Perhaps you've heard about Durham's celebrated food scene, top-notch universities, or startup culture. Maybe you've heard that we're a Southern city with a cosmopolitan streak - cool, cultured, but a little rough around the edges.
We are that and more.
We are barbecue and biscuits; locally sourced small plates and craft cocktails. We're a gritty tobacco-grown town with international corporations. We're activists, scholars, artists, and entrepreneurs. We're always moving, daring to be different - an experience we want to share with you.
How did we get here? Durham is a place brimming with opportunity for all. Ideas are met with energy, challenges with ingenuity, and creation with participation. Let us tell you more about what Durham is.
Durham has a rich history of working towards justice and celebrating progress as a community. Home to the NC Gay and Lesbian Film Festival since 1995 and NC Pride Festival since 1981, Durham welcomes thousands of attendees each year.
Activism is at the core of Durham's identity. Civil rights activist Dr. Pauli Murray was a long-time resident of Durham and fought tirelessly to end racial, gender, and sexual discrimination - a fight that was personal for Murray, a queer African-American woman. You'll find murals celebrating her legacy across the Bull City.
Some of the earliest civil rights sit-ins occurred in Durham, including the 1960 lunch counter sit-in at a Woolworth store that was attended by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. King's "fill up the jails" speech followed at Durham's White Rock Baptist Church.
Durham has always been a place where diverse cultures and populations come together. With no majority ethnic population, the City of Durham has a greater makeup of minority groups than any of the five largest cities in North Carolina. Durham's diversity and spirit of acceptance are at the core of the city's identity.
An early hub for innovation, Durham was home to Washington Duke's tobacco empire; by the early 1900s, black-owned businesses thrived on Parrish Street - known as Black Wall Street - including North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company and M&F Bank, two of the nation's oldest African American-owned financial institutions.
Home to Research Triangle Park (RTP) -- the largest research park in the country -- since the 1960s, Durham has spent decades building a smart and innovative community with both multi-national corporations and thriving startups. American Underground (AU), one of only 10 Google for Entrepreneurs Tech Hubs in North America, made headlines in 2015 when it announced its goal to become the most diverse startup hub in the country. Two years later, AU is making good on that promise.
In Durham, entrepreneurship and creativity are rooted in collaboration, and people work together to make great things happen.
Whether you're visiting for a weekend or putting down roots, we invite you to experience Durham's community and spirit.