Jerry Wilson wipes sweat from his face while wearing a noose around his neck at an Aug. 20 protest against Silent Sam, a Confederate monument on UNC-Chapel Hill's campus. His friend, Cortland Gilliam, joined him in this gesture. They both vowed to wear these nooses whenever they were on campus until the statue was taken down. This was intended to represent the oppression and white supremacy they feel the statue represents. The pair did not have to wear the nooses long, as protestors forcefully tore down the statue only a few hours later at 9:20 p.m. on August 20, 2018.
Wilson and Gilliam put the nooses back on following Chancellor Carol Folt and the Board of Trustees' Dec. 3 proposal to establish a University History and Education center to house Silent Sam.