THE ROCK WALL

THE ROCK WALL

street: ,
Chapel Hill
NC
Cross street: 
Neighborhood: 
The rock wall is at the intersection of McDade and Cotton streets, and is an important landscape feature associated with the local Civil Rights movement

 

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Last updated

  • Sat, 11/07/2020 - 9:41am by SteveR

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street: ,
Chapel Hill
NC
Cross street: 
Object Type: 
Neighborhood: 

 

The "Rock Wall," located on the north east corner at the intersection of McDade and Cotton streets and not far from the OCTS site, was where the "Chapel Hill Nine" (nine students of Lincoln High School and residents of Northside) gathered every weekend to talk about politics and local events, as they didn’t want their families to know what we were doing (yet). These talks evolved into the local Civil Rights sit-ins and protests that the "Chapel Hill Nine," along with other Lincoln High School students, started in February 1960.
 
"As more houses were built in Northside in the 1940s, Fannie Bradshaw saw an opportunity to keep neighborhood children from cutting through her yard at the corner of McDade and Cotton Streets. Her new neighbor, Atlas Cotton, needed to blast rock in order to construct his house. Bradshaw asked for the blasted away chunks of fieldstone in order to construct a rock wall, a request to which Cotton obliged. However, the rock wall did not have the effects she intended. Children began to use the rock as a gathering place. In the 1960s, at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, the same children began to use the rock wall as a meeting spot to plan protests and organize for sit-ins." (How Deep the Roots Are: Cultural and Historic Preservation of Northside, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. By Victoria G. Hensley as a thesis submitted for partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of masters of arts in history, Middle Tennessee State University, May 2018.)
 
June 2019, view east (via Google Streetview)
 
View north 11-3-2020 (by S. Rankin)
 
View south 11-3-2020 (by S. Rankin)
 
Another rock "wall" near the intersection of Lindsay Street and Mitchell Lane, behind the Hargraves Community Center.
 
View west, 2018 (photo by Victoria G. Hensley)
 
View south, 2018 (photo by Victoria G. Hensley)
 
 
 
 

 

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