On Feb. 21, 1969, a group of brave students chained the doors shut to their Fisk Hall classroom and demanded that Wesleyan offer more support to its black community. As a result of this peaceful protest, Wesleyan established the Center for African American Studies, the Malcolm X House dormitory, and the black student union, Ujamaa. The black students who graduated that spring became known as the Vanguard Class of 1969.
During the 2018–19 academic year, African American Studies is commemorating its 50th anniversary with a plethora of events surrounding the topic of “Blackness, Race, Sexuality, and Power.” In addition, the Vanguard Class will be honored at their 50th reunion, along with other students of that era, for their groundbreaking efforts. Their courage helped spur Wesleyan’s now cutting-edge scholarship and teaching in black history, literature, and the arts, along with race theory and critical approaches in anthropology, religion, science, and beyond.
The fall events include:
“Solidarity, Intersectionality & Resisting Oppression”
Feminist philosopher Carol Hay
Sept. 20 at 4:30 p.m.
Sponsored by Philosophy Department
Boukman Eksperyans & Paul Beaubrun – Haitian Music
Sept. 20 at 7 p.m.
Sponsored by African American Studies and Music