Nov 07

The Black Revolution on Campus

Speakers

  • Martha Biondi

    Northwestern University

    Martha Biondi is Lorraine H. Morton Professor of African American Studies and Professor of History as well as the Director of the Center for African American History. She teaches classes in 20th Century African American History with a focus on social movements, politics, labor, gender, cities, and international affairs.

    Her latest book, The Black Revolution on Campus, describes an extraordinary but forgotten chapter of the black freedom struggle. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Black students organized hundreds of protests that sparked a period of crackdown, negotiation, and reform that profoundly transformed college life. At stake was the very mission of higher education. Black students demanded that public universities serve their communities; that private universities rethink the mission of elite education; and that black colleges embrace self-determination and resist the threat of integration. Most crucially, black students demanded a role in the definition of scholarly knowledge. Vividly demonstrating the critical linkage between the student movement and changes in university culture, the book illustrates how victories in establishing Black Studies ultimately produced important intellectual innovations and had a lasting impact on academic research and university curricula over the past 40 years. Her first book was To Stand and Fight: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Postwar New York City (Harvard University Press, 2003).

  • John Bracey, Jr.

    University of Massachusetts, Amherst

    Professor John H. Bracey, Jr., has taught in the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst since 1972. He is now serving a second stint as department chair, and is co-director of the department’s graduate certificate in African Diaspora Studies. His major academic interests are in African American social history, radical ideologies and movements, and the history of African American Women and more recently the interactions between Native Americans and African Americans, and Afro-Latinos in the United States. During the 1960s, Professor Bracey was active in the Civil Rights, Black Liberation, and other radical movements in Chicago. Since his arrival at UMASS he has maintained those interests and commitments both on campus and in the wider world.

    His publications include several co-edited volumes: Black Nationalism in America (1970); the prize winning African American Women and the Vote: 1837-1965 (1997); Strangers and Neighbors: Relations between Blacks and Jews in the United States (with Maurianne Adams, 1999); and, African American Mosaic: A Documentary History from the Slave Trade to the Twenty-First Century (with Manisha Sinha, 2004).

    Professor Bracey’s scholarship also includes editorial work on the microfilm series Black Studies Research Sources (LexisNexis), which includes the Papers of the NAACP, Amiri Baraka, the Revolutionary Action Movement, A. Phillip Randolph, Mary McLeod Bethune, the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs, and the Papers of Horace Mann Bond. Professor Bracey is a co-editor with Professor James Smethurst and Professor Emerita Sonia Sanchez of SOS: Calling All Black People: A Black Arts Movement Reader (2014).

  • Stefan Bradley

    Loyola Marymount University

    Stefan Bradley is Professor and Chair of African American Studies at Loyola Marymount University. His primary research area is recent African American and higher education history. He is interested in the role that youth have played in shaping post-WWII American society. More specifically, he is fascinated with the efforts and abilities of black college students to change not only their scholastic environments but also the communities that surrounded their institutions of higher learning. Amazingly, young people, by way of protests and demands, have been able to influence college curricula as well as the policies of their schools.

    This interest in the movements of these young people has led him to study black student activism at Ivy League universities. His most recent book, Upending the Ivory Tower: Civil Rights, Black Power and the Ivy League, details the progressive efforts of black people at eight elite universities during the postwar era to not only desegregate campuses but decolonize knowledge. His first book, Harlem vs. Columbia University: Black Student Power in the Late 1960s, deals with black students who risked their educations (and potentially their lives) during the famous controversy that took place at Columbia University in 1968-1969. His co-edited book Alpha Phi Alpha: A Legacy of Greatness, The Demands of Transcendence, covers the creation and evolution of the nation's first black collegiate fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, which was founded at Cornell University.

    After the uprisings in Ferguson, Missouri and elsewhere occurred, his work on student/youth activism has been discussed in media outlets such as the Harvard Law Review, The New York Times, NPR, C-Span2 BookTV, CNN, Al-Jazeera, MSNBC, BBC, and BET.

Discussion

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