James L. Cates, Jr.

James L. Cates, Jr.

Place of birth: 
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
Date of birth: 
Place of death: 
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
Date of death: 


James “Baby Boy” Louis/Lewis Cates, Jr. was born in Chapel Hill October 28 (or 26th), 1948. His father was James "Boot" L. Cates, Sr., his mother was Eula Mae (Trice) Cates.

James attended Lincoln High, Chapel Hill’s segregated Black school, until his senior year (1966-1967), when he moved to Chapel Hill High. It was the first year Chapel Hill’s public schools were fully integrated, and Chapel Hill High was formerly the segregated white high school.
Cates lived at 211 N. Graham Street with his paternal grandmother, Annie Cates, at the time of his death.
The weekend before Thanksgiving 1970, James Cates Jr. was killed during a large fight outside a dance at the UNC Student Union. It was an all-night dance marathon meant to foster improved race relations. The fight was between members of a Nazi-themed motorcycle gang from Durham called the Storm Troopers and Black dance attendees, many from Northside. Cates was stabbed twice and died from his wounds.
Due to the contracted ambulance service's incompetence in this incident, the South Orange (County) Rescue Squad was founded. Additionally, UNC officers were made to complete training in first aid, firearms, crowd/riot control, and additional basic police training.
Cates is buried at the Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery.
There is currently (2021) a proposal to rename UNC's Student Stores Building after Cates.
For more information about Cates' life and death, see:



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