The Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History

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This Center represents the culmination of many years of controversy and dialogue.  Dr. Stone, one of the original professors in Afro-American Studies at UNC, died suddenly in August of 1991.  Dr. Stone was a strong advocate for black students as well as a scholar and professor. Her death sparked a student movement for a permanent free-standing black cultural center to replace the small office in the Student Union. Protests, fund raising efforts, and debates over the issues of separation and inclusion continued for years. The groundbreaking for the Sonja Haynes Stone Black Cultural Center (as it was then known) was on Thursday April 26, 2001.  The Center was opened with a candlelight vigil (from the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery to the Coker woods site) on August 20, 2004 and a dedication ceremony was held the next day.

Additional Resources:

Southern Oral History Program interview with Chancellor Paul Hardin

Folder 1597 in Box 10:1, in the Office of Chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Paul Hardin Records #40025, University Archives, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (includes Dr. Stone’s funeral program scans 15-18 with Hardin’s annotations.)

Donyell Roseboro Interview
Donyell Roseboro was a student activist at UNC-Chapel Hill during the struggle to create a free-standing Black Cultural Center from 1991-1994. Roseboro worked with the Black Student Movement as well as the Campus Y and Student Government and became Vice President of the Student Body (1993-1994). Roseboro also went on to receive a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies from UNC-Greensboro for which she wrote her dissertation, Icons of Power and Landscapes of Protest: The Student Movement for the Sonja Haynes Stone Black Cultural Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Ruby Sinreich Interview
Ruby Sinreich was a student activist at UNC-Chapel Hill while she earned a BSPH in Environmental Science and Engineering and a minor in African-American Studies from 1989 to 1993. Ruby was born in Poughkeepsie, NY in 1971 and spent much of her early life in Chapel Hill, NC before attending high school in Miami, Florida. Sinreich was heavily involved in the Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC) throughout her time at UNC and served as its co-chair for one year. Sinreich was also instrumental in SEAC’s role in the Coalition for a Free-Standing Black Cultural Center and was deeply involved in the movement personally. She also served on the Advisory Board for the Sonja Haynes Stone Black Cultural Center.