Oral History

Keith Edwards - On Carrboro, gentrification, and white students' involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Interviewed by Alexander Stephens

Edwards discusses her life in Carrboro and how she felt safe within the Black community but unsafe within the city of Carrboro as a whole. She recounts incidents of violence, Ku Klux Klan activity and police intimidation in the 1930s and 1950s. She moved to Chapel Hill to be provided a different, less fearful environment. The black students at local school faced bullying. The behavior of wealthy Whites was different. She discusses White students’ involvement in the fight for civil rights and the relationship between White fraternities and sororities and the Black community. She describes how the atmosphere in Chapel Hill has changed so that there is less student involvement in the community. In her childhood, there was frequent violence in Chapel Hill, and less diversity. The wealthy citizens drove diversity to outskirts, and made it difficult to preserve the community. UNC is partially responsible for the destruction of the community because they’ve purchased homes and land for student housing, driving up prices, and facilitation the process of gentrification. Banks refused to grant loans to Blacks for houses.

Keith Edwards - On Carrboro, gentrification, and white students' involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

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Oral history interview of Edwards, Keith conducted by Stephens, Alexander at Chapel Hill, NC. Processed by Dayaa, Joseph.

Citation: Marian Cheek Jackson Center, “Keith Edwards - On Carrboro, gentrification, and white students' involvement in the Civil Rights Movement,” From the Rock Wall, accessed November 29, 2021, https://fromtherockwall.org/oral-histories/keith-edwards-march-17-2011.

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