Black Student Activism at Amherst College
This essay represents my foray into twentieth century African American educational activism. It follows the establishment of the Black Studies Department at Amherst College in the 1960s and 1970s.
My essay, "Be Your Own: Student Activism and the Birth of Black Studies at Amherst College, 1965-1972,” is featured in the June 2016 issue of the New England Quarterly.
Historians have examined how social movements influenced African American student activism in mid-to-late twentieth century America. My essay extends the scholarship by telling the story of African American male student activists who led the fight for curricular reform at Amherst College, then an all-male liberal arts college in Massachusetts. This local story reveals that African American student activism was driven by social movements as well as the distinctive mission of the liberal arts college.
It is available to read online for free.