Oral History

Gracie Webb - On her family, growing up in Northside, and changes in Northside

Interviewed by Zaina Alsous and Khristian Curry on April 2, 2011

“On Sundays everybody would come after church and come there and eat, the pastors and all [of them]. We weren’t the wealthiest, but we were always full.”

- Gracie Webb

Throughout Gracie Webb’s life she has seemingly always been in the Northside and Cedar Groves area of Chapel Hill-Carrboro. Reminiscing through the memories of her childhood, Mrs. Webb talks about her most fond experiences of cooking with her mother and grandmother, eating with her family on Sundays, and the close-knitted-ness of her church community at Saint Joseph’s. Although Mrs. Webb does not think of herself as a great cook, something she only regards towards her grandmother, mother and husband, she does enjoy cooking. Whether it's with her grandchildren or her family, Mrs. Webb simply enjoys the time that she spends with the people that she loves the most as well as teaching her grandchildren how to cook her well loved family recipes.
But outside of her fondness of cooking by herself and with her family, she talks about growing up in the Northside and Cedar Groves communities. Mrs. Webb grew up to be an only child from Northside, but when she married in 1957 she soon had six kids. Which then led to her moving out of North Carolina, only to eventually come back in order to be closer to her children and extended family later in her life. But in doing so she came back to a community that was no longer hers as there was instead the mass gentrification of black communities and businesses. Since she was a nurse at UNC Campus Health for 28 years, she saw firsthand the beginning of gentrification that was forcing black people out of their homes for commercial development as their communities were also increasingly becoming more white. But, that was decades ago, now there are seemingly no longer any black people on Franklin Street or even in Northside and Cedar Groves. Black-owned businesses have closed and been replaced by bicycle shops, historically black neighborhoods have become sites of commercial and apartment development, and many black people have been forced to leave the town where they grew up in. Along with the rise of taxes and the cost of living, Mrs. Webb describes these serious problems in her community that have only gotten worse throughout her life.

Gracie Webb - On her family, growing up in Northside, and changes in Northside

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Oral history interview of Webb, Gracie conducted by Alsous, Zaina on April 2, 2011 at Chapel Hill, NC. Processed by Staimpel, Jacob.

Citation: Marian Cheek Jackson Center, “Gracie Webb - On her family, growing up in Northside, and changes in Northside,” From the Rock Wall, accessed April 18, 2024, https://fromtherockwall.org/oral-histories/gracie-webb-2.

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In this Oral History