Campus History Walking Tour: Student Activism at UNC Chapel Hill

Two young black men sit at a table outside on the campus of UNC Chapel Hill. The table has sign that reads" BSM Legal Defense Fund/Help Students Pay Fine."

Black Student Movement members collecting money to pay fines levied against those arrested during participation in the Food Workers’ Strike, circa April 1969. From the 1972 Yackety Yack yearbook.

We are pleased to announce that the University Archives will be leading walking tours on the history of student activism at UNC Chapel Hill. These are offered in conjunction with the exhibit, Service, Not Servitude: The 1969 Food Workers’ Strikes at UNC Chapel Hill.

These tours will cover student activism at Carolina over several decades, highlighting examples of the different ways UNC students have joined together to make their voices heard and to advocate for change on campus, across the nation, and around the world. These tours will not cover every single instance of student activism – far from it – but will touch on a selection of the most prominent or most influential efforts by student activists and their allies. 

Because the stories of activism at UNC are far larger and more complex than can be covered in a single afternoon, we encourage everyone, whether they join us on the tour or not, to explore the resources listed below and learn more about student activism at Carolina. Locations in parentheses refer to where the topic is discussed on the tour.

Speaker Ban (Franklin Street) 

Student Protest Movements, UNC Libraries. https://guides.lib.unc.edu/protests_unc/speaker-ban 

“The Speaker Ban Controversy” from I Raised My Hand to Volunteer, UNC Libraries. https://exhibits.lib.unc.edu/exhibits/show/protest/speaker-essay

 

Confederate Monument (McCorkle Place) 

A Guide to Resources about UNC’s Confederate Monument, University Archives. https://exhibits.lib.unc.edu/exhibits/show/silent-sam/about. 

A Guide to Researching Campus Monuments and Buildings: “Silent Sam” Confederate Monument. UNC Libraries. https://guides.lib.unc.edu/campus-monuments/silent-sam 

 

Vietnam Protests (Campus Y) 

“Vietnam War Protests,” from I Raised My Hand to Volunteer, UNC Libraries. https://exhibits.lib.unc.edu/exhibits/show/protest/vietnam-essay 

Student Protest Movements, UNC Libraries. https://guides.lib.unc.edu/protests_unc/anti-war 

 

Anti-Apartheid Protests (South Building) 

Timeline of 1980s Anti-Apartheid Activism, University Archives. https://blogs.lib.unc.edu/uarms/index.php/2017/05/timeline-of-1980s-anti-apartheid-activism-at-unc/ 

Student Protest Movements, UNC Libraries. https://guides.lib.unc.edu/protests_unc/anti-apartheid 

 

Student Body Sculpture (Hamilton/Manning Courtyard) 

A Guide to Researching Campus Monuments and Buildings: The “Student Body” Sculpture, UNC Libraries. https://guides.lib.unc.edu/campus-monuments/student-body 

 

Saunders/Hurston/Carolina Hall (in front of Manning) 

Southern Oral History Program, interviews on Racial Justice Activism at UNC: https://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm/search/collection/sohp/searchterm/L.15.%20University%20of%20North%20Carolina:%20Racial%20Justice%20Activism/mode/exact 

 

Food Workers’ Strike (in front of Manning) 

“The BSM and the Foodworkers’ Strike,” from I Raised My Hand to Volunteer, UNC Libraries exhibit. https://exhibits.lib.unc.edu/exhibits/show/protest/foodworker-essay 

Student Protest Movements, UNC Library guide: https://guides.lib.unc.edu/protests_unc/food-workers 

 

Black Cultural Center Protests (in front of Wilson Library) 

“Student Protests in Support of the Black Cultural Center, 1992.” University Archives. https://blogs.lib.unc.edu/uarms/index.php/2015/11/student-protests-in-support-of-the-black-cultural-center-1992/ 

Southern Oral History Program, interviews on Racial Justice Activism at UNC: https://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm/search/collection/sohp/searchterm/L.15.%20University%20of%20North%20Carolina:%20Racial%20Justice%20Activism/mode/exact 

 

 

 

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