Community Arts & Culture

Hargraves Pool Panel

What is this mural about? 

In 1948, Frank Robinson and Ed Caldwell, Jr. met with UNC president, Frank Graham, and asked that black children be allowed to use the University’s pool at least one day a month. As a result of this meeting, all children were banned from using the University’s pool. UNC professors objected to this ruling because it affected their children. Cornelia Spencer Love, a wealthy UNC administrator, anonymously donated money to construct a pool at the Center. Adolphus Clark, an active and highly respected member of the black community, secured the support of Ms. Spencer Love. Ms. Love’s donation was instrumental in completion of the pool which the black community had already begun. Before that time, the children in the community had to bus to Umstead Park to swim during the summer. Fishing holes and other close by watered areas were also utilized by the children. Since the pool’s construction, A.D. Clark Pool has served as a favorite destination for cool summer fun by all members of the Chapel Hill community.

A History of the Hargraves Center

“Birthed from the collective labour of Chapel Hill’s hardworking black community, the center has grown from one, lone-standing brick building which served as a recreational outlet for Chapel Hill’s black youth, to a place where all community members can enjoy tennis, baseball, workshops, dance classes, and affordable, quality childcare.”—David Wilson, Artist

The Hargraves community center was constructed in 1941. The murals, a more recent addition, were completed in 2004 by Durham artist, David Wilson.

The Hargraves Center murals showcase a history of the Center’s community and political leaders, its central role in the Northside neighborhood, and its significance as the first social and recreational facility for African-Americans in Chapel Hill. They depict essential figures to Chapel Hill’s rich history; like Ms. Rebecca Clark, Mildred “Mama Dip” Council, Glenda Hargraves, Fred Battle and Nate Davis. Also included are community rock masons Willis and Alfred Barbee; Ms. Lucille Caldwell, the Center’s first paid director and the first black professional recreation administrator in NC; William Hargraves, former Parks and Recreation Commission member who spearheaded many of the wonderful programs available to the community today; Mr. Adolphus Clark and Ms. Cornelia Spencer Love, who made financial and organizational contributions to beautiful pool; and Ms. Sally Pendergraft, who dedicated herself to caring for the youth of the community through Holmes Day Care.

Want to see more of the murals? Check out the ones mounted at the Hargraves center, the Daycare Center, or the Northside gymnasium!

A picture of this mural halfway through completion:


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