On April 30, Maya Little, a graduate student in history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was arrested after she smeared red ink—and her own blood—on Silent Sam, an embattled Confederate monument installed on the campus by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1913. She was charged on May 7 with defacing a public statue. If found guilty, she could be sentenced to up to 60 days in jail.
A leader of a student group pushing for Silent Sam’s removal, Little explained her actions in a message directed at UNC chancellor Carol Folt. “Silent Sam is violence,” wrote the African American student. He is “a symbol of UNC’s commitment to white supremacy… You should see him the way that we do, at the forefront of our campus covered in our blood.”
Little characterized her defacement of the statue as the latest salvo in a Black student campaign against Silent Sam that dates backs to the ’60s.