Photo gallery Recalling the 1969 Black Student Strike

February 12, 2019

Organizers of the 1969 Black Student Strike at UW–Madison recalled the turmoil and the excitement of the campus-wide student strike during a panel Monday night at Memorial Union’s Play Circle. Propelled by longstanding grievances and fresh flash points, black students issued 13 demands and called for a campus-wide student strike.

 

Photo of participants: current student Shiloah Coley, Wahid Rashad, Liberty Rashad, John Felder, Hazel Symonette and current student Breanna Taylor.

Participants were, from left, current student Shiloah Coley, Wahid Rashad, Liberty Rashad, John Felder, Hazel Symonette and current student Breanna Taylor. Photo by: Bryce Richter

Photo of Coley and the Rashads

Strike organizers spoke of the challenges being one of a small number of African American students on campus and of how they quickly became unified around their goals, including increasing African American enrollment. Photo by: Bryce Richter

Photo of Symonette

Hazel Symonette encouraged current students to speak up for their rights and to build on what previous activists did. Photo by: Bryce Richter

Photo of John Felder

“We were bold and we were principled," recalled John Felder, a spokesman for the strikers. Photo by: Bryce Richter

Photo of Liberty Rashad

“Just keep on keeping on; it doesn’t stop," Liberty Rashad urged students. The university still needs to do more to increase enrollment of students of color, she said. Photo by: Bryce Richter

Photo of Taylor

Taylor, who with Coley is co-editor of The Black Voice, a student-run digital publication, contributes to the discussion. Photo by: Bryce Richter

Photo of Coley

Student journalist Shiloah Coley asks a question of the panel. Photo by: Bryce Richter

Photo of students from the Black History Month planning committee

Students were able to discuss issues they face on campus today with the panelists. Photo by: Bryce Richter

Photo of the audience

The Play Circle was packed with an engaged audience, including current students and some former students who participated in the strike. Photo by: Bryce Richter

See more photo stories