Lenoir Dining Hall
"I’ll never forget, down at the university when I worked in the food service, they were picketing in Lenoir Dining Hall, Chase Cafeteria, and the Student Union. We all had to group together because they didn’t want to pay us minimum wage, and the hours were so long. So, a guy came in from Georgia and we went out on strike and pulled everyone out of those eating establishments and went to the pit. We walked around that pit with our signs and it was just like the older people used to tell us. People threw food at us, spit at us, all kinds of crazy stuff. But we still stayed there and carried those signs."
- Deloris BynumConstruction of Lenoir Dining Hall began on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus in 1939, using New Deal funding. The cafeteria is named for white slave holder William Lenoir (1751-1839), first president of the UNC Board of Trustees (1790). In February of 1969, UNC's food workers went on strike to demand better wages, hours, and working conditions, and Black and white student activists supported the strike. Student actions were met with opposition from the university and the state government, with the governor calling in state police to surround the cafeteria. While the university raised wages and met some other demands, they did not recognize the workers' union and soon after the strike, turned over the operation of Lenoir Dining Hall to a private company.
"We’re writing our own history, thank you!"
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