Straight Takeover Still Ignites Heated Debate

In April 1969, 80 African American students took over the Straight to protest the lack of minority rights, spurred by a culmination of events along with the tensions of the time period with the tumultuousness of the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War. In commemoration of the Straight Takeover’s 40th anniversary, The Sun hosted a panel on Saturday with people involved or affected by the event in order to discuss the history and its ramifications.

Full force

The Sun’s photo of the AAS students leaving the Straight, with a wider lens than the Associated Press photo, captures more of the ensuing action. (Photo Credit: Brian Gray / Sun File Photo)

Piercing cries of the bullhorn

David Burak ’69 yells to a crowd through a bullhorn on Ho Plaza while black students occupied the Straight. Among the crowd were many SDS members. (Photo Credit: Richard A. Shulman / Sun File Photo)

To the masses

Thomas Jones ’69 addresses over 10,000 people in Barton Hall on April 22, 1969. (Photo Credit: Richard A Shulman/ Sun File Photo)

On the outside

Protesters gather outside of Barton Hall to urge the faculty to reject the administration’s negotiated compromise with the Afro-American Society. (Photo Credit: Larry Baum / Sun File Photo)

Peace talks

Perkins meets with Whitfield and other student leaders to resolve the crisis.

The march

Whitfield and protesters finally leave the Straight, guns in hand, on their way to receive the signatures of Muller and Kennedy. (Photo Credit: N. Eric Weiss / Sun File Photo)

Angry faces

A large metal ash tray is hurled out a window of the Straight after the black students inside ejected a dozen white students, primarily members of the Delta Upsilon fraternity, who had entered the building. (Photo Credit: Richard A Shulman / Sun File Photo)

United students

10,000 students vote in affirmation of the Afro-American Society’s demands for nullification during a mass gathering in Barton Hall on April 22. (Photo Credit: Robert W. Bollenbach / Sun Staff)