Seeds of Change: Defining Black Space at the Claremont Colleges 1968-69

Bombs, massive protests, evacuations. These are not the kinds of events we think to associate with the Claremont Colleges, yet they all took place between 1968 and 1969. This exhibit unveils the long-hidden story of the struggle Black students faced in order to establish a space for themselves in predominantly white institutions. The foundation of the Black Studies Center at the Claremont Colleges is a remarkable example of student organizers overcoming violence, fear, and suspicion. The Black Studies Center, founded in 1969, continues into 2018 as the Intercollegiate Africana Studies Department and the Office of Black Student Affairs. Fifty years later, we celebrate the accomplishments of fearless student activists even as we reflect on the continuing institutional racism at the Claremont Colleges.

This exhibit is the online component of Seeds of Change: Defining Black Space at the Claremont Colleges 1968-69. The physical exhibit took place at the Clark Humanities Museum at Scripps College, Claremont, California and ran from November 5 to December 12, 2018. It was curated by the students of Core 3: Mobilizing Art, led by Professor Anne Harley.

Special thanks to Ruth Pongstaphone, Professor Maryan Soliman, the Ella Strong Denison Library staff, and the Clark Humanities Museum staff.


Cassandra Aleman (SCR '21), Elizabeth Carleton (SCR '21), Anne Harley (SCR faculty), Leigh Anne Lieberman (Claremont Colleges Digital Research Studio Director), Yunjing Lin (SCR '21), Kate McPhee (SCR '21), Ramya Mukund (Claremont Colleges Digital Research Studio Fellow), Anna Teske (SCR '21)