Saunders Hall

Donelle Boose on UNC as a microcosm of the United States

Excerpt Description: Donelle Boose describes how her feelings about UNC-Chapel Hill changed from positive and relaxed to concerned and questioning, stating that the change in thinking about the university was important in her understanding of how the political and social systems of the United States also operates.

Interviewee Name: Donelle Boose

Interviewer: Charlotte Fryar

Excerpt Transcript: “Over time I started to—I went from, like, my initial feeling of, like, “Oh, wow, what an honor and privilege to be here. This is great. This is kind of nice. This is like I can kind of exhale for a little bit here,” to feeling like, “Ooh, this beautiful stuff is built on some ugly stuff, and what do I do about that?” And I think it was actually really an important revelation, because that can extend that understanding to a larger understanding about how the United States operates. This beautiful place is built on some very ugly things. What do I do with that? It is what it is, right, like, but what do I do about that? How do I function? What do I do differently, right? Like, so, I think, yeah, like I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that, like, CHAT was, like, instrumental in helping me to think about it in a very concrete way, you know, all right, like, the grass is always green, the buildings are always clean, you know, the campus feels kind of safe and secure, right? What are the forces that are keeping this going, you know? And many of them aren’t good. And so, yeah, and I was definitely reinforced in the classes, and then CHAT was giving me some real-world experience. And, like, one of the ways that I think I got it very clearly was in the cold shoulders and sometimes irritation that the university would have toward the activism, you know, that we were engaged in.”

Organization: Campaign for Historical Accuracy and Truth

Excerpt Length: 2:02

Interview Date: 11/17/2017

Interview Location: Washington, D.C.

Campus Space: Saunders Hall

Citation:  Interview with Donelle Boose by Charlotte Fryar, 17 November 2017, in the Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.