A History of Civil Rights and Black Power Activism at Chico State, 1964-1970
From Jeff Layne
History Department, CSU, Chico
As Rod Thomson illustrates, during much of the 1960s Chico State had a very small black student population but was a surprisingly active campus in that era’s social movements toward civil rights and black power. He begins with an overview of how various minority groups fared in the Chico area from the mid-19th century to 1964. Thomson then shows how Chico students – inspired by protests at other California universities and by Chico residents who traveled to the Deep South to work for African Americans’ voting rights – began to organize around social issues. One of the highlights of the era was when Harry Edwards, a well-known sociology professor from San Jose State, gave a talk on campus about black power that was attended by 2,000 students – over 25% of the student body at that time.
Recorded: October 10, 2016