts were hugely important to bring key themes down to the level of personal experience. Quotes throughout the report convey larger historical themes through the lens of memory and individual storytelling. New oral histories were completed to help fill in some of the gaps of local recorded memory. Research also included community-based input that occurred through a series of presentations and gallery walks whereby different community stakeholders reacted to initial themes and content and provided feedback. The top recommendation from the gallery-walk was a strong desire for first-person accounts which were incorporated throughout the narrative. To help contextualize the narrative and data original maps and charts were created from sources such as census records, city directories, archival maps, wage and employment statistics, and secondary sources.
The language utilized throughout this report was carefully considered and vetted through a community feedback process. ‘Indigenous Nations’ and ‘Native Peoples’ are used interchangeably to describe the original peoples of this land. ‘Enslaved people’ and ‘enslavers’ are used to describe the relationship of people during the time of slavery. Throughout the report, Black, white, and Latino are adjectives used to describe people, not as nouns, and ‘white’ is not capitalized to invert historic hierarchies.