Challenging, strengthening and connecting our diverse communities through the transformative power of the individual voice.

Dancing with the Starlite:
Join us for sweet potato pie, a chance to dance, and more than one good story
September 1, 2009 5-7 pm @ the Union

What do Ike and Tina Turner, the Monkees, and September 1 have in common? James “Bubba” Norwood, for one. The acclaimed drummer played with everyone from Marvin Gaye to Gladys Knight, and he’s playing again on September 1, 2009.

The occasion? A community event celebrating almost 100 images that highlight the history of our local African-American neighborhoods:  the Starlite Supper Club, the Quaker School, bills of sale, Sparrow’s pool, marriage certificates, the sit-ins on Franklin, and, of course, the Monkees with James Norwood on drums.

Black History happened here, and it wasn’t just a month. From the Starlite Motel to the Orange County Training School, from Windy Hill to Pottersfield, from the Wilson Library to Memorial Hall, from slavery to sit-ins to urban renewal, the photos explore the dynamic relationship between local African-American neighborhoods, the oldest state University in the nation, and the ongoing development that is altering it all.

On September 1, we celebrate and complicate this shared history. Join us for sweet potato pie, a chance to dance, and more than one good story as local residents of our traditionally Black neighborhoods share their memories with UNC students and the extended Chapel Hill-Carrboro community.

“My great-grandmother told me the stories . . . she was born in 1850. She lived 100 years and 30 days. . . she would tell me stories about when she was growing up. How when she was a little girl and the day they were freed. She said the soldiers came in their navy blue suits and their shiny brass buttons and they were in the field working. And asked them if they knew they were freed?” Dolores Hogan Clark, great-granddaughter of Nellie Atwater Strowd Strayhorn

September 1, 2009, 5 pm – 7 pm at the Frank Porter Graham Student Union.

5:00-5:45 Light Southern fare; Meet the Neighbors; and a Gospel Introduction by Jennifer Evans, 2007 Gospel Performer of the Year

5:45-6:15 Stories about the images from those who know them best

6:15-7:00 Music and dancing with James “Bubba” Norwood, Jennifer Evans, Rick Keena, and others

This story is dedicated to all the elders that told me

I was the force of history.

To all the marble slabs at Memorial Hall

Founders of the University:

Battle, Norwood, Swain, Caldwell,

Same names as my community.

Hogan, McCauley, Farrington, Edwqrds, Barbee, Weaver, and Foushee,

You hear what I’m saying?

-- Because We’re Still Here (and Moving), the performance

More about the project: This exhibit was conceived and installed by Hidden Voices, the Campus Y, and the Graham Student Union as part of 2009 Freshmen Orientation. For three years, Hidden Voices collaborated with local residents, photographers, students, and artists in a focused effort to gather and highlight local Black History. Initially inspired by EmPOWERment and the Fenwick Foundation’s request to assist local teens in gathering elders’ stories, Because We’re Still Here (and Moving) blossomed into a multi-year exploration of a community whose 150-year existence has been profoundly impacted by local development and ongoing University policies. Although the external structures of these historic neighborhoods are largely destroyed, the people and their stories remain.

Contact Information:

Kathryn Williams 919-255-6025 (cell)

Lynden Harris 919-732-9299

Thanks to these businesses for their recent support:
Blend-Chapel HillThe Fenwick Foundation