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Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History

Black Student Movement and Black Ink

The Black Student Movement (BSM) was established on November 7, 1967, by black students who, frustrated with the slow pace of change, sought to make their voices heard. In December 1968, the BSM presented Chancellor J. Carlyle Sitterson with the "Demands of the Black Student Movement," calling for changes that would give African American students more opportunity and representation at the university. The chancellor replied that although he intended to be "responsive to the educational needs of . . . all races, colors, and creeds" the "University cannot, in policy or practice, provide unique treatment for any single race, color or creed." While many alumni applauded his response, many students and faculty members saw it as inadequate and protested.

In 1969, the BSM began publishing Black Ink as an alternative to the Daily Tar Heel, which the group saw as a newspaper for white students. Black Ink is still published today. In the years since 1968, the majority of the ideas set out in the "Demands" have been realized. The BSM has grown to be the second largest student organization on campus, and continues to promote social justice and draw attention to issues affecting black students, faculty, and staff. See our exhibit on the Black Student Movement here.