It Was Never Just: On Student Activism and Racism (A Reader)

It was never just Ferguson, and it is not just the University of Missouri or Yale.

Social inequity/racism and institutional racism are nearly impossible to ignore, although many still try to deflect repeated acts of violence toward blacks by police officers—in the streets and schools’ hallways—as well as the patterns of racist aggressions in the workplace and on college campuses by pointing their fingers at “bad” individuals.

White denial may be at a tipping point in the U.S. since student activism on college campuses appears to be resurfacing in ways associated with the Civil Rights era of the mid-twentieth century.

While demanding that the oppressed and wronged take the lead is problematic—it is of course the moral obligation of those with power to do the right thing—black college students and athletes taking stands against racism and inequity, stands for social justice deserve support and praise, but they deserve even more to be heard and then for all of us to act.

Here, I offer a reader related to student activism and racism spurred by the University of Missouri’s and Yale’s recent controversies:

MU students tell their stories of everyday racism

The Vilification of Student Activists at Yale, Gillian B. White

3 Lessons From University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe’s Resignation, David Zirin

The Missouri Tigers and the Hidden History of Black College Football Activists, David Zirin

READ: Two Personal Statements That Help Explain The Situation At Mizzou (NPR)

Players Strike Back: Howard’s 11 Goes on Strike, Louise Moore

The University of Missouri students who forced their president to resign

Young Black People See the News Media’s Double StandardCatherine R. Squires

A History of Racism at the University of Missouri, Brent Staples

Does Missouri president ouster offer lessons to universities grappling with a racist past?, A.D. Carson

[Clemson’s Tillman Hall and the Tragedy of Southern Tradition]

Perspective on Mizzou, David Ubben

Alleged racism at Yale, University of Missouri: Are colleges taking it seriously?

A Few Good Reads On The Missouri Protesters And Journalistic Outrage, Tasneem Raja

Student Activism Is Serious Business, Roxane Gay

I’m a black Yale grad, and its racial firestorm doesn’t surprise me: Now it’s time for the administration to act, Courtney McKinney

Our Republic Will Withstand College Students Protesting, John Warner

Three Cheers for Student Protests, John Warner

Students Share What It’s Like To Be Black At Mizzou

At Missouri, ‘right now, we are facing the backlash,’ Cristina Mislán

Missouri activists vs. the press is still a story about race: This is what happens when black students can’t trust the media, Paul Young Lee

Enter the Real Power of College Sports, Thabiti Lewis

4 Things You Might Have Wrong about the Mizzou Story, Ryan Famuliner

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