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But I can make better more with the catalog to your third word from some people in the octagon that the representatives will be down at 12:15 and that we must first hear them before speaking with the administration. Otherwise no conference. Therefore we can't play that way. Thank you. Nothing as important as education they're willing to run anyway oh I don't think that the norm for more on this. Story about this issue we come back and feel free to if you would you make yourself to home you know the song. The members of the gun group want me pressed his house at 12:15. Before you all go rushing off we're trying to bring them down here before they go over there.
What can I say oh it's all right it's all right. Right right right. There's a black community the five black community that will be here in about 15 minutes. I don't know whether you have any questions now though or whether you would like later to just discuss any aspect of the experience that began about one o'clock this morning. There has been some misinformation but I think we have been unhappy with them. I know that members of the five college black community have been either happy with there was a report that came out saying that the campus had been sealed off. This is not so. We don't know where it started. We had heard a comment but I'd rather not suggest because it could be wrong but if any of you report this this definitely is not so. The campus has not
been sealed off to any one of the students as you know and for buildings it has been peaceful quiet no violence. We won't know until they come exactly what the issues are that disturbed and you heard the some of you heard them speak in Johnson chapel this morning but I don't believe that that represented what will be said when the students arrive. I just didn't want to clear up some of the misinformation that has gone out and if you have any questions now this is not to steal their thunder but there may be just some factual questions that you might want to ask him now. These are your first four years. Here they're presumably coming right here and through the door and here in the First Congregational first meeting the right time for you
as the administrator consider your actions against us. Regain control of your buildings. Well I be sure that the administration will take into account what the legal aspects of this are we would hope that it would be settled before any such action which would be taken were ready for meetings this morning concerned with this possibility I was not present at the meetings this morning we were over in a sort of a temporary command post in another building. I can't answer that but I think later President Clinton probably will. What I hear you I think will have to wait and hear what your students say when they come to this medium we're waiting for now. I think it all depends on what the requests and comments are. And as you know this is the students who have
indicated that this is a five college affair. Actually four since Hampshire won't start until September so we can't speak just for our own students for the group. Well they said Boon Johnson chapel this morning as I heard it that they chose Amherst because they felt that Amherst was slower than the other institutions and in meeting their wishes expressed since the death of Martin Luther King. I myself I I I don't know I I can't tell you how Amherst compares to Smith University Mount Holyoke on this. I know one effort is a real effort has been made here to to do what was humanly and financially possible. I think he's waiting for the group just outside the door. Do you believe. That you know that
it could go right what if you go people what do you have right now. Well if you think that he would be quote out of here anything out of me or not my. Feel that I'm your wife or that you're going to break. Right. I've been meaning I have not been responsive to opposition to the bottle. We're not in the normal meeting counterproposal and powerless advisory committees have continuously frustrated our efforts to determine the reality of our present that reality demands your acceptance of our right to determine our own program policies and direction. Games played for power are inexpedient in Britain the very existence of the program as black students we are responsible to the immediate needs of our people.
Your administrative reservations are undeniably never confront for you immediacy of this issue and distort the reality. Therefore the clap our black community united enough responsibility in the game and set forth a more expedient programme of not have accumulated these initial key issues to be enacted following negotiations with those of our community. Permit. For the. Moment. Well. I mean I think you are unmanned enough with me just because we want what. You. Have. Polls will be. Back.
On. The phone live but many of these things had to do with the curriculum with a black studies program and things of that nature of which really are decided here by the most college faculty and I would kind of method to the fact of the matter. On the record I think that this is really without going into detail on this is about all I want to play. They can purely First off I want to do Michael thing or I'm not a part of you the students of the whole black all white I would have died in the first place if I did not approve of the. Colorful takeover of a classroom or library which includes other people from using it and does not let them get in to do what they're here to do which has been studied. But having said that this does not get us very much further down
the road and we will have to think and look at this in more detail to see what it's worth I also have the radical right and began a really very few. The idea that the way the term think for yourself what you wish to learn and how you wish to learn it and how well you're going to learn it is not really an adequate education. People will become the army of our faculty. No more than I do and measure what the subject and don't have to guide them into the learning process somewhat more rough but. I think that a university really is but be something of a community. Having black and white right and average and I think we have to go on this whole thing together and not have a separate autonomous group again so I thought we could go for. The fashionable. One. Had they just brought to my record what do you plan to take over. Write all the different
classes do anything about it. I'd like to move over and I think you're right in the fact of needing a crack in. The sidewalk and that would lead. We have been waiting to get this Carol. He was given it the good work in one of our books about to have this here is about clarify the issue and the one that you can play. I'm married and most important thing which we've been trying to do in the beginning of this year to get into contact with them both in a cage and dialogue with these young women. I'm a few extremely proud of its fast record in dealing with black when I was most happy or what we've done but we've seen the good in the plaintiff more and and generally made by proud of it. Right. You really have to take what hit you. They don't want to get to your goal. Loser.
