Black Students Matter: Taking Over Allen in '69
Inside the Takeover
Armed with a list of demands and grocery bags full of food, over fifty black students entered the Allen Building in the early morning on Thursday, February 13, 1969. These members of the Afro-American Society renamed the building the Malcolm X Liberation School—in line with similar takeovers at other American universities. For the next nine to ten hours, the students occupied themselves with an array of activities, such as listening to the news, playing cards, and learning how to work typewriters.
These four documents (to the right) were left behind when the students vacated the building:
Written at 8:30 am inside of the Allen Building, this note (upper right) reflects how the takeover was not only a call for action but also an appeal for empathy:
"It is not the intent of the Afro-Am Society to do this as means of rebuke, just to place enough immediate attention on the grievance of the Blacks on this campus. Sympathy is not what we want, just action, Imagine yourself in our place. Thank you"
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