Published Thursday, August 9, 2012
by Sommer Brokaw
CHAPEL HILL – The history of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the once all-black working class neighborhood of Northside has always been intertwined. But development pressures, aggravated by issues of race and class, have created friction.
Chelsea Alston, a young scholar at the Marian Cheek Jackson Center for Saving and Making History, said in a Tribune interview that professors helped the black workers at UNC buy homes in Northside.
“This is how many of these families acquired a home and have been able to pass them down through generations,” she said. “Now, it’s the reverse. These homes given to these African-American families are now being stripped from them because of the university by the cost of living in a university town and for the students.”
In a new twist to the saga, a nonprofit entity affiliated with the university has teamed up with the Center for Community Self-Help to study and to develop a five-year plan to help sustain the neighborhood.
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