Excerpt Description: Michelle Brown explains how difficult communicating across student organizations and interests can be, but how necessary it is to build a strong foundation for a coalition.
Interviewee Name: Michelle Brown
Interviewer: Charlotte Fryar
Excerpt Transcript: “And the other thing is communication. Finding a way to communicate. Because organizing meetings was terribly hard with students. I mean it was like a second job and so it you have to enter into other people’s spaces. You have to be willing to support other organizations because there’s all these organizations doing great work, but if you keep trying to start all these new organizations to focus on one point, then you’re breaking up these communities, they’re getting smaller and smaller. The more subgroups you find it, then it’s hard to rally, but if you—. So what I’ve learned, like I’ve gone to a Black Congress meeting. Black Congress has come to our meetings with organizing specifically with Silent Sam and just sending representatives, just at least one person to all these other groups were supporting you and understanding where they’re coming from, what their morals and their values are, and how you can support them, and how they can support you without trying to make these new groups, these new meeting times. Don’t cause more disruption for yourself is what I was saying. Try to mesh everybody together the best that you can. It’s about meshing everyone and building this community, rather than starting a new one because you’re always going to be able to find somebody who supports you, who already has that community waiting for you, so don’t start a new community.”
Excerpt Length: 1:19
Interview Date: 3/2/2018
Interview Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Campus Space: McCorkle Place
Citation: Interview with Michelle Brown by Charlotte Fryar, 2 March 2018, in the Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.