BSO Protest, 1969
Members of the Black Student Organization (BSO) stand in protest in front of the Fine Arts Building. This may have been the Saturday,May 17, 1969 protest in which the BSO rejected the college administration's response to their demands. According to a May 23, 1969 article in The Index, "Early in the afternoon an ultimatum was sent by the BSO to Dr. Hicks stating, 'Your reply to our demands was totally inadequate. We reject it. Your response is evidence that the racism that permeates American society is present in the administration and faculty of this college.'" The demands of the BSO included more courses with a focus on Black culture, literature, and history as well as increased enrollment of Black students, funding tor the BSO, changes to campus housing assignments, and the use of a college' owned property on the northside of Kalamazoo.The members of BSO stand along the curb of Academy Street facing the Mandelle Administration Building where college president Weimer K. Hicks had his office. At far left, wearing a suit and sunglasses, is Edwin Taliaferro (also known as Chokwe Lumumba), who became a lawyer and civil rights leader after graduation.