50 Years Since 68

50 Years Since 68: An Initiative of the Department ​of Africana Studies/
Rites and Reason Theatre

2018 is the 50th anniversary of important and pivotal moments in history. 
50 Years Since 68 ​is a year-long initiative that reflects on the meaning and significance of that remarkable year and examines the state of the world a half-century later. For Africana Studies at Brown University, it is also 50 years since the 1968 Walkout of black students and their allies that protested the small number of black faculty and the absence of a black studies curriculum. The University's response led first to the formation of Rites and Reason Theatre in 1969 and then the Afro-American Studies Program, which eventually became today's Department of Africana Studies/Rites and Reason Theatre​.

For more information click here
Schedule of events can be found below 

Spring 2019 

Commencement Reunion Weekend 

Film Screening: WalkOut! 
Saturday, May 25th | 11:00AM 

WALKOUT! is a recollection of the Black Student Walkout of 1968 at Brown University as performed and filmed during Black Alumni Reunion Weekend (Fall 2018). 

Conceived by Sheryl Brisset Chapman’71 | Directed by Elmo Terry-Morgan’74 | Produced by Rites and Reason Theatre in partnership with the Brown-Trinity MFA Program

 Digital Gallery: "because they did, we can"
Thursday, May 23rd- Saturday, May 25th 

A vibrant digital gallery of iconic images of groups and organizations at Brown that grew as a result of the 1968 Black Student Walkout

Exhibition Schedule
Thursday, May 23rd | 3pm-6pm
Friday, May 24th | 3pm-6pm
Saturday, May 25th | 12pm-3pm

Both events are FREE and Open to Everyone
Churchill House BassPas
155 Angell Street - Providence, RI 02912

Fall 2019 

Keynote Address
A reflection on the past, the uncertain present and proposing possible paths for the near future... 

More information to come 

Spring 2018

Launch Reception 

A watershed moment in history. 

A series of scholarly, performative & celebratory events that examines and reflects on the significance of the year 1968. 

May 10th | Churchill House, 155 Angell St. 

Film Screening: The Stand
How One Gesture Shook the World 

A revealing exploration into circumstances that led Olympic runners Tommie Smith and John Carlos to take a stand at the 1968 Mexico City Games 

May 17th | George Houston Bass Performing Arts Space
Click here for trailer. 

From the producers of "Bannister: Everest on the Track," named by IndieWire as one of the Best Sports Documentaries of All Time. 


A Change is Gonna Come: The Music & Movements of 1968
Forums focused on listening, appreciating & reflecting critically on the music of '68. 

WEDNESDAY |  05.23.18 
Grammy nominated keyboardist, composer and producer, Ibo Cooper and band plays live for listening and dynamic discussion around historical and political perspectives of Reggae. 

THURSDAY | 05.24.18
JAZZ with ERIC JACKSON, host of WGBH'S Eric in the Evening 
Award winning Dean of Boston Jazz Radio, Eric Jackson spins moods, colors, rhythms with the spontaneity of jazz evoking active listening and lively discussion around the importance of Jazz and Jazz artists of 1968. 

FRIDAY | 05.25.18
Black popular music in the late 60’s began to reflect the politics of the time and the dances of the day exhibited movements that emphasized power and creativity. Vicki Meek demonstrates some of these dances and provides cultural context in this interactive session. Come to “shake a tail feather”! 

SATURDAY | 05.26.18
R&B & SOUL with DERMOT HUSSEY, Sirius XM Radio Host 
Satellite Radio Pioneer and Sirius XM Host and Musicologist, Dermot Hussey spins iconic music and discusses songs with meaning, their social context of protest and pride. This cluster of music between primarily between 1966 to 1970 is good listening and fuels dynamic conversation. 


Interviews between the featured participants and the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs can be found here

50 Years Since '68- Music is sponsored in part by the Office of the President Brown University, and the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs.

Fall 2018

AFRI 1968: A Year in Review

An undergraduate course that unpacks the events of 1968 developed by Prof. Françoise Hamlin.

For more information visit https://cab.brown.edu 

Upending the Ivory Tower: Brown University and the Black Freedom Movement
Book talk and signing by Stefan Bradley 

Thursday, September 20 4pm - 5:30pm Brown University Bookstore

For more information about the author and the book, click here.

Walkout! a spoken word performance

Recollection of the Black Student Walkout of 1968 at Brown University
Conceived by Sheryl Brisset Chapman'71 | Directed by Elmo Terry-Morgan'74 | Produced by Rites and Reason Theatre in partnership with the Brown-Trinity MFA Program

Part of Black Alumni Reunion Weekend hosted and organized by Alumni Relations and the Inman Page Council (IPC).

Saturday, September 22 | 5pm - 6:30pm Salomon 101

50 Years Since 68: The Global and the Local

One of the highlights of a year of critical reflection on the significance eof 1968, this symposium 50 Years Since 68: The Global and the Local will feature leading scholars from across the disciplines of Africana sttudies, postdoctoral studies, comparative politics, sociology philosophy, literature and history. They will explore, in open conversation, the global scale of 1968, the impact of that year, the lessons to be learned from its tactical successes and failures, and the possible pathways that social and political movements might travel in the near future.  

Full Schedule here

Thursday & Friday, November 1 -2
Churchill House BassPas- 155 Angell St., Providence, RI 

Additional Resources 

The Art of Social Protest 

Following A Change is Gonna Come: The Music & Movements of 1968, the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs conducted interviews with artist, activist, critic, and curator Vicki Meek, reggae musician and educator Ibo Cooper, broadcaster and musicologist Dermot Hussey, and the "dean of Boston Jazz Radio" Eric Jackson. Take a listen to the conversations about dance, reggae, jazz, race, and the connections between social protest and art.

The podcast can be found here.


Trending Globally: 1968

Take a listen to a discussion betweem Brian Meeks, Chair of Africana Studies and Ed Steinfield, Director of Brown University's Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs reflecting on 1968. "Trending Globally: 1968", explores a year marked by anti-establishment, anti-war counter culture movements. 

The podcast can be found here.


1968: Power to the Imagination

The following conversation between Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Claus Leggewie highlights the social climate of France in May of 1968-- a time of social upheaval, of ancient regime vs. youth, system vs. movement, order vs. anarchy, in part led by 23-year old university student, Daniel Cohn-Bendit.

The article can be found here.