Next month, Dec 12th; we will be having a Holiday Housewarming at the Jackson Center! We’re looking forward to having everyone join us for hot chocolate, some food, and maybe dancing? Join if you can!
Happy Foody Friday everyone! We hope you all are excited about Thanksgiving because we all are!
Here’s a recipe for a Sweet Potato Pie by Jimmie Lee Bynum. If you end up using this recipe, contact us and let us know how it turned out! Happy Holidays everyone!
Sweet Potato Pie:
2 cups sweet potatoes
4 tsp. margarine
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¾ cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 – 9 inch pie shell
¼ cup chopped pecans
Mash sweet potatoes with margarine and pecans. Blend in eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add milk and vanilla and pour the mixture into the pie shell. Bake at 375° for 50
I could see Toby from my desk when I first arrived at the Jackson Center in January. Toby is a dog that lives in the yellow house live next to St. Josephs. For the first few months there was only Toby, and then Snoopy arrived. Snoopy is adorably ugly and nearly as vocal as Toby. However, they both would quiet down around four o’clock. At that time, local residents and friends from counties away gather in the parking lot behind the fellowship hall for Heavenly Groceries.
Mrs. Gladys’ and Mama Kats’ laughter rose to our upper room. We could hear Ms. Charley calling numbers and near about everything that Hollywood said. I would look up and listen between emails, reports, and lesson plans. After a few weeks I began to notice other things, like a grey-blue Beamer that roamed the neighborhood. The driver seemed to stop often at houses or in the middle of the Roberson Street. Window rolled down, he would talk to whoever he passed. We are witness to the fact that Mr. Nate Davis’s car covers more ground than most cavalries.
Now we are located on 512 W. Rosemary Street, next door to the office that overlooked Rosemary Street and Hargraves, so I see Toby and Snoopy less often. But we still make it a priority to go over and bother Mr. Davis. When we are walking around the neighborhood, he slows down in that car of his to ask, “Now I keep seeing you out and about, you getting any work done in that nice new building of yours?”
We tell him we are just heading to Mrs. Patterson’s or Ms. Kathy Atwater’s. We are on our way to teach a workshop to 3rd graders about the Civil Rights struggle or hope to catch Ms. Keith Edwards for a question. Maybe we are off to deliver prizes to the Foster sisters who are reigning champions of archive trivia.
Above: Ms. Keith Edwards talking talking to first graders on our Freedom Tour.
There is a wonderful rhythm to this neighborhood, and incredible history that has been made and is being made by each generation raised in and around Northside. There is a spirit of welcome that is tangible and transformative. It has been our joy to share some of the stories we have heard with the wonderful teachers and students of Northside Elementary. Just this year, we have worked with over three hundred students, teaching them how to conduct life narrative interviews and passing on some lessons from this neighborhood’s historic Civil Rights struggle.
After our time in the classroom, we often allow time for reflection and questions, and ask the students to write or draw pictures about what they found interesting. One student in the 3rd grade drew a picture of the school and neighborhood with the caption, “I did not know that people who saved the world lived next door to my school.”
Thank you for letting me take part in this history, in learning it and in teaching it. I could not be having more fun.
P.S. I do so hope you will come by and visit us at the Parsonage. I have heard about the Councils, Fearringtons, the Bynums, the Caldwells and so many others. But I do want to put names with faces. Also, please come by, email us, or call us if you are interested in the history of this place. In the words of Robert Revels, “Oh, what a history it is!”
We have a new home. Side-by-side with St. Joseph C.M.E., we are still proudly at the gateway to Northside and still in immediate to proximity to “Heavenly Groceries/Comida Celestial.”
What’s new? At first flush: space. We now have “community action” room, a “civic media” room, and a “quiet room” (which our growing library is already threatening to overtake). And lo and behold, the laundry room makes a perfect office retreat for me.
Above: Bonner Leaders and Staff meeting on our new front porch!!!
And then: the kitchen (with Brentton as our resident chef) is appropriately at the center of our Center. In so many of our oral histories, neighbors talk about first kitchens, the importance of food and foodways, food as a form of resistance (smuggled as it was into the jails that held rights protestors) and food as sustenance offered to every child boarding a school bus. We have been well and gratefully schooled in the kind of hospitality defined by breaking bread together.
One of our principle aims is to follow the examples of creative leadership we see, hear, and experience everywhere in Northside and its partner neighborhoods. Our kitchen takes us a long way towards fulfilling that aim!
And last but not least: our living room and dining/conference area. St. Joseph has kindly let us borrow the old pew that was the first and only piece of furniture we had in our previous space for a long time. It holds the history of St. Joseph and of our 6 years of very rapid growth—as well as the long blue cushion Mrs. Joyce Long made and that, indeed, always reminds us of “home.” This area also holds our Facing Our Neighbors and Civil Rights in Chapel Hill exhibits (for the amazing artwork by Northside Elementary third graders produced as part of our first workshops on civil rights and freedom struggles, you’ll have to go back to the community action room!). This is our gathering space. You might find our staff and many generous volunteers in and out in what we have come to call the “controlled chaos” of the Center. But this is also YOUR space. Someone will always be at the welcome desk to greet you. Please come by and help us to make this our home by making it yours!
