Saunders Hall

Mars Earle on the joy of a party for Black students on Polk Place

Excerpt Description: Mars Earle details a party for Black students held on Polk Place on the last day of classes in 2015, which they remember as a joyful and radiant.

Interviewee Name: Mars Earle

Interviewer: Charlotte Fryar

Excerpt Transcript: “Something that I would like to also just really love to bring into the future in hopes that maybe more days on campus could look like this one. But our last, class of 2015’s last LDOC [Last Day of Classes], we’re going to throw an action, just in response to the Carolina Hall talk and all of that and just the fact that we were leaving and it felt terrifying and like we had more work to do but also just really ready. So we’re going to throw this action and somehow decided that instead we needed to throw a party. [laughs] So we got a bunch of speakers, we got bubbles and face paint and food and took over the quad in front of the Wilson Library steps and just had a party all day. And it was very much something that was like hosted by Real Silent Sam, et cetera, et cetera. Like under that umbrella, but it was open for everyone and it was just this like really radiant day. Just so much joy and maybe the most amount of folks of color that I’ve seen like out chilling on the quad, taking up that space and dancing, and it just really felt like one of those moments of okay, so Hurston Hall didn’t necessarily happen, but looking around and just seeing how many people were out here feeling safe and feeling a part of something in a really real way, just kind of made it stick that we had made at least some kind of impact. And I’m very, very proud and excited and humbled to like be part of this really long legacy that’s continuing to get stronger and that I’m learning from the organizers. They’re watching what they’re doing. Yeah. And it feels good to see the fire is like not only strong but growing.”

Organization: Real Silent Sam Coalition

Event Mentioned Date: 4/25/2015

Excerpt Length: 2:42

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.