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Tolliver's archive is an incredible source of images related to student activism at Kent State from 1967-1971, when some of the most pivotal events in the school's history occurred. Black students were leaders in activism and taking direct action for social change, including advocating for anti-racist policies and Black power. Tolliver documented a number of the public demonstrations and events associated with student activism, particularly within the Black Campus Movement. Included here are selected images from the following events.
Mass Black Student Walkout, November 18, 1968: A majority of Black students at Kent State University walked off campus to demand amnesty for students who participated in protests against the Oakland Police Department recruiting students on the Kent State University campus. The University had threatened academic and legal sanctions against participants in the November 13, 1968, Oakland Police Protest. Many, but not all, students involved in the mass walkout were members of the Black United Students.
Rally for (Fred) Ahmed Evans, late May 1969: Led by BUS, students held a rally in support of Ahmed Evans, a Cleveland-based Black nationalist convicted of murder under a cloud of controversy for the slaying of policemen during the Glenville uprising.
Vietnam War Moratorium March, October 15, 1969: Protesters marched for the Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam, a national protest movement in which demonstrations against the Vietnam War took place across the United States on October 15, 1969.
BUS Silent Demonstration, April 27, 1970: BUS members stood in silent protest on the steps of the Administration Building and marched elsewhere on campus in an effort to protest the lack of administrative support and action on a number of demands, including the creation of a new cultural center, increased enrollment of Black students, and the appointment of additional Black faculty members to the Institute of African American Affairs.
"Free the BUS Two" Protest, February 1971: Students protested the arrest of BUS members Erwind Blount and Rudolph Perry, stemming from controversial and unsubstantiated allegations made about them by participants during one or more Student Government meetings and a conduct hearing.
Protest Against the Invasion of Laos, February 5, 1971: BUS and other campus groups demonstrated in protest of the expansion of the Vietnam War into Laos.
To find out more about each photo, click on the thumbnail to view a full-size image and its details.