Documents and Photos
from the Year to Pull the Covers Off Imperialism

Black Studies in the 1960s was reborn in the Black Power Movement. It was a confrontation with institutional racism in higher education and spread to all levels of schooling. It was a radical project that linked educational activities to Black Liberation. Many activities took place.

One of the projects organized by Peoples College and the African American Studies Program at Fisk University was the “Year to Pull the Covers Off Imperialism.” A conference was held at Fisk on January 10-12, 1975. It was simultaneous with the Institute of the Black World and the African Liberation Support Committee, as well as advances in the Black Student Movement, notably the founding of the February First Movement succeeding YOBU.

The conference ratified a declaration that was then distributed nationally to Black Studies academics and Black liberation activists. It can be used today by Black Studies faculty and students to rethink how to relink with the Black Lives Matter Movement. These documents (and photos below) are being shared to strengthen the movement today with the assets of the past.

Abdul Alkalimat, June 20, 2021

The Proposal^

  1. The proposal issued before the 1975 conference. pdf

National planning conference launching the Year, Fisk University, January 10-12, 1975^

  1. Program pdf
  2. Registration form pdf
  3. Speech by Abdul Alkalimat pdf
  4. "Why Are We Here?" statement in each conference packet pdf
  5. Conference photos are below.


  1. A Declaration Against Imperialism! Adopted at the National Planning Conference to Pull the Covers Off Imperialism Project, January 11, 1975. Fisk University, Nashville, TN pdf
  2. Brochure distributed nationally to Black Studies programs pdf
  3. Peoples College. Report from National Planning Conference: Year to Pull the Covers Off Imperialism Project. Black Scholar. pages 54-56. January-February 1975. pdf
  4. Black intellectuals and the struggle against imperialism. A report to the African Heritage Studies Association from the Pull the Covers Off Imperialism Project. Flyer for Panel Session D2. Shoreham Americana Hotel, Washington, DC. April 5, 1975. pdf

10th anniversary in 1985^

  1. Peoples College. Black Liberation Month News 1985. Chicago. pdf

1975 launch conference photos^

Photos by Akindele (Edward Bailey). Identifications are from left to right. Please send names of those not yet identified.

Conference setting in auditorium of Jubilee Hall at Fisk University. The oil painting (commissioned and donated by Queen Victoria and still installed in this room as of 2021) portrays the Fisk Jubilee Singers organized in 1871, who popularized the religious songs of their enslaved ancestors in concerts across Europe and the U.S. Speaking is Professor Alex Willingham.

Another image of the conference setting, showing the literature table.

Conference registration, staffed by Josephine Hood (Philadelphia) and Ayanna (Jocelyn Hunter / Peoples College).

Conference registration, Robert Newby (Detroit).

Conference literatura table by Timbuktu bookstore/Peoples College Press, staffed by Aysha Marsh (back to camera / Peoples College).

St. Clair Drake (Stanford University) talking with Robert Brown (Review of Black Political Economy) and others.

St. Clair Drake talking with Joseph Seward (Fisk University).

St. Clair Drake, James Turner (African Heritage Studies Association) and Abdul Alkalimat (Peoples College).

St. Clair Drake speaking, seated Ronald Bailey (Fisk University), unidentified sister, Robert Newby (Wayne State University), and Malcolm Suber (Atlanta University).

St. Clair Drake speaking with Malcolm Suber (on left / Atlanta University) and others.

Robert Allen (Black Scholar) and Sam Anderson (SUNY Old Westbury and Black New York Action Committee).

Malik Kambon/Ricky Hill (Peoples College), Sam Anderson (SUNY Old Westbury and Black New York Action Committee) and others.

Unidentified brother, Modibo Kadalie (African Liberation Support Committee), and Robert Allen (Black Scholar).

Bill Epton (Black New York Action Committee), Abdul Alkalimat (Peoples College), and Robert Brown (Review of Black Political Economy).