d'Archive Episode 51: Organizing for Change, 1974 Black Student Sit In @ Wilbur Cross Library

This episode features an interview with alumni Rodney Bass (BA ’75/MA ’76) who was active in organizing Black students through the Organization of African American Students (OAAS) during his time at the University of Connecticut, Storrs campus. One of the high-water marks for activism by students of color at UConn was the 1974 Black Student Sit-In in Wilbur Cross Library which he served as a representative for when delivering demands to the administration of President Glenn W. Ferguson. Rodney walks us through the days leading up to this protest and contextualizes the experiences of Black students on the Storrs campus during that period.

The student sit-in was a direct action taken as a response to several grievances regarding lack of resources, diversity, and structural racism in higher education broadly and locally in the Anthropology Department. A previous d’Archive episode 26 featured an interview about the same event with Norman D. Stevens, who was the assistant director of the UConn Library during the 1974 sit-in.

To find out more about student activism on campus during this period, check out this excellent blog post by student archives assistant Shaine Scarminach.

Featured Collections


Connecticut Daily Campus

President’s Office Records (Glenn W. Ferguson 1973-1978)

University of Connecticut Photograph Collection

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