Saunders Hall

Taylor Webber-Fields on the movement to give voice to Black students

Excerpt Description: Taylor Webber-Fields remembers the “Speaking Back to Wainstein Rally” was a space to give voice back to Black students by giving them a platform to share their experiences as Black students at the white institution.

Interviewee Name:  Taylor Webber-Fields

Interviewer: Charlotte Fryar

Excerpt Transcript: “This is my personal reflection—I don’t think we knew what we were doing until that moment. I think that the Wainstein rally for me is probably the action that I’m most proud of. If there’s a legacy attached to anything we did, I think the Wainstein rally was just tremendous in restoring voice. Not only to “Unsung Founders” or “lost histories” but just people who were living and breathing on this campus who felt that the weren’t a part of the campus or that they weren’t seen or that they weren’t heard and never really finding that place to do so. I saw people that never spoke up in class take the podium, you know what I mean? So that just let me know that there was a burning desire on their chest to say something and it just resonated with the burning fire that was in all of us. And it was just such a critical moment because overall the whole moment for me was restoring voice, changing the narrative, and laying claims to space. I mean, the Carolina culture will crowd you out if you—you have to take space at Carolina, you do. You have to take space and create it into what you want it to be. And I think that’s what I want people to know the most. And that’s the same for this world. Nobody’s going to give you anything. You have to take it and make it for yourself.”

Organization: Real Silent Sam Coalition

Event Mentioned Date: 10/29/2014

Excerpt Length: 1:42

Interview Date: 11/29/2017

Interview Location: Durham, North Carolina

Campus Space: Saunders Hall

Citation: Interview with Taylor Webber-Fields by Charlotte Fryar, 29 November 2017, in the Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.