University of California, Santa Barbara
Black Studies Final
BL ST 1
August 1, 2017
It was in the late 1960’s, student protests were happening on campuses all around the world. They all had something in common, which was for their voices to be heard and demands be met. They all wanted equality in their education. It was in this time, the late 60’s, were students on our campus saw an opportunity to join other student protesters and demand change at UC Santa Barbara.
The Black Studies department, also known as African-American Studies, was one of many ethnic studies departments that was established in the 1960’s. Here, at UC Santa Barbara it was stablished in the fall of 1968. This came as result of student activists, who felt like their culture and history was being misrepresented. The protest was primarily ran by twelve Black students who had the support of the Black community and many of their White colleagues. Black students on this campus felt like there was a lack of criticality in the school’s curriculum. They sensed that it was very European dominant and that Black history was not fully taught right, even though it was a big part of the United States history. In addition to that, the Black community was also constantly harassed by students and staff and needed a “safe space”. A place where they could go and be themselves without the worries of being referred to as the “N” word. Inspired by Malcom X and Martin Luther King, the twelve students decided to take over building know as North Hall, by blocking the entry. They decided to target this particular building because it was where most of the campuses technology was kept. By taking over this building, they were able to gain more power, that allowed them to demand change in the University.
The establishment of this department, corrected the misrepresentation of Black history and helped create more awareness of their past, present, and future struggles. It was then, when the universities curriculum changed from a euro-based and was more inclusive of Black history. This more inclusive curriculum offered a deeper understanding of oppression, slavery, civil rights, and other Black struggles. It would no longer briefly talk about these issues, but instead teach it the same way other history courses were taught. It served as a corrective discipline by fixing the negative aesthetics that sometimes would be illustrated. The new discipline gave a better perspective on Black history, culture, and current issues. As part of the students demands, the university established a center for the department. Thus, Black students, and of other backgrounds, could have a place where they could feel safe, encourage, and support one another. Their demand also helped create more equality among the students, since Black students were not receiving the same resources, education and help, that the White students received.
In a sense, this protest was unique. When North Hall was taken over by students, it...