The Untold Truths Behind Black Student Activism in the 1960s

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“Compelling portraits of the lives of the young people who risked their futures to make a difference.”

— Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, Harvard University

“This memoir captures the struggle to bring Black history, Black experiences, and Black lives to the forefront of the academy. It will serve as an important guide for today’s students, faculty, administrators, and all others in the world of higher education.”

— Donna Shalala, U.S. Congresswoman

Meet the inspirational students: This narrative tells the story of seven women and one man at the heart of a sit-in protesting decreased enrollment and hiring of African Americans at Swarthmore College and demanding a Black Studies curriculum. The book, written by the former students themselves, also includes autobiographical chapters, providing a unique cross-sectional view into the lives of young people during the Civil Rights era.

Correcting media representation: For years the media and some in the school community portrayed the peaceful protest in a negative light―this collective narrative provides a very necessary and overdue retelling of the revolution that took place at Swarthmore College in 1969. The group of eight student protestors have only recently begun to receive credit for the school’s greater inclusiveness, as well as the influence their actions had on universities around the country.

Stories that inspire change: This book chronicles the historical eight-day sit-in at Swarthmore College, and the authors also include untold stories about their family backgrounds and their experiences as student activists. They share how friendships, out-of-the-box alliances, and a commitment to moral integrity strengthened them to push through and remain resilient in the face of adversity.

The students now

The incredible true story featured in Seven Sisters and a Brother will teach you:

  • No matter how old or established, institutions can change and will continue to change
  • How to identify fears and work to overcome them
  • That truth will prevail when we unite with others and refuse to accept surrender

If you’ve read titles such as Warriors Don’t CryBetween the World and Me, and Pulse of Perseverance, then you’ll love Seven Sisters and a Brother.

The students of the book include:


Buy the book here

Marilyn Maye, Ed. D. Associate Professor of Educational Leadership, New Jersey City University, New York City area

Harold Buchanan, M. Ed., retired Associate Director of Information Systems, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Philadelphia, PA area

Jannette Domingo, Ph. D., retired Dean of Graduate Studies, John Jay College of Criminal Justice Professor of Economics and Africana Studies

Joyce Baynes, Ed. D. retired Superintendent, Dunellen, NJ

Marilyn Holifield, J.D, Partner, Holland & Knight, Swarthmore College Board of Managers, Harvard University Board of Overseers, and University of Miami Board of Trustees

Myra E. Rose M.D. internal medicine residency program director, hospice medical director and Chair of Medicine at Morehouse

Aundrea White Kelley, Massachusetts Board of Higher Education Commissioner, Chief Academic Officer at Quincy College

Bridget Warren, Ph. D. retired Professor of Biology, University of Panama, Panama City, Rep of Panama 

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