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Student Activism at Duke University

Created by Jamie Patrick-Burns, 2014-2015 University Archives Drill Intern.

The Allen Building Study-In, 1967

Photo of students participating in the Allen Building Study-In, November 13, 1967On November 13, 1967, African-American students organized the Allen Building Study-In to protest the use of segregated facilities, like country clubs, by Duke student organizations. 

The Associated Students of Duke University (ASDU, precursor to today’s Duke Student Government) conducted a student-wide referendum in early November of that year on a proposed ban on the use of such facilities, but this motion was defeated. Frustrated with the lack of action by the student body and the administration, the students issued a statement and demands on November 10, and three days later entered President Douglas Knight’s office, staying for seven hours.

On November 17, just four days after the Study-In, Knight issued a statement in which he extended the existing policy to cover all student groups, in addition to faculty and staff groups.

The Allen Building Study-In: Getting Started

Campus Publications

  • The Chanticleer: The 1968 edition of the Chanticleer (which has been digitized and is available online) includes some photographs of the Study-In (see pages 135-136)

Related Websites and Online Resources:

  • Several photos of the protest are available in the "Allen Building Study In" album on the Duke University Archives' Flickr site. (Originals of these photos can be found in the University Archives Photograph Collection, noted below.)

The Allen Building Study-In: Archival Collections

Photograph and Audio/Visual Collections