Oral History

Keith Edwards - On the future of Northside and the impact of the Jackson Center

Interviewed by Ben Barge on March 10, 2012

Keith Edwards discusses the impact the Jackson Center and student organizations on the Northside community as well as the challenges posed by ongoing gentrification of the neighborhood brought about by the conversion of single family homes into high occupancy student accommodation. Edwards expresses pessimism regarding the fate of Northside as a functional African-American neighborhood due to the inability of longtime residents and their heirs to afford property taxes or outbid investors. She reflects on the changing attitudes of student residents in Northside, contrasting the technologically-induced solipsism she observes in contemporary students with the activism displayed by students during the Civil Rights movement. Edwards observes that white residents have never had to bear the costs associated with integration- the loss of social institutions- and notes the irony in the area's current high property value. She comments on the necessity of the Jackson Center and like organizations in the wake of the failure of churches to execute their role as guardians and political leaders of the black community. Also addressed is the complicity of the town government in the current affordable housing crisis through its willingness to issue permits to developers. Edwards closes by predicting the total displacement of African-American residents within five years' time (as of 2012).

Keith Edwards - On the future of Northside and the impact of the Jackson Center

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Oral history interview of Edwards, Keith conducted by Ben Barge on March 10, 2012 at Chapel Hill, NC. Processed by Wright, Andrew.

Citation: Marian Cheek Jackson Center, “Keith Edwards - On the future of Northside and the impact of the Jackson Center,” From the Rock Wall, accessed May 19, 2024, https://fromtherockwall.org/oral-histories/keith-edwards-2.

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