Barry Yeoman, a man with a lifelong stutter, suggests that while society mostly views a stutter as a disability, stammering really isn’t the problem at all. The real problem that needs to be cured is the assumption that those who stutter are somehow deficient.
At a time when many U.S. cities are being revitalized — and rapidly gentrified — Barry Yeoman spotlights Durham, North Carolina, his home of 30 years, where activism, diversity- and egalitarianism-minded non-profits, and a community land trust are helping to keep the city inclusive and affordable for those who often get marginalized and pushed out instead.
For our latest Longreads Member Pick, we’re thrilled to feature “The Gutbucket King,” a new ebook by journalist Barry Yeoman and The New New South, about the tumultuous life of blues singer Little Freddie King, who survived stabbings, alcoholism and personal tragedy. You can read a free excerpt below.
Small towns like Sugar Hill, New Hampshire, are fighting unwanted development by practicing “municipal disobedience”:
“Thus, Sugar Hill became one of dozens of communities nationwide—mostly villages but also the city of Pittsburgh—that have reacted to environmental threats by directly challenging the Constitution and established case law. The leading champion of this confrontational strategy—which has its share of critics, even among progressives who share the sense of desperation that is driving it—is a bearish 43-year-old attorney named Thomas Linzey. These skirmishes, Linzey believes, are the first steps in a long campaign to wrest power from corporations and strengthen American democracy. He refers to the strategy as “collective nonviolent civil disobedience through municipal lawmaking.”