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Student Protest at Washington University

Black Student Protests at Other Universities

Student activism and protest are each inextricably linked to institutions of high education. There are countless examples of students protesting to spur political or social change at hundreds of colleges and universities. Oftentimes, incidences of student protest have gone on to become catalysts for wider political or social change. Student protests have come in a variety of forms including sit-ins or occupations of university facilities. During the Civil Rights Movement, college students were very influential. In fact, the sit-ins that were so common during the Civil Rights Movements were popularized by students at Shaw University who were members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. 

Florida A&M University Students protesting the arrest of 23 students who were arrested for participating in sit-ins at area lunch counters. 
More information about the events surrounding the protest can be found at

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21st Century Black Student Protests


Often when someone thinks of the Black Student Movement, they reference the sixties and the early seventies of the twentieth century. Nevertheless, it is important to note that the middle of the 20th century was not the only time that Black students came together to combat oppressive forces of institutions and the American nation.  Following the Civil Rights Movement, many students used this history as a foundation and an example to base movements and protests off of.  Looking to their predecessors, students at across the nation have stood together in the 21st century. This section will serve as an example of contemporary Black Student Movements. 

Are you familiar with the history of Black people at your specific institution (protests, movements, general history etc)?
Yes: 5 votes (33.33%)
No: 7 votes (46.67%)
Maybe so: 3 votes (20%)
Total Votes: 15
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Interestingly and often not thought about is the performance of Black Lives Matter by students on campuses across the nation in the 21st century.  Protest songs go as far back as the trans-atlantic slave trade with regards to African American protest in the and on the way to the United States.  An article highlighting a conference in which experimental music as protest can be found here: 

Elizabeth, Jordannah. "Black Experimental Artists Shine at Harvard BLM Conference." New York Amsterdam News, vol. 108, no.7, 26 Feb. 2017, pp. 24-26. 



Below are Works crucial to discourse on 21st century Black Student Movements. 

*bolded are keywords*

Ndemanu, Michael T. "Antecedents of College Campus Protests Nationwide. Exploring Black Student Activists' Demands."  Journal of Negro Education, vol. 86, no. 3, Summer2017, pp. 238-251. EBSCOhost. 

ABSTRACT: In the wake of campus unrests provoked by conscious and subconscious racist acts undergirded by institutional racism, the author of this article explores the root causes of the incidents and the protests. The demands of Black student activists in 73 universities are analyzed. The most recurrent demands in the 73 universities are ranked by order of frequency as follow: 55 want an increase in faculty of color, 49 want diversity training for faculty and staff, 44 want an increase in students of color, 44 want a required racial/social justice course for all students.

Dickey, Jack and Vistor Luckerson. "Two College Protests Reveal Growing Divides on American Campuses." Time, vol. 186, no. 21, 23 Nov. 2015

ABSTRACT: The article discusses how college protests involving students, activists, and athletes at institutions such as Yale University and the University of Missouri (Mizzou) reveal the increasing social and racial divides on American college campuses as of 2015. Freedom of speech is addressed in relation to a debate over Halloween costumes and lecturer Erika Christakis' views. The exclusion of black students and racism at Mizzou are examined, along with racial diversity in higher education.


Leonard, David J. "#Leaders of the Class." Crisis (15591573), vol. 121, no. 4, Fall2014, pp. 18-22. EBSCOhost.

ABSTRACT: The article discusses African American college student leaders and their work to fight against racism on U.S. college campuses during the early 21st century. The article presents several examples of racism at universities such as the University of Wisconsin-Madison, St. Louis University, and Cornell University. The article discusses a group of UCLA students known as the Black Bruins, the University of Michigan social media movement #BBUM (Being Black at Michigan), and the staging of protests by African American student groups.