Chapel Hill

 Albert and Eloise Williams - On community, faith, race, and being a firefighter

Rev. Albert Williams is the minister at Staunton Memorial CME Church in Pittsboro. He is a lifetime resident of the area and was the first African American firefighter in Chapel Hill and a native son of St. Joseph CME. Mrs. Williams is also a lifetime resident and active member of Staunton…

 Carol Brooks and Keith Edwards - On the Civil Rights Movement in Chapel Hill

The interviewees provide an overview of the Chapel Hill Civil Rights Movement. They specifically note the emotion of CRM marches of Chapel Hill, Raleigh, and Durham in 1963. They speak on Watt’s Hotel discrimination and Civil Rights leadership in the area, especially of the friendly Pottersfield…

 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 Mason, Jr. - On Black communities in Chapel Hill

This interview provides an overview of Black communities in Chapel Hill during Mason’s life. He notes the consequences of having segregated communities, such as having outdated infrastructure. His employment was at Chapel Hill was at the University. He remembers being employed at a young age at a…

 Donna Bell - On her family, career, and Northside

Chronological overview of Donna Bell’s life history; being raised in New Bern, NC; growing up in a single parent home; her undergraduate experience and involvement at UNC; career choices through studying English to working in Social Therapy; her move to Northside in 2001, her first house, her…

 Donny "Hollywood" Riggsbee - On growing up in Chapel Hill, segregation, and his work experiences

Donny ‘Hollywood’ Riggsbee, resident of Chapel Hill, gives his biography during his time in in the town. He describes his youth, growing with 10 siblings, how his mother worked in a kitchen and how the kids worked while growing up. He talks about racial experiences in the form of his employer (Big…

 Doris Wilson - On racial inequality, education, and faith

This interview is a part of the Marian Cheek Jackson Center’s Summer Oral History Series. Doris Wilson was born in 1936 in Robeson County, North Carolina and moved to Chapel Hill in the mid 1950s. She has lived in her same home on Church St. in Chapel Hill ever since. In the interview, she discusses…

 Emily Banks - On her family, immigration, and faith

This interview is part of the Marian Cheek Jackson Center’s Life History Series.  Emily Banks, a current member and leader of St. Joseph CME Church, was born in 1946 in New York and migrated south to North Carolina in 1970.  She has spent the last few decades in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  She…

 Esphur and Harold Foster - On her mother, education, and impact of the Civil Rights Movement

Esphur Foster has lived on Cotton Street in Chapel Hill, North Carolina for 70 years.  In this interview, Foster discusses the powerful life of her mother, Hattie Mae Foster, as well as growing up in Chapel Hill during a pivotal time in history. She also describes much about life before, during, and…

 Gracie Webb - On changes to the neighborhood and the effects on senior community members

In the interview Mrs. Webb discusses her neighborhood and describes how the house that she grew up in was demolished by the state in order to build a road in its place. Her parents did not want to move but believed that if they refused the state’s offer their home would have been condemned; thus,…

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

This interview is part of an oral history project called Southern Communities: Listening for a Change: Mighty Tigers--Oral HIstories of Chapel Hill's Lincoln High School. The interviewes were conducted from 2000-2001, by Bob Gilgor, with former teachers, staff, and students from Chapel Hill, N.C.'s…

 Isabel Atwater - On growing up during World War II, Black businesses, and Civil Rights

Ms. Atwater speaks about life growing up in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area during World War II. She shares her experiences with her husband, Roy Atwater and her education at the rural Merritt School and Orange County Training School. She was familiar with food rations throughout the time and had…

 James "Jim" Wallace - Speaking about the Civil Rights Movement and his photography

In this interview, Wallace speaks about Civil rights in Chapel Hill, resistance within the movement, and differences of thought. He also talks about Karen Parker, the first black Woman to graduate from UNC. The interview also includes discussion of Jim Wallace’s photos, photos used in schools to…

 Kathy Atwater - On home, community, and Northside

In the beginning of the interview, Ms. Atwater describes the history of her home, growing up in her neighborhood, and the significance of keeping her home in the family in order to continue an ongoing legacy. To Ms. Atwater, a home is more than a place of residence; it is a memorial, it is the…

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

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,…

 Keith Edwards - On housing and gentrification in Northside

Keith Edwards has lived at the same address on McDade St. in Northside since she was born but now resides in a different house, built with support from a development grant that Chapel Hill received in the early 1970s. She became the first black female police officer at UNC in 1974 and later won a…

 Nate Davis - On the Hargraves Community Center

Nate Davis remembers that during his childhood, the Hargraves Community Center as a safe space to hang out and play sports with friends, and now, after years of working first part time and then full-time for the Center, he is the director. Davis tells the story of Hargraves starting in the 1940s. It…

 Regina Merritt - On food bringing people together

In this oral history, Regina Merritt discusses what her life was like growing up on a farm. From the beginning of the interview, it is clear that her grandmother was the centerpiece of her family. She cooked for not only her own family members, but also for anyone in the community who needed food.…

 Russell Edwards - On his family, faith, health, and upbringing

 Russell Edwards - On Northside, the Civil Rights Movement, and desegregation

Russell Edwards grew up in Chapel Hill and has watched, as well as experienced, many situations that African-Americans dealt with both before, during, and after the Civil Rights Movement took place. He resides in one of the historic African American communities of Chapel Hill and shares his opinions…

 Sallie Pendergraft - On her education, faith, the Church of God, and Holmes Child Care

In this interview, Sally Pendergraft (soon turning 99 years old) discusses her family growing up in Durham and Chapel Hill. Her daughter, Christie who spent many years living in Georgia joins her to help her remember details about her life. The conversation covers the founding of the Church of God…

 Sylvester Hackney - On growing up in Chapel Hill and school integration

This interview is part of an oral history project called Southern Communities: Listening for a Change: Mighty Tigers--Oral HIstories of Chapel Hill's Lincoln High School. The interviewes were conducted from 2000-2001, by Bob Gilgor, with former teachers, staff, and students from Chapel Hill, N.C.'s…

 Thomas Bell - On growing up in Northside, involvement with the community, and the Civil Rights Movement

Thomas Bell, a long time Northside community member and employee at Hillsborough Prison, attended Lincoln High School immediately before the desegregation of Chapel Hill public schools. He reflects on growing up in the Northside (walking to high school football games in Carborro, playing at…

 Virginia Jones - Speaking about her education, career, and family

This interview is part of the Marian Cheek Jackson Center’s Life History Series. Ms. Virginia has grown up in Chapel Hill and lived here her entire life. She was born on Mitchell Lane. She is the 10th of 10 children. Her mother worked at UNC at Chase Hall and her father worked within landscaping.…

 Walt Riggsbee - On his restaurant, military service, and Chapel Hill

We conducted this interview as a part of the Marian Cheek Jackson Center’s Oral History series. Bobby Riggsbee, commonly referred as Walt own his own restaurant named Walt’s Grill. Walt was born and raised in a segregated Chapel Hill and attended Lincoln High School located in the Northside…

 William Smith - Speaking about his masonry career and business

William E. Smith, also known as Smitty, grew up in Durham with his parents and seven brothers. His strongest influence growing up was his grandfather, who he spent a great deal of time with – including helping out on his farm in Orange County. He graduated from Hillside High School, which he…

 Willis Farrington - On growing up in Northside, local businesses, and Northside neighbors

This interview is part of the Marian Cheek Jackson Center’s Life History Series. Minister Willis Farrington, an associate pastor at S. Joseph CME Church, grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He grew up going to St. Joseph CME all his life and has never been a member of another church. In 1975 he…