Saunders Hall

Blanche Brown on the reincarnations of student organizations around racialized geographies

Excerpt Description: Blanche Brown explains the various reincarnations of student groups that have organized around the campus’s racialized geographies.

Interviewee Name: Blanche Brown

Interviewer: Charlotte Fryar

Excerpt Transcript: Blanche Brown: “Yeah. I don’t know if my first year was its first year. I want to say it was like the year before that.:
Charlotte Fryar: So 2011?
BB: Yeah, it was either 2011 or 2010. It was always a really small group of students. Not even–so by my sophomore year, I was the only student in Real Silent Sam Coalition. I was the only—.
CF: Really?
BB: Person who was still a student. Everyone else was still working in the community, and they were much older. And, yeah, so that was one of the biggest things that needed to happen was getting students mobilized and involved again. But even before Real Silent Sam there were things like–. There were other organizations that worked around racialized geographies on UNC’s campus. So there was CHAT, or Students Seeking Historical Accuracy or something like that. So there have been a couple different–what’s the word–a couple different—.
CF: Organizations?
BB: Organizations, forms, reincarnations, of this kind of work or this kind of organizing on campus. There’s a photograph from the [19]80s of a black student holding a sign up in front of the Confederate monument. So I think that that’s important also to this conversation about how student activism is lost and also accumulated and things like that. Yeah.

Organization: Real Silent Sam Coalition

Excerpt Length: 1:32

Interview Date: 4/15/2015

Interview Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Campus Space: Saunders Hall

Citation:  Interview with Blanche Brown by Charlotte Fryar, 15 April 2015, in the Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.