Reflections on the Journey:
Interview with Danny Glover
Jeanette R. Davidson
University of Oklahoma
JRD I’d like to begin our interview by asking you about back in the 1960s so that we can cover your experience of the history of the student movement at San Francisco State College.1 I know you were involved in the efforts for Black Studies so I want you to recall the genesis of the student action and your collective motivations and goals and your hopes. You’ve talked before to me about the “collective vision.”
DG I think there are very unique circumstances which bring people together at any moment and, without a doubt, for an historic moment. It was not only what happened with the students at San Francisco State, but what was happening in the community surrounding the area. And that’s the moment at the center. Most of my activity took place within and around specific communities. We had a distinct Hispanic community, a distinct Asian community, and two distinct African American communities. One was Hunter’s Point and the other Fillmore, now called Western Addition. All of those communities intersect in some way. San Francisco State was unique also because, being a teachers’ college, in order to provide opportunities for work-study for students, they had tutorial programs.
What I think happened, and was important, was that the BSU [Black Student Union] was able to recognize, even though we were a small minority on the campus, the inherent power that lies within the structure that existed. That was the first thing. Also, because San Francisco is strategically located … the whole space [was] created for organizing and, because of its history, people came to San Francisco to return to school. Men and