Black Student Movements

Uumbaji Gallery exhibition honors 50th anniversary of May 4, 1970

The Uumbaji Gallery in the Department of Pan-African Studies at Kent State University announces its current exhibit, Black Campus Movements: Orangeburg, Kent, and Jackson State 1968 -1970.  This exhibit tells a powerful story of the unsung heroes, the perils of protest, emotional highs and lows, and the lessons that faced a nation in need of healing.  The Black Campus Movements exhibit runs through August 2020 and a digital exhibition can be viewed online by visiting the Department of Pan-African Studies webpage  Curated by Idris Kabir Syed, assistant professor, Kent State University, Department of Pan-African Studies.

The Black Campus Movements exhibition provides not only a photo journalistic vignette of the moments and movements that lead up to the protests that ended in violence between 1968-1970 it also tells us about the "inhumanity" that students faced.  How their demands to end the Draft and War in Vietnam ended in tragedy and created an annual University wide day of remembrance. We are mostly familiar with the story of Kent State because it involved the deaths white students at a predominantly white university, because this story is easier to digest.  Yet, we must acknowledge that there were stories about deadly campus protest movements prior to and after May 4, 1970; involving Black students and White policemen who also had a complex story.  While all three student movements shocked the nation, the Orangeburg and Jackson State students’ grievances: segregation and the racist policies of the American south are largely forgotten in the rhetoric of May 4th 1970, because, we don’t want to be reminded of the inhumanity of what happened.  

This exhibit complements the Uumbaji Gallery's commitment to exhibit works that speak to a wide audience, thereby exposing our students, faculty, staff and the community to global issues that are of interest to us all.  Our venue breaks barriers and encourages new dialogues. To learn more about upcoming exhibits, visit the Uumbaji gallery webpage. 


Learn more about the Uumbaji gallery

View digital exhibit: Black Campus Movements: Orangeburg, Kent, Jackson State 1968-1970


POSTED: Wednesday, May 6, 2020 - 11:58am
UPDATED: Thursday, July 1, 2021 - 1:15pm