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Campus Activism

undefinedOn the night of February 8, 1968, South Carolina Highway Patrolmen fired into a group of civil rights protesters at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, South Carolina leaving twenty-seven injured and three dead. Students for ACTION held a vigil for the victims on the eve of the first anniversary of what became known as the “Orangeburg Massacre.” UA0101.

Request from "The Black Caucus UNCC" to have a black flag at half mast to mourn the Orangeburg Massacre victims. UA0101.

"Because of the mood of the country with the Black Panther Party and race riots developed soon after that, there was a fear element. And so we were more feared, because... everybody else assumed that we were a violent organization when we weren't." - transcript, Ronald R. Caldwell oral history interview, May 31, 2005.

In December 1968, civil rights activist Stokely Carmichael came to UNC Charlotte to give a speech in the John Paul Lucas Room of the Cone University Center. Carmichael was invited to campus by Students for ACTION (Active Committee for Truth, Individualism, Opportunity, Now), but Carmichael's ties to organizations like the Black Panther Party made the choice to bring him to campus as a speaker a controversial one. Rumors surfaced that white guests would be barred from attending the speech, but Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Bonnie Cone intervened, diffusing a tense situation. UA0026. 

See also: Sherrill, Walt. "Carmichael Advocates Black Pride." Carolina Journal 4, no. (1968): 2, 6. UA0014.

A February 24, 1969 "Statement to the Press" from the black students at UNCC, requesting a Black Student Union. 

A list of the ten demands hand delivered to the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Bonnie Cone, on February 26, 1969. The handwritten notes were made by Cone in regards to what could, or could not be done, to address them. undefined

A letter to Bonnie Cone from "The Black Students of UNCC" about her response to the ten demands.

"There were a few people that we didn't quite see eye-to-eye with, but most of them, most people were willing to at least listen and try to do something. That was uniquely different for UNCC and I think a lot of that came from the top, from Bonnie Cone." - transcript, James Cuthbertson oral history interview, July 28, 2004.
Benjamin Chavis, student and chair of the Student Union Board, speaks with Charlotte City Councilman Sandy R. Jordan in front of the Administration Building on March 3, 1969 during the student protest for the Black Student Union (above). UA0661.
Signs referencing Chancellor Colvard and Governor Bob Scott as well as photos of Malcolm X and H. Rap Brown (above). UA0066.
"The Utter Truth," March 3, 1969. A document from the Black Student Union about a meeting with UNCC administration. UA0026.
undefinedA memo from Vice Chancellor McEniry about the March 3rd protest on campus. UA0026.
letter from a concerned citizen in response to the March 3rd protest on campus. UA0026.
Vice Chancellor McEniry's response to "The Utter Truth."
Students watch as the black flag is taken down (left). UA0661.
Chancellor Colvard issued a point-by-point response to the student activists "10 Demands". Early first steps taken by the University included offering courses related to black studies and increasing efforts to recruit black students and faculty. UA0101.
See also: "African History Offered." Carolina Journal 4, no. 20 (1969): 1, 7. UA0014. 
"We still got involved, but we got involved [and] organized. We were organized to get involved. It wasn't haphazard." - transcript, Dorothy Dae oral history interview, October 11, 2004.