The Sticking Place

“Gym Crow Must Go!” Black Student Activism at Columbia

Stefan Bradley

When Americans remember black student activism of the late 1960s, images of gun- toting, bandolier-clad student protesters at Cornell University in 1969 come to mind. While the protesters at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, may be the first to come to mind, black student activism took place earlier at another Ivy League school: Columbia University in the City of New York. There, members of the Student Afro-American Society (SAS) fought on behalf of the Harlem community to keep Columbia University from building a gymnasium in Morningside Park, which represented the only land barrier between Columbia and the mostly black, working-class enclave of Harlem.

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