The year of 1968 was replete with sweeping change as it related to the fight for civil and equal rights for Black people. Fifty years ago today, Black students at Northwestern University in Illinois took over the institution’s financial aid building which forced the school to yield to their demands for equality.
On April 22, 1968, two student organizations, For Members Only, and the Afro-American Student Union, gathered to list out a series of demands to school administrators not limited to open housing, denouncing discrimination against Black students, and the creation of a Black student union. Those demands went unheard and on May 3, 1968, the FMO and AASU gathered in the bursar’s office of Northwestern University and took it over for 38 hours.
At the end of the take over, students were able to convince school administrators to supply easier financial aid standards, open housing in Evanston where the main campus is situated, and to help increase Black student enrollment. The Black Student Union Center, today known as “The Black House,” was also put into place as a result of the takeover.
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