BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Southern University A&M College will take a moment to recognize the 50th anniversary of the historic protest on Southern’s campus from 1972.
Southern University’s Board of Supervisors has officially overturned the ban on student protestors who were forbidden on-campus for their participation in the protest.
According to the Louisiana Illuminator, students were protesting the poor conditions of the dormitories, cafeteria food, and lack of relevant courses for over a month. On Nov. 16, 1972, students found out four of their schoolmates were arrested and went to the university president, Leon Netterville to have the police release those students.
Police then received reports students were holding Netterville hostage. Over 300 police in riot gear surrounded the administration building. Police threw a tear gas canister at the students, and the students threw the canister back at the police when Leonard Brown and Denver Smith were shot and killed.
A list of banned students circulated. The Southern Board voted to uplift the ban for all banned students.
On Monday, Nov. 14, the university will offer a Smith-Brown Archival exhibit in the student union from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. The exhibit will close Friday, Nov. 18. Also, the West Baton Rouge Parish Museum will hold a community conversation at noon in honor of Denver Smith, a native of New Roads, Louisiana. A PBS frontline documentary will be showcased in the ballroom of the student union at 6 p.m.
On Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022, the university will host the 50th commemoration to honor the lives of Denver Smith and Leonard Brown in the Smith-Brown Memorial Student Union from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.