When the UC Berkeley administration installed a new chair of Afro-American Studies without consulting the faculty of Afro-American Studies or the larger community, a group of dissenters—faculty, students, and members of the community—repaired to the Rainbow Sign to strategize their protest.

Berkeley’s black mayor Warren Widener was among those who created an committee that, in defiance of the Cal administration, proposed to select its own chair of the department. The group also lodged a protest against the removal of Afro-American Studies from the umbrella of the Third World College and its incorporation into the College of Letters and Sciences—where, the article noted, any federal funding for the department would be filtered through that College’s administration.

It stands to reason that, as the city of Berkeley’s premier black cultural center and art venue, the Rainbow Sign would have had a close relationship to the nascent Afro-American Studies Department at UC Berkeley.