The Amherst Student issue from February 24th, 1969

“Blacks Indict ‘Reneged Promises,’ Walk Out On Trustee Meeting”"Blacks Indict 'Reneged Promises,' Walk Out On Trustee Meeting"

Written by Richard H. Meeker.

“Members of the Amherst Afro-American Society presented the Trustee’s Instruction Committee with an indictment intended to deal with the fact that ‘the College has reneged on its promises’ to the Amherst black community. Bernard Barbour ’72… read the demand that Amherst establish a committee to discuss in conjunction with the Society those proposals outlined in the statement. On presentation of the statement, the members walked out of the meeting.”


“Text of Afro-Am Demands”

“More than ten months have passed [since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.], and Amherst has yet to change. Responsiveness has given way to indifference; stagnation has supplanted change. We, the Amherst Afro-American Society feel that the College has reneged on its promises.”

"Text of Afro-Am Demands"

“Text of Trustees’ Statement”

"Text of Trustees' Statement"The following is the text of the statement issued by the Board of Trustees Instruction Committee following their meetings at Amherst this past weekend…

The Instruction Committee of the Board of Trustees received and discussed with sympathetic interest the proposals of the Amherst Afro-American Society. The Committee believed that the proposals, a number of which are now in the process of realization, should be taken up immediately.

Accordingly, after the consultation with the Committee of Six, I [President Plimpton] have appointed Messrs. Cheyette, Denton, Greve, Pitkin, and R. Ward, and have the Student COuncil to suggest two students, as a task force with Dean Gifford as Chairman, to take up the proposals at once with a committee designated by the Society. Prompt action is expected on the proposals that shall be agreed upon, subject to approval where necessary by the Faculty and the President.”


“Face Off”"Face Off"

“That the demands are written in a militant political tone is unfortunate and invites potential trouble. The proposals are constructive, enacting them is constructive; but a hard-line political stance by either the administration or the blacks in ‘negotiating’ them can only be destructive.”


The Amherst Student issue from February 24th, 1969

"Letters to the Chairman: Correction Made On STUDENT Headline"“Letters to the Chairman: Correction Made On STUDENT Headline”

Written by Bill Rounseville ’72.

“In your headline, you said that the following was the ‘Text of the Afro-Am Demands.’ This led readers to believe that all that followed were demands when in fact, this was far from the truth. What did follow was one demand, that being for action which could best be implemented by an executive committee, and then a list of proposals that might be considered by the committee to bring about demanded action.”


The Amherst Student issue from March 6th, 1969

“Letters to the Chairman: Birnbaum Comments on Recent Afro-Am Proposals”

Written by Norman Birnbaum

“The sources of the general discontent felt by black students in the American institutions of higher education are clear: the multiplicity of crimes which have been and are still being inflicted upon the black population of our country. The proposals by the Afro-Am Society merit the closest attention and reflection.”

"Letters to the Chairman: Birnbaum Comments on Recent Afro-Am Proposals"


The Amherst Student issue from March 10th, 1969

“Afro-Ams Find Committee Has Little "Afro-Ams Find Committee Has Little Authority"Authority”

Written by Ronald D. Varney.

“Afro-Am Statement: The Afro-American Society met with the Task Committee, established by President Plimpton upon request of the Instruction Committee of the Board of Trustees to deal with the proposals presented by the Afro-Am, with no concrete decisions reached due to the lack of authority with which this committee is invested.”


The Amherst Student issue from March 13th, 1969

"Blacks Become Impatient, Proposals Become Demands"“Blacks Become Impatient, Proposals Become Demands”

Written by Richard H. Meeker.

“The Amherst Afro-American Society presented President Plimpton with a new list of demands and a 14-page statement of explanation yesterday morning. The Society ‘wants a definite working commitment from all persons necessary by April 7, 1969.'” Read more.



“Urgency Demands”"Urgency Demands"

“The latest move by the Amherst Afro-American Society represents another step in their continuing search for efficiency and expediency in the implementation of demands that would create a black consciousness which is vital at Amherst.”




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