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Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History

Life in Segregated Chapel Hill

North Carolina's African Americans faced tremendous financial difficulties in the late nineteenth century. Sometimes they submitted to demeaning treatment for a few pennies. Ben Boothe, an African American resident of Chapel Hill, allowed students to hit him on the head with a fist or a board for five cents. He would never flinch. For another five cents, he crowed like a rooster. Faculty suspected that college servant Tom Kirby secretly sold whiskey to students.