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Free Speech Movement Oral History Project

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Interview Transcripts

Ronald Takaki Transcript

Conducted by Lisa Rubens in 2000, Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2014.

Photo of Ronald Takaki at Northeaster University, 2007
Photo of Ronald Takaki at Northeaster University, 2007

Ronald Takaki was a graduate student and a teaching assistant in the department of history. He participated in sitting around the police car and discussed the development of the Free Speech Movement with one of his students, Bettina Aptheker, who became a leader of FSM. Takaki describes his multi-cultural background and experience of segregation in Hawaii, his evolution as an academic critiquing the conventional consensus view of U.S. history, and his understanding of the relationship between social movements and race and ethnicity. Takaki discusses his role in the strike following the arrests of students occupying Sproul Hall.  After teaching the first Black History course at UCLA he returned to Berkeley as a faculty member in the Ethnic Studies Department, where he fostered an Ethnic Studies course requirement and then the American Cultures requirement. Takaki is the acclaimed author of numerous books on the history of race and ethnicity in the U.S.

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