James Turner, who led the Black student sit-in at the Northwestern University bursar’s office in 1968, has died.

Turner was a 26-year-old graduate student at NU when he led the two-day sit-in to protest discrimination and improve campus conditions. The protest led to creation of what’s now Northwestern’s Department of African American Studies.

The next year Turner was hired to lead the newly proposed Black studies center at Cornell University.

He was a professor emeritus of African and African American Politics and Social Policy at Cornell when he died Aug. 6 in Ithaca.

More on Turner’s career from the Cornell Chronicle and on the 1968 protest from the Northwestern University Archives.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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