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Point of Reckoning: The Fight for Racial Justice at Duke University

Point of Reckoning: The Fight for Racial Justice at Duke University

by Theodore D. Segal


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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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781478011422
Publisher: Duke University Press Books
Publication date: 02/05/2021
Pages: 402
Sales rank: 272,638
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.82(d)

About the Author

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

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