The Black Revolution on Campus: An Extended Book Review

By Claybrook, M. Keith | The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online), September 2013 | Go to article overview

The Black Revolution on Campus: An Extended Book Review


Claybrook, M. Keith, The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)


Historian Martha Biondi's 2012 book entitled The Black Revolution on Campus (University of California Press, 2012, 366 pp. ISBN 9780520296224) provides accounts of Black student activism on college and university campuses throughout the United States. The Associate Professor of African American Studies and History at Northwestern University explores selected college and university campuses as case studies, chronicling the power and impact of Black student activism in the late 60s. Using archival research and oral histories, Biondi's 278-page work provides insight into how Black students revolutionized higher education through their protests, strikes, and seizures of buildings towards the fulfillment of their demands.

For Biondi, "This dramatic explosion of militant activism set in motion a period of conflict, crackdown, negotiation, and reform that profoundly transformed college life. At stake was the very mission of higher education".1 She concludes the book with a discursive analysis of "What Happened to Black Studies?" where she argues against the standardization of the curriculum in academic units in favor of the flexibility of curriculum, theories, and approaches.

The book divides into eight chapters sandwiched between an Introduction and Conclusion. After introducing the book, chapter one explores the socio- political and historical climate, giving rise to Black student activism on campus. Chapter's two through five examine Black student activism at specific colleges and universities. Finally, chapters six, seven, and eight discuss the rise, successes, and challenges of Black Studies on and off campus. Biondi is sure to include external as well as internal challenges to Black Studies as a discipline and its departments and programs.

From the beginning, Biondi is clear on the inaccuracies of calling this period of activism a revolution. She illustrates how the Black student activist were referring to the moment as a revolution, even noting that Ebony magazine bought into the idea of a Black Revolution when they published a special issue in 1969 entitled "The Black Revolution".2 However, Biondi illustrates that neither the students' aims nor achievements fulfilled the traditional sense of revolution. That is, seizing power and taking control facilitating socio- political shifts in society and/ or nation. For Biondi, the reference to a Black revolution on campus sheds light on the power to assert agency and reform higher education. She says, "The title of this book hopes to capture the sweeping nature of many of their demands". She continues, "the audacity of the children of sharecroppers and factory workers in asserting a right to shape these institutions was in a sense revolutionary". For Biondi, to varying degrees the "desegregation of institutions of higher education in the American North and West was won by the children of southern migrants and constitutes another legacy of the twentieth century's massive internal migration".4 Therefore, what was revolutionary was not the socio- political movement or historical moment on these campuses per se, but the new and different Black students and their politics and agenda's separated them from previous generations. For Wayne Glasker, "this 'revolution' rejected the earlier sense of shame and stigma attached to blackness and to African ancestry, and it involved a rejection of the goal of assimilation (into the melting pot of Anglo- conformity). It also involved a rejection of the goal of 'color- blindness' or eradication of the consciousness of difference, in favor of pride in difference and positive consciousness of difference (hence the terms 'black consciousness' and 'race consciousness'".5

Ibram Rogers highlights that the Civil Rights Movement primarily affected "the moral conscious of white America to advance African Americans- or white suasion- gave way to black suasion to develop the moral, cultural, and political consciousness of African Americans toward the necessity of black unity, power, and agency through the Black Power Movement (BPM). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Black Revolution on Campus: An Extended Book Review
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.