Civil Rights

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the stuggles over racial civil rights was at an all-time high. Many places all over the country saw people protesting for equality. Unquestionably, universities were one of the most important battlefields. All throughout the nation, college students took up activism against racism. The University of Scranton was no exception to this trend.

For our research question we asked how did student activism respond to the civil rights movement at the University of Scranton. We examined many sources of the types of activism that occurred here on campus. We chose this research question because we were very interested in what types of activism were used by the students. Additionally, we were also curious whether the protest revolved more around either civil rights or the Vietnam War.


The civil rights movement was a social-politic movement that sought to end the legalized racial discrimination, segregation, and disenfranchisement of African Americans in the United States. To understand what was going on here, we also looked into the motivations and causes for student activism throughout the country. One of the most prominent causes was the issue over desegregation. Desegregation had started in the early 1950s but had lost momentum as time went on. As a result, there were many colleges, specifically in the south, where black students were not integrated. Obviously, this did not sit well with them, as they wanted to be treated equally with their white counterparts. This ties into want they were seeking from higher education.

Black students wanted a variety of things, including equal education, scholarly knowledge regarding black history, free speech, free housing, etc. Consequently, pressure was put on university presidents to maintain good publicity in regard to the protests. We have done extensive research into if any of these motivation played a role in the student activism at Scranton. This is just the tip of the iceberg, as the website tells the whole story of student activism at the University of Scranton.