University of Washington endorses Black Studies curriculum on May 23, 1968.

  • By Alan J. Stein
  • Posted 7/05/1999
  • Essay 1455
See Additional Media

On May 23, 1968, the University of Washington Faculty Senate endorses the development of a Black Studies curriculum. The action results from demands placed by the Black Student Union.

The UW Black Student Union emerged out of a conference of black youth that took place in Los Angeles on Thanksgiving weekend, in 1967. On January 6, 1968, the Afro-American Society at UW changed its name to the Black Student Union. The first president was Dan Keith (in 2005 a physician). The next president was E. J. Brisker. Larry Gossett, presently a member of the King County Council, was also a student leader.

The Black Student Union led the effort to win the establishment of several key programs at the University of Washington, including the American Ethnic Studies Department and the Office of Minority Affairs. The organization continues to be active on campus.


Walt Crowley, Rites of Passage: A Memoir of the Sixties in Seattle (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1995), 255; "BSU History," Black Student Union University of Washington website accessed May 17, 2005 (
Note: This essay was expanded on May 17, 2005.

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
Major Support for Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You