< Browse to Previous Essay | Browse to Next Essay >
College and high school students sit-in at Seattle's Franklin High on March 29, 1968.
HistoryLink.org Essay 1378
: Printer-Friendly Format
On March 29, 1968, University of Washington Black Students Union members Aaron Dixon and Larry Gossett, local SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee) head Carl Miller, and high school student Trolice Flavors are arrested during a sit-in at Seattle's Franklin High School. The protest is over Flavors' expulsion.
In January 2002, the writer Thom Gunn interviewed Larry Gossett, now a King County councilman, and Aaron Dixon about the incident. Gunn writes:
"The cause of the incitement is still disputed, but Gossett says two girls had been sent home for wearing Afros. 'In the principal's note, he said they could come back when "they looked more ladylike" -- in other words, when they looked more like white girls.'
'We zoomed down there,' Gossett recalls, and they met with the students at the Beanery, a campus hangout across from the school.
'The students were ready to tear the place apart,' Gossett remembers. 'Calm down,' we said. 'Why don't we have a sit-in and present our demands?'
The demands included a black administrator, a black teacher and some inclusion of blacks in American history ....
At 12:30, about 180 marched on the principal's office, chanting [Aaron] Dixon recalls, 'Ungowa, BLACK POWER!'"(Gunn).
Forbes Bottomly, Superintendent of Schools, agreed to the demands, and the protesters dispersed. However four days later, Seattle police arrested 16 of the identified leaders for "disorderly conduct." On June 13, 1968, Larry Gosset, Aaron Dixon, and Carl Miller were convicted of unlawful assembly for the March 29 sit-in. They were sentenced on July 1, in response to which riots broke out in the Central Area.
Their case eventually went to the Washington State Supreme Court, which reversed the decision of Superior Court Judge Solie Ringold, who had declared the unlawful assembly law unconstitutional. The Supreme Court reinstated the charges against Larry Gossett, Aaron Dixon, and Carl Miller. However, the prosecutor decided not to try the case again.
Walt Crowley, Rites of Passage: A Memoir of the Sixties in Seattle (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1995), 254; Thom Gunn, "The Times They Have A-changed," The Seattle Times January 22, 2002, p. B-5.
Travel through time (chronological order):
< Browse to Previous Essay
Browse to Next Essay >
Black Americans |
Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that
encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both
HistoryLink.org and to the author, and sources must be included with any
reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this
Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For
more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact
the source noted in the image credit.
Major Support for HistoryLink.org Provided
By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins
| Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry
| 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle
| City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach
Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private
Sponsors and Visitors Like You