Geography professor Altha Cravey said she was shocked to see police outside her office in Carolina Hall this morning. She was even more shocked to discover the reason—a “Hurston Hall” poster she had attached to her window.
One police officer spotted the sign on Cravey’s exterior window and was soon joined by two other officers inside the building, said Jim Gregory, directory of media relations.
“I tried to explain to them my rationale and at first it was a pretty calm conversation,” Cravey said. “Eventually they went away because I told them I wasn’t going to take it down.”
A similar incident occurred at the end of spring semester, Cravey said, in which police were called to remove a “Hurston Hall” banner that the Real Silent Sam Coalition draped over the building.
After accomplishing that, Cravey said, police entered the building.
“I was in Chicago in a meeting (during the incident) and a couple weeks after that I heard from colleagues downstairs that the police had also gone throughout the building and taken down every scrap of paper that said ‘Hurston.’”
For this reason, Cravey said, she put up her own sign — in solidarity.
“An educational institution where we teach and learn and debate can’t go around and take people’s signs and messages,” Cravey said. “I think they’re harassing me and they were harassing people in May.”
“I wasn’t afraid of them but it’s certainly disturbing to me that I work at an educational university and it takes three police officers to take a sign down on my window—and I have every right to put whatever I want on my window.”