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Duke University Arts

Documenting the 1969 Allen Building Takeover Where it Happened

Sep 4, 2013

Documenting the 1969 Allen Building Takeover Where it Happened


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In 1969, black students at Duke who were fed up with the status quo on campus took over the Allen Building. In the hallways those students occupied four decades ago, an exhibition has been mounted to document the event. “The Long Road to Integration: The 1969 Allen Building Takeover” is part of the campus-wide retrospective “Celebrating the Past Charting the Future:  Commemorating 50 Years of Black Students at Duke.”

The exhibition includes historical photographs from the Duke University Archives, The Durham Morning Herald and The Durham Sun, prints from The Duke Chronicle’s front-page headlines, participant interviews, and a multimedia presentation. There are interviews with students from the time who relate their experience of campus life during those momentous days. A comment book allows viewers to respond to questions or ask their own.

Caitlin M. Johnson, a 2012 Duke graduate with a degree in Public Policy, researched and curated the exhibition, which is an outgrowth of her senior capstone project in Documentary Studies. She is now a legal reporter at the Daily Journals in Los Angeles, CA.

A reception to officially open the exhibition was held in the first floor lobby of the Allen Building on Thursday, September 12.  The exhibition will be up through October 22, 2013.


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