Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around

One of the greatest joys of our collaboration with area schools comes from being able to learn with students in workshops and on field trips from historical leaders of justice and equality.  Here you can see Ms. Clementine Self in the same spot in 1963 and, fifty years later, in 2013. Clementine was one of the first students to integrate Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools and was among the many youth who took up the charge of civil rights, sometimes for parents whose participation might have cost them their jobs. In October 2013, she welcomed first grade classes to St. Joseph C.M.E. church, and led them in singing one of the freedom songs that rang through Chapel Hill streets 50 years earlier, “Ain’t Going to Let Nobody Turn Me Around.” The song carried the first graders forward on their own freedom march back to Northside elementary,


In another collaboration witheighth grade students, Jackson Center staff member and spoken word artist, Jasmine Farmer, takes up the teaching baton. Here she engages students in an exercise demonstrating the effects of segregation. A recent graduate of Chapel Hill High, Jasmine has been inspired by the stories of Ms. Self and many others to ensure that youth in our community know their history because as, Mrs. Marian Cheek Jackson says, “without the past, you have no future.” We believe that it is this witness to history in our community that allows us to stride forward towards justice, knowing “nobody will turn us around.”