This past Saturday, at 9 a.m., over 50 community members gathered at the Lincoln Center to celebrate 75 years of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro branch of the NAACP.
The event, called the "Freedom Journey," saw participants walk and bike to historic black landmarks in Chapel Hill.
At each stop, organizers and community members shared the historical importance as well as their personal connection to the site.
“What a history, what an amazing community,”Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP treasurer Deborah Stroman said.
The Chapel Hill-Carrboro branch of the NAACP was founded on October 23, 1947, when a group of townspeople noticed issues around the country and the work the national organization was doing. They worked to combat instances of lynching, discrimination and segregation, formed the branch to advocate for black people in the area.
The organization has advanced its mission to achieve equity, political rights, and social inclusion since its start.
Stroman said the area has glaring disparities, especially with the achievement gap between white students and students of color in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools.
“When you have disparities, you have to have people that will advocate and try to work to make things better,” Stroman said.
The Freedom Journey event began at the Lincoln Center. Participants visited the Cheek/Clark building, the African American Trailblazers Mural, First Baptist Church, the Marian Cheek Jackson Center, and Freedom Fighters Gateway before finishing at Hargraves Community Center.