Making Black History at CCNY

Diverse by design, CCNY was founded in 1847 with a mission to educate the “children of the whole people” and introduce public education to New York City. Fast forward to 1969, when the disparity between the small numbers of Black and Puerto Rican students — compared with Harlem’s population and the city as a whole — gave rise to historic campus protests, occupation and a two-week strike. Open admissions followed for the next six years. In this episode, President Vincent Boudreau recounts this formative period in CCNY’s modern era and visits a 1970s chapter in Black history on campus with legendary rapper Kurtis Blow. Hear Blow, born a block away, tell his CCNY history, from finding the inspiration here for his hit “Basketball” to studying here for a time until making his groundbreaking record deal. For perspectives on educational attainment equity at City College today, Student Affairs and Enrollment Management leaders Celia Lloyd and Dr. Naomi Nwosu-Stewart join President Boudreau in a conversation about engaging and supporting current students, a majority of whom are people of color.

Host: CCNY President Vincent Boudreau

Guests: Celia Lloyd, CCNY Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management; Dr. Naomi Nwosu-Stewart, CCNY Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Management; Elder Kurtis Blow Walker, rapper, minister and President of the United Coalition for Humanity.

Recorded: February 14, 2022