As the effects of the Great Depression came to Chapel Hill following the 1929 stock market crash, the University threatened a ten percent pay cut to the wages of the janitorial staff. In response, four Black janitors–Frank Hairston, Elliot Washington, Melvin Rich, and Kennon Cheek–began meeting regularly to discuss issues arising from their jobs and eventually, their options for organizing against the potential pay cuts. Cheek and his fellow organizers in the Janitors’ Association worked in Venable Hall, the home of the University’s Department of Chemistry.
Organization: Janitors’ Association
Space Use: Academic
Spatial Organizing Approach: Creation
Date Created: 1925
Date Ended: 2007
Campus Space: Cheek-Clark Building
Citation: The Voice of the Janitor’s Association 1940, Newsletter, in the Office of the Chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Michael Hooker Records #40026, University Archives, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.