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A Call for Black Power: A Political Analysis of Black Student Insurgency at The Ohio State University from 1969 to 1970

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Abstract:

During the late sixties and early seventies heightening political awareness led Black students at The Ohio State University (OSU) to organize and mobilize within the Black Student Union (BSU), Afro-Am, and the Ad Hoc Committee for Student Rights (AHCSR). These student organizations used tactics such as rallies, demonstrations, protests, and a University Strike to demand for political, social, and economic changes within the University to recruit and retention Black students, faculty, and staff. Stigmatized for their non-traditional components the demonstrations were defined by some University and City Officials as irrational, radical behavior led by students and non-students.

Scholarly analyzes of riot theories have traditionally neglected the importance of structural strains on individuals. Instead riot theories relay on irrationality and violence to explain collective behavior. Hence, riot theories neglect structural strains within the University, which led students to perform collective behavior. Therefore, it is more insightful to redefine OSU student protests as a social movement, which will account for some of the issues facing the University and its students: increased student enrollment, increased tuition, increased faculty interaction with students, increased student mobilization and organization, and a homogeneous racial environment that served to isolate an estimated 1.9% to 2.8% Black student population.

Informed by the literature on collective behavior, OSU archive documentation, and personal interviews this paper places the protests by Black students in a clearer political and sociological context. In order to accomplish a redefinition and reinterpretation of the student protests, the weaknesses of riot theories are examined noting their inadequacies in describing collective behavior. A more useful framework for analyzing OSU student protests is to view them through the lens of social movement theories. Social movement theories have theoretical advantages, which explain a range of complex factors that interact to produce collective behavior. Strain theories and the Resource Mobilization Theory as presented by Piven and Cloward (1977), fall short as full explanations of OSU student protests because they contend that psychological abnormalities and elite resources are the producing factors of social movements. The methodology of Doug McAdam’s (1982) Political Process Model, which contends that a range of complex factors interact to produce and maintain collective behavior is embraced to explain OSU student protests and their components more fully. In addition, similarities between the student protests and the Civil Rights Movement further prove that the student protests can be defined as a social movement. Through Doug McAdam’s (1982) Political Process Model one comes to understand that the OSU student political activities were organized activities promoting Black empowerment that led to the development of the Vice Provost of Minority Affairs, the Office of Minority Affairs, the Department of African American and African Studies, and increased minority scholarships.
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Association:
Name: 35th Annual National Council for Black Studies
URL:
http://www.ncbsonline.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p494773_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Pierce, Tina. "A Call for Black Power: A Political Analysis of Black Student Insurgency at The Ohio State University from 1969 to 1970" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 35th Annual National Council for Black Studies, The Westin, Cincinnati, OH, Mar 16, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p494773_index.html>

APA Citation:

Pierce, T. D. , 2011-03-16 "A Call for Black Power: A Political Analysis of Black Student Insurgency at The Ohio State University from 1969 to 1970" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 35th Annual National Council for Black Studies, The Westin, Cincinnati, OH <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p494773_index.html

Publication Type: Individual Presentation
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: During the late sixties and early seventies heightening political awareness led Black students at The Ohio State University (OSU) to organize and mobilize within the Black Student Union (BSU), Afro-Am, and the Ad Hoc Committee for Student Rights (AHCSR). These student organizations used tactics such as rallies, demonstrations, protests, and a University Strike to demand for political, social, and economic changes within the University to recruit and retention Black students, faculty, and staff. Stigmatized for their non-traditional components the demonstrations were defined by some University and City Officials as irrational, radical behavior led by students and non-students.

Scholarly analyzes of riot theories have traditionally neglected the importance of structural strains on individuals. Instead riot theories relay on irrationality and violence to explain collective behavior. Hence, riot theories neglect structural strains within the University, which led students to perform collective behavior. Therefore, it is more insightful to redefine OSU student protests as a social movement, which will account for some of the issues facing the University and its students: increased student enrollment, increased tuition, increased faculty interaction with students, increased student mobilization and organization, and a homogeneous racial environment that served to isolate an estimated 1.9% to 2.8% Black student population.

Informed by the literature on collective behavior, OSU archive documentation, and personal interviews this paper places the protests by Black students in a clearer political and sociological context. In order to accomplish a redefinition and reinterpretation of the student protests, the weaknesses of riot theories are examined noting their inadequacies in describing collective behavior. A more useful framework for analyzing OSU student protests is to view them through the lens of social movement theories. Social movement theories have theoretical advantages, which explain a range of complex factors that interact to produce collective behavior. Strain theories and the Resource Mobilization Theory as presented by Piven and Cloward (1977), fall short as full explanations of OSU student protests because they contend that psychological abnormalities and elite resources are the producing factors of social movements. The methodology of Doug McAdam’s (1982) Political Process Model, which contends that a range of complex factors interact to produce and maintain collective behavior is embraced to explain OSU student protests and their components more fully. In addition, similarities between the student protests and the Civil Rights Movement further prove that the student protests can be defined as a social movement. Through Doug McAdam’s (1982) Political Process Model one comes to understand that the OSU student political activities were organized activities promoting Black empowerment that led to the development of the Vice Provost of Minority Affairs, the Office of Minority Affairs, the Department of African American and African Studies, and increased minority scholarships.


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