Press Release

Discussion Will Share Extraordinary but Forgotten Chapter in Civil Rights Movement

CHICAGO, IL- September 12, 2012— As the local and national debates on Ethnic Studies, access to higher education, and equal opportunities for all students rage on, the Illinois Humanities Council is taking a step back to another period in American history when these issues were also in the forefront.   

The Public Square, a program of the Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) will be hosting a conversation with author and scholar Martha Biondi about her new book, The Black Revolution on Campus, on Wednesday, October 3, 2012, 6-8pm at the Chicago Cultural Center in Chicago. The discussion will explore the critical linkage between the student movement and changes in university culture. 

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, turning 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. Biondi’s book makes a major contribution to the current debate on Ethnic Studies and equal access to higher education.   

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.

The discussion will be moderated by historian Dr. Barbara Ransby, who is also Co-Chair of the Public Square’s Advisory Committee. Barbara is an author as well, having published the multiple award-winning biography of civil rights activist Ella Baker, entitled Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision.  

The event is part of the IHC’s program, The Public Square, which fosters debate, dialogue, and exchange of ideas about cultural, social, and political issues with an emphasis on social justice.   

The Black Revolution on Campus: A Conversation with Martha Biondi, will take place Wednesday, October 3, 2012, 6-8pm at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Claudia Cassidy Theatre (78 East Washington Street) in Chicago. The event is free to the public, though reservations are required and can be made by emailing to, or visiting the IHC website, For more information on the event, please contact Alice Kim, Director of The Public Square, at (312) 422-5580, x238. 

About the Illinois Humanities Council 
The Illinois Humanities Council is an independent, nonprofit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities. The IHC creates programs and funds organizations that promote greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities by all Illinoisans, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. The IHC is supported by state, federal, and private funds.  

Media Contact:
Carlos Velázquez
(312) 422-5580, x233 

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