I have no idea what their plans are I'm not they have not said then you're just heard this is the most extensive communication we've had from you when we go live it off looking for one of our five firstly to know which way we were thinking and I'm not sure that they could clear themselves how long they want to fit the bill in a what's the problem that would be I've had a black write communicate with you prior to this and I will listen but I want to have a lot of morning on my coffee. I've been aware that I don't think that the 12 of Williams Will Burns a brilliant Wilbon got dry on the wall and read him and what it is isn't it. It was where he's American he's a junior here at the AMAs and a very able young man with a very bright fellow and I think that's one of my different opinion with him about his procedures at the moment I think a very good thought and
do you have any idea of what they're demanding. Well not until I go through this I don't and I think that the I say this is something of the kind I think we want to look out for they will seek to get what they are we have to go on like everybody else. All of the program by the way we can prove it by by the way. To get. Them. Out. While they have not been enough and the Russians right now I'm more concerned by his remarks that he has a lack of faith or. Trust. In what we've done or what I've been trying to do about that. I'd love to know how many more. Out of 65 than I do but are any of those blood on the go. Yes. And more than all of the general population. About 40 percent of our entire student body goes on for a fine and very. Good.
I feel the reason there's a problem with you I don't know what Generally I don't see why not you want to get at me. My. Really. Great. Only Thank you very much. Yeah go along for the cluck cluck cluck to front all of poetry. Well if. You think. All you want and if God himself as a god call it black and blue this is modified to force Imus cannot make any unilateral Imus cannot make any unilateral like you we have here I'd like to react when I am.
Not. Going to hear everything going on here. You want me to make you know I look at all I say I. Want to know how long you want this to be for my attitude about this is a very serious one indeed this is really represents and this sort of thing happens we've been going down the wrong road for a long time. This kind of interruption of communications and I take it very seriously indeed. That's what we think of utmost importance that people get back in conversation of each other speaking only Personally I disapproved very strongly of any sort of coercive gesture of this nature particularly one which prevents some people from getting to the library of the laboratories or getting to their computers. And this thought but having said my disapproval of it by strongly that doesn't really solve things and we've got to we've been waiting for these things which seem to be a bundle of letters as well as cups hidden in them some
other demands or requests. And the important thing is what I think. To have them come and express their feelings about this. And then we see where we go and they're kind of getting out of the building. Oh I have a deadline for them. I really been waiting to see what these things amounted to. We have been in the past as some of you mine now and I musta done very well about blacks the first Negro to graduate from college in the United States was nominated man on I'm Jones in 1826 vote and have a second one a graduate about three weeks later going to ride over in spite of that sort of thing really doesn't satisfy thaw this historical push by one to the point what we're doing right now and the fact that we had some distinguished alumni from where extraordinary proud. This also doesn't get us by far because we're living right now and that's of course what we would like to do in the future. How are we going
to get along. We've got black studies programs. We've recruited black teachers. We've tried to go as far and as rapidly as we can.
Raw Footage
Raw Footage of a Press Conference on the Amherst College Takeover
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New England Public Radio (Amherst, Massachusetts)
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Raw Footage Description
Raw footage of a press conference about the peaceful takeover of several buildings at Amherst College by members of the Five College Black Community. Part of the Black Student Movement, these protestors sought to improve the black experience at the Five Colleges through institutional changes. They demanded increased representation of the black experience in the curriculum, increased support for the Five College Black Studies Program, increased black student enrollment and financial aid, and the implementation of black studies departments. This recording includes initial reactions to Amherst College takeover by bystanders and by an unnamed campus administrator. The footage starts with background conversation about the order of the speakers and the scheduled arrival of student leaders. An unidentified male speaker representing the administration answers some questions about the events on Amherst's campus and how the administration will react to the students' actions. Wilburn Williams, representing the students, reads a statement voicing their demands. President Calvin Plimpton of Amherst College responds in a statement and answers questions from the press. All of the colleges, except Mount Holyoke College, began to immediately enact changes after the protest.
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Race and Ethnicity
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Speaker: Williams, Wilburn
Speaker: Plimpton, Calvin
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Identifier: 218.08 (SCUA)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:20:00?
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Chicago: “Raw Footage of a Press Conference on the Amherst College Takeover,” 1970-02-18, New England Public Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 21, 2024,
MLA: “Raw Footage of a Press Conference on the Amherst College Takeover.” 1970-02-18. New England Public Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 21, 2024. <>.
APA: Raw Footage of a Press Conference on the Amherst College Takeover. Boston, MA: New England Public Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from