Events, Exhibits, North Carolina History, Special Collections, UNC History, University Archives

Silent Sam’s 100-Year History Will Be Topic of Jan. 22 Program

Flier for Silent Sam program

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Silent Sam in History and Memory
Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013
Free and open to the public
Wilson Special Collections Library
5 p.m. Display viewing | 5:30 p.m. Program
Information: Liza Terll, Friends of the Library, (919) 548-1203

The early history of UNC’s controversial “Silent Sam” statue will be the topic of a free public lecture Jan. 22 at the Wilson Special Collections Library. “Silent Sam in History and Memory” marks the centennial of the Confederate memorial.

The program will consist of the following:

  • Silent Sam exhibit from the Wilson Library special collections – 5 p.m.

View photographs and postcards; the address that Julian Shakespeare Carr delivered at the monument’s dedication on June 2, 1913; letters about UNC’s involvement in construction of the monument; and materials documenting protests against the monument.

  • Original poetry reading – 5:30 p.m.

Will McInerney and C.J. Suitt, Chapel Hill community activists, will perform an original poem about the history of racism in Chapel Hill. The two are members of the Real Silent Sam Coalition and the Sacrificial Poets.

  • “Silent Sam in History and Memory” Lecture – 5:35 p.m.

Fitz Brundage, William B. Umstead Distinguished Professor of History at UNC, and doctoral student Adam Domby will discuss the original impulse behind the monument, the role of the University community in building it, and changing views of the statue over time.

The lecture will also mark the formal release of the Library website Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina. Brundage was scholarly advisor to the site, which documents the state’s history through its monuments, shrines, and public art.

Silent Sam is one of 200 current entries, each one described, geo-referenced, and linked to a database of thousands of digitized postcards, photographs, print publications, and manuscript materials. Brundage and his students continue to add to the site.

The lecture is sponsored by the University Archives and Records Management Services in Wilson Library, Friends of the Library, and the Chapel Hill Historical Society.

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