Susie Weaver

Bynum & Susie Weaver were pillars of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro African American community, owning three “social enterprises” before the term existed. From a grocery store to funeral services, the Weavers’ businesses provided much needed goods and services to the community, regardless of people’s ability to pay. The couple owned the Chapel Hill Funeral Home and Ambulance Service, Weaver’s Grocery, and …

Howard Lee

Howard Lee was elected to his first term as Chapel Hill’s mayor only five years after the Federal Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964. Mayor Lee was the first Black man to serve as mayor of a southern city with a majority white population since Reconstruction.  During his tenure, Lee addressed legislators in Washington D.C. convincing them to provide …

William D. Peerman

On October 20, 2000, the Chapel Hill High School football stadium was dedicated and named in honor of two former educators, one of whom was William Peerman. Coach William Donald “Huck” Peerman coached football, basketball and baseball at Lincoln High School in the 1950s and 1960s. While at Lincoln, the Mighty Tigers football team had a four-year, 47-game winning streak. …

Reverend Dr. J.R. Manley

When Dr. J.R. Manley first came to Chapel Hill, he expected to spend three Sundays preaching at First Baptist Church. Instead, he ended up serving as the church’s Senior Pastor for 65 years. Born in Murfreesboro (NC), Manley arrived at First Baptist Church in September 1946 at the age of 19 to fill in for a Pastor who had relocated …

Walter Riggsbee

Plumber and carpenter to Chapel Hill’s poor, Walter Riggsbee owned the building at 111 South Merritt Mill Road with wife Molly, now named “Walt’s Grill.” In the late 1980s 111 South Merritt Mill Road served as a temporary men’s shelter.  Prior to that, it was a church, restaurant, grocery store, and beauty parlor. It is now Ms.Molly’s Gift Shop and …

Dr. L.H. Hackney

Dr. L.H. HackneyThe Rev. Dr. Louis H. Hackney was an 1892 graduate of Shaw University, later being honored with a Doctorate degree. Around the age of 21, he became pastor of the Rock Hill Baptist Church, now known as First Baptist Church. Worship services were previously held in several locations and buildings within Chapel Hill. Rock Hill Baptist Church, the …

Thurman Atkins

Thurman Atkins 1916-1978 Thurman Atkins, Owner Atkins Trucking Co, Hollywood Cab/Carolina Cab and Hollywood Restaurant

Addie Robinson

Addie Robinson was a beloved community leader, registered nurse, as well as founder and long-time director of Holmes Day Care at Hargraves Community Center, the longest running daycare in Chapel Hill. Mrs. Robinson’s husband, Hubert Robinson, was the first Black member on the Chapel HIll Board of Alderman (now Town Council), elected in 1953. 

Valerie Paige Foushee

Valerie Foushee is a life-long resident of Orange County and a 1974 graduate of Chapel Hill High School, as well as a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Ms. Foushee retired from the Chapel Hill Police Department after 21 years of service. Her political career began when she was elected to the Board of Education for …

Nurse A.D. Compton

Nurse Adeline Compton arrived in Chapel Hill on New Year’s Eve, 1923 at the age of 50. Over the next three decades, she expanded access to healthcare for Black people, forced the local government to make much needed infrastructure improvements in Black neighborhoods, and started social welfare programs designed to improve the health of Black children. While the Black community …