Bring your interests, needs, good fellowship, questions. Among so many other things, we are working on a resource hub, anticipating a holiday housewarming, kickstarting a new collaboration with the Sacrificial Poets and UNC’s beatmaking lab, trying to build bookshelves, and planning out a full curriculum in local, oral, and civil rights history in partnership with the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school system (among other things). As usual, so much is just beginning.
Above: First graders learning freedom songs at St. Joseph’s Church.
Come rejoice in the rough-and-tumble of always starting out anew. We welcome your perspectives, histories, and wisdom. They are our foundation and our beacon.
With warm regards,
With the opening of the new Northside Elementary School, this has been an extremely exciting time for the Public History Team. We have developed workshops for the students that nearly all of our staff members have played a role in. We have worked with over 300 students at Northside Elementary School. We did Civil Rights in Chapel Hill workshops with five third grade classes. We led a Freedom Tour with four first grade classes where they heard directly from neighborhood leaders about the rich history and even learned a freedom song at St. Joseph’s Church.
Above: First graders marching on our freedom tour!
The second and fifth grade classes are now prepared to do oral histories after our Arts and Methods of Oral History Workshop. We have received glowing feedback from the teachers and students alike. When our staff members walk through the school, we have so many students giving us hugs and waving to us! The administration is already working with our Manager of Education and Research to schedule and improve these workshops for next year! We now have all this beautiful art work around the center from the students about what they learned. This has all been an incredible partnership.
We are working with a student at UNC who was inspired by our Civil Rights in Chapel Hill interviews and Witness to Rights exhibits to create several artistic response pieces. Her art will be featured along with the student art from the Northside Elementary students.
Two of our Bonner interns, Joe Dayaa and Daron Holman, have worked with our School of Information and Library Science Graduate Intern, Karl Germeck, to build out and make accessible the vast wealth of oral histories and other archive resources that we have at the university. Karl is working on developing a repository that would make sure the resources would be easily accessible to the community. Once this is created, the potential is incredible as our Bonners and other volunteers continue to edit our interviews, hand them back to community members for the final revisions and ensure that we continue more interviews to grow our history collections. We will continue the important work with these histories and sharing them so that everyone knows the incredible stories here!!!
School has started back up at the University for another semester and the new Northside Elementary School has finally reopened. This has been a very exciting time. At the direction of the Compass Group, we engaged in a new student welcome strategy this semester. We wanted to try and prevent some of the conflicts that arise between long-term residents and students because of noise and trash problems. With eight different community members, over a period of a couple of weeks, we visited student houses to welcome them to the neighborhood. We would engage them on what it means to be a good neighbor, and how they can volunteer and give back to the community.
In continuing efforts of outreach to students, one of our Bonner Interns, Zack, created a flyer specifically for students about the history of Northside and the Jackson Center with the goal of ensuring that every single student in the neighborhood knows they are living in Northside and what it means to live here. We have collected around fifty student contacts around the neighborhood to contact around future events. We have also seen a huge drop in the problems created by student households. There have been less police reports filed about loud parties, neighbors have been saying that they have not been having as many issues, and the university is also reporting that it seems better than previous years and even previous weeks.
We plan to continue reaching out to students to get them engaged in where they live. We have teamed up with the Celebrating Home team to put together a potluck on Lindsay street on November 7th as a way to continue to forge these connections because students can be powerful allies to the neighborhood if we engage with them in a constructive way.
This is also Chancellor Folt’s first semester at the University. The Compass Group decided that it was important to welcome her to the University and the community. Different neighbors wrote her letters congratulating her, informing her of some of Northside’s history, and inviting her to be an ally of
this community in Chapel Hill. We hope we can continue to build a relationship with her since Northside and the University are so deeply and historically connected.
We are continuing our partnerships with existing organizations,such as Habitat for Humanity and the Good Neighbors Initiative. We have helped connect a half dozen residents in need of home repairs with Habitat’s A Brush with Kindness Program and are helping organize volunteers for a November home repair in the neighborhood. These are all very exciting work that we want to continue to engage with to continue improving aspects of the community.
Above: Volunteers participating in Brush with Kindness on Lindsay Street.
Finally, we are excited to begin new outreach efforts to build in Pine Knolls and other parts of Northside that we are less connected to. We are so excited in continuing our work in this community that we have fallen in love with to figure out how better to work with neighborhood leaders, and bring in new people who are not yet active in the work that looks to preserve the historical integrity, increase diversity, and advance the vitality of Northside and the other neighboring communities.