Today, November 6, is the 45th anniversary of the beginning of the longest student strike in history, on any college campus in the United States. In 1968, students started a strike at San Francisco State to force the administration to recognize the value of cultures representing the diversity of California.
At the time, ancient Greece, the Italian Renaissance, and many European histories and cultures were available for study. Left out of the list were African, African-American, Latin, Asian, Filipino and Native American cultures. A group of representatives from those cultures formed The Third World Liberation Front in order to press their case. Here is a clip from a documentary about the beginning of the strike. Extra points if you can name the hometown speaker who went on to become a movie star:
Today, what started as the Black Studies Department is called the Ethnic Studies Department at State. Across the country, colleges and universities offer a variety of ethnic studies courses and degree programs. Here is a news clip from the 40th anniversary commemoration of the strike at San Francisco State, with some of the 1968 protesters speaking about their participation:
If you are curious, here is what San Francisco State offers students in Ethnic Studies today: