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Special Collections and University Archives African American History Resources: Black Student Movement at Rutgers University

A guide to African American history resources held by Rutgers Special Collections and University Archives.

Books

The Black Student Protest Movement at Rutgers. Richard Patrick McCormick, 1990. 

Black Power is Black Pride. Rutgers University Students, 1969.

Journal of Black Poetry. Rutgers University, Africana Studies Department, 2001. 

Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America's Universities. Craig Steven Wilder, 2013. 

 

Collections

Black Organization of Students (Rutgers-Newark), 1967-1973

The Black Organization of Students (BOS) was a student organization established on the Rutgers Newark campus. The records within this collection largely relate to the group's demands for administrative and admission changed in 1969 and include documentation surrounding the takeover of Conklin Hall by BOS members. Additional records include University policy and changes, correspondence from University staff, student groups and community members, newspaper clippings and several articles written by BOS members regarding the "black experience" at Rutgers. 

Rutgers-Newark in the 1960s and 1970s Oral History Collection, 1990-1992

The Rutgers-Newark oral history collection consists of cassette recordings of interviews conducted by librarian emeritus Gilbert Cohen. The interviews document the city of Newark and the Rutgers University-Newark campus in the 1960s and 1970s. Sixty people associated with Rutgers-Newark were interviewed including students, faculty, administration, and staff representing a vast spectrum of political beliefs and levels of activism. 

Office of Rutgers University President Mason Gross. Subject files: "Black Student Protest, 1968-1971" and "Disruptions"

The Black Student Protest subject files document the takeover of Conklin Hall in 1969 as well as some smaller student protests. There are 12 folders labeled "Disruptions" devoted to this topic which include clippings, reports and correspondence. The most voluminous materials are the letters sent to President Gross from Rutgers alumni and the general public, criticizing his actions. These letters provide an interesting look at how the public perceived the Civil Rights movement as it played out at Rutgers. 

Records of the Rutgers University Dean of Student Affairs, Earl W. Clifford, 1952-1973. Subject files: "Black Student Unity Movement, 1969-1971," "Black Unity League, 1968-1972," and "Heckel Committee, 1968-1972."

The  Black Student Unity Movement was designed to unite the various black student organizations that existed throughout the Rutgers Campuses. On February 17, 1969 the Unity Movement issued 24 demands of the University which included the removal of all racist instructors and professors, the establishment of an Urban Education Department, and a Black Studies Department. They later requested reparations of student fees citing that the services funded by these fees failed to represent the interests of African American Students. The two folders on the Heckel Committee, named for Willard Heckel, document an organization that dealt with regulations and freedoms of student organizations. These include documentation of requests from the Black Organization of Students and the eventual agreement between this organization and the University. 

 

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