“Black Jim Crow Studies”: Opposition and Repression

  • Ibram X. Kendi
Part of the Contemporary Black History book series (CBH)


Minutes before the Cornell judicial board decided to reprimand three of the six black students involved in an earlier protest, the first of eleven fire alarms in nine dorms and two halls awakened the campus. In between alarms, at around 2:00 a.m. on April 18, 1969, a frantic black student called the police to report a six-foot-high cross burning on her dorm’s front porch and the rock someone tossed through her front window. Black students were livid about the attacks on Wari, the black women’s cooperative. For the rest of the day, rumors swirled about what they were planning. Everyone knew the racial bubble, which had expanded with each new cohort of black students over the previous few years, was about to burst. They just did not know when or where.1


Police Officer Black Student White Student Black Study Campus Activist 
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  1. 1.
    This opening narrative about the Cornell protest comes from Donald Alexander Downs, Cornell’69: Liberalism and the Crisis of the American University (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1999) and William H. Friedland and Harry Edwards, “Confrontation at Cornell,” Trans-action 6 (June 1969), pp. 29–36, 76.Google Scholar
  2. 8.
    Clarence L. Mohr and Joseph E. Gordon, TULANE: The Emergence of a Modern University, 1945–1980 (Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 2001), pp. 357–358.Google Scholar
  3. 10.
    Jeffrey Alan Turner, “Conscious and Conflict: Patterns in the History of Student Activism on Southern College Campuses, 1960–1970” (PhD. diss, Tulane University, 2000), p. 276; “National Guardsmen Sent to 3 Troubled Campuses,” CHE, June 16, 1969; Cleveland Sellers and Robert Terrell, The River of No Return: The Autobiography of a Black Militant (Jackson, MS: University of Mississippi Press, 1990), pp. 210–212, 218.Google Scholar
  4. 17.
    Rusty L. Monhollon, This is America?: The Sixties in Lawrence, Kansas (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002), pp. 100–106; Beryl Ann New, “A Fire in the Sky: Student Activism in Topeka, Kansas and Lawrence, Kansas High School in 1969 and 1970” (Masters Ed., Washburn University, 2002), pp. 52–54; Judith Jackson Fossett, Race Consciousness: African-American Studies For the New Century (New York: New York University Press, 1997), pp. 248 (Garrett and BSU quotes); Bryce Nelson, “Kansas: Police-Student Violence Imperils University,” Science 169 (August 7, 1970), pp. 567–569.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 20.
    This narrative is from Dikran Karagueuzian, Blow It Up!: The Black Student Revolt at San Francisco State and the Emergence of Dr. Hayakawa (Boston: Gambit, 1971), pp. 168–169; William Barlow and Peter Shapiro, An End to Silence: The San Francisco State College Student Movement in the ‘60s (New York: Pegasus, 1971), pp. 236–264; “Police Repel Students at College in San Francisco,” NYT, December 4, 1968.Google Scholar
  6. 24.
    Allan Kornberg and Joel Smith, “‘It Ain’t Over Yet’: Activism in a Southern University,” in Black Power and Student Rebellion, pp. 107–109; Alan Kornberg and Mary L. Brehm, “Ideology, Institutional Identification, and Campus Activism,” Social Forces 49 (March 1971), pp. 445–446; Stark, “Protest + Police = Riot,” in Black Power and Student Rebellion, pp. 186–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 38.
    Clifford A. Bullock, “Fired by Conscience: The ‘Black 14’ Incident at the University of Wyoming and Black Protest in the Western Athletic Conference,” Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal 68 (1996), pp. 4–13; “Wyoming U Still Tense,” CD, October 25, 1969; “Black Athletes Having Their Day in Court,” CD, November 11, 1969; “Court Disclaims Black-14s Petition,” CD, October 19, 1971.Google Scholar

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© Ibram H. Rogers 2012

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  • Ibram X. Kendi

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