UNC's Closed-Door Dealings May Undermine Silent Sam Payment

Feb 7, 2020

The Silent Sam statue, before anti-racist protesters toppled it in 2018.
Credit Matt Couch/WUNC

Who really owns Silent Sam? Archaic property law and a 1913 speech underpin the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ claim to the contentious monument torn down in Chapel Hill in 2018.

A lawsuit reopened in December, now supported by students, faculty and prominent alumni, challenges that ownership and the UNC Board of Governors’ $2.5 million payment to the group. The reopened case involves archival research into who funded the statue in the first place as well as in depth reporting from The Daily Tar Heel into the reasons for an earlier payment. Host Frank Stasio is joined by Liz Schlemmer, WUNC’s education reporter, and Charlie McGee, director of investigations for The Daily Tar Heel.