This weekend, across campus and community, in Chapel Hill and stretching into Durham, we will be celebrating the struggle for rights across our local history. Through meals, panel discussions, marches, interactive exhibits and more, we'll celebrate the triumphs of the movement and rejuvenate ourselves to continue its legacy.
Below is a full schedule of events, all concluding with a Celebration Dinner reuniting past and present activists. We would love to see you, our gracious Backers, this weekend!
Monica & Jackson Center Staff
Civil Rights in Chapel Hill Celebration Weekend
Thursday November 1 – Saturday November 3
All events are free and open to the public.
Thursday November 1
James Wallace, Keynote Address, Photographic Angles: News Photography in the North Carolina Collection
5:00 p.m. Reception and exhibition, North Carolina Collection Gallery, Wilson Library, UNC Campus
5:30 p.m. Program, Pleasants Family Assembly Room, Wilson Library, UNC Campus
Photographer Jim Wallace shares insights from his career as a photojournalist, which began in Chapel Hill when he was a student staff photographer for The Daily Tar Heel in the early 1960s. Photos of civil rights action in Chapel Hill comprise his new book Courage in the Moment: The Civil Rights Struggle, 1961-1964. For 25 years, Wallace served as director of Imaging and Photographic Services at the Smithsonian Institution.
Presented by the Center for the Study of the American South as part of its 2012-2013 James A. Hutchins Lecture Series
Friday November 2
Continuing the Struggle: Students Making History Now
with Professor Tim McMillan
12:00 p.m. UNC Campus Y
UNC students will discuss their role in making change on campus, across the street, and around the world today. What are UNC students’ particular rights, privileges, and responsibilities? What blocks or enables effective action today? What does it mean to be a student-activist? Tim McMillan, professor in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies and leader of the Black and Blue historical tour of the UNC campus will facilitate and comment. We invite you to bring lunch. Light refreshments will be served.
Sponsored by United with the Northside Community-NOW
These Were Real People – The Civil Rights History Project, a film showing
3:00 p.m. The Love House & Hutchins Forum, UNC Campus
In 2010, the Southern Oral History Program went national, interviewing civil rights movement veterans from California to New York for the Civil Rights History Project. These interviews reveal a civil rights movement—diverse, complex, and deeply personal—that persists to this day. The interviews, recorded on video, will be available to the public this fall in the Library of Congress. Until then, we’d like to share this short history of the movement through the voices of those who participated in it. Mandated by an Act of Congress in 2009, the Civil Rights History Project is a joint endeavor of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and the American Folklife Center in the Library of Congress. The video is approximately 26 minutes long, and concessions (popcorn and soft drinks) will be offered at the door.
Presented by the Southern Oral History Program at UNC
Witness to Rights: an interactive exhibit of photos by Jim Wallace
presented by the Marian Cheek Jackson Center for Saving and Making History
4:30 p.m. Exhibit Opening, 2nd floor, St. Joseph CME Church
Exhibit continues Saturday 11:00-3:00 and Sunday 10:00-3:00
Fifty years after the major civil rights action in Chapel Hill, Wallace returned to learn the names of the people featured in his photographs. Now the pictures are coming home again, and we need your help to tell their stories. Who or what do you recognize in the photos? What were you or your father, mother, sister, cousin, pastor, friend doing at the time a photo was taken? What do you think about what these pictures show? This exhibit needs your participation: please come listen, tell, write, reflect, and enjoy. Copies of Courage in the Moment will be on sale at a discounted rate, with a big thanks to Bull’s Head Bookstore.
Presented by the Marian Cheek Jackson Center for Saving and Making History
Saturday November 3
Still Walking for Justice – A Durham to Chapel Hill Walk
to commemorate the 1947 Journey of Reconciliation
10:00 a.m. Send-off Rally in Durham, Corner of W. Chapel Hill and Carroll Streets
3:30 p.m. Welcome Rally in Chapel Hill, Corner of N. Columbia and Rosemary Streets
Nine teams of women will be making the walk from the Pauli Murray Historic Marker in Durham to the Journey of Reconciliation Historic Marker in Chapel Hill. The Journey of Reconciliation is considered the First Freedom Ride, when nine white and black men used non-violent direct action to test the 1946 Supreme Court Ruling desegregating interstate bus travel. This walk is for the women that were not allowed to walk in 1947, as well as local women activists who devoted their lives to advancing equality and freedom.
Led by the Pauli Murray Project and NBJC Bayard Rustin Centennial Project
The Black Church and the Freedom Strugglewith Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt Jr., Senior Bishop of the CME Church
1:00 p.m. St. Joseph CME Church
The Black church played an integral role in the civil rights movement during the 1960s. It provided both a safe space for rejuvenation as well as inspiration. What is the role of the Black church today? What stands should the church take on the continuing civil rights movement? Local and visiting clergy will share testimony about their experiences in ministries of liberation and change. Please come join in one of the most crucial conversations that we can have at this moment in U.S. history. Light refreshments and informal conversation to follow in the Fellowship Hall.
This event has been made possible with the support of Pastor Lavisha Williams and St. Joseph CME Church.
Civil Rights Celebration Dinner
featuring the Sacrificial Poets and comments by rising and resilient leaders
4:30 p.m Hargraves Recreation Center
You are cordially invited to join us in honor of people fighting for rights across our history! We’ll eat great food and revel in justice made and yet to come.
Rebecca Clark Honorary Electoral Drive
Longtime Pine Knolls resident and member at St. Paul’s, Rebecca Clark was renowned for her fierce commitment to achieving and using rights, not the least among them: the right to vote. In her honor, sign up now for rides to your voting location. Young people will be at every event, ready to help you make transportation plans for yourself, neighbors, and family members. Every vote counts. We can get you there!
Sponsored by UNC Young Democrats with United with the Northside Community – NOW
Living Memories Telling Stations
Have you ever marched for justice? What actually happened at Colonial Drug? What was it like to be a child or teenager during the early 60s in Chapel Hill, Carrboro? What do you think about desegregation now? What stories can you tell about the fight for rights in Chapel Hill? What’s your passion for change today?
Make YOUR story part of OUR history.
Find the telling station at each event. Take as little or as much time as you like to tell what you remember, feel, and think about local freedom struggles. Bring along a friend and share stories about yesterday and today for tomorrow.
Sponsored by United with the Northside Community-NOW