Olivia Weinstein

Olivia Weinstein

2020 Undergraduate Fellow
History

Thesis title and description:
"Forgotten Firebrands: The W.E.B. DuBois Clubs of America in the 1960s Student Movement"

 

My senior thesis, titled “Forgotten Firebrands: The W.E.B. DuBois Clubs of America in the 1960s Student Movement,” offers the first biographical exploration of the W.E.B. DuBois Clubs of America (DBC), the national youth organization of the Communist Party during the1960’s. The student New Left group was on the cutting edge of 1960’s student activist initiatives— kickstarting the struggle for open admissions of black students on college campuses in Wisconsin and New York and sparking the free speech movement at the University of Illinois, among numerous other examples — ultimately, laying much of the groundwork for other New Left and Black Power student groups on campus. Unlike other New Left groups, which were predominantly white, the DBC was also multiracial and prioritized civil rights among its organizing initiatives. My project examines how the group deployed its unique, race-focused approach to activism in order to catalyze New Left activism on college campuses.