Perspectives on the Legacy of Woodrow Wilson at Princeton

Princeton students mounted a protest on campus for 33 hours November 18th-19th and demanded changes on campus. The students held space in Nassau Hall (the main administrative artery on campus) and in Princeton University President Eisgruber’s office with the following three requests:

(1) The University administration acknowledge the racist legacy of Woodrow Wilson, and all buildings carrying his name are renamed.
(2) Mandatory cultural competency training for all staff and faculty.
(3) A cultural space on campus dedicated specifically to black students.

The activism set off a wave of discussions on campus, and around the country. Over 100 Princeton faculty signed a letter in support of the student protests, and faculty of the Department of African American Studies in particular have spoken up about addressing the racist legacy of Wilson at Princeton. Here are some of the discussions that have followed the demonstrations:

Racism chiseled on our walls — and the fight to replace it

CNN. February 15th, 2016.
Full Story:

Wilson Revisited: What the Presidential Portrait Left Out

Princeton Alumni Weekly. February 3rd, 2016.
Full Story:


Keeanga-Yahmatta Taylor, Assistant Professor of African American Studies, Princeton University (@KeeangaYahmatta)

“Black Lives Matter on Campus, Too”

Al Jazeera America. November 29, 2015.

African-American student protests reflect the many anxieties facing the black middle class

Full Story:


Eddie Glaude, Jr. William S. Tod Professor of Religion and African American Studies; Chair, Department of African American Studies, Princeton University (@esglaude)

Princeton’s Debate Over Woodrow Wilson’s Racist Legacy

Bloomberg Politics, With All Due Respect. December 7, 2015.

Full Story:

Princeton’s Prestigious Past President Sparks Present-Day Debate

WNYC News, The Brian Lehrer Show. December 1, 2015.

Full Story:


Joshua Guild, Associate Professor of History and African American Studies, Princeton University (@jbguild)

Woodrow Wilson And Renaming Our History

WBUR, On Point with Tom Ashbrook. December 2, 2015.

Full Story:

Students Call For Meaningful Reform on Campus

MSNBC. November 29, 2015.

Full Story:

“How Racist Was Woodrow Wilson?”

NPR, All Things Considered. November 20, 2015.

Full story:



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  1. 'Rethinking Empire and Democracy' Reena N. Goldthree, Eddie S. Glaude Jr. 44:49
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  3. 'What Was African American Marriage?' Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Tera Hunter 44:59
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