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"A Proposal for the Recruitment of Negro Students to the University of North Carolina" by Phillip Clay

31 July 1967: "A Proposal for the Recruitment of Negro Students to the University of North Carolina" by Phillip Clay

Although the first black student had entered UNC-Chapel Hill in 1951, 15 years later in 1966 the total number of African American students enrolled at the University still numbered less than one percent of the total enrollment. In fall 1967, student Phillip Clay presented the Admissions Office with a proposal, "the result of more than two years of thought and concern," offering suggestions aimed at solving this disparity. The plan mentioned programs in other states that helped to attract bright, but uninformed, black high school seniors to apply to in-state universities. Phillip Clay graduated in 1968 with honors and went on to earn a Ph.D. in City Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1975. Phillip Clay became the Chancellor of MIT in June 2001.

- From the Records of the Office of Chancellor - J. Carlyle Sitterson Series (#40022)

Letter from C. O. Cathey, Dean of Students, to Preston Dobbins

7 December 1967: Letter from C. O. Cathey, dean of students, to Preston Dobbins

In fall 1967, during a regular meeting of the campus chapter of NAACP, Preston Dobbins introduced a motion to abolish the chapter entirely and to reconstitute it as the Black Student Movement. This action was motivated by the fact that he saw the NAACP chapter as "slow in terms of what people were talking or thinking." (Dobbins interview, Southern Oral History Program, #4007, E - 63) The new group had a more radical mandate, to push the University into the next phase of racial progress. In this letter, Dean of Students Cathey notified Dobbins that the BSM would be given tentative recognition as a student organization until it supplied a faculty advisor. "Meantime," the dean wrote, " ... I wish you, the officers and the membership great success in promoting your worthy purposes."

- From the Records of the Office of Chancellor - J. Carlyle Sitterson Series (#40022)

Copy of FBI report

3 April 1968: Copy of FBI report

"Bureau authority is requested to conduct investigation of BSM to determine its aims and purposes and whether it has a propensity for violence or otherwise constitutes a security risk."

- From Alexander Charns Papers (#4866)

Photograph of Preston Dobbins

Photograph of Preston Dobbins (from the 1969 Yackety Yack.)

1969: Photograph, Preston Dobbins

- From 1969 Yackety Yack

List of 23 Demands of the Black Student Movement

11 December 1968: List of 23 demands of the Black Student Movement

This list of demands, presented to Chancellor J. Carlyle Sitterson by Preston Dobbins and Juan Cofield, expressed the disdain UNC's black students felt for what they called "token, symbolic" efforts at providing equal opportunities. "Stomping down," the BSM called for immediate improvements in recruitment of black students, curriculum changes, and improvements in communication between black students and the administration. They also sought reimbursement of $7,000 -- money that they felt was lost because the administration prevented the BSM from charging admission to Stokely Carmichael's speech in November 1968. Finally, the BSM demanded that Sitterson begin meeting with non-academic workers on campus in order to improve "intolerable working conditions."

- From the Records of the Office of Chancellor - J. Carlyle Sitterson Series (#40022)

Chancellor Sitterson's statement in response to the BSM's demands

24 January 1969: Chancellor Sitterson's statement in response to the BSM's demands

Six weeks after the demands were presented, Sitterson responded with this 19-page statement. The Chancellor stated his intentions "to be responsive to the educational needs of ... all races, colors, and creeds." He also pointed out the progress that had been made in recent years to serve the "educationally disadvantaged youth of our state." With respect to the allegations about poor working conditions, Sitterson claimed that these were not supported by factual evidence and invited the BSM to present evidence to substantiate their claims.

- From the Records of the Office of Chancellor - J. Carlyle Sitterson Series (#40022)

Letter from student Robert Cilley to Chancellor Sitterson

February 1969: Letter from student Robert Cilley to Chancellor Sitterson

Cilley, a student in his sophomore year, conveyed his appreciation for Sitterson's response to the BSM "for having preserved Carolina's integrity." Reflecting on the quiet majority of students who shared in his appreciation, Cilley wrote, "Apathy may be an old and honorable institution at UNC, but this is no Columbia, for a handful of loudmouths to hold at bay with impunity."

- From the Records of the Office of Chancellor - J. Carlyle Sitterson Series (#40022)

Resolution of students from the Delegation to the National Student Association (NSA) Southern Area Conference

Circa March 1969: Resolution of students from the Delegation to the National Student Association (NSA) Southern Area Conference

"Our support is founded in the belief that the black students, in combating racism in the university, are fighting one manifestation of the repressive nature of the institution. We as fellow students are in a parallel struggle to combat the arbitrariness in the curriculum, to abolish the tyranny of grades, to end authoritarianism in the classroom, to reject discrimination by sex in social rules, to end tokenism by asserting a decisive role for students in university policy-making and university operations."

- From the Records of the Office of Chancellor - J. Carlyle Sitterson Series (#40022)

Photograph, Mary Smith speaking at a public rally in Memorial Hall

Photograph of Mary Smith speaking at a public rally in Memorial Hall

March 1969: Photograph, Mary Smith speaking at a public rally in Memorial Hall

- From 1969 Yackety Yack

"Honor the Boycott"

Circa March 1969: "Honor the Boycott"

The flyer urged students: "Do not eat at Lenoir, Chase, or at the Pine Room!!!" adding, "Isn't it time we students undergo a bit of inconvenience to support these workers who are fighting for the welfare and dignity of themselves and their families?" To circumvent the use of campus dining facilities, the BSM and the foodworkers set up a soul food cafe in Manning Hall.

