In the fall of 1968, after the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert (Bobby) F. Kennedy, Black students decided they were fed up with the racial epithets, fraternities in black face during homecoming, and an overall unsympathetic university administration. Students were weary of being instructed and coached by faculty and staff who at times seemed more interested in crushing their souls than developing their intellect. They felt that their survival at UCSB as a community was in peril. They believed it was their responsibility to make it better for those who came after them, no matter the cost.
On October 14, 1968, heartbroken and discouraged, 12 students took over North Hall and demanded a transformation of their university and higher educational experience. Their activism reverberated across the nation and helped spark a movement that made Black Studies a discipline within higher education in the United States of America.
Thank you. This exhibition is for you. Congratulations for surviving this long after such a traumatic history. Guess what? Not much has changed.
Where do we want to be as a UCSB community 50 years from now?
This exhibition is presented in connection with North Hall Takeover 50 Years After - A Black Vision of Change (Oct. 12-14, 2018). This conference is organized by UC Santa Barbara Alumni and the Department of Black Studies to honor the 12 students who took over North Hall in 1968, and to think seriously about how we can create a better future for Black students, and consequently for all students, at UCSB.
Written and curated by kynita stringer-stanback, Black Studies and Sociology Librarian. With curatorial assistance by undergraduate student Alyssa Frick-Jenkins.
*A Luta Continua is a term coined by FRELIMO (revolutionary freedom fighters) from Mozambique. It’s Portugese for “The Struggle Continues.”