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 home >> Civil Rights History Project >> Survey of Collections and Repositories >> Collections >> Collection Record

The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

San Jose State University oral history project

Repository: San Jose State University. Special Collections & Archives

Collection Description (Extant): This Oral History Project documents the history of SJSU from 1952 to the present. The interviews cover a wide spectrum of subjects from student life, faculty and university governance, policymaking, capital campaigns, and changes in higher education in California. Collectively these interviews document the sweeping social, political and economic changes that shaped American society and which thereby transformed academic life and culture at SJSU. The post-war years offered great prosperity and new opportunities for college students in California. The impact of the Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam War forever changed academics and influenced the development of new programs and disciplines, including the formation of New College (1968-1980), an experimental interdisciplinary school, and new majors in African American Studies, Chicano Studies, Asian American Studies, and Women Studies. Changes in curriculum and the diversity of the student body and faculty led to a watershed that moved the institution forward from a small college to a major metropolitan university. The interviews and specially the account of Reverend Benton White, Professor of Religious Studies, present some of the challenges the university faced in addressing civil rights on campus and in society. Many of the themes from these interviews shed light on student and faculty strikes during the Vietnam War, the Tommy Smith and John Carlos 1968 Olympics controversy, the development of an ombudsman position to address racial discrimination and other social justice issues on campus. The tumult of the Civil Rights Movement and anti-war demonstrations on campus, mirrored other college and university experiences across the United States, yet laid the foundation for a more democratic and diverse institution.

Access Copy Note: The collection is open for research.

Date(s): 2005-2006

Existing IDs: MSS-2006-04-01

Extent: 2 Boxes, 1 Linear Foot

Finding Aid URL: External Link

Language: English

Interviewees: Wanda Blockhus, Jack Douglas, Lester Lange, Mary Male, Brett Melendy, Sam Milioto, George Moore, James Noah, Lela Nobel, Theodore Norton, Jay Pinson, Wiggsy Sivertsen, James Walsh, Reverend Benton White, Jo Bell Whitlach, Ruth Jaffe

Rights (Extant): Copyright has been assigned to the San Josť State University Library Special Collections & Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Special Collections.


Civil rights movements--California
College teachers
Discrimination in higher education
San Jose State University
Student movements
Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements


Sound recordings


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   May 15, 2015
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