210 Pittsboro Street
Campus Box 6210
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-6210

T 919-962-2091
F 919-962-2279

News Release

For immediate use

Oct. 30, 2007

‘Free Men’ reunion recalls Chapel Hill desegregation

CHAPEL HILL – Participants in and witnesses to desegregation protests that rocked Chapel Hill in the 1960s will speak in a free public program at 5:45 p.m. Nov. 8 in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Wilson Library.

They will recall their experiences and celebrate republication of John Ehle’s “The Free Men,” a landmark book about the era that was first released in 1965. Winston-Salem publisher Press 53 reissued the book in February. Ehle will participate in the UNC program with:

Attendees will be able to examine archival selections from the manuscripts department in Wilson Library, home to the papers of Ehle, Parker and Dunne. On view will be photographs of events depicted in “The Free Men”; the journal in which Parker reflected on her experiences as a student and demonstrator in 1963-64 (“On Saturday the 14th, I decided to go to jail. It was no fun at all.”); and a 1964 letter Dunne wrote on a paper towel to his parents from the Orange County Jail, describing sentences imposed on him and conditions in the jail.

The Bull’s Head Bookshop will offer copies of “The Free Men” for sale at the program, co-sponsored by the library and Press 53. For program information, contact Friends of the Library at (919) 962-4207 or For an online exhibit about the protests, “I Raised My Hand to Volunteer: Students Protest in 1960s Chapel Hill,” visit

Manuscripts department Web site:
Press 53 Web site:

Library contacts:  Tim West, (919) 962-1345,; Judith Panitch (919) 962-1301,
Press 53 contact: Kevin Watson, (336) 414-5599,