Race & Space

Race & Space is a project about the different ways integration affected various kinds of space on North Carolina State University’s campus. We interpreted NC State’s integration story while engaging with the national context of college sports integration, social change in urban areas, and student, faculty, and employee life between the years of 1965-1985. We examined when, why, and how attitudes towards black citizens and integration changed and evolved at NC State and how these shifting opinions affected the ways in which both black and white students, employees, and athletes navigated social, cultural, and physical spaces. Within this project, we explored race in the city, race in the athletics department, race in the workplace, and race in the student body and classroom.

Through these exhibits, we argue that integration is not a single event or a single shift; integration is a spatial negotiation, an ongoing process, and a collective experience. Black students, staff, and community members at NC State began negotiating for their own space and their own presence, and this process gradually remade the campus, spatially, physically, psychologically, and emotionally. Integration and the tensions surrounding it pervaded not only political spaces, but academic, athletic, and social ones. We hope we shed light on these ongoing tensions and how they were unique at NC State.

The project is necessarily divided into four kinds of spaces: the community, the athletics department, the student body, and the workplace.


Race & Space: The Athletic Department answers questions like, "When, how, and why did black athletes start moving into athletic spaces? What role did black athletes play in expanding black right to space at NC State and integrating the university?" 

Race & Space: The Student Body answers questions like, "How and where did black students carve out spaces--both physical and metaphorical--for themselves on NC State’s campus in the face of institutional and individual racism?"

Race & Space: The Workplace answers questions like, "How did affirmative action and equal opportunity effect NC State employees? How did black staff and faculty carve out their own working space in an overwhelmingly white campus? How did the university administration react to black employee militancy and their fight for equality?"

Finally, Race & Space: The Community answers questions like, “How did NC State students, faculty, and committees negotiate space within the larger Raleigh community? What role did NC State play in the larger community in addressing equal rights regardless of race?” 

About the Project

In addition to our individual exhibits, we collaboratively created an About the Project page describing our objectives and our methodology, as well as detailing the conception of the project. 

The Map

A critical component to understanding the answers to these questions is our interactive Map, which shows the different spaces in which integration evolved.

The Collection

Should you wish to explore the items in our digital collection--all of which informed our interpretation, helped us visualize spaces, or provided invaluable context to our exhibits--they can be found on our Collection page.


All of the sources we used in the creation of this project can be found on our References page. Each of these references is cited in Chicago style, so that future students and researchers can take advantage of the numerous fascinating resources that shed light on NC State in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

Site Creators 

If you would like to learn more about the project's creators, visit the Site Creators page.


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