The demise of the so-called Jim Crow laws in 1964 and 1965 and the victory of the civil rights movement rung hollow in the ears of most African Americans. While segregation was still held in practice in many places of the South, systemic forms of racism permeated Northern society. As uncertainty and distrust pervaded African American communities after 1966, the maligned Black Panther Party filled the void, especially among Baby Boomers who moved the African American liberation movement farther to the left. During this difficult time when the country was torn apart by issues of race and poverty, as well as the escalation of the war in Vietnam, unrest seemed to prevail at a myriad of colleges and universities across the United States where newly formed Afro-American Societies and Black Student Unions pressed for pedagogical change suited to the liberation doctrine coming from the Black Left. Spring 1969 was a particularly explosive semester as African American students occupied administrative buildings and common areas at both historically black and predominantly white colleges up and down the East Coast.

Author Todd Mealy’s book explores connections between the civil rights era and present day on the topic of African Americans at Universities.  He joined us today to tell us more about his background as an author and the inspiration behind his book.

Anyone interested in a copy of “This is the Rat Speaking” or to learn more about the author can go online to