On the morning of February 13, 1969, members of Duke University's Afro-American Society barricaded themselves inside the Allen administration building. That evening, police were summoned to clear the building, firing tear gas at students in the melee that followed. When it was over, nearly twenty people were taken to the hospital, and many more injured. In Point of Reckoning, Theodore D. Segal narrates the contested fight for racial justice at Duke from the enrollment of the first Black undergraduates in 1963 to the events that led to the Allen Building takeover and beyond. Segal shows that Duke's first Black students quickly recognized that the university was unwilling to acknowledge their presence or fully address its segregationist past. By exposing the tortuous dynamics that played out as racial progress stalled at Duke, Segal tells both a local and national story about the challenges that historically white colleges and universities throughout the country have faced and continue to face.
Theodore D. Segal is a lawyer and member of the board of directors for the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. He received his undergraduate degree from Duke in 1977.
Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations xi List of Key Actors xiii Acknowledgments xv Introduction: A Historic Encounter 1 1. A Plantation System: Desegregation 5 2. Like Bare Skin and Putting Salt on It: First Encounters 32 3. Rights, as Opposed to Privileges: Race and Space 60 4. We Were Their Sons and Daughters: Occupation of University House 102 5. Hope Takes Its Last Stand: The Silent Vigil 125 6. Humiliating to Plead for Our Humanity: Negotiations 160 7. Now They Know, and They Ain't Gonna Do: Planning 182 8. No Option to Negotiate: Confrontation 208 9. We Shall Have Cocktails in the Gloaming: Aftermath 242 Epilogue: Something Has to Change—2019, Fifty Years Later 276 Notes 287 Bibliography 347 Index 357