UNC-CH dorm to get slave's name

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Former UNC-Chapel Hill Provost Richard Richardson had heard bits and pieces about Chapel Hill's slave poet -- the man who charged students 25 to 75 cents for acrostics to give to their sweethearts.

But it wasn't until Richardson was doing research for the university's bicentennial celebration that he really came to know the work of George Moses Horton, the Chatham County slave who published his first book of poetry before he could write.

"For a man of such enormous deprivation to come out of that and to establish himself as really an intellectual in the community, and to interact with the university so closely, is really an amazing story," he said. "It added depth and a face and a personality to the whole notion of slavery that I thought needed to be recognized."

This fall, it will be.

Upon Richardson's recommendation as the chairman of a committee on naming university buildings, and a vote of the board of trustees, a South Campus dorm will be named after Horton. The building is now known as Hinton James North, next to the residence hall officially named after James, the university's first student.

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