Saunders Hall

Mars Earle on learning the history of UNC-Chapel Hill

Excerpt Description: Mars Earle explains how they learned the history of the University at the same time that they were engaging with their Black identity more fully, a coinciding that resulted in their engagement in racial justice organizing.

Interviewee Name:  Mars Earle

Interviewer: Charlotte Fryar

Excerpt Transcript: “And so Real Silent Sam was something that I was introduced to what the organization was, why it existed, what the history was like really digging into the ancestry of UNC, right at a a time that I was like really interactive with my blackness in a much more whole and healing way. And it just made so much sense of feeling like this physical place has felt so draining and so exhausting, and I haven’t really been able to articulate why. This was like, well maybe it’s just me, maybe I’m just not cut out for college, like x, y, z, x, y, z. And then really learning how much time and energy and resources had been put into keeping folks of color off of that campus as students and as actual participants, and just like how deeply entrenched that was in the university that even these diversity programs and some really powerful important spaces that existed were still constantly being undermined. So I felt like that was really—that the other kinds of organizing that I had been doing in space-keeping and just trying to do some real work on myself. Like Real Silent Sam became a place of like, okay, all these things are really intersecting around this issue of taking back space.”

Organization: Real Silent Sam Coalition

Excerpt Length: 1:54

Interview Date: 3/3/2018

Interview Location: Durham, North Carolina

Campus Space: Saunders Hall

Citation:  Interview with Mars Earle by Charlotte Fryar, 3 March 2018, in the Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.