Category Archives: Uncategorized

Placing the History of Harvey’s Chapel

Last week I took a walk out to the former Harvey’s Chapel AME church site in the woods on the southwest side of Hillsborough, led by Harold Russell–a lifelong member of the church and community historian–and Tom Magnuson–one of the … Continue reading

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Setting Inequality in Stone: Race and “Good Roads”

Driving south along NC Highway 86—just as the road leaves the forests and fields between Hillsborough and Chapel Hill and enters city traffic over I-40—there is a small historical marker commemorating Harriet M. Berry, one of the leaders of North Carolina’s early … Continue reading

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“Back Ways” on Press Record

In honor of Black History Month, Press Record — a podcast by the Southern Oral History Program at UNC — featured “Back Ways.” In this episode, you’ll hear American Studies scholars Seth Kotch and Kimber Thomas discuss the project; you’ll … Continue reading

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Looking at Rogers Road

Rogers Road maintains a central place in the memory of families gathered around it. For decades, they have grown and lived around the road just outside Chapel Hill’s bustling education and college sports-focused center. Perhaps, few communities in the city … Continue reading

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Black Main Streets

Black main streets, prior to urban renewal, were bustling centers of culture and business. Not unlike the rural roadways in rural African American communities, development, in the form of urban renewal, came unevenly on and around these sites. Below are two clips … Continue reading

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Reviewing the Transcript

For an oral historian, one of the most exciting times is reviewing the transcript for the first time. Slightly apprehensive but mostly eager, you turn on the audio and read along to get a better sense of what you and … Continue reading

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Orange County Connections

One of the joys of doing work with communities local to the Southern Oral History Program is the number of connections that spring up. After attending a presentation on the progress of Back Ways via the UNC Institute for African … Continue reading

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Presenting Back Ways

Back Ways explores the rural South by following the paths southerners created to visit one another, to shop and trade, to reach homes and churches, and to avoid one another.  The project began with a provocative premise: did white-run municipalities … Continue reading

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