Revolution Starts on Campus

The radical student takeover of Columbia University in 1968 sparked a worldwide student protest movement: From Eastern Europe to South America, students rose up against authoritarian governments, racial inequality and, most passionately, against the war in Vietnam. Host Phillip Martin talks to African American studies professor Stefan Bradley about how the Columbia uprising inspired similar events at the Democratic National Convention on Aug. 28, 1968, and historian Michael Kazin, who was arrested for his activism at that DNC.

Both scholars were student organizers: Kazin orchestrated a takeover of Harvard University in the ‘60s, and Bradley combatted racial discrimination at Gonzaga University. Bradley was also on the ground in Ferguson, Missouri, among the young people protesting the killing of Michael Brown. He reflects on what current movements can learn from the protests of 1968.

  1. Revolution Starts on Campus Stefan M. Bradley, Michael Kazin

Read more in this accompanying article from Stefan M. Bradley: 1968 protests at Columbia University called attention to ‘Gym Crow’ and got worldwide attention.

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Music credit: “How to Evade a Place With No Wall” by Komiku, found on, licensed under CC0 1.0.

Archival audio:
Chicago Convention The Whole World is Watching 1968 ElectionWallDotOrg.flv
WKNR Presents Detroit 1967
The moment Americans heard Martin Luther King Jr had died – BBC News
The Shooting of RFK * ABC News
1968 Columbia University Protest (1969 Documentary Film)
Strike! Confrontation at Harvard 1969 — The Police Face Riot
State of Emergency: Ferguson, Missouri (Dispatch 1)
Cornel West and a thousand of protesters occupy St Louis University
Occupation of St. Louis University

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