Make a joyful noise (Psalm 100).  Celebration is an act of faith, triumph, unity, and renewal.  Joyful rituals abound across the past, in the present, and into the future of Black Chapel Hill/Carrboro.  Whether after church at the Dairy Bar, during the May Day Festival that marked the end of the school year at O.C.T.S., when the Lincoln High band took over the street during the Christmas parade, while singing in worship and protest, or at Sunday dinners that filled the house (and sometimes the front porch, stoop, and yard) with family, friends, and fellowship, neighbors have always come together to rejoice, praise, and remember. 

Join in the porch conversations that link neighbor to neighbor.  Enjoy the blessings of church events and come on by the annual Northside Festival to get a taste of abundant community live!


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 A daughter of Northside, Ms. Elaine Norwood laughs with a young neighbor at May Day, 2013.

 Dedication of the Yonnie Chapman Memorial Library

Dedication of the Yonnie Chapman Memorial Library at the second annual May Day Festival and debut of the “Facing Our Neighbors” exhibit from which the portraits and transcriptions shown here are drawn.

 Della Pollock, Executive Director of the Jackson Center, hails the youth “cypher team” after their improvisational “Knockin’ on the Mayor’s Door” brought the crowd packed in St. Joseph’s sanctuary to its feet during the May Day celebration, 2010.

 Fred Battle - On the African American freedom struggle and Civil Rights Movement in Chapel Hill

"I would always look as I would walk down the corridors of the hall in Lincoln, and I could still hear some of the teachers speaking now. Giving guidance, giving direction, giving praise, and all the motivation we would need to excel as students, excel as athletes." - Fred Battle Fred Battle was…

 Lillie Edwards and Juanita Washington - On food and cooking

Lillie recounts on her first experiences with cooking bread as a young girl. She was the designated cook of the family. She also talks about her mother’s cooking style since her mother does not use standard recipes to cook. Juanita speaks about Mama Dip (her aunt) being the head cook in her family.…

 May Day Festival, 2014

 Over 200 UNC students and Northside neighbors crowd the front lawn of St. Joseph C.M.E. to dance the “Electric Slide” at the May Day festival, 2010.  

 Student leaders of United with the Northside Community Now (UNC NOW—a precursor to the Jackson Center) pose with Northside youth leaders at the first May Day Festival, 2009.

 Velma Perry - On the history and future of Northside

In the interview Ms. Perry discusses the early history of the Northside community going back to the founding of the University and the introduction of slaves to the area. She then goes on to describe her family history, including her grandfather’s work as an undertaker and a carpenter who built many…

 Willie "Brad" Bradshaw - On his childhood, education, and career coaching sports

“If you have good football teams, it permeates throughout the entire school and it helps the other things that you’re going to do come up to par, come up to snuff or whatever you want to call it. It cuts down on a lot of discipline problems. Kids want to do more in school, because they see the…
"We’re writing our own history, thank you!"

Ms. Esphur Foster

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