Community Arts & Culture

Northside Gateway

Jonathan B. Young


etched granite panels, stone

St. Joseph’s Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, 510 W. Rosemary Street
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The Freedom Fighters Gateway proudly marks the entry to Northside and to the historic Pottersfield and Sunset neighborhoods.  Composed of hand-hewn Chatham stone, the gateway is inlaid with eight granite slabs etched with images of the civil rights struggle in Chapel Hill and related excerpts from oral histories of local leaders, all selected in a community-based, public curation process.  The images are those taken by photo journalist Jim Wallace, some of which are now preserved in the National Archive. The gateway offers what one local, civil rights leader called “a beautiful glimpse” into the Freedom Movement. It is there to let people know--loud and clear--that they have entered a unique community of people who have struggled for freedom their whole lives and to inspire similar determination. As lifetime resident, Clementine Self, said: “The battle is not over. We have not yet overcome.” 

The gateway project was a collaboration among the Town of Chapel Hill, the Jackson Center for Making and Preserving History, and St. Joseph’s C.M.E. Church.  Funding for the project was derived primarily from the Town’s Streetscape Bond funds and the Chapel Hill Percent for Art Program.

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