Joshua Myers presents "We Are Worth Fighting For: A History of the Howard University Student Protest of 1989"
We Are Worth Fighting For is the first history of the 1989 Howard
University protest. The three-day occupation of the university’s
Administration Building was a continuation of the student movements of
the sixties and a unique challenge to the politics of the eighties.
Upset at the university’s appointment of the Republican strategist Lee
Atwater to the Board of Trustees, students forced the issue by shutting
down the operations of the university. The protest, inspired in part by
the emergence of “conscious” hip hop, helped to build support for the
idea of student governance and drew upon a resurgent black nationalist
At the center of this story is a student organization known as Black Nia F.O.R.C.E. Co-founded by Ras Baraka, the group was at the forefront of organizing the student mobilization at Howard during the spring of 1989 and thereafter. We Are Worth Fighting For explores how black student activists—young men and women— helped shape and resist the rightward shift and neoliberal foundations of American politics. This history adds to the literature on Black campus activism, Black Power studies, and the emerging histories of African American life in the 1980s.
"We Are Worth Fighting For reminds us of the insurgency of
Black college students in the late 1980s and early 1990s that inspired a
generation. Thoroughly researched and well constructed, this book
illuminates how Howard students inspired the political and cultural
rebellion of the time and shines light on this period of the Black
~Akinyele Umoja, author of We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement
"This riveting, exceptionally well-written book is a major contribution to Black Power historiography and the history of Black student activism. Featuring appearances by future mayors of Newark and Atlanta and pioneers of hip hop, this study holds important lessons for today." ~Gerald Horne, author of Fire this Time: The Watts Uprising and the 1960s