Photograph of Carolina Magazine staff, 1927
1927 Carolina Magazine staff
In October 1926, the University of North Carolina student publication, Carolina Magazine, published a short story titled "Slaves," written by the magazine's assistant editor, R.K. Fowler. In the final scene of the story, the author alluded to an incident of interracial sex between two of the characters, one a young white girl and the other the son of an African American servant. The story caused an uproar on campus and across the region. Letters poured in to President Harry Woodburn Chase, condemning Fowler's exploration of what was thought to be a taboo subject. Soon after publication, the UNC Student Council asked that the magazine’s editor, Julian Starr, step down and ruled that Fowler be dismissed from the University altogether. In response, President Chase formed a faculty committee to review the incident. The committee ultimately voted to overturn the Student Council's decision and ruled that Starr and Fowler could remain.
North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill