Fifty years ago today, dozens of Black Ohio State University students took over the school’s administration building to demand equality and justice. While the protest didn’t yield the exact results the Black Student Union sought, it helped put into motion changes at the school to meet some of those demands.
On April 25, Black Student Union leader John S. Evans led the group into the administration building and listed their concerns. Chief among them was the lack of equal academic funding with their white counterparts, and the mistreatment of Black students at the hands of campus police. Further, housing for Black students was in a poorer state in comparison to their white counterparts.
It was an especially timely protest considering earlier in the month, racial tensions were at their highest of the period due to the recent assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Evans was the only person arrested in connection to the protest but went on to graduate from the school in 1970. That year, another Black student protest was staged and their continued efforts finally led to the creation of the Department of African American and African Studies and the Ohio State University African American and African Studies Extension Center.
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