Saunders Hall

Mars Earle on movement leadership through generations of student organizing

Excerpt Description: Mars Earle describes how the movement to rename Saunders Hall prioritized the leadership of Black women, Black femmes, and queer-identifying people, an intentional prioritizing which they still see in current student organizing.

Interviewee Name:  Mars Earle

Interviewer: Charlotte Fryar

Excerpt Transcript: “And I think even just individually the ways that we learned to organize like as a united front and prioritize healing and prioritize the leadership of women and femmes and I think that that’s like really influenced and directed the folks that were organizing together as we’ve branched off into other places. But I feel like I continue to see that on organizing on campus. I’m looking at the sit-in, being there at that action that I had no part in planning besides just like coming as someone that it’s someone that had was that like Real Silent Sam alum and just being so struck by like who the new leadership was. Like it’s so proud and so black and so queer and so young and folks were just ferocious and they were walking with banners that we had made and were like singing songs that we had learned from older generations of folks. And then being asked, like the organizers there making a call for like if there’s anyone here who has ever organized against the statue, if you want to share, if you want to say something and just feeling that kind of full circle. And even hearing from my much older folks like folks, that came before me that were talking. It felt really amazing and I feel like some of the networks as well between organizations that were set up, well not necessarily set up, but I think definitely strengthened, during those particular, like 2013 to 2015, when things got like really hype on campus, and just the kind of like practical support networks that were strengthened of like how do folks communicate when X, Y, Z is on campus. What are some of the best ways to like use the Y as a central hub of like safety and resource storing.”

Organization: Real Silent Sam Coalition

Excerpt Length: 2:43

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.