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 Artwork by Ellie Little

George Floyd’s roots are here. He was born in our state, and Floyd’s family will hold a public viewing and private memorial service in Hoke County. Protests crying out against his murder and anti-black violence have filled the streets of many North Carolina cities and the nation. Here on the Chapel Hill campus, a diverse group of protesters gathered to mourn Floyd and speak out against the continued brutality toward African Americans.

A few miles away at Shaw University in Raleigh, Ella Baker founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960. Then and now, the road to freedom runs through North Carolina. We are proud of the North Carolinians who are speaking up in every forum, proud of those who have been speaking for decades. Voices captured and shared by our Southern Oral History Program (SOHP) highlight the history of movement building in our state. You will find some of those oral histories on this site, including SOHP interviews with Ella Baker. Knowledge of our shared past and present drives us along this road to freedom. The Center for the Study of the American South is also on this road, listening to those who join the protest against violence inflicted on Black people, Indigenous people and all people of color.

Dr. Malinda Maynor Lowery and CSAS Staff

Our Southern Cultures team is sharing this special message:

Southern Cultures stands in solidarity with the many thousands of protesters across the South, the nation, and the world who are sickened by the brutal murders of George Floyd in Minnesota, Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, only the latest in a long line of Black Americans to lose their lives at the hands of the police. Communities of conscience are calling, with unified voices, for an end to police and paramilitary violence against Black and Indigenous people and people of color, and for a true reckoning with the bitter legacies of white supremacy.” Continue reading here.

Click here to listen to Ella Baker in SOHP interviews recorded in 1974 and 1977.

Photo source:


Learning and Talking About Racism

SNCC Legacy Project


NMAAHC unveils Talking About Race. The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) has released Talking About Race, an online portal with tools, resources, and exercises to “help individuals, families, and communities talk about racism, racial identity and the way these forces shape every aspect of society.” The museum moved up the release of the portal in response to recent racial violence and the resultant protests. 
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UNC Office of Diversity and Inclusion Anti-Racism Resources

Watch, Listen, Learn

Historic Debate on America – Baldwin and Buckley

Historic debate between James Baldwin and William F. Buckley, Jr. at Cambridge University on the question: “Is the American Dream at the expense of the American Negro?”

North Carolinians on Segregatioin and Injustice – SOHP Press Record

Oral History for Social Movement Building – SOHP Press Record

Jay Smooth’s “How to Tell Someone They Sound Racist”


Fresh Air with Former Police Captain Eric Adams Fighting Police Brutality



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