"I Am Miami": Black Student Activism At Miami University, 1968-1978

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History and Geography


Master of Arts

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The Black Student Movement is an important aspect of the Civil Rights struggle of the 1960s. This movement not only demonstrates how students reified the Black Power Movement's ideas on their respective campuses, but also is critical to our understanding of diversity initiatives at universities across the nation. This thesis explores the Black Student Movement at Miami University and the conditions that gave rise to the formation of the Black Student Action Association (BSAA), which served as the chief political platform for black students at the time. This study will highlight the BSAA's grievances, political activities, struggles and achievements at Miami University. Through examining the BSAA's fight for cultural spaces, intentional recruitment efforts for black students and faculty, Black Studies programs and Affirmative Action policies, I hope to illuminate how black students at predominately white universities negotiate their sense of identity within a racially exclusive dominant culture.