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Silent Sam Protest Sign

Pauli Murray Sign by artist Jeanine Tatlock, 2018

North Carolina Collection Gallery
North Carolina Collection 

Silent Sam protest sign by Jeanine Tatlock, MFA student, UNC-Chapel Hill, Class of 2018

Pauli Murray applied to UNC-Chapel Hill twice and was denied due to being Black, despite being descended from one of UNC’s founding trustees, a white family that enslaved her ancestors. This plaque was placed at the pedestal of UNC’s Confederate monument “Silent Sam” as part of a protest series to direct attention to the protected existence of monuments, buildings, and plaques produced specifically to honor oppressors. Organizers connected these physical symbols to years of racism, sexism, and abuse and used this sign to urge onlookers to rethink who should be honored on campus.