SF State cafeteria, site of organizing and speech-making prior to and during the strike.
“The Third World Liberation Front (TWLF) rose in 1968 as a coalition of ethnic student groups on college campuses in California in response to the Eurocentric education and lack of diversity at San Francisco State College (now San Francisco State University) and University of California, Berkeley. The TWLF was instrumental in creating and establishing Ethnic Studies and other identity studies as majors in their respective schools and universities across the United States. At the end of the American Civil Rights Movement, the combined determination of the Latin American Student Organization (LASO), the Black Student Union (BSU), the Intercollegiate Chinese for Social Action (ICSA), the Mexican American Student Confederation, the Philippine American Collegiate Endeavor (PACE, now known as the Philippino American Collegiate Endeavor), La Raza, the Native American Students Union, and later the Asian American Political Alliance galvanized California and the rest of the nation with the first student strike, bringing to light the need for wider perspective within educational disciplines. The TWLF strikes for Ethnic Studies in California drew the attention of the universities’ administrative leaders as well as the attention of the Governor of California Ronald Reagan. The student strikes to establish these courses started in 1968 and lasted for several months. The establishment of the first College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State, the first Ethnic Studies Department at Berkeley, increased hiring of faculty of color, and efforts to increase minority representation on college campuses all resulted from the actions of the Third World Liberation Front. The student and faculty strike started on November 6, 1968 and lasted until March 21, 1969, making it the longest strike by students at an academic institution in the United States. The strikes arose to protest the perpetual Eurocentric lens on education, as the demands of the strikers included an establishment of an autonomous department for Ethnic Studies, more faculty of color representation, and more representation of students of color on campus. John H. Bunzel writes that the students felt that ‘education from kindergarten to college under the authority of the white community failed to focus on subject matter that was germane to the life experiences of the people in the minority community.’ …”
STRIKE!… Concerning the 1968-69 Strike at San Francisco State College (Video)
YouTube: “The Turning Point” The San Francisco State ’68 Strike