Chapel Hill Civil Right Movement: 1960-1969

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.”

The Civil Rights timeline was created in 2018 with the history makers, storytellers, educators, and other members of the Historic Civil Rights Commemorations Task Force. 


Explore the History


Explore the Exhibit

Body: Public Health PioneersOPENS MARCH 1

Mind: Black Women & EducationOPENS MARCH 8

Soul: Community OrganizersOPENS MARCH 15

Historic Civil Rights Commemorations Task Force


In September, 2017 Mayor Pam Hemminger charged the Historic Civil Rights Commemorations (HCRC) Task Force with the creation of a timeline that identifies people, places and events “significant in the town’s Civil Rights struggle so that they may be commemorated in historical context by the Town, including the sit-in at the Colonial Drugstore and the Lincoln High Students (‘Chapel Hill Nine’) whose actions ignited the integration movement in Chapel Hill.”

This initiative created a model for ongoing community engagement in collaboration with local government.

Taskforce Members:

James Britt
Ken Broun
Sally Greene
Reginald Hildebrand
Dianne Jackson
Danita Mason-Hogans
OJ McGee
Mae McLendon
Jim Merritt
Cecelia Moore
Clyde Perry
Megan Stanley
Albert Williams
William Sturkey.


References & Resources

Timeline: Text version

A printable, text-only version with descriptions of key moments.


Timeline: Source materials

A list of books, articles, oral histories, and archival material used to create the timeline.


Timeline: Graphic version

A digital version featuring both images and text. File is 40MB.



Chapel Hill Nine

2018 Interview

Professor of History Reginald Hildebran interviews Four members of the Chapel Hill Nine at Chapel Hill Public Library.