After working on Ithaca Diaries for eight years, I was honored to be interviewed on NPR’s Here and Now earlier this month. I was totally impressed that their diligent researchers discovered that the Cornell University Rare Books Library recently compiled video of the takeover of Willard Straight Hall by more than 100 black students, on parents’ weekend, in April, 1969.
As Ithaca Diaries readers know, the Straight takeover was a central event in my life and in the university’s transition from ivory tower to the diverse and forwarding-looking institution it is today.
For me, having been front and center when the students emerged with those rifles, seeing the silent footage felt eerie.Here’s a link to the video–which, , does need some editing as the various cuts seem to repeat. I’d love to know your thoughts.
Anita M. Harris is the author of Ithaca Diaries, a nonfiction coming-of-age memoir/social history of college in the late 1960s. The book is available from Amazon, Kindle, and the Cornell Store.