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The Black Revolution on Campusby Martha Biondi
Synopses & Reviews
Martha Biondi's superb book is a pioneering treatment of the integral role of courageous black students in the turbulent 60s. In our age of the Occupy Movement, we badly need this wonderful work!"
—Cornel West, author of Race Matters
The Black Revolution on Campus is a passionate and powerful piece of scholarship about a dramatic moment in the evolution of American universities: the period in the 1960s and 1970s when the Black Power Movement clashed with the liberal sensibilities of Western cultural empire building. Biondi carefully demonstrates why this era of intellectual insurgency, led by Black students and their white allies, was significant. It allowed those whose stories had been left out of the curriculum to begin to speak truth to power. But it also made space for other movements (such as feminism and gay rights) to become important parts of the contemporary academic curriculum. Biondi invites the reader to do more than bear witness to an important scholarly debate about the role of black studies on college campuses in the 1960s and 1970s. Her probing analysis illuminates enduring yet evolving truths about our larger culture and its myths of American life.”
—Lani Guinier, Bennett Boskey Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
The Black Revolution on Campus is the first comprehensive account detailing the struggles for black studies within institutions of higher education in the United States. It suggests the enduring salience, and at times bitter consequences, of black struggles for inclusion, representation, and autonomy on college campuses and within university curricula. I know of no other work of its kind, and certainly no work as definitive.”
—Nikhil Pal Singh, author of Black is a Country: Race and the Unfinished Struggle for Democracy
Martha Biondi's The Black Revolution on Campus is a judicious and empathetic history of the Black student movement. Reading the book reminds us of the forgotten stories and remarkable individuals who forged the organizations that moved history along. It makes us recognize how much the good side of the contemporary American academy is indebted to the courage and commitment of the people who put themselves on the line to bring justice into institutions that are often smug about their values and their own history. The promise of the Black Revolution is unfinished. Biondi's book is a reminder of those tasks that remain.”
—Vijay Prashad, author of Uncle Swami: South Asians in America Today
The Black Revolution on Campus is the definitive account of an extraordinary but forgotten chapter of the black freedom struggle. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Black students organized hundreds of protests that sparked a period of crackdown, negotiation, and reform that profoundly transformed college life. At stake was the very mission of higher education. Black students demanded that public universities serve their communities; that private universities rethink the mission of elite education; and that black colleges embrace self-determination and resist the threat of integration. Most crucially, black students demanded a role in the definition of scholarly knowledge.
Martha Biondi masterfully combines impressive research with a wealth of interviews from participants to tell the story of how students turned the slogan black power” into a social movement. Vividly demonstrating the critical linkage between the student movement and changes in university culture, Biondi illustrates how victories in establishing Black Studies ultimately produced important intellectual innovations that have had a lasting impact on academic research and university curricula over the past 40 years. This book makes a major contribution to the current debate on Ethnic Studies, access to higher education, and opportunity for all.
About the Author
Martha Biondi is Associate Professor of African American Studies and History at Northwestern University. She is the author of To Stand and Fight: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Postwar New York City.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Introduction: The Black Revolution on Campus
1. Moving toward Blackness”:
The Rise of Black Power on Campus
2. A Revolution Is Beginning”:
The Strike at San Francisco State
3. A Turbulent Era of Transition”:
Black Students and a New Chicago
4. Brooklyn College Belongs to Us”:
The Transformation of Higher Education in New York City
5. Toward a Black University:
Radicalism, Repression, and Reform at Historically Black Colleges
6. The Counterrevolution on Campus:
Why Was Black Studies So Controversial?
7. The Black Revolution Off-Campus
8. What Happened to Black Studies?
Conclusion: Reflections on the Movement and Its Legacy
What Our Readers Are Saying