50 Years Since '68

"50 Years Since '68" 

The year 2018 is the 50th anniversary of 1968. It is an important moment to reflect on the meaning and significance of that remarkable year and the state that the world is in a half-century later. For Africana Studies here at Brown, it is also, in a sense, our birthday, as the 1968 walkout of black students and their allies in protest against the small number of Black faculty and the absence of a Black studies curriculum, led first, to the formation of the Rites and Reason Theatre in 1969 and then an Afro-American Studies program, which eventually became today's Africana Studies Department/Rites and Reason Theatre.

Africana Studies has planned a series of events throughout the year, under the theme 50 Years Since ’68including a play on the Brown walkout, a four-day reflection on the meaning of the music of '68 and a seminar on sports and race since 1968. Also and in recognition of the interlinked national and global constellation of events that made 1968 so significant, Africana Studies in alliance with the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs will convene a group of outstanding scholars to reflect on the global significance of 1968 and explore the impact that it has had on subsequent events and the world we live in today. 50 Years Since ’68 will culminate in spring 2019 with a major keynote speaker, reflecting on the recent past, the uncertain present and proposing possible paths for the near future.

FREE and Open to Everyone with generous support from the Office of the President, Christina Paxson, and the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. 

For more information, please call 
(401) 863- 3137 or email 

Press Release 

Spring 2018 

Launch Reception 
A series of scholarly, performative & celebratory events that examines and reflects on the significance of the year 1968. 
A watershed moment in history. 

May 10th | 4:30-6:30PM | Churchill House, 155 Angell St. 

*Invite Only*
RSVP: africana_studies@brown.edu

Screening of new film: 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 

FREE and Open to Everyone 

May 17th | 7:00pm
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 // 7PM
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 // 7PM
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 // 7PM
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 // 11AM
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. 


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. Fraçoise Hamlin

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

An Original Play on The 1968 Brown Student Walkout 
RPM Project with music produced by the Rites and Reason Theatre | Elmo Terry-Morgan, Playwright 

Dates TBD | George Houston Bass Performing Arts Space 

50 Years Since '68, The Global and the Local: a Conference  
A seminar on the international dimensions of 1968 in collaboration with the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs 

November 1-2 | Churchill House, 155 Angell Street- Providence 

Spring 2019 

Keynote Address 

Date TBD | Brown University 

Additional Resources 

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.