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Springfield Museums, A Legacy of Campus Activism

May 10 - May 29

The Springfield Museums is proud to present A Legacy of Campus Activism: The Springfield College Protests of 1969-1970, March 29 through June 26, at the Wood Museum of Springfield History.

What does it mean to recognize that change is needed? And then how can you make significant change? What benefits are realized and at what cost? Thanks to a grant received from the Council of Independent Colleges, Springfield College students have had an opportunity to contemplate these questions.

Working under the supervision of Associate Professor of History Ian Delahanty, College Archivist Jeff Monseau, and Vice President for Com­munications and External Affairs Stephen Roulier, student researchers Isabella Bruns, Jack Duignan, Emily Gentile, Sabrina Moore, and Sabrina Williams pored through archi­val documents and photographs, listened to dozens of hours of oral history interviews, and collaborated throughout the fall and winter of 2021-22 to produce this exhibit. Their work was generously supported by the “Humanities Research for the Public Good” grant program of the Council of Indepen­dent Colleges. In the fall of 2021, students in Professor Delahanty’s class, Making History Public, contributed essential research and insight into the project.

The scholars explored Black student activism and protests on the Springfield College campus during the period 1969-1970. A tumultuous time for the United States, with a war in Vietnam and civil disobedience pushing the American population to rethink the status quo in favor of a more equitable society, Black Springfield College students and allies stood up for their right to equal representation at their school.

Until recently, this brief but formative period of student activism was largely for­gotten or unacknowledged at the College, the contemporary students reported. In 2020, many of the alumni and former stu­dents who mobilized to make the institution more inclusive for Black students in the late 1960s reunited as the Legacy Alumni of Col­or group. Over the past year and a half, their commitment to improving the circumstanc­es of students of color at Springfield College has helped to sustain current students working to bring about a more inclusive, racially just College com­munity.

Springfield College students protesting circa 1969-1970


May 10
May 29
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Springfield Museums
21 Edwards Street
Springfield, MA 01103 United States
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(413) 263-6800