The Unsung Founders Memorial, installed in 2005, is a bronze table-like structure found in McCorkle Place, but is often overlooked because of its shorter stature.
Senior Omololu Babatunde, a Real Silent Sam organizer, said the goal of the demonstration was to unsettle people and make them take a second look at the memorial because the history of black people on campus is minimalized.
“As a person of color on this campus, the memorial makes me angry,” Babatunde said. “I think it makes me angry because it was built to have a certain function that is used not for the memorial of a certain people, but is used for sitting down and changing a baby’s diaper.”
She said instead of memorializing the legacy of black people on campus, like the University intended, the Unsung Founders Memorial generally serves the public, exactly what the people it is supposed to be honoring did — serve.
The group is planning an educational campaign this year, called “Get to Know Your School,” which will focus on a different contested site each month.
“What Real Silent Sam is trying to do is illuminate the history, but it’s also trying to allow students to complicate the present, too, to see that these things are still occurring,” Babatunde said. “We realized that what we were frustrated about wasn’t necessarily that these things exist, but more so that people aren’t talking about them.”
The Black Student Movement is a partner to The Real Silent Sam and helped publicize the event.
Trey Mangum, president of BSM, did not attend the event, but said he was shocked the memorial is not more prominent.