If you are an experienced genealogist, then this post is not for you. But if you're just getting your feet wet, there are several documents produced by the Heritage Research Center at High Point Public Library which provide a good step-by-step introduction to genealogical resources available in North Carolina.
If you find yourself more than a little intimidated by the state archives and all the researchers there who seem to know exactly what they're doing, the Heritage Research Center's beginner's guide to the NC state archives tells you exactly what to expect, right down to where to park, where to enter the building, what you need to take with you and what you must leave outside, and exactly how to request material.
The other guides are very specific about what you can (and cannot) find in census records, land records, wills and estates, and other vital records. They also explore resources specific to researching African-American families.