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Shelter in a Time of StormHow Black Colleges Fostered Generations of Leadership and Activism$
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Jelani M. Favors

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469648330

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469648330.001.0001

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Their Rhetoric Is That of Revolution

Their Rhetoric Is That of Revolution

North Carolina A&T and the Rise and Fall of the Student Organization for Black Unity, 1966–1974

(p.200) 7 Their Rhetoric Is That of Revolution
Shelter in a Time of Storm

Jelani M. Favors

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter discusses Greensboro, North Carolina as the unofficial headquarters for the Black Power Movement in the south and the role that North Carolina A&T State University played in facilitating that development. Since the dawn of the turbulent 60s, A&T had been a force for change and an epicenter for student activism. With the dawning of the Black Power Movement, A&T students completely embraced the rhetoric of the era and followed it up with action. Those activists’ energies fed other Black Power initiatives across the state and soon led to the creation of a new national organization, as well as a powerful local organization that embodied the shifting agenda of the civil rights movement to address abject poverty throughout Black America. Those energies also attracted the attention of local law enforcement and the National Guard, which invaded the campus in May of 1969, shot and killed a student, and terrorized the predominantly black side of Greensboro. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the shifting landscape of HBCUs during the early 70s and the external and internal pressures that arrested the development of Black Power organizations during the decade.

Keywords:   North Carolina A&T State University, Student Organization for Black Unity, SOBU, Nelson Johnson, Greensboro Association of Poor People, GAPP, Black Power Movement, Greensboro, NC, National Guard

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