Black Student Movement at Pitt State: Racial Progress in the Post-Civil Rights Era


Noah Larson

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The black student movement at Pittsburg State University, 1967-1978, highlights academic reform within the understudied era of the post-civil rights era. When writing his book, black campus movement historian, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, used Pittsburg State University’s movement to show how white campus culture resisted black students’ integration on campus to reflect upon our current political climate. This begs the question, how did the Black Student Movement change campus culture at Pitt State, and what was that change’s legacy? While most Americans often think that today’s racial equality standards are based within the civil rights era, most activists and historians are quick to correct this myth as most if not all are based on the post-civil rights era, if not more specifically the black student movement. Such modern-day staples as critical race theory, equity over equality, and the black lives matter movement have roots dating back to this movement and their young people in education in general. The post-civil-civil rights era, the universities within the state of Kansas unified to act in what is deemed the era of inclusion. Pittsburg State University implemented African studies, black history week, offices of student diversity, and all-around inclusivity within their campuses to influence academia during the black power movement. Through studying the relationship of the Black Student Movement at Pitt State, we can not only understand better understand how our Academic has improved its own racial inclusion programs, but also how it still has a long way to go.

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