Against All Odds

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Unit 3 Project: Against All Odds

Jo Lee

Kaplan University


According to the dictionary, courage is defined as the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc. without fear. In 1967, the Civil Rights Movement was strong all over the South. Houston had its own chapter of the Black Panthers. It was a group of Texas Southern University students who faced down administration and police officers to enforce change. This shows courage.

The demonstration started on Monday, May 22, which began simply as a rally to protest the dismissal of the friends of SNCC (the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee) as a campus organization and the firing of government instructor Mack Jones, who had been the SNCC group's faculty advisor, rapidly grew into a demand for wide-ranging changes in the University's standards and policies. By the end of the week of demonstrations and rallies, 400 students had marched four and one-half miles to the county court house, the Houston police had braced for a full-scale riot, and three of the protest leaders had been jailed on charges which included threatening to kill police officers (

What deteriorated into a crisis at the university began with someone at Lanier Hall, an L-shaped dorm for male students, firing gunshots at a couple of carloads of intelligence officers and a uniformed sergeant. Hundreds of police officers rushed to the campus to confront whoever was firing shots out of the dorm that housed 300 or more students, most of whom were not involved. Thousands of police bullets punched through windows and walls, terrifying residents of Lanier Hall. The outcome was 20 or so injured students, 486 students arrested and many male students dragged outside, some wearing only their underwear. Male and female students later complained that angry officers ransacked their rooms, kicking out the screens of TV sets,...