In October of 1971, students from the Black Student Association, Wooster Christian Fellowship, and their allies boycotted The College of Wooster’s Homecoming. They protested in response to racial discrimination in the Athletic Department and the larger campus. In both a documentary and a written essay, I explore why the Boycott happened at this historical moment. This Independent Study centers on the Homecoming Boycott and its relationship to youth culture, student activism, and Black student experience and movements at the College in the late 60s and early 70s. I use oral histories and archives from Special Collections as an entryway into understanding campus climate during this period. In the first chapter, I lay out a narrative of the Homecoming Boycott. In the second chapter, I delve deeper into the historical moment that produced the Boycott. The final chapter is about my filmmaking process and is written in the style of an informal blog. The Boycott came at a tenuous moment in Wooster history that arose from anti-war protests, a dramatic increase in the number of Black students, general student unrest, the Kent State shootings, and an influx of Black activism, all of which created anger, discomfort, and excitement on campus. I argue that the Homecoming Boycott was representative of this era of upheaval and was the outcome of Black student movements at the College in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In a “post-racial” age of “colorblindness,” student activism becomes all the more necessary. I hope my IS will spark further discussions on race and activism in the past and present and inspire action to combat institutional racism.
Summers, Ruby, "“We Are People:” Black Student Movements and the 1971 Homecoming Boycott at The College of Wooster" (2014). Senior Independent Study Theses. Paper 6161.
African American Studies | American Studies | History | Oral History | United States History
Bachelor of Arts
Senior Independent Study Thesis
© Copyright 2014 Ruby Summers