Elyse Lopez/Special to Mustang News

“Strive and Struggle” chronicles the Civil Rights Movement using old Mustang Daily articles.

Elyse Lopez
Special to Mustang News

“Strive and Struggle” is a traveling exhibit that documents the history of the Civil Rights Movement on Cal Poly’s campus through old Mustang Daily articles.

The articles focus on the black student leadership of the time, said Catherine Trujillo, who oversees the exhibit program.

“(These students) laid the groundwork for all the change that came to Cal Poly,” Trujillo said.

After Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, campuses around the country erupted in violence and protests.

“Our students — although it was very tense — they remained peaceful in their protest and created change,” Trujillo said.

One of the results of black student leadership in the 1960s is the selection of ethnic studies courses available today, she said.

“Before, there were no ethnic studies courses,” Trujillo said. “Black students taught ethnic studies off campus.”

Other contributions the students made were establishing the MultiCultural Center, creating black sororities and fraternities, forming a black student union and having major activists, such as Myrlie Evers, speak on campus.

Trujillo said she hopes students will be inspired by the alumni.

“We want students to know that their voice matters, and to ask questions and advocate for positive culture on campus,” she said.

The exhibit was created by the Robert E. Kennedy Library and history department graduate students.

The exhibit will remain in the Julian A. McPhee University Union (UU) until March 3. A panel discussion will be held Feb. 25 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the UU (building 65), room 220.

Courtesy Kennedy Library, Cal Poly SLO

In the absence of ethnic studies courses, black students at Cal Poly in the late 1960s and early 1970s taught a series of classes off campus titled “Black Pride in America.” 1971 El Rodeo

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *