Civil Rights Timeline

Opening Our Future is a community history project documenting the people, places, and events that should be remembered for their part in the African American struggle for civil rights in Chapel Hill.

This work is in tribute to those who were, in the words of Harold Foster, “disobedient to those who told us to be obedient, but obedient to our own consciences.”

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Chapel Hill Nine

On Sunday, February 28, 1960, nine young men from Chapel Hill’s all-black Lincoln High School sat at a booth in the Colonial Drug Store and sought the same service that was given to white customers. Their courageous step sparked a decade of direct-action civil rights demonstrations in Chapel Hill. This is their story.

Harold Foster (18)
William Cureton (18)
John Farrington (17)
Earl Geer (16)
David Mason Jr. (17)
Clarence Merritt Jr. (17)
James Merritt (16)
Douglas Perry (17)
Albert Williams (16)

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