Open letter: Remove Silent Sam Now

An open letter to Chancellor Folt, the Board of Trustees, and the Board of Governors:

The Progressive Faculty Network and colleagues from across the UNC-CH campus stand with students and other members of the community in opposition to the presence of “Silent Sam.” The statue celebrates people who defended slavery, a violation of the most basic of human rights. Installed 48 years after this country made owning another human being illegal, the monument also implicitly honors the system of racial apartheid that propped up white supremacy after the U.S. Civil War and influenced white nationalists in South Africa and Nazis in Western Europe. Beginning in the 1950s, in response to African American-led civil rights activism, some components of legal segregation, particularly in public education, were dismantled. Today, however, racial inequality in this country is maintained by physical, economic, electoral, legal, and cultural violence committed by and on behalf of white people against people of color. “Sam,” the gun-toting image of white, masculine power, is neither harmless historical “speech” nor “silent.” Decades of protest and the current student-led demand to take the monument down demonstrate that we hear “Sam’s” anthem to racism loudly and clearly. Remove the statue now and you can be on the right side of history.


Karen M. Booth, Women’s and Gender Studies

Elyse Crystall, English and Comparative Literature



Adaora A. Adimora, Medicine and Epidemiology

Aimee M. McHale, Public Health

Aiya Williams, Public Health

Altha Cravey, Geography

Anne Johnston, Media and Journalism

Ariana Vigil, Women’s and Gender Studies

Arturo Escobar, Anthropology

Barbara Friedman, Media and Journalism

Ben Frey, American Studies

Beth Grabowski, Art and Art History

Carole Crumley, Anthropology

Cathy Zimmer, Sociology

Cemil Aydin, History

Chad A. Stevens, Media and Journalism

China Medel, Communication

Christopher T. Nelson, Anthropology

Courtney G. Woods, Environmental Sciences and Engineering

Crystal Wiley Cené, Medicine

Danianne Mizzy, Library

Daniel M. Cobb, American Studies

Daniel Wallace, English and Comparative Literature

Danielle Christmas, English and Comparative Literature

Deborah Barrett, Social Work and Psychiatry

Deborah Stroman, Business

Dennis Mumby, Communication

Don Nonini, Anthropology

Edwin B. Fisher, Health Behavior

Eileen R. Carlton Parsons, Science Education

elin o’hara slavick, Art

Elizabeth Havice, Geography

Emilio del Valle Escalante, Romance Studies

Erica Johnson, Global Studies

Eugenia Eng, Health Behavior

Fadi A. Bardawil, Asian Studies

Gary M. Nelson, Social Work

George Noblit, Education

Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja, African, African American, and Diaspora Studies

Glenn Hinson, Folklore and Anthropology

Harry Watson, History

Hong-An Truong, Art and Art History

Iqbal Sevea, History

James Thompson, English and Comparative Literature

Jamie Cobb, Media and Journalism

Jay Smith, History

Jennifer Ho, English and Comparative Literature

Jessica Wolfe, English and Comparative Literature

Jina Valentine , Art and Art History

Joanna Maselko , Epidemiology

Joanna Maselko, Epidemiology

Jocelyn Chua, Anthropology

John Pickles, Geography

Jonathan D. Lepofsky, Geography

Juliane Hammer, Religious Studies

Karen Hagemann, History

Karin Yeatts, Epidemiology

Karolyn Tyson, Sociology

Kate Muessig, Health Behavior

Kathryn Burns, History

Kathy A. Perkins, Dramatic Art

Krista Perreira, Social Medicine

Kumarini Silva, Communication

Kurt M. Ribisl, Health Behavior

Laura Halperin, English and Comparative Literature

Laura Linnan, Health Behavior

Laurie Selz Campbell, Social Work

Leslie Ann Lytle, Health Behavior

Ligaiya Romero, Media and Journalism

Lisa A. Lindsay, History

Lisa de Saxe Zerden, Social Work

Lydia Boyd, African, African American, and Diaspora Studies

Marcie Cohen Ferris, American Studies

Margaret Wiener, Anthropology

Maria DeGuzman, English and Comparative Literature

Mark Driscoll, Asian Studies

Mark Fraser, Social Work

Meg Landfried, Health Behavior

Michael Palm, Communication

Michal Osterweil, Global Studies

Michele R Rivkin-Fish, Anthropology

Michelle Robinson, American Studies

Misha Becker, Linguistics

Nadia Yaqub, Asian Studies

Nisha Gottfredson, Health Behavior

Noel Brewer, Health Behavior

Patricia Parker, Communication

Patricia Sawin, American Studies

Patrick Conway, Economics

Peter Redfield, Anthropology

Rachel Woodson Goode, Social Work

Rebecca B. Brigham, Social Work

Rebecka Rutledge Fisher, English and Comparative Literature

Renée Alexander Craft, Communication

Rob Hamilton, Communication

Ronald Swanstrom, Biochemistry and Biophysics

Rupa Redding-Lallinger, Pediatrics

Ruth Salvaggio, English and Comparative Literature

Sandy Smith-Nonini, Anthropology

Sara Smith, Geography

Sarah E. Bledsoe, Social Work

Sarah Marsh, Social Work

Sarah Shields, History

Scott Kirsch, Geography

Selena Childs, Social Work

Seth Noar, Media and Journalism

Sharon P. Holland, American Studies

Shelley Golden, Health Behavior

Sherick Hughes, Education

Sherry C. Mergner, Social Work

Sherryl Kleinman, Sociology

Silvia Tomášková, Women’s and Gender Studies/Anthropology

Stephen Cole , Epidemiology

Susan Bickford. Political Science

Susan Ennett, Health Behavior

Tamera Coyne-Beasley, Pediatrics

Tanya Shields, Women’s and Gender Studies

Tara Bohley, Social Work

Tony Perucci, Communication

Tonya VanDeinse, Social Work

Trude Bennett, Maternal and Child Health (emerita)

Valerie Lambert, Anthropology

Veronica Carlisle, Lineberger Cancer Center and Public Health

William Ferris, History

William Sturkey, History