The Pit

The Pit is a central gathering place for students, a sunken plaza located between Lenoir Dining Hall, two libraries, the student union, and student stores. Because it is a highly trafficked space, many student organizations over the years, including the Black Awareness Council, the Real Silent Sam Coalition, and Students Seeking Historical Truth have used the Pit as a location for speak-outs and rallies. In 1971, members of a white motorcycle gang, the Storm Troopers, stabbed James Lewis Cates, a young Black Chapel Hill citizen in the Pit after a party on the campus as the Chapel Hill police watched without intervening.

The Pit, in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Image Collection Collection #P0004, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Organization: BCC Movement, Real Silent Sam Coalition, Black Student Movement, Black Awareness Council

Space Use: Open Space

Spatial Organizing Approach: Contestation

Date Created: 1969

Campus Space: Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History, Lenoir Hall and Manning Hall, The Fishbowl, Saunders Hall

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.