FREE SPEECH 35: How Did American Universities Become Great? (Hint: Black Student Activists)
With Professor Stefan Bradley, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles
Who Changed American Universities for the Better? The struggle for freedom for Black people took place not only in the fields of the South or the urban areas Dr. King and many other civil rights activists were working on, but also in what’s been called the Jim Crow North. The Ivy League institutions, as symbolic and actual sites of American opportunity, went from desegregating to integrating students, but this profound change was driven by student activism, courage, and actions, and not by the benevolent actions of white liberal administrator and presidents in power. Stefan Bradley is Professor and Chair of African American Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and author of Upending the Ivory Tower: Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Ivy League. He explains how American higher education was powerfully transformed by the actions of courageous students, and why our country is the better for it. Based on deep research, he explains how institutions today can respond adequately to students’ needs, and concludes with recommendations for anyone interested in keeping American higher education the pride of our nation.