Facing Our Neighbors

This is a featured interactive exhibit in which community members explored what it meant to be a neighbor in the face of changing neighborhood dynamics, and chose how they wanted to be photographed. Included in the exhibit are a few excerpts from the corresponding oral histories and the photographs chosen. 

Items in the Facing Our Neighbors Collection

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The Parrish brothers’ farm is one of the oldest African-American owned farms in Orange County. Here, they pose behind the truck they bring into town each day to Northside to pick up expired food from “Heavenly Groceries” to use on the farm to feed…

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Each Saturday, Jerry, a Town of Chapel Hill employee, volunteers his time at Hargraves to teach young children how to play tennis. Jerry’s mother, who is 99 and one of the oldest Orange County natives, still lives in the stone mason house where…

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Benito likes to provide opportunities for people to experience beauty.    He’s pictured with an art installation that he and a neighbor created for passers-by near Bolin Creek, a place they called home for a time. 

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Still living in the house their mother had built 70 years ago, the Foster siblings have dedicated their lives to justice. Harold was a leader in the local civil rights movement; Esphur is a community historian known everywhere in North Carolina for…

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They call themselves brothers and certainly are close enough to be. Most will recognize them from their greetings on Franklin St (where they are pictured here). We got to know them from their often spontaneous volunteer roles at every Northside…

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High school sweethearts, gracious hosts, committed servant leaders, the Reverend and Mrs. Williams, lifetime residents of Chapel Hill, chose to photographed in front of their beautiful home.
Rev. Williams was the first African American firefighter…

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Prof. H, as he is fondly known, is pictured here in front of his church, St. Paul AME. Founded in 1864, St. Paul has marked the corner of Chapel Hill and Carrboro for over 150 years. As St. Paul anticipates a new church campus in the Rogers Road…

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Isaac, whom we first met as a patron of St. Joseph’s “Heavenly Groceries,” shares his experiences of neighbors here in Chapel Hill in this audio excerpt.

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Sharon and Virginia wanted to have their photograph demonstrate what they believed it meant to be a neighbor in the face of rapid change locally and in their respective lives. Residents of public housing at the time this photo was taken, they…