2020 – Online Exhibition

Claiming Their Space: Black Student Activism at the University of Maryland

This exhibit explores Black student activism at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) in the late 1960s, with a focus on the fall of 1968. October was a seminal month in the history of Black student activism at UMD. The Black Student Union (BSU)  formed out of a two-year-old student organization called Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), unaffiliated with the national organization of the same name. The BSU realigned their goals from mere integration to equality and Black student solidarity, reflecting national trends in the Black Power movement. This exhibit centers on several incidents in October 1968: the rejection of appointments of radical Black students to the Committee of Meaningful Integration, the October 12 ice pelting incident at a home football game against the University of North Carolina, and the rejection of four unnamed Black women students from a home economics nutrition study. Collectively, these incidents culminated in a rally on October 22 at the Home Economics building. Mixed responses by students and administrators to Black student-centered controversies demonstrated persistent discrimination on the UMD campus and lack of administrative advocacy for Black students.

View the exhibition here.