Clyde Hoey Was a Racist Whose Name Still Adorns a Building at North Carolina Central University

Two years ago students at North Carolina Central University in Durham called for the university’s board of trustees to change the official name of the Hoey Administration Building on campus. The building was named for Governor Clyde R. Hoey who served from 1937 to 1941. An online petition gathered thousands of signatures calling for a name change. This was the third time students at the university had asked the administration to consider a name change.

In 1937, Governor Hoey appointed a commission to study Black education that was made up entirely of White men. That commission recommended that Hoey appoint a committee of representatives from White universities to supervise future developments at historically Black institutions. Hoey went on to become a U.S. senator in the 1940s and was a strong opponent of civil rights legislation. Additionally, he once stated to the North Carolina General Assembly, “North Carolina does not believe in social equality of the races and will not tolerate mixed schools for the races.”

Walter C. Farrell Jr. and Al-Tony Gilmore, both alumni of North Carolina Central University, wrote recently in the Raleigh News & Observer that Hoey speaking before an audience of the United Daughters of the Confederacy stated “Niggers are not entitled to civil rights and will never get them. There were no niggers on the Mayflower.”

Farrell and Gilmore noted that “two years have passed years since the NCCU Student Government Association called for removal of Hoey’s name. The administration’s delay is inexplicable and unsettling.”

 

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