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.
- Student Protests in Support of the Black Cultural Center, 1992. For the Record blog, 12 November 2015.
- One-on-One with Filmmaker Spike Lee. Black Ink, 5 October 1992.
- Campus Prepares for Spike Lee Visit. Daily Tar Heel, 18 September 1992.
- About 5,000 Rally in Support of Free-standing BCC. Daily Tar Heel, 21 September 1992.
- Charlotte Fryar, “The Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History,” from Reclaiming the University of the People, 2019.