Black Ink (Black Student … /
March 31, 1992, edition 1 /
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5-Year Straggle at N.C.
But the student union space for the African-Amer
By Sharilyn Seale
“ll is easier to do what you want
in your own house than it is in
somebody else’s house,” said M.
lyailu Moses, director of the North
Carolina State African-American
Cultural Center, which is housed in
its student union.
Some at UNC-Chapel Hill,
including Chancellor Paul Hardin,
have said UNC’s Sonja Haynes
Stone Black Cultural Center should
be similarly expanded within its
present location in the Student
Moses said there were problems
with the location of N.C. Slate’s
“Go for a free-standing center,”
she advised UNC students. “It is
difficult to achieve your goals when
the people over you have a different
agenda. There are too many cross
Moses has served as the interim
director since January 1991, but has
only been the director for three
The idea of an African -
American Cultural Center at N.C.
State is attributed to A.M.
Witherspoon, the assistant provost
and also the coordinator of African-
American Affairs. Witherspoon,
students, administrators, and friends
began their initial agitation in 1987.
Students submitted a list of
demands to Bruce Poulton, the
chancellor at the time.
The demands included the
cultural center, academic credit for
African-American courses and the
improvement of the graduation rate
of African Americans.
N.C. State students, recognizing
they were a long way from achieving
those demands, began marching
and holding press conferences.
They threatened a sit-in.
Greg Washington, a graduate
student currently working on his
doctorate in mechanical
programming, remembers all the
problems he and others seeking a
center encountered. He advised
UNC students to “continuously
“I recommend writing C.D.
Spangler, and voting more African
Americans into more leadership
positions,” he said. “If you put
African Americans into these
prominent offices, every time
(administrators) turn around they
see a black face pushing the same
Protests began in 1987 and the
N.C. State center was completed
five years later. The center, housed
in the Student Union Annex, is
This picture of black leaders adorns a wall on the secoi
The center was completed this year.
Kelly Greene/Black Ink
Moses served as interim director of N.C. State’s African-American Cultural Center
for a year. She was named director three months ago.
15,000 square feet covering three
floors in the comer of the building.
“Students wanted to be able to
access the cultural center from one
doOT without having to go through
the rest of the building,” explained
Students sat down with the
architects and discussed and
devised the plans for the center.
They wanted a library, a multi
purpose room, an art gallery, a
conference room, a reception area
and small offices to be located in
Organizations such as Dance
Visions, the graduate student
organizations, fraternities and
sororities regularly use these
Moses said that although
students worked with the architects,
they did not receive “exactly what
they wanted.” For example, the
gallery has walls made of sheet
rock, which is inconsistent with the
“Go for a free-fitandin;
achieve your goals wh
have a different agend
M. lyailu Moses, direct
housed in their student
use of a gallery.
“You cannot hammer nails into
sheet rock,” said Moses. The
lighting is also wrong. Floodlights
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