The Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History

Carol McDonald on speak-outs as a consciousness-raising tactic

Excerpt Description: Carol McDonald describes how speak-outs were used as a consciousness-raising tactic for the BCC movement in which to learn from other students in a judgment-free zone.

Interviewee Name: Carol McDonald

Interviewer: Charlotte Fryar

Excerpt Transcript: “I thought that the sit–the speak-outs were really good. I remember first–when I first came to my first speak-out, I’m quite sure that I would have been in favor of a multicultural center, right? I’m sure that I came in–my understanding was not what it was at the end of this, so it was a really great way, because it was set up as a mostly judgment-free zone. You come as you are. You say your peace, and it allows for a learning, but you weren’t allowed to put people down, and you weren’t allowed to berate people’s opinions, which then gets hard, because as your own consciousness develops you want to–and then you hear people coming in that are new, and you want to say, “No, no, no, that’s not the way.” But the way that we–that the speak-outs were organized, you know, it was really on the old teach-in model, and I thought that that was good for building understanding and awareness. They were just so easily accessible, right? I mean, there’s–there were very few barriers to entry, and we would have them everywhere. They weren’t just in the Pit. We would do them in front of lots of different academic buildings and dorms to create that sense of, “It’s right here if you want to participate,” so I felt that was good.”

Organization: Black Student Movement, BCC Movement

Excerpt Length: 1:36

Interview Date: 3/31/2017

Interview Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Campus Space: The Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History

Citation: Interview with Carol McDonald by Charlotte Fryar, 31 March 2017, in the Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.