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The North Hall – The Murals In Depth


The entering of the North Hall.

The North Hall takeover became a huge historical landmark not only the history of UC Santa Barbara, but in Black history as a whole. Out of all the requests put forth before, during, and after the takeover, the one that held the most difficulty was the displaying of the Murals inside of the North Hall. The displays show what CAN be done through student activism.

“With the help of Mehmet Dogu, Exhibition Designer of the Art, Design, and Architecture Museum on campus, and many other staff, alumni, students, faculty, and administrators, a sacred space emerged” (Donegee). The hallway contains a series of murals displaying images portraying the history being made at the university, all including: ‘Captors of North Hall’ , ‘Rashidi making a point, addressing the issue of segregation’, ‘Two different colored children look at each other in front of North Hall’, ‘Front-Page coverage of North Hall Takeover on October 14, 1968’, ‘Dialogue between students over North Hall occupation’, ‘Member of United Front march on administration building with Black power salute’, along with a plaque stating the actions taken to create the mural, and a brief description of the North Hall takeover itself.  The series of pictures and the plaques were short captures of history being made, in advocacy of evolving the morals emphasized in the Civil Rights era.


The two students speaking out and addressing the crowd from the second floor.

Students, faculty, and staff of UCSB collaborated together to construct a design that encapsulates the significance of the change taken place during the North Hall takeover. This mural represents the two students addressing the crowd on what the protests actually encompasses; mainly more for black faculty implementation.

Once the individuals from the crowd publicly interrogated the purpose of all the tumult and chaos, it gave the two black student activists an opportunity to speak about the inaction of change.”The students were fed up with their lack of representation on campus and wanted the school to know that not only did they have a voice, but they also had power and were a force to be reckoned with” (Kishen).


Students rallying up together, shortly after the two activists speak on University issues of Systematic Oppression.

This mural pretty much explicates the support from different students, and even from different races, supporting the demands that were being put forth by the activism group at UCSB. Ultimately, the mural explicates the dialogic nature of discussion and controversy during and after the protest.

‘Member of United Front march on administration building with Black power salute’,  is was added to the north hall to pay homage to the power of youth, given at the current time.



Middle Mural: The students occupying the building at the time, renaming the North Hall, “The Malcolm X Hall”.

Renaming this the “Malcolm X” hall commemorates Malcolm X himself, of course. The legacy that Malcolm X left behind was emulated in the North Hall Takeover; serving as an inspiration for highly accredited event. As Malcolm X was a tremendous (and one of the biggest) contributors in the Civil rights era.

Malcolm X stood as a symbol for black pride, “Of all his [Malcolm’s] ideas, his call for a ‘cultural revolution to unbrainwash an entire people’ most directly served as a catalyst and reference point for people that would later advocate for Black Studies Programs throughout the nation” (Tyehimba). It was only a couple of years later that this change was taken into action at UC Santa Barbara, inspired by Malcolm X’s calling for the awareness of racial injustice.


Two different colored children looking at each other in front of the North Hall. Along side of this, a vision of change sign was place here.

Personally, one of my favorite murals. It encapsulates the meaning of change and unity, becoming the ultimate drive for the North Hall takeover. This mural/displays serves as a constant reminder of how far we’ve progressed; still work to do, but the the power of activism and community support is shown through this.

The twelve students locking themselves out of the barricade serves in metaphor for the constraints of racial segregation. A common problem with the issue of underlying prejudice with whites don’t just lie from direct hatred of African Americans, but in their inability to recognize white and natural privilege. “A Vision of Change” externalizes the memories and events that occurred in the 1960’s civil rights era, which ultimately led to the major changing of college curriculums. Ranging from Martin Luther King’s speeches to Malcolm X’s advocacy on separatism, the North Hall commemorates the awareness of a society injustice to blacks and dominated by whites.


Donegee. “Department of Black Studies – UC Santa Barbara.” North Hall Exhibit. UC Santa Barbar Department of Black Studies, 1 Dec. 2015. Web. 25 Aug. 2016. <http://www.blackstudies.ucsb.edu/news/announcement/365/&gt;

Kishen, Kavya. “The North Hall Takeover at UCSB.” Let’s Examine Our Past:. Bloggers Inc.,     14 Aug. 2014. Web. 03 Sept. 2016. http://pastandpresent68.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-north-hall-takeover-at-ucsb.html

Tyehimba, Agyei. “UNDERSTANDING THE SIGNIFICANCE OF MALCOLM X.” My True Sense of Self. N.p., 31 Jan. 2013. Web. 04 Sept. 2016. https://mytruesense.org/2013/01/31/beyond-scowls-and-quotes-understanding-the-significance-of-malcolm-x/