Oral History

Minister Robert Campbell - On Black Builders

Interviewed by Kathryn Wall and George Barrett on October 28, 2022

"It’s good to talk about what it took to generate economics for the community itself. It was always teaching the new guy on the block. This is what it’s going to take for the future."

- Minister Robert Campbell

Within his interview, Minister Robert Campbell’s lively spirit and storytelling ease shines through as he extensively details his family’s construction legacy in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. His grandfather, uncles, and other relatives played a large role in building the community. He notes that the skills he obtained working with them on building sites easily transferred over to the kitchen - where Min. Campbell learned how to approach the culinary arts from prominent women in his life. Additionally, he highlights family members who engaged in innovative entrepreneurship before commercial regulations were heavily enacted. He describes how building was a collective effort, with highly skilled Black workers from all trades building up the community. This communal mindset shines through in the way that children were looked after. Campbell ends his interview with a note on the community leaders who made sure he went to school and got there on time.

Minister Robert Campbell - On Black Builders

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Oral history interview of Campbell, Robert conducted by Wall, Kathryn on October 28, 2022 at RENA Center, Chapel Hill, NC. Processed by Gilbert, Madison.

Citation: Marian Cheek Jackson Center, “Minister Robert Campbell - On Black Builders,” From the Rock Wall, accessed June 13, 2024, https://fromtherockwall.org/oral-histories/minister-robert-campbell-on-black-builders.

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