“On April 4, 1969, 34 students from Williams’ Afro-American Society took over Hopkins Hall. They sought action from the college on 15 demands, including adding African-American studies to the curriculum, diversifying the faculty and creating a cultural center. The campus community, black and white, rallied in support. Discussions between the administration and society members took place by telephone and via notes passed through windows. Classes were canceled that Monday and Tuesday for a campus-wide teach-in.” ~Progress Through Struggle, The Williams Magazine.
In traditions throughout African Diaspora, drums are utilized in ceremony, ritual, and for gathering community. Join us on the west side of Hopkins Hall for the opening event, where the drums will call us together, create an opportunity to reflect on our past, and invoke the spirit of protest taken up by that those who occupied Hopkins Hall. Featuring: Tendai Muparutsa, Lecturer in Music; Jason Lucas ’02; Negasi Haskins ’20; Samuel Mecha ’21; and Gaurnett Flowers ‘22
Founded in 1969 as Afro-American Studies in the aftermath of student action and protest, the Department of Africana Studies at Williams College will celebrate the institutionalization of Black Studies on campus while also recognizing the ways that, even in the rural hills of Berkshire County, Massachusetts, Black Lives have always and continue to matter. We begin with a drum circle and continue with a weekend of events.
Sponsored by Africana Studies, in collaboration with other campus partners including The Davis Center (which celebrates 30 years at Williams in 2018), Special Collections, the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, Alumni Relations, Communications, and the W. Ford Schumann ’50 Program in Democratic Studies.