Silent Sam—Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Protestors on the campus of UNC at Chapel Hill pulled down the Confederate monument commonly known as “Silent Sam.”

In 1913 the “Confederate Monument,” representing an unnamed Confederate soldier, was unveiled on the campus of UNC at Chapel Hill by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.1 At the unveiling, Julian Carr, a prominent industrialist and supporter of the Ku Klux Klan, gave a “lengthy address” in support of white supremacy and told a story in which boasted of brutally beating a black woman.2

In April 2018, Maya Little, then a doctoral student at UNC, poured red ink and her own blood on the statue, “adding historical context to the white supremacist monument."3 During her action, another student read from a transcript of Carr’s speech.4 Little was arrested and faced charges of property destruction. The judge in her trial withheld the verdict under a “continued judgment,” and she faced no sentence.5

Protestors held a rally on 20 August 2018 in support of Little and in opposition to the university’s refusal to remove the statue. Shortly after 9pm, a group of protestors pulled the statue to the ground.6


  1. Program for the Dedication of the Confederate Monument, 1913 ↩︎

  2. ‘Silent Sam’: A racist Jim Crow-era speech inspired UNC students to topple a Confederate monument on campus ↩︎

  3. Meet Maya Little, UNC Student Whose Protest Ignited the Movement to Topple a Racist Confederate Statue ↩︎

  4. Video of Maya Little’s direct action from Samee Siddiqui on Twitter ↩︎

  5. Judge declines to punish student who poured ink on statue ↩︎

  6. Confederate statue on UNC campus toppled by protesters ↩︎

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Gerry Broome