The picture mural located at UCSB’s North Hall was installed to praise those courageous students who took over the building in order to send a message back in 1968. They demanded for equality and for the end to the academic racism that was going on within the university. The protesters drew a crowd of nearly one thousand people, including students, faculty, and others. Although not all eight of their demands were granted, their protest was a catalyst for all of the ethnic studies departments that is now a part of our curriculum.
This mural commemorates the power that students can have here on campus and that we can make a change. These students were driven to have there demands met. They were not afraid to ruin the whole school’s mainframe computer to get what they wanted. Their Malcolm X, “by any means necessary” attitude is what granted us the Black Studies Department which was added the next year.
The mural has just recently been installed after another Black Student Union led effort. Their request to rename North Hall as Malcolm X Hall was turned down but Chancellor Yang agreed to put money aside for the creation of such a powerful mural. Will North Hall ever become Malcolm X Hall? Now that would make an even bolder statement than the mural itself I would think.
The pictures contained in this mural are gateways to the past. They externalize memories by showing the history of that very spot that they are located. The mural takes us back to that time of distress and shows us how far we have come as a community. This is when a new part of our school’s curriculum was born.
Simons, Eric. “UCSB Black Studies Dept. Built from 1968 Black Student Union Protest.”
The Daily Nexus. Daily Nexus, 12 Feb. 2001. Web. 24 Aug. 2016. http://dailynexus.com/2001-02-12/ucsb-black-studies-dept-built-from-1968-black-student-union-protest/.
Wing, Jeff. “The Taking of North Hall.” Santa Barbara Sentinel. State Street Scribe, 16 Oct. 2015. Web. 29 Aug. 2016. <http://santabarbarasentinel.com/blog/2015/the-taking-of-north-hall/>.
“1968: A Global Year of Student Driven Change.” 1968: A Global Year of Student Driven Change. El Gaucho, 20-22 Nov. 2008. Web. 01 Sept. 2016. <http://www.blackstudies.ucsb.edu/1968/>.