Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Eric Burin


Between the mid-1950s and through the 1970s, higher educational institutions throughout the United States underwent reforms in the name of what they termed “integration.” For the colleges and universities in the upper Midwest, these reforms included minority student recruitment and the creation of programs oriented towards diversity. Over time, a number of minority students began to act and react to the actions and attitudes of the various administrations, the campuses, and the community, resulting in a demonstration directly connected to the national phenomenon of “The Black Campus Movement,” (BCM) itself a submovement of the larger United States’ Black Power Movement of the mid-twentieth century.

The historiography of the BCM has failed to examine more minor instances of the movement, instead focusing on larger institutions, violent demonstrations, or ones with a large proportion of black students compared to white students. This study expands that historiography by introducing a case-study on a BCM demonstration at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. Concordia was and still is a small, four-year liberal arts college with strong ties to Norwegian heritage and the Lutheran religion. In 1976, Concordia underwent a BCM demonstration when more than half of its very small black student population boycotted their classes and presented a list of demands to the administration. This study how and why this demonstration occurred, places Concordia within the larger historiography of the BCM, and provides a narrative account of how two cultures clashed at a small, predominantly white, Lutheran college in the upper Midwest.

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