Student activism has played a powerful role at U-M over the years. Particularly from the 1960s to the present, students have spoken out about issues on campus and across the country.
The history of modern black student activism — from the 1968 protest at Hill Auditorium following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to the recent #BBUM movement last fall — will be discussed at “The Power of Protest: Black Student Activism at the University of Michigan.”
The free public forum will be from 4-6 p.m. Tuesday in Room 5511 Haven Hall. Sponsors include the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies (DAAS); the Black Student Union and the United Coalition for Racial Justice.
The first, second and third Black Action Movements on campus, as well as the Tower Takeover at the Michigan Union in 2000, will also be discussed at the forum.
The forum is a follow-up to a discussion sponsored by DAAS last March about the March on Detroit, which preceded the March on Washington in 1963, according to Elizabeth James, program manager for DAAS.
Factors that led to successful protests — from sit-ins and strikes to social media campaigns — and how they have changed over the years also will be highlighted.
The forum will be led by James and Stephen Ward, associate professor of social theory and practice in the Residential College, who also teaches in DAAS. He is an expert on African-American political thought and the Black Power Movement of the 1960s and 1970s.
“The effectiveness of the various protests and the quest to increase diversity on campus will be examined during the discussion,” James said. “We will examine the demands made by BAM and whether they have been met. We look forward to discussing the ways that students and their allies have expressed their concerns in a meaningful way.”