Oral Histories

 Belinda Caldwell - Speaking about her career and life in Northside

This interview is centered around Ms. Belinda Caldwell. She begins by describing her family history then goes into detail about her personal history to Northside. She mentions that there is a significant difference between how her kids grew up and how she grew up. Belinda had only good things to say…

 Cleo Caldwell - On her family's musical talent, growing up in Northside, and returning to the neighborhood

In this interview, Cleo Caldwell, 53, discusses growing up in the Northside neighborhood surrounded by extended family and, in particular, her cousins who became policemen and civil rights activists. Cleo’s mother and sisters were known for their musical talents—her mother played piano and her…

 Cleo Caldwell - On her mother (clip)

 Cleo Caldwell - On cancer (clip)

 David Caldwell, Jr. - On his career, community, and the Rogers-Eubanks neighborhood

In the interview, Caldwell touches on the following points: his early family life on Rogers Road, which was underdeveloped and exploited; his experiences of discrimination and inequality at Phillips Middle School and Chapel Hill High; attending NCCU on a basketball scholarship; time in the air…

 David Caldwell - On the history of environmental racism in the Rogers Road community

“That’s one reason we’re trying so hard to document everything. Because if you lose your identity, you lose your community…You lose your community, whether it’s from development or people buying it, you lose your identity also. So either way, if you lose either one, you’ve lost completely.” - David…

 David Caldwell - On the difficulties between the local government and Rogers-Eubank community concerning the landfill

This interview is part of an SOHP project called Rural South: Backways: Understanding Segregation in the Rural South. The interviews, 2014-, were conducted in the rural piedmont region and eastern North Carolina about the often hidden forces of structural and institutional discrimination that have…

 David Caldwell, Jr. - On his parents, civil rights, and law enforcement

In this interview, David Caldwell, Jr., begins by discussing past generations of Caldwells that came from Chatham County and lived first on Merritt Mill Road, then Durham, then Northside. His family moved to Rogers Road in 1963 when land became available to African-Americans. A major topic is the…

 Ed Caldwell, Jr. - On the African American freedom struggle and Civil Rights Movement in Chapel Hill

“We wanted integration, so we could have the same opportunities." - Ed Caldwell, Jr. During this oral history, Ed Caldwell, Jr. recounts his youth and adult career in Chapel Hill. Main focuses were the discussion of African American education, differences between areas and groups in the town, and a…

 Hilliard Caldwell - Speaking about his childhood, family, and race

I was president of my student body at Lincoln High from 1955-56. That was the first time that I'd ever ran for an office where people voted for you based on what you stood for. Having experienced that in an all Black high school was the driving point in getting me to want to run for public office…

 Hilliard Caldwell - Speaking about the integration of Chapel Hill High School

“As R.D. Smith would tell you, I had a chip on my shoulder. I thought everybody was against me because… I didn’t have the finer things in life. But R.D. saw that chip and he told me, 'One day I’m going to knock that chip off,' and he did. And as a result, I ended up in 1955 getting elected president…

 Hilliard Caldwell - On the African American freedom struggle and Civil Rights Movement in Chapel Hill (Interview One)

“It was hard times, but it was good times. It was hard times, but it was fair times. It was hard times, but we appreciated what was there. We appreciated our parents, we appreciated the school structure, the community structure, the church structure. All of these were important components of growing…

 Hilliard Caldwell - On the African American freedom struggle and Civil Rights Movement in Chapel Hill (Interview Two)

"I was about 23, and I was married, and even my mom said, 'you ought not to be doing that,' and I said, 'Well, I’m sorry mom, but we have to.'" - Hilliard Caldwell Hilliard Caldwell, a Black activist in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro area during the Civil Rights movement, explains his role in the…

 David Caldwell, Jr. - On his education, sports experience, and family's involvement in law enforcement and the military

"That's what I try to instill, doing what’s right when no one is looking." - David Caldwell, Jr. David Caldwell is a native of Chapel Hill and long time community organizer and activist in the Rogers Road community. Mr. Caldwell brought materials to be scanned during the interview, and large…

 David Caldwell, Jr. - On the integration of Lincoln High School, family, and civil rights

In this interview, the second of two 2017 interviews conducted by Andrea Wuerth, David Caldwell, Jr., discusses his experiences in the newly-integrated Chapel Hill High School. He remembers the difficult early years, describing his accidental role in the riots that took place in Fall 1971, his…

 David Caldwell, Jr. - On his career and community

“You made a mistake, but learn from it. Matter of fact, if you learn from it, it’s not a mistake." - David Caldwell, Jr. David Caldwell Jr. gives an overview of his life in Chapel Hill and his experiences in the US Army and his other occupations. He begins by talking about his family and what his…

 David Caldwell, Jr. - On the Civil Rights Movement and his family

 David Caldwell, Jr. - Going to town (clip)

David Caldwell, Jr.: Because when we moved out here, I was in the third grade, so it was the [19]60s, and there was not a lot of houses. There was not a lot of things going on that you could do, so we spent a lot of our time in the woods. There were maybe thirteen kids out here at the time on the…

 David Caldwell, Jr. - On the Rogers Road neighborhood (clip)

Darius Scott (DS): What brought you guys from Merritt Mill to Rogers Road when you were in the third grade? David Caldwell, Jr. (DC): Oh! Like most of the people out here, we had the opportunity to buy a home. DS: Um-hmm. DC: There was only about thirteen houses out here when we moved out here, and…

 David Caldwell, Jr. - On the initial promises about the landfill (clip)

Darius Scott (DS): Okay. And you mentioned the landfill a bit a moment ago. Could you describe the moments leading up to the landfill coming to Rogers Road? David Caldwell, Jr. (DC): Oh, gosh! We had, basically, it was, like I said, we were a little country neighborhood. They came into my father s…

 David Caldwell, Jr. - On the landfill's environmental impact (clip)

David Caldwell, Jr. (DC): This was a dirt road, red, dusty, clay. All of this was cornfields, like I said, and a few houses, things, mostly a farming community. And when they did it, the road was so bad that it was tearing up the city s trucks, so they had to pave it sooner than they wanted to. So,…

 David Caldwell, Jr. - On activism (clip)

David Caldwell, Jr. (DC): We brought up the fact that they were not keeping the promises that were made. We would go to meetings to voice our protest and, I mean, we were met with disgust and disdain and, “Why are you guys back here again?” [Sound of train passing, whistle blowing] We were bringing…

 David Caldwell, Jr. - On RENA (clip)

David Caldwell, Jr. (DC): Right now I m the project director and the community organizer. And what I do is special projects that come up, I pretty much organize and get them going and get the community organized into participating. We do a Backpack Back-to-School Bash, where we give our goal is…

 David Caldwell, Jr. - On race as a factor in environmental justice (clip)

Darius Scott (DS): By thinking about the environmental issues that have been faced by Rogers Road, how do you think race factors into those? David Caldwell, Jr.: Well, [laughs] you are in the South! I mean, that’s… that is the South. That’s what, to me, what the South was based on, was race. That’s…