Black Liberation 1969 Archive

January 1969: Mapping the Sit-in

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On January 9, 1969, 28 Black students from the Swarthmore Afro-American Student Society (SASS) walked in the Admissions Office in Parrish Hall, Swarthmore College’s main administration building, and declared that they were occupying the office until further notice. They kindly asked everyone to leave, and proceeded to barricade the door and cover the windows with black paper. They were there to protest the lack of appropriate response from the Administration towards demands regarding Black life on campus they had repeatedly made evident in previous months. What followed led to dozens of Faculty meetings focusing on the demands and their consequences, more meetings by students, disruption of campus life, and the recognition of the Black voice on campus. The sit-in ended on the 16th of January, after the death of President Courtney Smith.

Use this map to follow the steps of the Black students involved in the Occupation of Parrish Hall, and discover documents related to their meetings and discussions.