This month’s Digitizing the Long Civil Rights Movement update pauses to look back into Duke’s own past struggles with racial equality. On February 13, 1969, students in the Afro-American Society occupied the Allen Building where the university’s primary administration offices were (and still are) located. These students demanded that Duke take steps to enact racial equality on campus, including the founding of an African-American Studies department, the hiring of more African-American professors, and the establishment of an African-American cultural center on campus. Similar demands had been made before from members of the Black Studies Program, as featured in our fourth update in this blog series.
What distinguished the Allen Building Takeover from the previous efforts for reform was its forcefulness—on both sides of the debate. The Takeover marked the first such occupation by students in Duke’s history. The administration’s response also became notable for what some members of the student body perceived to be its brutality. Police officers dispatched to the scene used tear gas to disperse a crowd that had gathered around the building, leading to a “riot” on the main quad of West Campus.
In the wake of the Takeover, students rallied to enact the suggested agenda of the original occupiers. Eventually, most of the demands did become standard practice at Duke, but the change occurred more gradually than what the galvanized student body had wanted in February 1969. The items selected above are from a photo essay published by The Chronicle (Duke’s independent student newspaper) that encapsulated the events of Takeover.
We are happy to announce that the Allen Building Takeover Collection and its wealth of primary documents and remembrances of the important event will soon become available online to researchers.
The grant-funded CCC Project is designed to digitize selected manuscripts and photographs relating to the long civil rights movement. For more about Rubenstein Library materials being digitized through the CCC Project, check out previous progress updates posted here at The Devil’s Tale!
Post contributed by Josh Hager, CCC Graduate Assistant.
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The Devil’s Tale Archive
- Louis E. Williams papers, 1951-1971 and undated. July 28, 2014
- Jean Kilbourne papers July 23, 2014
- Williamston, N.C., Civil Rights journal, 1963 November 11-20. July 22, 2014
- Theater Three Collaborative records, 1970-2014. July 22, 2014
- Ellsa Lucile Hozman travel diary, 1913 April 29-1913 August 28. July 21, 2014
- Das veränderte Russland : in welchem die ietzige verfassung des geist- und weltlichen Regiments : der Krieges-Staat zu Lande und zu Wasser, wahre Zustand der russischen Finantzen, die geöffneten Berg-Wercke, die eingeführte Academien, Künste, Manufacturen, Verordnungen, Geschäffte mit denen asiatischen Nachbaren und Vafallen, nebst der allerneuesten Nachricht von diesen Völckern : die Begebenheiten des Czaergangene, und was sich sonst merckwürdiges in Russland zugetragen, nebst verschiedenen andern bissher unbekandten Rachrichten in einem biss 1720 gehenden Journal vorgestellet werden, mit einer accuraten Land-Carte und Kupfferstichen versehen. July 17, 2014
- L'anatomie pacifique nouvelle et curieuse : conforme à la doctrine d'Hippocrate & de Galien, qui donne les moyens d'accorder les recents avec les anciens, par des experiences nouvelles, principalement touchant les actions du coeur & des poulmons July 17, 2014
- Beytrag zur Geschichte Russlands vom Jahr 1727 bis 1744 : nebst einem Anhange über die damalige Beschaffenheit des Kriegs- des Seewesens, des Handels, der Academie &c. &c. : mit Charten und Planen : aus einer franzöisischen Handschrift. July 17, 2014
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- Le vere e nove imagini de gli dei delli antichi July 29, 2014
- Emblemata D. A. Alciati : denuo ab ipso autore recognita, ac, quae desiderabantur, imaginibus locupletata July 29, 2014
- Andrea Alciati V.C. Emblemata cvm Clavdii Minois I.C. commentariis ad postremam auctoris editionem auctis & recognitis July 29, 2014
- Emblemata July 29, 2014