Now Available Online: 1992 Spike Lee Rally Video

On September 18th, 1992, filmmaker Spike Lee spoke at a rally at the Dean E. Smith Center in support of a free-standing Black Cultural Center at UNC-Chapel Hill. Lee had learned about student activism in support of a Black Cultural Center at Carolina when the New York Times reported on the participation of several Black football players in the movement. The UNC Libraries Digital Production Center has recently digitized a videotape of the rally. The full video is now available online.

In the 81 minute-long recording, leaders of the Black Cultural Center (BCC) movement and the Black Awareness Council (BAC), an organization founded by four football players, speak to an audience of over 5,000 attendees. Then, Spike Lee enters the stage to offer words in support of the students rallying for a free-standing Black cultural center. He also offers praise to the athletes involved in the movement and highlights the contributions of Black athletes in the rising prominence of college athletics. In an interview prior to his speech, Lee said that he was there to learn from and show support to the student leaders involved in this movement.

The rally was an important step in the multi-year, student-led advocacy for the building that would become the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History.

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New Acquisition Documents Andy Griffith at UNC

A black and white photo of a young Andy Griffith looking off to his left, taken from the 1947 Yackety Yack.
1947 Yackety Yack

A new addition to the Andy Griffith Papers in the Southern Historical Collection provides a fascinating glimpse into Griffith’s experience as a UNC-Chapel Hill student in the 1940s. The new materials include documents, a letter of recommendation for Griffith, and even a copy of his UNC transcript.

The transcript, from the Department of Music, shows Griffith’s courses and grades and provides a look at how UNC’s requirements have changed over the years.

Griffith received mostly Bs, Cs, and Ds, as well as a few Fs. It’s also quite interesting to note that he fulfilled his “Hygiene” requirement as a student.

A scanned image from April 9, 1949, of a positive recommendation written on Andy Griffith's behalf.
Letter of Recommendation, in the Andy Griffith Papers #4697, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

At the end of his academic career at Carolina, Andy Griffith received a positive recommendation from an unnamed mentor for a teaching position. In this recommendation written in April 1949, Griffith’s mentor compliments his character and leadership qualities, as well as his musical talent. They note that though they feel that he is qualified to teach vocal work, his instrumental work is “fair” since he has less training in instrumental music. The writer makes it clear that Griffith has a “natural ability” in music. 


Lastly, this pamphlet is one of the most interesting amongst the Andy Griffith papers and dates to the early 1950s after he graduated from UNC. It’s a promotional brochure for a program titled “Unique Entertainment,” a performance entertainment service collaboration between Griffith and his wife Barbara Griffith. “Unique Entertainment” consists of singing, dancing, dramatic readings, and comedy sketches that would be tailored to their audience.