Segments in this Video

Black Students (03:18)


In the late 1960s, traditionally white colleges and universities began admitted significantly more black students. Inspired by Civil Rights and the Black Power Movement, students advocated for change in education.

Civil Rights Movement (05:58)

Following Brown v. Board of Education, schools throughout the country integrated and students began to see how education needed change. Numerous young people joined the Civil Rights Movement and learned how to organize. Many black students came from urban neighbors were police brutality increased Black Power.

Black Students at SFSU (04:44)

San Francisco State University was a prominently white school, but numerous black students began attending. The Black Student Union formed in the spring of 1966. The school had a recruitment and support program for minority students.

Black Studies at SFSU (04:44)

Black student organizations called for the establishment of a black studies department. The students created a model and began teaching themselves. The push was supported by the Black Panther Party, which had a strong presence on campus.

SFSU Student Strike (04:15)

After the school fired a black professor and attempted to close the black studies department, students went on strike. The students made a list of 15 demands, which were not met. The police responded and more than 500 students were injured and arrested.

Widening Strike at SFSU (04:07)

After five weeks, faculty, community members, and parents joined the strike and called for officials to meet the students' demands. The level of police brutality encouraged more community involvement.

SFSU Strike Ends (03:58)

Student leaders were arrested and sent to jail. The students drafted a new proposal of demands for the school, which included the formation of a black studies department and a similar program for other ethnic groups. Similar strikes broke out at universities throughout the country.

Black Students at Cornell (05:31)

In 1968, Cornell University increased its black student population to 250. The black students felt the education and housing situation was not geared toward them. Students began standing up to racist treatment on campus.

Afro-American Society (03:31)

The society wanted to change the curriculum at Cornell to include black studies. Members wrote demands and protested for a black studies department; six were charged with misconduct. Racial tension rose on campus and a cross was burned in front of the black women's residence house.

Students Takeover Cornell (05:03)

The cross burning unified Cornell students and they occupied the student union building. They intended for a peaceful sit in but white students tried to break into the building. For self-protection, people brought guns into the building.

Armed Standoff at Cornell (06:58)

More than 300 sheriff deputies were on standby near Cornell after receiving reports the black students had guns. The students and the faculty wanted to get students out before violence occurred; students agreed to leave the building with the guns.

Response to Cornell (06:31)

The school agreed to create a black studies department. Photos of armed students leaving the building appeared in newspapers throughout the country. After the entire student body received an explanation of the situation, more supported the black students' cause.

Power of Student Movements (05:11)

Movements similar to those at SFSU and Cornell happened throughout the country. The movements allowed numerous student groups to find their voice and place at school and in society.

Credits: Agents of Change (02:15)

Credits: Agents of Change

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Agents of Change

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This documentary tells the timely and inspiring story of how successful protests for equity and inclusion led to establishing the first Black and Ethnic Studies departments at two very different universities: San Francisco State (1968) and Cornell (1969).

Length: 67 minutes

Item#: BVL165933

Copyright date: ©2016

Closed Captioned

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