Citation

The Black Student Union and the Black Power Movement in Washington State, 1968-1970

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Abstract:

This paper describes the Black Student Union (BSU) and the Black Power Movement in Washington State, during the late-1960’s. It follows the BSU from San Francisco State College to the University of Washington (UW) and Washington State University (WSU). Thereby, it explores Black Power Movement in an area of American that few scholars have covered, the Northwest.

The Black Student Union was an important organization within the Black Power Movement. It led effective political campaigns on campuses nationwide in the 1960’s and 70’s. At the University of Washington, the BSU held a four-hour sit-in of the president’s office on May 20, 1968 that resulted in sweeping measures to address racial inequality. Shortly thereafter, the BSU at Washington State University launched its own campaign that culminated in a student strike, May 22-29, 1970, that also resulted in racial reforms. Furthermore, Black Studies programs were established at both schools by 1969, due to BSU efforts.

This account of the BSU provides a window into Black history in the Northwest and challenges popular notions of the Black Power Movement. As a Black Power student group, the BSU’s presence in the Northwest challenges the idea that Black Power was only relevant to “Northern ghettos.” Additionally, this history counters common characterizations of Black Power as violent and counter-productive. This research contributes to the argument that the Black Power Movement was a dynamic and influential period of Black activism.

Marc Robinson
PhD candidate
American Studies Program
Washington State University

111 Wilson-Short Hall, PO Box 644010
Pullman, WA 99164-4010
Phn: 509-335-7973
Email: marc_robinson@wsu.edu

Most Common Document Word Stems:

black (16), power (9), bsu (7), movement (6), washington (6), state (5), student (5), univers (4), union (3), northwest (3), histori (2), campaign (2), paper (2), studi (2), result (2), counter (2), challeng (2), 1960 (2), 1968 (2), racial (2), may (2),
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Association:
Name: 36th Annual National Council for Black Studies
URL:
http://www.ncbsonline.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p550231_index.html
Direct Link:
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MLA Citation:

Robinson, Marc. "The Black Student Union and the Black Power Movement in Washington State, 1968-1970" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 36th Annual National Council for Black Studies, Sheraton Atlanta Hotel, Atlanta, GA, Mar 07, 2012 <Not Available>. 2014-11-24 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p550231_index.html>

APA Citation:

Robinson, M. , 2012-03-07 "The Black Student Union and the Black Power Movement in Washington State, 1968-1970" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 36th Annual National Council for Black Studies, Sheraton Atlanta Hotel, Atlanta, GA Online <PDF>. 2014-11-24 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p550231_index.html

Publication Type: Individual Presentation
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This paper describes the Black Student Union (BSU) and the Black Power Movement in Washington State, during the late-1960’s. It follows the BSU from San Francisco State College to the University of Washington (UW) and Washington State University (WSU). Thereby, it explores Black Power Movement in an area of American that few scholars have covered, the Northwest.

The Black Student Union was an important organization within the Black Power Movement. It led effective political campaigns on campuses nationwide in the 1960’s and 70’s. At the University of Washington, the BSU held a four-hour sit-in of the president’s office on May 20, 1968 that resulted in sweeping measures to address racial inequality. Shortly thereafter, the BSU at Washington State University launched its own campaign that culminated in a student strike, May 22-29, 1970, that also resulted in racial reforms. Furthermore, Black Studies programs were established at both schools by 1969, due to BSU efforts.

This account of the BSU provides a window into Black history in the Northwest and challenges popular notions of the Black Power Movement. As a Black Power student group, the BSU’s presence in the Northwest challenges the idea that Black Power was only relevant to “Northern ghettos.” Additionally, this history counters common characterizations of Black Power as violent and counter-productive. This research contributes to the argument that the Black Power Movement was a dynamic and influential period of Black activism.

Marc Robinson
PhD candidate
American Studies Program
Washington State University

111 Wilson-Short Hall, PO Box 644010
Pullman, WA 99164-4010
Phn: 509-335-7973
Email: marc_robinson@wsu.edu


Similar Titles:
Revisiting Africana Studies at HBCUs: The Institute for the Study of History, Life, and Culture of Black People at Jackson State College, 1968-1979

"The Triangle of Black Power: The Relationship between the Black Power Movement, the Black Arts Movement, and Black Studies"

Navigating Forgotten Histories: An Oral History Approach to Understanding the Life Experiences of Black Detroit High School Student Activists of the Black Power Movement


 
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