Oral History

David Caldwell, Jr. - On the history of the Rogers Road community (clip)

Interviewed by Blanche Brown on April 24, 2012

David Caldwell, Jr. (DC): For Rogers Road we were looking at a mitigation committee that we are working with. One thing they did agree is that, yeah, we’ve got sidewalks and streetlights, but its twenty years down the road. So do you really feel like you’ve done what you were supposed to do, even in a timely manner? We set up a group, a board that is going to look at everything, and look at mainly the remaining sewer, people that don’t have it, our recreation facilities, and community center, something that is a little more modern. Not that this is not a beautiful place; it’s the history of it.

Blanche Brown (BB): Yeah, how long ago was this house built?

DC: Yeah, it was built in the 40s. We’ve been here since 2011. So not long at all.

BB: So is it a part of the original housing?

DC: Well this is the Rogers home. When you come in at the top of the road, on the hill is Hogan Lloyd Rogers house. It was built in the 1840s. Yes, So St. Paul’s has the property and we are trying to save the house. So through some communication and our passion, St. Paul’s is going to give us the house. And one of the things we’ve been talking about is moving the house and we’ve gotten with Habitat, where if they can put everything together than they’re going to give us a lot to put the house on. But we got to get the money to refurbish it and get it ready and move our computer lab put a library in it and stuff.

BB: Wow, that would be amazing

DC: And it’s not just that. We’ve traced the history of the house of the Hogans through July fourth, 1855. The slaves were gathered outside because Mr. Hogan was sick and everybody was going uptown to celebrate July Fourth and everyone was walking around, and they all were afraid because they knew what would happen if he died. They all would become property, so if you had kids or whatever, chances are you might not ever see them again. Well, he passed that afternoon. The grave right up here when you’re going out was where he was buried. It did happen, they were separated, they did find the will and he had made some stipulations around it. He had 3 house slaves—one named Harriet. Ms. Nun is one of the oldest residents of Rogers Road, just turned 90, she lives right off of Eubanks and she remembers her father talking about Harriet, but nothing specific. People worked to put a thing online later on with information. And we had a lady, Deidra Campbell, from Atlanta, Georgia contact us and say that Harriet was her great-great-great grandmother so she came up here a couple of Tuesdays ago and she toured the house and the neighborhood. She is coming back to help us in our fight.

BB: That’s amazing!

DC: And that’s what we don’t want to lose. And prior to that Sam Rogers lived right up there, and he had like 80 acres right here. When the depression came in the banks around here would not let the black farmers refinance. So they foreclosed on them and took the land and sold it to the white farmers. As a result of that, Mr. Sam Rogers lost his land and was given three acres right here, right and on this three acres he built that log cabin over there right across the parking lot, and that is where three families were raised. Three generations. The last generation, he and his wife they built this house. Some of the floors and planks are 200 years old, taken from the old house and everything. So his son, his sons, Jimmy and James, he is actually our landlord. So this neighborhood, I mean, it has so much history. It goes so far back with people and their contributions. It goes as far back as the Civil War. The Civil War, not the Revolutionary War, and people in World War I, Grenada, Vietnam, that are still fighting today. We made our contributions. My brother and I, my father, put in way over 100 years in law enforcement and close to 40 years in the military, so we made our contribution. How much more could a family do, and that’s not counting my uncles who’ve put in their time in other ways?

BB: Yeah.

DC: So to do that and then be treated the way we--guys went to Vietnam and came back and couldn’t go to store, or not being able to go into a certain area. You kind of got an idea of how they were being treated. Racism is a big thing and as soon as we close our eyes or turn our backs it’s going to overwhelm us again. That’s why I think with these young people we have now--how old are these children of our future, it’s been around a long time, and we’ve got to start listening to it, we’ve got to save it and bring them back. I will let them know what they can do, let them know their possibilities. I guess just simple things we try to do. We try to set kids up and take them to different campuses. Not just Carolina, State, and Duke, but you’ve got Central, Shaw, St. Augustine’s, Fayetteville State, all these HBC's and when you go to a HBC it's totally different.

David Caldwell, Jr. - On the history of the Rogers Road community (clip)

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Oral history interview of Caldwell, Jr., David conducted by Brown, Blanche on April 24, 2012 at RENA Center, Chapel Hill, NC.

Citation: Marian Cheek Jackson Center, “David Caldwell, Jr. - On the history of the Rogers Road community (clip),” From the Rock Wall, accessed July 21, 2024, https://fromtherockwall.org/oral-histories/david-caldwell-jr-on-the-history-of-the-rogers-road-community-clip.

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