Speak Your Piece

Speak Your Piece are opinion essays on a range of topics from across the coastal region.

45 Protest Images from Small Towns Along NC Coast

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COVID-19 and being a teen with asthma

by Jonny Morales It starts as a tightness in your chest. Like there’s pressure on you, and it’s harder to breathe. You’re wheezing. You’re fighting for air. You’ve got to remember not to panic. You get your medicine, and hope it helps. If it doesn’t, then you might have to go to the emergency room. It…

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COVID-19 and being a teen with asthma

COVID-19, Ebola, and Racism

Amari Poindexter is 17 and lives in Leland, North Carolina. I was about eleven when news of the Ebola outbreak started. I was going to a middle school in New Hanover County, and there weren’t a lot of black people there. I mean, there were a few — but I could count them on my fingers. There…

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COVID-19, Ebola, and Racism

Florence’s washed-out road sent family down different paths

By Karissa Sowers All I could hear was the helicopter rotor whipping its long blades as we waited on the grass to be rescued. The helicopter was there to rescue neighbors who were stuck after Hurricane Florence flooded all the roads near my grandparent’s home. There were only three roads that could get you to their house….

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Florence’s washed-out road sent family down different paths

An unwelcome storm makes this teen feel more welcomed

By Julia Narvaez I never realized what the word “community” meant until I handed a man a bright red Colgate box after Hurricane Florence. I’d never seen someone so happy. He picked up his son, who shared his big, bright smile, and told me he’d lost everything. His pictures. His son’s toys. Their home and sense…

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An unwelcome storm makes this teen feel more welcomed

Waterlogged and waiting for hope

Waterlogged and waiting for hope By Jonny Morales I was looking at family photos, baby clothes, diplomas and other waterlogged possessions while waiting for teary-eyed homeowners to give me permission to throw them away. Forever. We were only 10 miles away from my home, so damaged by Hurricane Florence, that I would not be able to live in…

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Waterlogged and waiting for hope

A lesson in resilience

By Shamyia Robinson I’d never been truly influenced by fear until the morning the hurricane hit. It was 9 p.m. when my mom, little brother and I settled down on the couches, all of us watching the news about the catastrophic damage and storm surges that would come with Hurricane Florence. The Weather Channel was all…

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A lesson in resilience

Not Quite Through the Storm

Shecoria adapts to tragedy after Hurricane Florence When Hurricane Florence hit coastal North Carolina, Shecoria Smith, age 16, was worried about her father returning from a work trip. Shecoria Smith was hunkered down with her mother as the wind and rain pounded her city when a call came making her realize that tragedy from the hurricane…

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Not Quite Through the Storm