Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Historians Call for Conference Boycott

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Historians Call for Conference Boycott

Article excerpt

ST. LOUIS -- African American, Latino and other historians from around the country are organizing a boycott of next month's Organization of American Historians (OAH) annual convention because the venue where the meeting is to be held has a history of discrimination against Blacks.

New York University's Dr. Jeffrey T. Sammons is leading the protest as head of the Committee for a New Conference Site, or CNCS (pronounced cynics). "We have decided to create a formal organization to persuade the OAH to sever ties with the Adams Mark [Hotel] and to organize demonstrations in St. Louis against the Adams Mark whether or not the OAH takes such a step," Sammons wrote in an e-mail inviting OAH members to join the protest.

Since 1991, the 21-hotel Adams Mark chain has been the subject of several lawsuits in which Black guests and/or employees have accused the company of discriminatory treatment. In 1999, five African American students and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People sued the hotel's Daytona Beach facility for mistreatment that the students say they were subjected to while attending the Black College Reunion. The allegations led to a federal investigation of the hotel by the U.S. Justice Department.

Sammons says he first learned of the hotel's reputation on Jan. 19, when talking about the convention with a friend who lives in St. Louis. After verifying the facts for himself, he decided to organize a formal protest. …

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