The Chapel Hill Historical Society


Martin Luther King Jr.
In Jim Crow Chapel Hill

Presentation by Mike Ogle

Sunday, April 28, 2019 3:00-5:00 PM
Meeting Room B
Chapel Hill Public Library
100 Library Drive
Chapel Hill, NC



Martin Luther King Jr. came to Chapel Hill in 1960, two months after the Chapel Hill Nine took their seats in Colonial Drug Store to spark the local civil rights movement. King delivered four talks here over two days, tailoring his remarks to fit each audience's ears and his aims. Although Chapel Hill's liberal reputation had been entrenched for decades, Jim Crow was a significant part of its reality. King had to navigate that landscape -- and racism's deep roots here -- including opposition from one of Chapel Hill's most prominent residents.

Mike Ogle is a journalist and former sports writer who has written for a number of national outlets, including the New York Times, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and the Washington Post. Originally from Roanoke, Va., Mike is an alumnus of UNC-Chapel Hill who returned to North Carolina in 2012 after 9 years in New York City. Since then, he's researched and written about local African-American history, especially as it pertains to racial injustice and inequity. In 2015, he wrote a piece for Charlotte Magazine about the week that three Muslim students were murdered and Dean Smith died that was cited in Best American Sports Writing, and in 2018 on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, he wrote a front-page article for the News & Observer and Herald-Sun about King's overlooked 1960 trip to Chapel Hill. That article is the basis of his talk.


Image: Martin Luther King Jr. speaking at the Hargraves Center, 1960.