The Chapel Hill Public Library hosted a panel to discuss Silent Sam, the purpose of Confederate monuments and free speech on Wednesday night.
The event was open to the public and moderated by UNC history professor Lloyd Kramer. The panelists included Police Chief Chris Blue, assistant English professor Danielle Christmas, assistant history professor William Sturkey and others.
Throughout the evening, attendees stated their personal views and anecdotal stories on what Confederate statues meant to them. Sturkey said he wants Silent Sam to be taken down and reflected on his family’s history with Confederate statues.
He said every generation of his family had lived in a different state since the end of the Civil War, and had experienced racism all over America. He said his great grandfather had to face the decision whether to leave the North Carolina because of racial persecution.
“My great grandfather left the state of North Carolina because of the very same violence that Julian Carr celebrated, not just advocated, but celebrated at the Silent Sam dedication speech.”