Storming The Gates: Struggle For Access To Higher Education In Illinois

"Storming the Gates: The Struggle for Access to Higher Education in Illinois.” This documentary chronicles the ongoing history of Blacks and Latinos in Illinois higher education. This video was produced by Illinois Committee on Black Concerns in Higher Education (ICBCHE) in partnership with the Illinois Latino Council on Higher Education (ILACHE). The film features trailblazers from institutions across Illinois who played key roles in opening access to higher education for students of color. It illustrates the links between access and the civil rights movements of blacks and Latinos in the 1960s and ’70s, and highlights the importance and the central role Illinois has played in the national struggle for access and equity. It also demonstrates the importance of black and brown people coming together as the struggle continues against the erosion of, and actions to cut back on, affirmative action gains.

00:02Copy video clip URL Introduction to video with footage of people walking on Northwestern University’s campus. A close-up of a sign that reads “Northwestern University, Asian/Asian American Student Affairs, Hispanic/Latino Student Affairs, Multicultural Center” 

00:08Copy video clip URL Shanta Driver, National Spokesperson for BAMN, explains that the reason that universities, law schools, and all public and private higher education institutions now accept Black, Latino, Native American, and other minority students is because of the work of Black and Brown students and the Civil Rights Movement. 

01:10Copy video clip URL Collage intro with the title card: “Storming the Gates: The Struggle for Access to Higher Education in Illinois” Followed by Bill Kurtis’s narration on the Civil Rights Movement in the fifties and sixties and how access to education was a part of that revolution. 

01:54Copy video clip URL “Seeds of a Revolution” Continued narration by Bill Kurtis. Dr. James Anderson, professor and Head of the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois speaks about being a part of the small population of Black students on campus and the alienation of that. Omar Lopez talks about the discontent his community felt at these institutions for the lack of representation. Followed by Dr. Wayne Watson discussing the exclusionary and discriminatory policies at Northwestern being a reflection of society at the time. 

04:57Copy video clip URL Footage of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaking after leading the March on Washington. Clarence Shelley speaks of the political movements of the time and the role that students played. 

06:12Copy video clip URL Bill Kurtis’s narration covering the numerous Latino protests in Chicago during the late sixties, the Chicano Movement, and the ultimate influence of these protests to build new schools for the Latin community. “The Chicano and Black Power Movements were now political forces that could not be ignored.”

06:58Copy video clip URL William “Doc” Speller speaks on Black students taking over campuses at various universities in Illinois and demanding to be treated with respect and to see representation in their institutions. Dr. Watson says “I don’t think this country would be what it is today if the students of the sixties had not challenged the fabric of the universities. . .” 

08:53Copy video clip URL Miguel del Valle, a member of the Latino community, speaks on being surprised at his acceptance to Northeastern University. 

09:56Copy video clip URL Manifesto called El Plan de Santa. Barbara: A Chicano Plan for Higher Education is highlighted and pictured on screen. 

10:29Copy video clip URL “Champions of Change” Dr. Anderson speaks on the active civil rights leadership in Champagne and Urbana campuses at the time. They were challenges universities to make changes to attract more students of color. Narration by Bill Kurtis highlighting key figures that helped excel positive changes for students of color on campuses throughout Illinois.  

12:40Copy video clip URL Footage of Silas Purnell, a key member in Chicago that helped Black students get into universities, speaking. Dr. Clara Fitzpatrick describes Purnell saying “Silas Purnell was our voice, he would say anything, anywhere, to anybody about Black kids. . . Silas put more kids in schools all over the country and they did well. . . he was a legend.” 

15:04Copy video clip URL Carlos Heredia-Ortiz speaks on the sixties and early seventies as a time “where there was so much effervescence to get what we wanted”. He speaks on the alliances formed between Latin and African-American students, highlighting relationships with gang members. Dr. Michael Toney continues this conversation. Dr. Santos Rivera expresses that Dr. MLK Jr. was the leader of the African-American movement, whereas Ceasar Chavez was the leader of Latino communities’ movement. 

16:53Copy video clip URL Maria D’Amezcua, community activist, is introduced and speaks of the protest she organized at Roberto Clemente High School in Chicago for Latino students to demand that UIC accept them into the university. Kurtis’s narration presents the formation of CACHE (Community Advisory Committee on Higher Education) and of ILACHE (Illinois Latino Council on Higher Education). 

19:06Copy video clip URL Roberto Rivera discusses being dismissed from Northern Illinois University because he was viewed as spreading propaganda, he later returned to NIU as Chief of Staff for Illinois State Senator, Miguel del Valle. 

21:48Copy video clip URL Political pressure for educational justice was mounting in Washington, D.C. Clips of monuments in Washington, including the White House as Kurtis narrates. Clark Chipman, who played a role in establishing academic support programs for minority students across the Midwest, speaks about his former job in the U.S. Department of Education. 

23:04Copy video clip URL Kurtis highlights HECA (Higher Education Cooperation Act), which created grants for minority students in education. Dr. Seymour Bryson talks about Jake Jennings, who was in charge of HECA grants. 

24:20Copy video clip URL Shelley discusses creating spaces for students of color to feel more welcome in the university environments by creating an African-American Academic Network center. 

25:55Copy video clip URL “The Challenge Ahead” The formation of ICBCHE (Illinois Committee for Black Concerns in Higher Education) and ILACHE are discussed. Dr. Michael Tony says there needed to be an organized effort to increase numbers of minorities on staff in higher education institutions. Dr. Tony states that they were “conservative forces working to undue some of the gains that were done in the sixties.” 

29:04Copy video clip URL IALHEA (Illinois African-American and Latino Higher Education Alliance) formation is presented. Footage from a protest on Affirmative Action. Driver and Dr. Rivera discuss institutional racism in higher education and the continued need for organization and programs that advocate for students of color. 

34:21Copy video clip URL Credits 




You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


Copyright © 2024 Media Burn Archive.
Media Burn Archive | 935 W Chestnut St Suite 405 Chicago IL 60642
(312) 964-5020 | [email protected]