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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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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Book cover of Point of Reckoning by Theodore D. Segal

The photographs on the cover of POINT OF RECKONING: The Fight for Racial Justice at Duke University, designed by Matt Tauch, track the arc of desegregation and Black student activism at the school during the Sixties. The cover uses historical images from the Duke Archives that center on the events at Duke University but does…

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Wilhelmina Reuben, May Queen, 1967 (Duke University Archives)

On September 26, 2020, Duke University announced that the Sociology-Psychology Building on its West Campus was renamed the Wilhelmina Reuben-Cooke Building to recognize Reuben-Cooke’s role as one of the “First Five” Black undergraduates at Duke and her many contributions to the university. A fitting honor, this recognition recalls a different time at Duke, one when…

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