Celebrating 50 Years of Black Studies at Portland State

In recognition of the 50th anniversary of Portland State’s Black Studies Department (BST) in 2020, Special Collections and University Archives will highlight materials from the department’s papers in a first floor exhibit.

The Black Studies Department developed in September 1970 after a group of Black students formed an independent student organization called the Black Student Union in 1968. Members of the union demanded representation within all university committees scheduled to focus on the needs of Portland’s Black community, to not only be present at meetings, but to have “veto” power as well. The exhibit will showcase the struggles and setbacks the department faced over the years, its’ gradual evolution, and visibility it now brings to university life.

As a reminder, PSU Library Special Collections is open to the public for research. Email specialcollections@pdx.edu to make an appointment.

Photo: Lenwood Davis, Director of Black Studies, with Clarence Berry, first recipient of the Black Studies Certificate, 1972.