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Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History

Martin Luther King, Jr., Assassination Remembrance: April 1968

Martin Luther King, Jr., Assassination Remembrance: April 1968

The BSM began to make its voice heard when the Civil Rights Movement lost its most prominent leader and spokesperson, Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 5, 1968. The next day, 30 to 40 grieving members of the BSM marched down Franklin St. and burned Confederate flags in front of the Kappa Alpha house, a fraternity that celebrated the Old South and the Confederacy. The BSM held a memorial service in Gerrard Hall with 60 BSM members in attendance. A University-wide memorial, attended by 2,000 people, was also held. The BSM asked African American workers to show their support for Dr. King, and on April 9, 90% of the African American workers on campus stayed home from work. All but one of the dining halls had to be closed.

-- Photo: Daily Tar Heel, April 6, 1968, "Chapel Hill Tensions Rise as Blacks Stage Protest," 1A