A scene from one panel on the Freedom Fighters Monument to be dedicated at the Northside Festival on April 29, 2017. (Photo credit: Jim Wallace)
Later next month, the Marian Cheek Jackson Center for Making and Saving History, one of Self-Help’s community partners for the Northside Neighborhood Initiative in Chapel Hill, will host the ninth annual street festival celebrating “the past, present and future of the Northside and Pine Knolls communities.”
The Northside neighborhood, established over 100 years ago for Black employees of the University of North Carolina, has seen a steady decline in Black residents as a result of gentrification. Between 1980 and 2010, the number of Black residents declined from 1,159 to only 690, according to the US Census. The Northside Neighborhood Initiative helps to keep new developments and investments consistent with community goals by encouraging homeownership and affordable rentals, helping long-term residents with home improvements and preserving the historic legacy of the community.
The community celebration, free and open to the public, will be held on Rosemary St. in Chapel Hill on April 29th, 11:30am – 330pm. Festivities will include a chili cook-off coordinated by Al's Burgers, a veggie/salad cook-off and other family-friendly and inter-generational events and activities.
The Freedom Fighters Monument on the corner of St. Joseph CME Church. (Photo courtesy of the Jackson Center.)
As part of the festival, the Jackson Center will dedicate the Freedom Fighters Monument, a stone wall of photo-etched granite panels depicting scenes from the local civil rights movement. The monument, located on the corner of St. Joseph CME Church, will serve as the first of several "gateways" to welcome people to Northside and honor the legacy of members in the community.
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