Chancellor Carol L. Folt has urged the campus community to heed the call to “keep the pressure on” in fighting for justice, equality and freedom, as civil rights scholar Hasan Kwame Jeffries advocated during the Feb. 5 program commemorating Black History Month held at the Stone Center.
Folt attended the program in which the Greensboro Four, including Joseph McNeil and the friends and families of Jibreel Khazan, Franklin McCain and David Richmond, were honored and recognized. Also, members of the Carolina faculty spoke.
Professor Reginald Hildebrand from the Department of African, African American and Diaspora Studies spoke about the power of quiet acts of courage and character, Folt said in a campus email message last week. These actions “resonate with something that is in each of us, something decent and strong, that has integrity…something that says, ‘I will no longer allow my worth and value to be dismissed and discounted. I will not be a silent witness while that happens to others.’”
The Greensboro Four held the 1960 sit-in that catalyzed change in the country as well as on the Carolina campus. Empowered by the movement, African American students together with faculty and staff spoke out and took action, Folt said. Their efforts led to the formation of the Black Student Movement, the realization of the Stone Center and the creation of what is now the Department of African, African American and Diaspora Studies.
“Carolina is richer for the efforts of those pioneers,” Folt said, “and today’s leaders continue to guide us as we learn from the past, shape the present and prepare our students for the future.”