Black Action Movement II - 1975
In 1975, students of color, once again feeling disillusioned by the lack of investment and commitment by the University of Michigan, protested. During February of 1975, for three days, nearly 300 students held a sit-in on the second floor of the Administration Building that contained the President’s Office. The three main reasons for the Black Action Movement’s second action were the lack of progress on implementing the demands of BAM I, in particular, the 10% enrollment of Black students; the expulsion of a Black nursing student without a hearing; and the rejection of a candidate for the dean of College of Literature, Sciences, and the Arts (LSA). Many people found BAM II to be a more mild protest than the earlier BAM I protest. In the Michigan Daily article “Sit-in ‘75: Ain’t the Old Days," David Weinberg interviewed university assistants and secretaries who remarked that BAM I felt more hostile and “threatening” while the BAM II sit-in felt more organized with “legitimate” concerns. During the sit-in, students created a list of demands to the university administration.
In these news clippings, pictured above from the February 19, 1975 issue of the Michigan Daily, the Black Action Movement II Demands are presented in two bulleted lists. The demands are transcribed from the newspaper below:
- The Third World Coalition Council be recognized as the sole bargaining agent for people of color in the University
- That Cleopatra Lyons be reinstated in the School of Nursing
- That the job appointment of the Native American advocate be raised from half-time to full time
- The establishment of an Asian American advocate
- The establishment of a Chicano cultural center
- Total amnesty from reprisals for demonstrators
The Third World Coalition Council calls for University negotiation on the following:
- That Blacks constitute 10% of student population by September, 1975; 13% by September, 1976; a percentage equal to or greater than the percentage of Blacks in the state by September, 1977; that each department be 10% Black; that the black student population be half male and half female
- That the percentage of blacks in the overall and individual Department faculties be 10% by September, 1975; 13% by September, 1976; a percentage equal to or greater than the percentage of Blacks in the state by September, 1977
- That all screening and preliminary examinations for applicants these faculty posts be “null and void” until the demanded percentages are met
- That the Black United Front be given general control of all admission, recruitment, and financial aid policies regarding blacks
- That money for black financial aid be increased by 30% immediately and those funds be increased “to meet the needs of black students”
- That the Black United Front Control all University services concerning Black Students
- That the Black United Front be given control of 25% of the University’s budget
- That the Black United Front be the sole bargaining agent for University blacks
University administrators met with the protestors to hear their concerns as they occupied the second floor of the Administration building.
Intently listening, University of Michigan president, Robben Fleming, sits with the student protesters to hear their concerns in the photograph above. After the three day sit-in, a group of representatives of Black, Chicano, Asian-American, and Native-American student groups presented six demands.
After the meeting, President Fleming released a statement to the BAM II’s concerns and demands, outlining his commitment to provide student services and financial support to students of color at the University of Michigan. The statement also promised continuing discussions with the Third World Coalition Council with the first meeting scheduled for four days after the statement was published. Furthermore, Fleming guaranteed that the students who took part in the sit-in would not face any punishment or criminal charges for occupying the Administration Building. The sit-in ended after President Fleming shared his statement.
Black Action Movements I -1970
Black Action Movements III - 1987