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Hargraves Community Center

You may think of a community center as something like your local YMCA.  Hargraves is that and so much more.  Community-built and community-led, Hargraves is the heart of Northside.  In 1939, with fiscal support from the Works Progress Administration (WPA), resident brick masons and carpenters began construction on the “Negro Community Center.” In the midst of World War II, UNC would host the Navy’s preflight training program but not the members of its first Black band—the B1 Navy band.   In order to maintain segregation on UNC’s campus and to create barracks for the band members, the Town of Chapel Hill funded completion of what would become called the Roberson Community Center, and eventually, Hargraves.  

Listen to former Hargraves Center Director, Nate Davis recount the long legacy of Hargraves mentorship he inherited from the previous director and icon of the local freedom movement, Fred Battle.   

Hargraves Community Center

To learn more...

 Albert Washington - On his business, church, and growing up in Northside

This interview is part of the Marian Cheek Jackson Center’s Oral History Trust. Albert (Bruce) Washington, III grew up in Chatham County with his mother and in Northside with his father and extended family. He was an only child, but grew up in the context of many cousins, aunts, and uncles who cared…

 Burnice Hackney - On family, school integration, and inequality in Chapel Hill

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…

 Clayton Weaver - On his parents, education, and Northside

Weaver was born and raised in Chapel Hill, NC on Cameron Avenue. His great-uncle bought their family home in 1929 for $3000. He went to school at Northside Elementary. Weaver provides background on who lived in the neighborhood and what school was like. He recounts that in the late 1950s, the…

 Clementine Self - On her childhood, civil rights, education, 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…

 Clyde Perry - On his childhood, family, education, and 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…

 Delaine Norwood - On her childhood, family, and education

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…

 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…

 Doug Clark, Sr. - On growing up in Chapel Hill and high school

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…

 Frances Hargraves - On childhood, family, education, and teaching

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…

 Fred Battle - On his childhood, education, sit-ins, 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…

 Gloria Warren - On growing up in Carrboro and Chapel Hill, family, and education

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…

 Hargraves Center circa 1940s

 Hargraves Center circa 1940s

 Hargraves Center circa 1942

 Keith Edwards - On growing up in Carrboro and the role of teachers

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…

 Mary Norwood Jones - On growing up in Carrboro and her experiences at North Carolina Central University

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…

 Nate Davis - On his childhood, education, 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…

 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…

 Patricia "Pat" Jackson - On her family, faith, community, and civil rights

Patricia Jackson grew up in Chapel Hill, NC and has been a member of St. Joseph CME Church for over forty years.  She now works with Wake County Schools and is also a church secretary, a stewardess, and a community activist.  This interview was done as part of the Marian Cheek Jackson Center…

 Polly McCauley - On growing up in Chapel Hill and her educational experiences

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…

 Raney Norwood - On childhood, education, 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…

 Rebecca Clark - On her childhood, education, 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…

 Shirley Davis - On her childhood, education, 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…

 Shirley Davis - On her family history and the Civil Rights Movement

In this interview, Shirley Davis speaks about her family history. She grew up in Chapel Hill on Merritt Mill Road. Her father worked thirty years for the Sigma Chi Sorority and her mother worked for Milton Julian. Her grandmother worked at University laundry, and her grandfather worked with the…

 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…

 Thurman Couch - On his childhood, family, and school integration

This interview with Thurman Couch covers growing up in Chapel Hill during high school in the 1950-60s. He attended Lincoln High School before it was shut down in 1962, and then he attended Chapel Hill High School. Couch reflects on his lifestyle, neighborhood, family, religion, school, football…

 US Navy B-1 Band

A member of the US Navy B-1 Band helps a child play the trumpet.

 US Navy B-1 Band

A member of the US Navy B-1 Band at an event.

 US Navy B-1 Band

A member of the US Navy B-1 Band with a projector.

 US Navy B-1 Band

The US Navy B-1 Band posed for a photo.

 US Navy B-1 Band in a parade

Members of the US Navy B-1 Band march in a parade.

 Willis Farrington - On growing up in Northside, his ministry, and changes in Chapel Hill

This interview is part of the Marian Cheek Jackson Center’s Life History Series. Reverend Willis Farrington, a leader of St. Joseph CME Church, was born in Chapel Hill and spent the entirety of his childhood running the streets of Northside and the Roberson Street Community Center. Reverend…

 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…
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Ms. Esphur Foster

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