An audio documentary from APM Reports, available Aug. 14.
In 2015, Lauren Brown left her mostly Black Chicago neighborhood for the University of Missouri. Moving to a predominantly white college was a huge shock, made even more difficult by the racial harassment she faced that fall. That same semester, the campus erupted in protests that made international news after several instances of racial harassment set off a Black student-led movement to change the school — and inspired movements on campuses nationwide. But few got as much media coverage as the University of Missouri. News reports seemed to treat the racism at Mizzou as an aberration, but Lauren and other Black students knew that it wasn’t just a recent spate of incidents that lead to the uprisings — it was years and years of them.
In this documentary, we learn about the long history of student activism and demands for change that set the stage for the protests at Missouri. Central to comprehending what united Black students in the fight for change — and what has changed — is an understanding of what students call “Black Mizzou.” Lauren Brown is our guide to this campus within a campus — fundamental to Lauren’s decision to ultimately graduate from the school and to holding administrators accountable for change today.