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Space Invaders: Ivy League Universities and Their Black Neighbors

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Abstract:

In postwar America, universities grew in both population and physical size. Those universities that resided in American cities often met with conflict from their urban neighbors. Never was that more true than when Columbia University in the City of New York, the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and Harvard University in Cambridge expanded its land holdings in the 1950s and 1960s. For centuries, Ivy League universities have been symbols of the best that American has to offer. In an effort to attract students and remain competitive with peer institutions these Ivy League universities participated in the federal, state, and municipal urban renewal movement of the postwar era. They purchased land, buildings, and mortgages in their surrounding neighborhoods so that they could improve their schools. In doing so, these three universities gained a reputation for being poor landlords. Neighbors of the universities complained that the schools "ran them out" of their homes by driving housing prices up, using duplicitous removal tactics, and by imposing litigation.

To resist the universities expansion into the nearby neighborhoods, community residents, bearing in mind the principles of a growing Black Power movement, publicly protested the elite institutions. Black and white students from Columbia, Penn, and Harvard coalesced with community members to alter their university's expansion policies by demonstrating on campus and at construction sites. In some cases the protest efforts worked to slow the insitutions' expansion; in others, the demonstrations simply illuminated the impudence of powerful white institutions toward poor and black people. This presentation will highlight the role of those who chose to stand against the encroachment of seemingly impregnable symbols of white power.
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Association:
Name: 95th Annual Convention
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http://www.asalh.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p436124_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Bradley, Stefan. "Space Invaders: Ivy League Universities and Their Black Neighbors" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p436124_index.html>

APA Citation:

Bradley, S. M. "Space Invaders: Ivy League Universities and Their Black Neighbors" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p436124_index.html

Publication Type: Invited Paper
Abstract: In postwar America, universities grew in both population and physical size. Those universities that resided in American cities often met with conflict from their urban neighbors. Never was that more true than when Columbia University in the City of New York, the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and Harvard University in Cambridge expanded its land holdings in the 1950s and 1960s. For centuries, Ivy League universities have been symbols of the best that American has to offer. In an effort to attract students and remain competitive with peer institutions these Ivy League universities participated in the federal, state, and municipal urban renewal movement of the postwar era. They purchased land, buildings, and mortgages in their surrounding neighborhoods so that they could improve their schools. In doing so, these three universities gained a reputation for being poor landlords. Neighbors of the universities complained that the schools "ran them out" of their homes by driving housing prices up, using duplicitous removal tactics, and by imposing litigation.

To resist the universities expansion into the nearby neighborhoods, community residents, bearing in mind the principles of a growing Black Power movement, publicly protested the elite institutions. Black and white students from Columbia, Penn, and Harvard coalesced with community members to alter their university's expansion policies by demonstrating on campus and at construction sites. In some cases the protest efforts worked to slow the insitutions' expansion; in others, the demonstrations simply illuminated the impudence of powerful white institutions toward poor and black people. This presentation will highlight the role of those who chose to stand against the encroachment of seemingly impregnable symbols of white power.


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