Isabel Atwater

Born in 1925, Isabel Atwater has near a century of lived experience in Orange County. A self-described “country girl,” she grew up raising animals and building gardens. Atwater remembers growing up in the Jim Crow South and finding strength in the Black community and the Black-owned businesses that used to line Franklin Street. In the ‘60s, Atwater witnessed the marches and direct action demonstrations that took place Chapel Hill and Carrboro.

Ms. Atwater speaks about life growing up in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area during World War II. She shares her experiences with her husband, Roy Atwater and her education at the rural Merritt School and Orange County Training School. She was familiar with food rations throughout the time and had various occupations including…