Durham is spending 2019 celebrating the city’s 150th anniversary, which turned out to be the perfect time for the launch of new project by one of its citizens, Sheila Amir. Several Durham CBC’ers have been featured in her new coffee table book, Bulls of Durham. Amir turned the seed of an idea into a years-long undertaking.
“I started the project on August 2, 2016, because the idea just wouldn’t leave me alone,” Amir explained. “Little did I know that date was exactly 919 days from Durham’s 150th anniversary, which was the launch day of the book.”
Amir basically began examining anything to do with the city’s “mascot,” bulls.
“I started finding interviews by finding companies that had ‘bull’ in the name and finding the artists of the bull art around town,” she said. “Every interview ended with the question, ‘Who do you think would be a good contribution to the book?’ In that way, the Durham chose the directionality of the book. Each interview led to several more interviews. I’ll never forget in my second interview with Dr. Desiree Palmer and Dr. Audrey Kemp of Bull City Dental that Dr. Palmer causally recommended that I call her friend Bill for an interview. Turned out the Bill she was referencing was Mayor Bill Bell. Ah! He said yes and it was a great interview.”
From the Mayor to hip-hop artists, Amir interviewed a wide variety of Durham-ites.
“I’m not sure the first CBC employee or partner interviewed, but they were all incrediBULL,” she said. “Michael Goodmon found me, which was pretty cool. He saw the project on social media and started following me. I got real brave and asked for an interview via messenger and get this, he said ‘yes!’ Michael connected me to many other incrediBULL interviews such as Tate Little, Sebastian Wolfrum, and George Habel.”
The Bulls of Durham, a living history, launched on April 10, 2019, Durham’s 150th anniversary.
“I’m forever grateful that CBC chose to sponsor the project and, by chance, AU Chief Strategist Adam Klein became my point person,” Amir explained. “He’s an unBULLievaBULL human being that I’m lucky to call a friend and a mentor. The man deserves a solid high-5 from everyone in Durham. If anyone is interested in starting an Adam Klein fan club I’ll totally do all the marketing. Ha!”
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Thanks to Corp’s George Habel for these capcom photos.