Dozens of people filled Carroll auditorium on UNC’s campus this saturday to remember Chuck Stone, the trailblazing black reporter and professor who paved the way for minorities in journalism.
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Both professional colleagues and personal friends of Stone were in attendance, including Richard Cole, former dean of the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
“When he talked he usually decried discrimination, racism, police brutality, and he always emphasized freedom,” Cole said.
Stone joined the university in 1991. Over the course of 14 years, Stone earned numerous honors and distinctions, including multiple excellence in teaching awards before his retirement in 2004.
Mark Zimmerman, president of the East chapel hill rotary club, looked back on Stone’s final years.
“Losing ones freedom is rarely an easy transition, it must have been infinitely harder for Chuck, who spent his life fighting for freedom,” Zimmerman said.
Before he became a professor, Stone spent 19 years as the first black columnist with the Philadelphia Daily News. His vocal stance against discrimination and police brutality developed his reputation as a negotiator for criminal suspects. More than 75 wanted fugitives turned themselves in to Stone during his time at the Daily News.
Speakers at the memorial made mention of Stone’s diverse range of accomplishments, which include co-founding the National Association of Black Journalists, working as a White House correspondent, and serving as a Tuskegee Airman during World War II.
In addition to the numerous speeches, Stone was remembered by song.
Stone will be honored by the National Association of Black Journalists this August when the organization awards the first ever Chuck Stone Lifetime Achievement Award. Additionally, the journalism school will be hosting the Chuck Stone Symposium in the fall, an opportunity to discuss the social and political issues that Stone would’ve talked about.