Saunders Hall

Omololu Babatunde on the possibility of Hurston Hall

Excerpt Description: Omololu Babatunde explains that much of collective memory of efforts to rename Saunders Hall focus only on “student activism” in 2015, rather than the possibilities of creating a historical legacy of student empowerment.

Interviewee Name: 
Omololu Babatunde

Interviewer: Charlotte Fryar

Excerpt Transcript: “Because it’s not about the possibility—it’s about student—exactly, it’s about student activism. It’s not about—we weren’t being student activists; we were deciding that we were not going to participate in the roles that we were given, and then that provided us with, okay, what are we going to decide that we’re doing. We were trying to map out a different possibility for ourselves, so if you’re going to have an exhibition, why doesn’t it be like—if you’re going to talk about Hurston Hall, why don’t you talk about, like, how did people start to think that they could even instantiate a Hurston Hall. What? That’s crazy. You know what I mean? Why don’t you talk about the framing, the work, the vision that made this place real, not how this place is—how this moment is remembered. What? Or, like—because this moment is not remembered. That’s what I was trying to get to in my presentation. This moment is not remembered. This moment is now. This moment is happening. This moment is the before, is the after, is the now, you know, and it’s just like when are we going to get that?”

Organization:  Real Silent Sam Coalition

Excerpt Length: 1:01

Interview Date: 12/1/2017

Interview Location: Durham, North Carolina

Campus Space: Saunders Hall

Citation: Interview with Omololu Babatunde by Charlotte Fryar, 1 December 2017, in the Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Link to SOHP: