The Morrill Hall Takeover happened 50 years ago. The event led to the creation of the Department of African American & African Studies at the University of Minnesota, and now the department is taking time to celebrate the anniversary through teach-ins and other events.
Professor Rose Brewer from the Department of African-American & African Studies examines issues of race, class, and gender. According to Brewer, America is still engaged in “an ongoing struggle for what I would call real democracy.”
Professor Emeritus John Wright was a trailblazer for the creation of the University's Department of African American and African Studies. After his retirement, Wright will continue as a professor emeritus in the AAAS department.
Dr. John S. Wright is ready to hang up his teaching hat from the school where he earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees. As a student, Wright was a key figure in a group that brought Martin Luther King to campus in 1967.
The Departments of African American & African Studies and English at the University of Minnesota have announced the retirement of Professor John S. Wright after 35 years of exemplary faculty service. His service to the U precedes and extends beyond his years as a professor. As an undergraduate and graduate student, Wright was instrumental in the 1969 Morrill Hall takeover by the Afro-American Action Committee.
On January 14, 1969, a group of about 70 African American students—along with community activists—occupied administrative offices on the first floor of Morrill Hall with a list of demands for then-president Malcolm Moos. That demonstration led directly to the creation of the Department of African American & African Studies, now celebrating its 50th anniversary.
The TV show "Black-ish" recently took on the issue of colorism in the African American community. Keith Mayes, professor of African American studies, explains what colorism is, and how everyone can play a role in ending it.
This year marks 50 years since protests from black student activists led to the formation of the African American and African Studies (AAAS) department. John Wright, professor of AAAS, was involved with the protests when he was a student. Wright speaks with MPR about the significance of the protests and the importance of the department.