Old Chapel Hill Cemetery

The Old Chapel Hill Cemetery served in the late 1790s as the burial ground for any students who died while attending the University, but later expanded to include a Black section of the cemetery, divided by short stone walls built by enslaved people. In the Black section of the cemetery, very few graves were marked, and those with headstones were not maintained. Through the 1990s, the Black section of the cemetery sometimes served as overflow parking during football games. Several student organizations worked to draw attention to the issue of neglect in the Black section of cemetery. In September 2016, the Black Student Movement erected a granite monument in the Old Chapel Hill cemetery in honor of the unnamed enslaved persons and freed people of color buried there.

Fryar, Charlotte. “Old Chapel Hill Cemetery, Marker to Enslaved and Freed Persons of Color.” Personal Photograph. 16 January 2019.

Organization: Black Student Movement, On the Wake of Emancipation

Space Use: Monument or Memorial

Spatial Organizing Approach: Reclamation

Date Created: 1798

Campus Space: McCorkle Place

Citation: Interview with Carol McDonald by Charlotte Fryar, 31 March 2017, in the Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.