This site has had several associations with the history of black UNC. In the early years of the University, this building served as a dormitory. There are documents that mention the entertainment students got by hanging enslaved people out of their windows. After the Civil War, South Building was occupied by union troops, among them, black troops. The troops were accused of “desecrating” the building and this was used in anti-black and anti-federal propaganda (including that of Mrs. Cornelia Phillips Spencer. In the 1960s, South Building (housing the University’s President’s office) became the site of sit-ins and demonstrations related to issues of desegregation, black studies, and the mistreatment of black university employees. On December 11, 1968, Chancellor Sitterson received a list of 22 demands from the Black Student Movement. In the 1980s, the building was again the site of sit-ins and demonstrations about Apartheid and in the 1990s the creation of a free-standing black cultural center to honor Dr. Sonja Haynes Stone.
For more information on sit-ins and protests at South Building, please see the Southern Historical Collection’s online exhibit titled, I Raised My Hand to Volunteer: Student Protests in 1960s Chapel Hill.