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Tuesday September 28th

Letter: UNC Black Faculty call on the University to permanently remove Silent Sam

<p>Silent Sam was located on McCorkle Place in Chapel Hill.&nbsp;</p>
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Silent Sam was located on McCorkle Place in Chapel Hill. 

Statement from UNC Black Faculty on Silent Sam:

As UNC Black faculty, we occupy a unique position relative to the Confederate monument known as “Silent Sam.” When the Daughters of the Confederacy commissioned the monument for the University, when University donors offered resources to support its completion, when the University paid the remaining balance, and UNC Board of Trustees member Julian Carr delivered his racist remarks at its dedication, we doubt any envisioned Black faculty as vibrant and necessary members of the University’s intellectual, cultural, and social community. In 1913, the Confederate monument did not stand in opposition to the stated values and mission of the University. In 2018, it most certainly does. It has done so since the University chose to admit the first Black student or offer the first Black faculty member a contract for employment. We have witnessed a monument that represents white supremacy in both the past and present be venerated and protected at the same time that we have been asked to serve as examples of diversity and inclusion. That is a demoralizing burden. 

A monument to white supremacy, steeped in a history of violence against Black people, and that continues to attract white supremacists, creates a racially hostile work environment and diminishes the University’s reputation worldwide. For us, arguments of moral equivalency are extremely problematic; there are not two morally valid sides to the history the monument represents nor to its current significance. Without brave acts of civil disobedience that changed the moral character of the nation and advanced the cause of justice, Black faculty, staff, and students would not be here. To reinstall the Confederate monument to any location on UNC’s campus is to herald for the nation and for the world that UNC is not a welcoming place for Black people.

We, the undersigned faculty, urge the Chancellor, Provost, Board of Trustees, and Board of Governors to permanently remove the Confederate statue and its pedestal from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. There is no way to re-erect the statue without valorizing an incomplete version of history. A symbol of racism, violence, and white supremacy has no place on our 21st century campus often called the “University of the People.”


1. Elizabeth A. Adams, Research Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience

2. Anna Agbe-Davies, Associate Professor, Anthropology

3. Michele Tracy Berger, Associate Professor, Department of Women’s and Gender Studies

4. Maya Berry, Assistant Professor, African, African American, and Diaspora Studies

5. Cedric Bright, Associate Professor of Medicine, School of Medicine

6. Antonio A. Bush, Assistant Professor, Eshelman School of Pharmacy

7. Kia Lilly Caldwell, Professor, African, African American, and Diaspora Studies

8. Eileen R. Carlton Parsons, Professor, School of Education

9. Claude A. Clegg III, Lyle V. Jones Distinguished Professor, African, African American, and Diaspora Studies

10. Shauna M. Cooper, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience

11. Renee Alexander Craft, Associate Professor, Department of Communication

12. Deen Freelon, Associate Professor, School of Media and Journalism

13. Livis James Freeman Jr., Teaching Assistant Professor, School of Media and Journalism

14. Samuel Ray Gates, Assistant Professor, Department of Dramatic Art

15. Amelia Gibson, Assistant Professor, School of Information and Library Science

16. Keisha Gibson, Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics

17. Rachel W. Goode, Assistant Professor School of Social Work

18. Taylor W. Hargrove, Assistant Professor, Sociology

19. Sherick Hughes, Professor, School of Education

20. Jerma A. Jackson, Associate Professor, Department of History

21. Joseph Jordan, Stone Center

22. Jacqueline Lawton, Assistant Professor, Department of Dramatic Art

23. Derrick D. Matthews, Assistant Professor, Department of Health Behavior

24. Rahsaan Maxwell, Associate Professor, Political Science

25. Sean McLean, Associate Professor, School of Medicine

26. Trevy A. McDonald, Associate Professor, School of Media and Journalism

27. Terence McIntosh, Associate Professor, Department of History

28. Genna Rae McNeil, Professor, Department of History

29. Fabian Monrose, Kenan Distinguished Professor, Department of Computer Science

30. Carlton Moore, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine

31. Enrique Neblett, Associate Professor, Psychology and Neuroscience

32. Terence Oliver, Reese Felts Distinguished Associate Professor, School of Media and Journalism

33. Patricia Parker, Associate Professor, Department of Communication

34. Kathy Perkins, Professor Emerita, Dramatic Art

35. Charlene Regester, Associate Professor, African, African American, and Diaspora Studies

36. Dana Rice, Assistant Professor, Gillings School of Global Public Health

37. Liana Richardson, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology

38. Michelle Robinson, Associate Professor, Department of American Studies

39. Lillie Searles, Associate Professor, Department of Biology

40. Theodore M. Shaw, Julius L. Chambers Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Civil Rights

41. Tanya L. Shields, Associate Professor, Department of Women's and Gender Studies

42. Karla Slocum, Thomas Willis Lambeth Distinguished Chair, Associate Professor, Anthropology

43. Deborah Stroman, Clinical Associate Professor, Gillings School of Global Public Health

44. William Sturkey, Assistant Professor, Department of History

45. J. Michael Terry, Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics

46. Brendan J. Thornton, Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies

47. Kimberly P. Truesdale, Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition

48. Karolyn Tyson, Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Term Professor, Sociology

49. Anissa Vines, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health

50. Candis Watts Smith, Assistant Professor, Public Policy

51. Eric King Watts, Associate Professor , Department of Communication

52. Becky L. White, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine

53. Kathryn Williams, Teaching Associate Professor, Department of Dramatic Art

54. Erika K. Wilson, Thomas Willis Lambeth Distinguished Chair, Associate Professor, School of Law

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