Our Commitments

From the Rock Wall reflects primary commitments to learning from the histories and memories of all who have lived, played, worked, worshipped, or served in Black Chapel Hill/Carrboro, doing what we can to keep Northside history vital, growing, and expanding; and securing community ownership of its own histories. The oral histories on this site are gifts given in sacred trust. Please respect rights of community ownership. Do not quote, copy, or distribute without appropriate citation and attribution. More important: fulfill the legacy you receive by listening by doing what you can to honor, renew, and build the Black communities to which neighbors and ancestors have given their hearts, lives, and histories.

OC_0001.jpg1. A Commitment to Learning from Histories of a Rare and Abundant Community

From the Rock Wall is part of a much larger conversation with and among Northside neighbors, by which we mean everyone who has lived, played, worked, worshipped, served, or has a stake in preserving the future of historically Black neighborhoods of Chapel Hill/Carrboro, North Carolina, including Pottersfield, Sunset, Lloyd/Broad, Tin Top, Pine Knolls, Windy Hill, Rangewood, and Rogers Road. 

Here you’ll find life histories and reflections along with images and materials that witness to abundant community and ongoing struggle.  All interviews were conducted following the highest ethical standards for oral history.  Many of the interviews conducted since 2007 began as part of a UNC partnership with St. Joseph C.M.E. and became a core initiative of the Marian Cheek Jackson Center for Saving and Making History.  Others are held jointly with the support of the Southern Oral History Program/Southern Historical Collection of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke Libraries.  All have been recorded and preserved with informed consent; Jackson Center interviews are held under a Creative Commons license.

The Jackson Center’s approach to oral history emphasizes the interests of the narrator, the listening/learning role of the interviewer, and a commitment to doing justice by the values, vision, and examples conveyed. Following the Jackson Center’s principles of community-first organizing, From the Rock Wall has been co-curated by a Community Review Board composed of first to fourth-generation Northside neighbors. Its aim is to mobilize histories across generations near and far.  Like all of the work of the Marian Cheek Jackson Center, its primary mission is to honor, renew, and build community in and beyond historically Black Chapel Hill/Carrboro. 

2. A Commitment to Growing Histories of Courage, Care, and Common Cause

From the Rock Wall is nothing without you. It is just the start of telling, lifting up, and growing the crucial history of Black Chapel Hill/Carrboro. Be sure to tell your piece, to challenge us all to learn more, to raise questions and to add details. Know someone whose history should be included here? See something missing? Are you willing to add photos or documents from your family collection? Use our Respond page to connect, celebrate, and contribute.

More important: take the next step. Be part of making the great communities and the struggle for equity and freedom in in Black Chapel Hill/Carrboro and beyond you hear about here. Contact the Marian Cheek Jackson Center, the Rogers-Eubanks Neighborhood Association, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP, the Poor People’s Campaign, Empowerment Inc., or Pee Wee Homes for just a few of the many ways you have to make this history matter.


Left picture: Rev. Albert Williams, one of the Chapel Hill Nine and Chapel Hill’s first Black firefighter, leading historic Northside tour, 2011; Right picture: Rev. J.R. Manly, pastor at First Baptist Church 1946-2011, Sustaining OurSelves community meeting, 2011

3. A Commitment to Respecting Community Ownership of History

Throughout the histories on this site you’ll hear about how much has been taken from the historically Black communities in southern Orange County, NC, including their histories. Interviews are hosted here with the consent of their primary narrators as contributions to the life of the community. Please respect their rights of ownership.

All community members who shared their histories with MCJC staff and friends retain control over their materials through the MCJC Interview Consent Agreement and the CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Creative Commons license. For more information on Creative Commons licensing, see: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/. With any material you cite, reproduce, or quote, be sure to include the full name of the narrator, the interview date, and the phrase “courtesy of the Marian Cheek Jackson Center for Saving and Making History.”

We are glad to be able to co-host interviews with the Southern Oral History Program (SOHP) at UNC and with Duke Libraries. Each retains copyright over its own materials but has agreed to make all available for fair use listening and sharing through this site. Look here for information on how to credit the SOHP appropriately. Use this web form to let the SOHP know how and where you are using their materials.

Jim Wallace retains copyright on all of his photographs but has generously deferred authority for their use on this site to the MCJC. All images must include “Photo Credit: Jim Wallace”.

Users assume full responsibility for any use of materials hosted on this site, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law.


Mrs. Marian Cheek Jackson and Mrs. Pat Jackson, St. Joseph C.M.E., 2008