On February 13, 1969, members of the Duke Afro-American Society took bold, direct action to force the university to respond to their demands for racial change. Frustrated by years of delay, they occupied portions of the first floor of the Allen Building – Duke’s main administration building. They wanted change now. “We looked at it…

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A B&W photo of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr at a podium with a bright light shining just to the left of his face and a fern to the left of the podium.

In November 1964, Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke at Duke University in Page Auditorium. His remarks captured the tenor of the civil rights protests in Durham and throughout the south. Acknowledging that lagging standards existed among Blacks in some areas, King argued that “economic deprivation and social isolation will breed crime and illiteracy in any…

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Each fall, a new freshman class of Black undergraduates enrolls at Duke. They enter an institution that Duke President Vincent Price has acknowledged has “often not fully embraced” its mission ”to be agents of progress in advancing racial equity and justice.” They encounter, according to Price, “systems of racism and inequality that have shaped the…

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