BLACK STUDENT PROTEST
THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
The Ohio State University student protests of the Sixties and Seventies were crucial to the establishment of The Department African American and African Studies, Department of African American and African Studies Community Extension Center, Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, The Office of Diversity and Inclusion, The Frank W. Hale Black Cultural Center, and other academic offices addressing the social concerns of diverse campus communities.
APRIL 4, 1968—THE CATALYST FOR CHANGE
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) addresses crowd s during the March On Washington at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC, where he delivered the “I Have A Dream' ”speech.
<<Like anybody, I would like to live a long life.
Longevity has its place.
But I'm not concerned about that now.
I just want to do God's will.
And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain.
And I've looked over.
And I've seen the promised land.
I may not get there with you.
But I want you to know tonight,
that we, as a people will get to the promised land.>>
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
I've Been To The Mountaintop,
Memphis, Tennessee April 3, 1968
Rev. Dr. King's Assassination
On April 4, 1968, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed by a sniper's bullet while standing on the second-floor balcony of his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. His death spurred social justice protests across the globe.
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THE BLACK STUDENT UNION (BSU) AT THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY (OSU)
The Black Student Union (BSU) at The Ohio State University (OSU) was founded in 1968. BSU was the first African American student organization to develop as a response to OSU policies regarding minority students, and began protests in an effort to bring the University into a position that was more accommodating to the largely heretofore ignored needs of minority students. On April 26, 1968, more than 75 members of the Black Student Union staged a “lock-in” blocking access to the university business office. The students demanded open off-campus housing, the hiring of more minority faculty, and the teaching of courses on African-American history and culture. University officials brought criminal charges against 34 students who participated in the demonstration.
More than a year of legal and political wrangling finally came to an end in July 1969. In a plea-bargained settlement brokered by Judge Thomas Mitchell, reportedly with behind-the-scenes support from Governor Rhodes and the Ohio State Bar Association, charges against six students were dismissed entirely. Six other students pleaded guilty to trespassing only. Ten students pleaded guilty to trespassing and making menacing threats. The cases of two students who were out of town were referred to a different court and eventually dropped. Jail time in all cases was suspended. Fines for trespassing cases were limited to $10 each, and fines in the menacing threats cases were limited to $250 each. In addition, the defendants signed a “statement of regret” for their treatment of Vice President Gordon Carson and his staff. They were also put on probation for two years and required to pay court costs.
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