Because We're Still Here (and Moving)

Last night my wife and I attended a remarkable play about the history of Chapel Hill. The play is called, Because We’re Still Here (and Moving). It runs through February 17th at the Kenan Theatre, an extension of the Paul Green Theatre.

The play is a collection of stories about African Americans whose families have been a part of Chapel Hill for over 150 years. The play weaves together many fragments of oral history in a very moving and creative way. I learned a lot about the proud history of the black community in Chapel Hill that I had not heard before. I also heard appalling family stories about slavery and racism in Chapel Hill that are a sad part of our community’s shared history.

I was particularly interested in stories about Lincoln High School (now the Lincoln Center). I have lived here for many years but, I was unaware of the history of achievement and community pride that surrounded Lincoln High School. I hope many people will get a chance to see this excellent play.

Michael B. Owen



is an update, according the the Feb 13th CHH:

This weekend, UNC's Department of Dramatic Art joins Hidden Voices to bring a re-written, fully staged production of "We're Still Here" to the Kenan Theatre on UNC's campus. This version, said Harris, more fully explores the relationship between UNC and the Northside neighborhood. PlayMakers veteran and Hidden Voices Performance Director Kathryn Williams directs the multiracial student cast, and gospel artist Jennifer Evans taught the music in the production.

The students did a remarkable job. This year's cast is going to be taking the production to the CHCCS middle schools in March and April (according to the producer). I'm sorry they won't be able to get into the high schools due to EOG testing.For those who haven't seen the production, the message was for the young people to carry the story of Chapel Hill's black community's history forward since the physical evidence, such as the high school, are gone or going. The Northside/Pine Knolls/black community of Chapel Hill used to run from the area of University Square on Franklin St and Rosemary Street down to Merritt Mill. With the advent of Greenbridge, they lose even more of the physical reminders of their history. 


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