"Who am I?" was the first question students were required to explore in the University of North Carolina-Charlotte's Black Studies Program, created in 1969 after student demands and with student involvement.
This collection of essays shares just how much students in the first decade of the program were influenced by its courses, faculty, social and cultural opportunities or merely its existence. It also reveals the courage, expectations and fears of a too-often overlooked generation of black students. Often first in their families to attend college, their mission was to deliver on the promise of desegregation.
That many achieved and contributed so much is worth celebrating. But not without understanding the care and guidance essential to ensuring their lives mattered.