The Black Power Movement and the Black Student Union (BSU) in Washington State, 1967-1970
Robinson, Marc Arsell
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This dissertation centers on the Black Student Union (BSU) at the University of Washington and Washington State University, during the late-1960s. It traces how the first BSU organization was formed at San Francisco State University in 1966, and soon spread north to the state of Washington. Following the establishment of BSU at the University of Washington in the fall of 1967, African American students there led a successful protest campaign to implement racial reforms at their institution. The BSU at the University of Washington also spearheaded organizing and protest campaigns throughout Seattle and the State of Washington, leading to the founding of the BSU at Washington State University. Located in a mostly Caucasian and rural area on the Washington-Idaho border, Washington State University is far removed from Seattle in terms of population and social climate, but there too BSU members led substantial protest efforts in the late-1960's. While giving a detailed narrative of BSU history in the Northwest, this dissertation also argues that the BSU was a constituent part of the Black Power Movement and therefore challenges conventional narratives of Black Power as violent and destructive.