Black Student Life Showcased at Multiple AFAM Exhibits Campus-Wide

In celebration of the African American Studies' 50th anniversary, the department has created multiple displays on campus that honor the history of black student life at Wesleyan.

In celebration of the African American Studies’ 50th anniversary, the department has created multiple displays on campus that honor the history of black student life at Wesleyan.

On Feb. 21, 1969, black students, faculty, and staff staged a historic takeover of Fisk Hall, Wesleyan’s main academic building at the time, to protest racism and advocate for increased administrative support for people of color at the University. Dubbed the “Vanguard Class” for their place at the forefront of that movement, several members of the Class of 1969 reconvened at Fisk Hall on Saturday, May 25, 2019, to reflect on what being a part of that momentous event 50 years earlier has meant for them and for Wesleyan since.

On Feb. 21, 1969, black students, faculty, and staff staged a historic takeover of Fisk Hall, Wesleyan’s main academic building at the time, to protest racism and advocate for increased administrative support for people of color at the University. The display “Fisk Hall Takeover” is a photographic retrospective of that event. It’s housed on the first floor of Fisk Hall.

An exhibit titled "Through the Lens of History: The Wesleyan African American Experience" is on display in Olin Library outside Special Collections & Archives.

An exhibit titled “Through the Lens of History: The Wesleyan African American Experience” is on display in Olin Library outside Special Collections & Archives.

The display showcases dozens of photographs, articles, publications, documents, and other artifacts.

Student-curated mini-exhibits are displayed inside cubed-cases in the Olin Reading Room. Pictured is a display titled "Unburying Black Middletown History: Archaeological Findings From the Beman Triangle.” curated by Arianne Philemy '21. 

Student-curated mini-exhibits are displayed inside cubed-cases in the Olin Reading Room. “Unburying Black Middletown History: Archaeological Findings From the Beman Triangle” is curated by Elias Benda ’19 as a final project for the Black Middletown Lives course.

“Ghost Stories, the Photographs” is curated by Sarah Messman-Sanders '19. She created the display as part of her senior essay for African American Studies. 

“Ghost Stories, the Photographs” is curated by Sarah Sanders-Messman ’19. She created the display as part of her senior essay for African American Studies.

“The Fisk Hall Takeover and Black Student Activism in Middletown, 1965-1969" is curated by Arianne Philemy '21 as a final project for the Black Middletown Lives course.

“The Fisk Hall Takeover and Black Student Activism in Middletown, 1965-1969″ is curated by Arianne Philemy ’21 as a final project for the Black Middletown Lives course.

"At the End of the Day: A Survey of Black Student Life at Wesleyan and For the Culture: The Ankh, Art, and Activism at Wesleyan" is on display inside Usdan University Center.

“At the End of the Day: A Survey of Black Student Life at Wesleyan” and “For the Culture: The Ankh, Art, and Activism at Wesleyan” was displayed inside Usdan University Center.

The "Books in Black Studies" exhibit, located in Daniel Family Commons, features several book covers by Wesleyan faculty and alumni authors.

The “Books in Black Studies” exhibit, located in Daniel Family Commons, features several book covers by Wesleyan faculty and alumni authors.

"Celebrating the History of African American Music at Wesleyan" is displayed outside the Music Library in Olin Library.

“Celebrating the History of African American Music at Wesleyan” is displayed outside the Music Library in Olin Library.

For more information on AFAM’s history, read this past News @ Wesleyan article.