- From the Records of the Office of President - William C. Friday Files (#40009)

A Bill Supporting the UNC Cafeteria Workers,  Wilson Library,  University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

27 February 1969: "A Bill Supporting the UNC Cafeteria Workers"

"Student Legislature urges all members of the University community to support the cafeteria workers. ... By familiarizing themselves with the list of grievances ... and discussing the grievances with other members of the University community who may not be familiar with the particulars of the demands."

- From the Records of the Office of President - William C. Friday Files (#40009)

"Where is the administration?"

Bulletin, "Where is the administration?", 4 March 1969

4 March 1969: "Where is the administration?"

This bulletin presented the views of strikers and supporting student activists. "During lunch and dinner groups of students and faculty are slowing down the food lines, filling up the tables, and talking with the students who are helping to prolong the strike by eating and working there." These "stall-ins" led to scuffles in Lenoir and an incident on 4 March in which BSM members overturned tables and chairs. Lenoir remained closed from the afternoon of 4 March until the morning of 6 March, when members of the Highway Patrol were sent in to assure that the dining facility would reopen peacefully.

- From the Records of the Office of Chancellor - J. Carlyle Sitterson Series (#40022)

Memorandum of Claiborne S. Jones

13 March 1969: Memorandum of Claiborne S. Jones

Perhaps the most dramatic episode during the strike was the eviction of the BSM from Manning Hall and the arrest of six students who had been involved in the table turning incident of 4 March. Governor Robert Scott was adamant in using decisive action to quell campus disruption. He pressured Chapel Hill police to serve warrants on the perpetrators of this incident while urging Sitterson to evacuate the building. Frustrated with University inertia, on 13 March, the Governor called in troopers from the North Carolina State Highway Patrol to stand by to act that afternoon. This memorandum recorded morning telephone conversations between the Governor and the Chancellor's office regarding efforts to comply with the Governor's order to evacuate Manning Hall.

- From the Records of the Office of Chancellor - J. Carlyle Sitterson Series (#40022)

Official Evacuation Notice from Allen S. Waters

13 March 1969: Official evacuation notice from Allen S. Waters

To comply with Governor Scott's orders, Sitterson instructed Allen S. Waters, director of operations and engineering, to clear Manning by 2:30 p.m. Waters issued this order to evacuate, under the pretext of needing the building emptied for the sake of renovation and maintenance.

- From the Records of the Office of Chancellor - J. Carlyle Sitterson Series (#40022)

Statement on the evacuation of Manning Hall

13 March 1969: Statement on the evacuation of Manning Hall

At 2:30 p.m., the Governor ordered members of the Highway Patrol to form a quadrangle around Manning and to evict the BSM. After much deliberation, the members of the Black Student Movement decided that their point had been made and exited without a struggle. Six students were arrested for the table turning incident. "At 2:45 pm today, Mr. Waters informed the Chancellor that Manning Hall is now vacant and locked," the notice stated. Confusion followed and emotions ran high as students and faculty flooded South Building to protest the troopers' presence.

- From the Records of the Office of President - William C. Friday Files (#40009)

Photograph, N.C. State Patrolmen guard Manning Hall, following the BSM's eviction from the building

13 March 1969: Photograph, N.C. State Patrolmen guard Manning Hall

13 March 1969: Photograph, N.C. State Patrolmen guard Manning Hall, following the BSM's eviction from the building

- From the North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives

Robert James Scott to Chancellor Sitterson

13 March 1969: Letter from Robert James Scott to Chancellor Sitterson

Scott, a graduate student, wrote to the Chancellor to show his dissatisfaction with the Chancellor's actions. He outlined what many critics noted about inactivity on the part of the administration: "For about two weeks I wondered why you did not say anything about the food service workers' strike so that I could listen to you ... you failed to take any action as state troopers today occupied Manning Hall needlessly." Many supporters of Sitterson pointed to the fact that he was at the mercy of decisions made outside his control. Scott advised Sitterson to suspend Food Services Director George Prillaman. On 18 March, Prillaman was reassigned to the Accounting Department by Chancellor Sitterson.

- From the Records of the Office of Chancellor - J. Carlyle Sitterson Series (#40022

Photograph, BSM members collecting money to pay fines levied against those arrested for turning over tables in Lenoir

Photograph, BSM members collecting money to pay fines

Circa April 1969: Photograph, BSM members collecting money to pay fines levied against those arrested for turning over tables in Lenoir

- From 1970 Yackety Yack

Request for financial support from members of the faculty

Circa March 1969: Request for financial support from members of the faculty

Faculty members mobilized to raise funds for the families of striking workers. This flyer noted, "Goodwill will find a solution quickly -- in the meantime, help is needed." They raised over $13,000 during spring 1969.

- From the Records of the Office of Chancellor - J. Carlyle Sitterson Series (#40022)

Telegram from Attorney Julius Chambers to President William C. Friday

10 March 1969: Telegram from Attorney Julius Chambers to President William C. Friday

This telegram notified UNC administrators that the Law Office of Chambers, Stein, Ferguson and Lanning would be representing the striking workers, who had by this time organized into the UNC-Chapel Hill Non-Academic Employees Union. Julius Chambers graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1962, first in his class of 100. He also served as the first African American editor-in-chief of the school's Law Review.

- From the Records of the Office of President - William C. Friday Files (#40009)

Statement of the UNC Non - Academic Employees Union

Statement of the UNC Non - Academic Employees Union

10 November 1969: Statement of the UNC Non-Academic Employees Union

In May, the University announced that it would contract with SAGA Food Services to provide dining services on campus. The transition from University control to SAGA private contract did not go as smoothly as all had hoped. Employees complained that SAGA's policies were often just as bad as policies they endured before the spring strike. In the fall, workers again walked out with a similar set of grievances.

- From the Records of the Office of Chancellor - J. Carlyle Sitterson Series