The Negro Student Council was founded at the University of Minnesota in 1937 by students mobilized to action by segregated housing instituted by President Lotus D. Coffman. Its first president was Arnold Walker. The students addressed a variety of issues. They protested a performance of Porgy and Bess by the Theater Department, which was cancelled.
In Charlotte Crump’s story This Free North she described the founding of the group and the importance of offering an independent voice for African American students on campus, rather than joining other organizations. The Negro Student Council worked with white students on some of their committees, particularly to defeat segregated housing. The group seemed to wane in significance by 1942 when the fight against the International House did not include the Negro Student Council.
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