Like Going to Heaven

When you ran out of flour, you could you go to your neighbor’s house and get a cup. When you were a child, everybody would be looking out of you. In fact, when you got in trouble, your mama would know something three times over before you got home. You couldn’t get away with anything!

A student at Chapel Hill High, Katie Mimmack, listened to Keith Edwards recount how she often cried with relief when she arrived home during the early days of school desegregation. Northside neighborhoods were tightly networked zones of collective safety and mutual care. Children raised up by many parents learned the power and spirit of neighborliness.