Past Event

The Black Revolution on Campus: A Conversation with Martha Biondi

The Black Revolution on Campus is the definitive account of an extraordinary but forgotten chapter of the black freedom struggle. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Black students organized hundreds of protests that sparked a period of crackdown, negotiation, and reform that profoundly transformed college life. At stake was the very mission of higher education. Join us for a conversation with author and scholar Martha Biondi, who vividly demonstrates the critical linkage between the student movement and changes in university culture. Historian Barbara Ransby will moderate this conversation. Book signing to follow.

Martha Biondi masterfuly combines impressive research with a wealth of interviews from participants to tell the story of how students turned the slogan “black power” into a social movement. Biondi illustrates how victories in establishing Black Studies ultimately produced important intellectual innovations that have had a lasting impact on academic research and university curricula over the past 40 years. This book makes a major contribution to the current debate on Ethnic Studies, access to higher education, and opportunities for all.

Martha Biondi is the Director of Undergraduate Studies and Associate Professor of African American Studies and History at Northwestern University. She received her B.A. Barnard College at Columbia University, and her Ph.D. from Columbia University. Her research interests include 20th Century African American History with a focus on social movements. She is the author of To Stand and Fight: the Struggle for Civil Rights in Postwar New York City, published by Harvard University Press in 2003, and winner of Harvard’s Thomas J. Wilson prize for best first book of the year.

Barbara Ransby
, The Public Square Advisory Committee Co-Chair, is a writer, historian and longtime political activist whose work spans some of the most important contemporary social movements in the United States. She is most notably the author of the multiple award-winning biography of civil rights activist Ella Baker, entitled Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision. Dr. Ransby has published dozens of articles and essays in popular and scholarly venues. She received her B.A. from Columbia University and her Ph.D in history from the University of Michigan, where she was a National Mellon Fellow. 




Co-sponsored by Center for the Study for Race, Politics, and Culture at the University of Chicago, UIC Social Justice Initiative and Northwestern University Department of African American Studies.

Free and open to the public. For more information please call 312.422.5580. Reserve your spot here.

If you need a sign interpreter or require other arrangements to fully participate, please call 312.422.5580. For parking locations near the facility, please visit