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"True Black Freedom": History of Activism at Pitt

Activism has helped create a road to justice for Black students at the University of Pittsburgh. The Black Action Society (BAS) student organization has historically made many contributions through their activism, such as the founding of the University’s Black Studies Department (now the Africana Studies Department). One of the group’s notable first actions was the Computer Center sit-in in 1969. During the takeover of the Cathedral of Learning’s central computer room, 40 students held a sit-in for 6 hours. They demanded an improved college experience for Black students, including creating a Black Studies program and hiring Black faculty and staff. These demands were eventually met, leading to several of the programs and resources that Black students at Pitt have today. Black students and organizations, like the Youth Power Collective, have also used activism to voice their concerns about issues occurring around the world, such as police brutality and South African Apartheid. 

The quote from this exhibit title comes from The Black Action Society (BAS), “Demands of Black Action Society,” The Blue, Gold and Black Digital Archive,