The Black Student Experience

Tolliver, Lafayette. Kent State University Libraries. Special Collections and Archives.

External Resources

On a national level, opposition to the war and student activism grew from the free speech movement and the Civil Rights Movement. The resources and online exhibits below provide historical background on the inter-relationships among the civil rights, anti-war, and Black Power movements.

Hughes-Watkins, Lae'l (2017). Between Two Worlds: A Look at the Impact of the Black Campus Movement on the Antiwar Era of 1968–1970 at Kent State University. Ohio History 124(1) 41-64. doi: 10.1353/ohh.2017.0004. Retrieved from

Civil Rights, Black Power, and Anti-War Actions:
Orangeburg, Kent, and Jackson, 1960-1967

Part of 50 Years: Long Live the Memory programming, this exhibit showcases selected key events in and around Jackson State University (Jackson, MS), South Carolina State University (Orangeburg, SC), and Kent State University (Kent, OH) from 1960-1967. Civil rights actions, anti-war protests, and an emerging Black Power movement are featured. Curated by Cara Gilgenbach, Special Collections and Archives, Kent State University Libraries.
May 4 50:Long Live the Memory

Black Student Movements Orangeburg, Kent and Jackson State 1968-1970

Showcased in this exhibit is the activism of Black students at South Carolina State College, Kent State University and Jackson State College and images of the shootings which occurred there. While the focus of the shootings at Kent State University has historically been on the anti-war activism of the students, this exhibit seeks to frame the activism in a larger political, social and cultural context, examining the civil rights struggles of the time and the self-determination of Black students in particular. (Curated by Professor Idris Kabir Syed, Kent State University Department of Pan-African Studies).
Black Student Movements Orangeburg, Kent, and Jackson State 1968-1970

May 4 Mapping Project

Drawing from the oral histories in the May 4 Collection, Kent State Special Collections & Archives, the May 4 Mapping Project maps stories from those histories that describe memories of events at a particular place in Kent between May 1st and May 5th, 1970. It is designed to serve as a digital memorial, to remember and honor these events. Among the stories in the oral history collection, the two oral histories below provide perspective of Black students relative to May 4:

Napoleon Peoples

Napoleon Peoples was an African American graduate student and residence counselor at the time of the shootings.
Napoleon Peoples

Timothy Moore

Timothy Moore specifically addresses why there were relatively few Black students on The Commons on May 4, 1970 in his oral history.
Timothy Moore


May 4 th

Augmented Reality Experience