This Dec 2, 1968, Page 2 editorial from The Free Critic newspaper (City College of San Francisco) describes actions by Larry Pinkney of the Black Students Union to get an ‘Afro-American’ studies department and a black woman hired by college officials as Dean at City College of San Francisco.

Excerpts from the editorial:


One Wednesday the twentieth of November Larry Pinkney of the B.S.U. met with the Executive Committee of the Academic Senate and presented a list of suggestions to help establish a Black curriculum at City College. He spoke with utter seriousness and conviction about the need for a Afro-American studies department and with the help of his Vice-President described a program that could be established along the lines of the autonomous department scheduled to begin at Merrit college in January. Included in their suggestions was the desire for City College to hire a Black lady to replace the outgoing Dr. Mary Golding as Dean of Women. It was this suggestion that raised the most eyebrows, but it was this suggestion that had the greatest prioroty (sic). The Free Critic feels that it is an extremely valid request and deserves affirmitive action from the administration. The present racial imbalance of our schools administration is a whitewashed disgrace to the minority students that comprise over one third of the students on campus. Truthfully we feel that the imbalance is an anaconism that focuses on one of the most crucial problems still facing this college — Racism. It takes only a glance at our administraton to recognize this, and it is time for President Conlan and his Deans to face up to the fact of this inherent racism.


The response to Larry Pinkney, as regards the appointment of a Black Dean was familiar — essentially wait and see. The problem with such a response is that it has no sure and solid meaning. No real purpose. No actual goal. It is an end in and of itself. It was pointed out by various committee members that there are certain legal considerations that had to be considered in the hiring of instructors or administration such as the proper degree which means an M.A. Regarding this, we would like to know if the more than a score of instructors presently listed in the current college catalog with only B.A. behind their name are all “eminent scholars?” Also, if a person with an A.A. can now teach Afroamerican History in California Secondary Students could it not follow that persons with a B.A. be appointed to the City College faculty. Afterall, our States educational history has systematically excluded blacks up til now and the quantity of advanced degrees is not that great.

The B.S.U. and their demand for a Black lady as Dean of Women and for the establishment of a Black Curriculum is valid, “not only for the black race…but it might have an impact on the entire system of American education.” There seems to be no real debate over the fact that our educational system needs to be changed. If those in authority continue only to act and think on those issues that have ceased to be debateble (sic) then they only preserve their antiquity. Such is the matter of department prestige which Dean Aldridge referred to in the November 24 edition of the S.F. Sunday Examiner, in which he said, “If we started a new department it would have to gain this prestige.” Yet it is “this prestige” that seems to be the concern of the B.S.U. who feel that it means a white, hence negative concept of history, art and culture […]

City College needs a new Dean of Women. The lady selected should be Black. The College also should establish a Department of Afroamerican Studies. And if for some reason these are not done, then we suggest that it will be the administration who are really the “militants” and it will be they who have placed the “battle on the agenda.”


Photo of Larry Pinkney speaking a rally

Free Critic newspaper: Larry Pinkney speaking at a rally at City College of San Francisco (CCSF) in late 1968


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